Apparently the Philadelphia Phillies were not aware that Cliff Lee was supposed to sign with the New York Yankees this offseason; the ace left-hander, most recently with the Texas Rangers, has apparently agreed to a five year, $100 million contract, surprising everybody who thought he'd hold out for six or seven years, including, presumably, Brian Cashman.â†µ
Lee is leaving something like $50 million on the table from the Yankees, which might not sit well with the MLBPA, but what's crazy here is just how much money the Phillies have now apportioned to massive contracts—Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, et al, not to mention the last year of that big, kind of hilarious Raul Ibanez contract.â†µ
Baseball fans always wonder just why their team can't spend with the Yankees, or at least the Red Sox, and this is what happens when an owner and a general manager wonder, too. Cardinals fans are going to want these numbers, so I'm just going to leave them out here without comment: Yes, the Cardinals were fourth in baseball in attendance last year, 300,000 behind the Phillies, and yes, their payroll is now about $50 million lower.â†µ
If they really aren't in a position to sign Albert Pujols, Bill DeWitt is going to want to start explaining now.