Lee: This Contract Is My Last
After another great performance for a loss, Cliff Lee said that he will most likely be done after his contract with the Phillies is up. This could be 2 or 3 years. It’s a little surprising, as most players choose to play until they no longer have the opportunity and/or they play is so bad they have to retire. Lee looked at it this way:
“Right now I don’t (plan on pitching beyond the contract). There are a lot of things that can happen between now and then, but I just know that my kids are 12 and 10 and I’ve basically missed the first half of their lives. I’m financially able to shut it down, so … that’s how I feel right now. But when they time comes I might look at it differently. I also want to finish being good, not struggling and fumbling through at the end. I want to finish strong and take it to the house. Next year I want to win a World Series, then another one, then another one and take it to the house. That’s what I’m wanting to do.”
He left himself with an out, which is wise. It’s interesting he mentions “struggling and fumbling” because that’s what we’re seeing out of Halladay right now. I’m sure Lee wasn’t referring to him consciously, but maybe it’s in the back of his mind.
Lee’s great start last night capped of a very good year, and one of the best September’s in pitching history. He’s the only major league pitcher to strike out 50 or more batters (he punched out 54) in one month and only walk one. That’s an insane ration, but we’ve seen it from Lee before when he’s on. For the year his ERA is 2.87 with a 7 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio. He is the Phillies most valuable commodity, and therefore one Ruben should consider trading. I love watching him pitch, but the odds are the Phillies will not be competitive over the length of his deal, so it might make sense trading him now to get some top-shelf prospects. Of course, Ruben struck out big time on the first Lee deal, and prospects are never guaranteed. And the fans would not like it at all. But it’s something Amaro should consider.