There is one word to describe the feeling of baseball fans in the Philadelphia area this morning.
No one… and I mean no one… saw this coming.
Cliff Lee returns to the Philadelphia Phillies, agreeing to sign a 5-yr., $120 million contract. And it now forms what is arguably the most prolific starting rotation in Major League Baseball history.
The first four pitchers in the starting rotation read like this.
It just caught so many people off guard. Everyone figured that once they lost Jayson Werth to the Nationals that the Phillies were “cut off” from spending. Talk here in Philly was how they were going to fill the void with lower priced options… Dominic Brown, maybe re-acquire Aaron Rowand.
But just when you think you know all the rules, Ruben Amaro Jr. changes them. And their payroll this year will have to be in the $160 million territory. That is if they trade Joe Blanton and maybe find a taker for Raul Ibanez.
So it ends up being a case where the player didn’t take the biggest pot of cash in front of him.
Lee wanted to play for the Phillies again. He was clearly disappointed when the Phillies traded him to Seattle. And he told Phillies players that he wanted to be back with Philadelphia.
And now the Phillies have three players that will make more than $20 per season and their four starters will haul in about $80 million.
Ticket price increase in Philly. No worries.