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Cliff Lee Signs With Philadelphia Phillies, And The NL East Just Got Tougher

When you weed through the fake Twitter accounts and humorous mystery team jokes, you will find that the Philadelphia Phillies have signed Cliff Lee Monday night. There is no doubt this will go down as one of the craziest nights in baseball Twitter history.

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com has the report. Lee's deal with the Phillies is for five years and around $100 million, according to Joel Sherman. Lee turned down seven years and $150 million from the Yankees, and probably something similar from the Rangers. The Phillies were not even mentioned until the past day or so, as Jon Heyman finally announced that his mystery team was the Phillies. The race for Lee was between the Yankees and Rangers for much of the offseason.

The signing gives the Phillies a rotation of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, which could rival the Braves' rotations of the 1990s if it plays out like they want. It is no doubt the best in baseball, and the Braves' hands certainly just got a lot fuller.

The night on Twitter began with a fake Ken Rosenthal account tweeting a deal was complete between the Phillies and Lee, which got pretty much all of Twitter for a while. The fact that it proved true only a short time after is what makes this crazy. It was a night of highs and lows in the baseball community.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.