With all the hard work of the reporters, we learned of Cliff Lee's final figures with the Phillies shortly after the announcement of his agreement to sign. While at first glance it appears he left a lot of money on the table to return to Philadelphia, it is not as far off as you might think.
The final number is five years at $120 million. He has a vesting option worth $27.5 million if he pitches 200 innings in 2015 or 400 innings between 2014/2015. There is also a $12.5 million buyout. That means if his sixth-year option vests, Lee will have left $13 million on the table by turning down the Yankees' offer. It is not as much as first reported, and it should not be enough to make small market fans jump for joy, but he did take a lesser amount to go somewhere he prefers. Also, reaching 200 innings as a 36-year-old is nowhere near "easily attainable" as first reported (before the numbers came out), but it is certainly possible. Tom Glavine was hitting 200 innings at 41. Of course, no pitcher's arm is the same, and there is no way to predict a pitcher's future.
The Yankees' final offer was six years at $132 million, plus a $16 million player option for a seventh year, according to Jerry Crasnick. The guaranteed money that New York was offering was the highest amount. The Rangers offered $138 million over six years, with a vesting option worth $23 million. It would have been the highest amount had the option vested.
As a result, the Phillies are trying to deal Joe Blanton to free up money. The Yankees have signed Russell Martin, and they now have more money than they know what to do with. The Rangers are interested in Chien-Ming Wang, and will more than likely get involved with Carl Pavano. Life goes on without Lee. That also includes the Braves. Frank Wren has already stated no knee-jerk moves will be made, and they are ready for spring training. The impact of the Phillies rotation on the Braves and some comparables to the 1990s Braves rotations will be made in the next post.