Why the Yankees should get Cliff Lee

With the trade deadline coming soon and with the Yankees without Andy Pettitte for the next 2 months or so, the Yankees could use a pitcher for the starting rotation if Freddy Garcia is to falter and David Phelps can’t get stretched out for the rotation. With the Phillies “pretenders” this season, the Yankees could look at some of the pitchers in their rotation and decide who they would like to trade for. Although Brian Cashman said that he wasn’t for trading for players this season, the Yankees could go and trade for one of the Phillies pitchers that has struggled this season; Cliff Lee.

The truth of the matter is that the Phillies cannot keep Lee and Cole Hamels while staying under their budget. According to Hardball Talk, the Phillies had offered Cole Hamels a 6 year, $130 Million contract which could mean that Cliff Lee’s days in red pinstripes will come to an end. It’s all right Cliff. There is still one place that you could still wear pinstripes and pitch for a contending team all at the same time; the Yankees.

Although Cliff Lee hasn’t exactly shown extreme excitement in being in a Yankees uniform, he doesn’t have much options at this point. If Hamels says yes to the contract offer then Lee could be out of Philly. Of course Lee hasn’t pitched extraordinarily well this season (he only has 1 win), but if he was put in a contenders environment then Lee could quickly become the Cliff Lee the Yankees know (the one who has led the Phillies and Rangers to the World Series in 2009 and 2010, respectively).

There are concerns about Lee’s contract since the contract the Phillies offered him was unbelievable but if the Yankees could work out a deal where they could give up prospects the Phillies want, maybe some sort of deal could get done.

In all honesty, it had been a dream of mine to see Cliff Lee in Yankees pinstripes. Whether it’s for 3 months or for 6 years I would love to see Lee in Yankees pinstripes. Could my dream possibly come true? We’ll see. But for now, the Yankees might want to look into one of the toughest pitchers on his team; even though his team hasn’t given him the run support he deserves.

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About Delia E.

Delia Enriquez is the managing editor of Yankees Fans Unite. She enjoys analyzing the New York Yankees whether it be their pitching, roster or their manager. You can follow her on twitter @dfiregirl4 for more tweets, analysis and opinion on the Yankees.

Posted on July 20, 2012, in Personal Opinion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Not interested in him. His contract blows and he has never wanted to pitch here. Time to move on from him.

  2. Lee is still a very good pitcher but I don’t think the Yanks can afford him. Not only was he signed to a huge contract by Philly but it was majorly back-loaded. He made only $11M last yr and makes $21.5M this yr. But he makes $25M from 2013-2015 and has a $27.5m option that kicks in if he throws 200 innings in 2015 or 400 ip in 2014/15.

    So the Yanks would be on the hook for at least 3 yrs/$75M and likely 4 yrs @ $102.5M beyond this yr for a guy who turns 34 in a month. While I do think Lee will remain a #1/2 type pitcher for at least the next 2-3 yrs I just don’t think the Yanks can take on a $100M salary if they are looking to get under the Luxury Tax in 2014. If they did, they would be kissing good-bye to 2 of Cano, Granderson & Swisher. I could live with letting Grandy & Swish walk but don’t forget the price in prospects to trade for Lee also.

    Unless Philly is willing to take a much lesser deal just to rid themselves of the contract, I’m not comfortable with taking on $100M AND giving up 3 or 4 of our finest young players.

  3. Fish – not only the money……but if there is a suspicion that he is hesitant to be in NY …. Don’t try to twist his arm ….find someone that wants to come here.

  4. I will first say, that I was attracted to this sight for its baseball analysis. Its not there anymore. How the hell in this day and age, in the blog world can you bring up Lee’s wins? Clearly hes not pitching like an ace right now, but he is still better than any Yankee pitcher not named CC, and may better than him with fip and xfip. All that said, there is no reason to go an get Lee. They would have to give up too much minor league talent, for a guy who seems to be on a downward trend. It will be hard for the Phils to pass that contract onto a team that needs pitching, let alone the Yankees, who dont need it.

    • I agree that wins should not have been used to say Cliff Lee isn’t having a good season, because clearly if you look at his other peripherals, he is having a good season. It’s not his fault that he gets no run support and has a poor record, so I totally agree with Fin in that respect.

  5. Fin I will disagree with you that our analysis isn’t there anymore. Matthew B’s article on Victorino was picked up on MLBTR’s website the other day. Scan that article or other articles and I’m sure you can see quality is there. Because you don’t like one article I don’t think you can say our analysis isn’t there anymore.

    • My bad Matt. I overreacted. It really should not happen on this site though. You guys do a great job and I’ll keep coming back for sure. However, it always seemed to me that you guys would never let an article go through that sited wins as any sort of value on a pitcher. I mean even the main stream media gave Felix the Cy with 13 and 12 record. 1 win for Lee is extreme but I think anyone who knows baseball, has to agree that its one of the most extreme outliers we have seen in regards to how a player is performing.

  6. Trade ARod for him.

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