The Phillies officially ended the Cliff Lee era in Philadelphia on Tuesday, buying out the lefty’s contract for $12.5 million rather than picking up his club option for $27.5 million. As Justin Klugh pointed out at The Good Phight, that transaction has become something of a joke, as many have responded with a joke to the effect of “they’re paying him an obscene amount of money not to pitch”. In reality, they’re simply saving themselves $15 million. Lee may be 37 years old, but if his elbow hadn’t died, the Phillies most likely pick up that option if for no other reason than to hopefully flip him for younger players at the trade deadline. Alas. Just as with Chase Utley‘s decay, Lee’s disappearance from baseball relevance is a sad tale. He didn’t have the gradual decline many other veteran pitchers were afforded; there were no 4.50 ERA slopfests, no 83 MPH fastballs, no labored breathing in the third inning. Just a 2.87 ERA over 222 2/3 innings in 2013 and… pop goes the elbow early into the fourth year of Lee’s five-year deal.      

 

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This is a curated post. Read the original at Crashburn Alley

 

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