Ahem, let's bust out my calculator:
Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies for $120 million for 5 years with a 6th year vesting option. The option states that:
- Lee needs to pitch 400 combined innings in 2014 & 2015 OR 200 innings in 2015. If he does, an additional $27.5 million kicks in. If he doesn’t there is a buyout of $12.5 million.
No matter what he’ll make the $120 million plus the $12.5 million. That’s $132.5 million over 5 years or $147.5 million over 6.
So even if Lee pitches 2 years then blows out his shoulder, he still makes $132.5 million between now and 2015. But what if he doesn’t do a Brett Favre you ask? Follow me here:
- Lee could be dominant all 5 years, but he only pitches 199 innings in 2014 and 199 innings in 2015. Well, he’s fallen short of the vested option. So he’ll collect his $120 million, take the $12.5 buyout, and go sign with somebody else for 2016. If he’s still as dominate as he was for the previous 5 years, he could easily earn the same $25 million he’ll make in 2015. So, that would equal $157.5 million over 6 years.
The Yankees offer was $132 million over the same 6 years. Granted the Yanks also had a $16 million player option for year 7, but so what. That’s only $148 million over 7 as compared to the $147.5 million over 6 he could make from the Phillies.
So, who still wants to talk to me about how virtuous Cliff Lee is? AND where’s all this money he allegedly left on the table? My calculator says he got all of it…and more. It's simple Mathematics and selective reporting. Everyone wants to kill the Yankees and their checkbook; sorry folks, not this time.
- Lem Allen, BYB Contributor
Please comment and let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.