I know some Yankee fans would quickly dislike the idea of the 36-year old left-hander coming to New York. But…can he still pitch? Yea. Doesn’t it matter how old he is? Not necessarily. Would he cost less than what’s in the starting pitching market, now? Absolutely, he would.
That ‘he’ I’m talking about is Cliff Lee.
I would take chance on Lee, if I’m the Yankees. I understand he’s coming off an elbow injury, but this isn’t fire-throwing pitcher. Lee’s a pitcher. He pitches for contact; groundball pitcher and relies on his control. You’d worry more if the pitcher is a power-arm and relied on his fastball.
And Lee’s lefty, which’s always perfect for Yankee Stadium. And which’s the ultimate reason why they should take chance on him. Because if he were a right-hander, I would have no interest.
Lee will make $25 million next season, has a $27 million dollar option for 2016 with a $12 million buyout; an option that becomes guaranteed if he pitches 200-innings.
Yes, it’s a lot of money for a 36-year old, but he is Cliff Lee, and I believe he can still pitch; even though he had the elbow issue. But if the Yankees don’t wanna spend big bucks and/or go long-term on a Max Scherzer, paying $200 million, a pitcher like Lee would make a lot of sense and is affordable.
Listen, would I like the Yankees to get Scherzer? Absolutely, I would! I’d be head over heels with excitement to get him. But lets be honest — do the Yankees really need a ‘super’, rich pitching rotation to win a championship? No. Look at the teams who won the World Series in the past couple of years; look at the rotations they had. They had aces, but they also had veteran pitchers; and durable pitchers.
A healthy Lee and Masahiro Tanaka on the top rotation, in October, would be tough for any team to beat. Adding Michael Pineda, as well.
How much the Phillies will ask for? I don’t think much; Yankees do have have catchers in their system, to trade. I would do Gary Sanchez for Lee, straight up. Not adding another player. If Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. wants more than that, I’m not interested anymore.
Lee, to me, is more of a salary dump. Cole Hamels is a player the Phillies want abundant for.
And the great thing about Lee’s contract is, it’ll end the same time as C.C Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. And Carlos Beltran, too.
Does Lee want to be a Yankee? I know the thing the Yankee fan would say about rumors on Lee coming to the Yankees is: ‘Don’t bring him here! He doesn’t like New York!’ I don’t like to think he doesn’t like New York, I like to say prefer Philadelphia, at the time.
But if he really doesn’t wanna come here, then, the hell with him. Although I would try to get this type of player, instead of paying $200 million on one pitcher.