Joe Blanton

December 14, 2010 by staff 

Joe Blanton, (AP) – It turns out that the Phillies have enough money for both Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay – Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels and, also.

A year after Phillies him traded, Lee chose to join and form a foursome fearsome that is the envy of all baseball.

The free agent pitcher missed an extra 50 million and New York Yankees reached a preliminary agreement on a $ 100 million, a five-year contract with the Phillies on Monday night, a person familiar with the matter told the Associated Press.

The agreement is subject to the 32-year-old left-hander passing a medical examination, the person who requested anonymity because the agreement was not final.

The Yankees and Texas Rangers was considered the front-runners, but the Phillies wound up with the agent most coveted status of the season, reaching an agreement that gives them a rotation that is most dominant most likely in the major leagues.

Lee, the 2008 AL CY Young Award winner, joins Halladay twice winner of the Cy Young Award, who won the NL honor last month.

After Lee helped the Phillies reach the 2009 World Champion Series, he was sent to Seattle in a four-team, nine-player trade last December 16 that Halladay in Philadelphia. Halladay signed a new contract that added $ 60 million over three seasons, the same average wage Lee will get.

Seattle traded Lee to Texas in July, and Lee acute Rangers in the World Series for the first time.

The Phillies have considered trading pitcher Joe Blanton and / or outfielder Raul Ibanez to make space pay, a person familiar with the deliberations in Philadelphia. Said. This person spoke on condition of anonymity because negotiations were ongoing.

Lee and his family had a good time during his stint with the Phillies, who acquired from Cleveland in July 2009.

“At first I could not believe it. I thought we were working on an extension with the Phillies, “said Lee the day after the operation.” I thought I would spend the rest of my career there. … I felt they I wanted to keep for a long period. In my mind it would happen. ”

After advancing to the World Series in consecutive years, the Phillies were upset by eventual champion San Francisco Giants in the playoffs this year’s NL championship. Earlier this month, outfielder Jayson Werth left Philadelphia for a contract of 126 million and seven years with the Washington Nationals.

The Yankees and Texas have received phone calls Monday night, saying they were out of the race, two distinct persons familiar with the negotiations said the team, also on condition of anonymity.

New York began with a $ 138 million, offering six years for Lee, the person familiar with the Yankees’ negotiations said. Outfielder Carl Crawford after decided to seven years and 142 million against the Red Sox, New York immediately increased its offer to Lee $ 150 million over seven seasons, the person said.

Lee’s wife felt insulted by fans at Yankee Stadium who were rude to her and family members of the Rangers during the ALCS. It is unclear whether this played a role in the decision.

A draft of the fourth round in 2000, Lee is 102-61 with a 3.85 ERA in nine seasons in the majors. He excelled in the playoffs, going 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA for Philadelphia and Texas over the past two years, including 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA against the Yankees.

Lee won 18 games in Cleveland in 2005, then was injured in training camp in 2007 and was demoted to the minors. He returned to the big leagues, was 5-8 with an ERA of 6.29 and was left off roster series in Cleveland. He rebounded to go 22-3 with an ERA of 2.54 in 2008 and was voted AL CY Young Award.

He was 14-13 for the Indians and the Phillies in 2009 and 12-9 to the Seattle Mariners and Rangers this year.

With the departure of Lee, the Rangers could move closer Neftali Feliz from the bullpen to the rotation and may attempt to acquire 2009 AL CY Young Award winner Zack Greinke in a trade from Kansas City.

This was a rare case where the Yankees could not for the financial world a player they wanted. After losing to Texas in the AL championship series, they are looking to add pitching to a rotation that includes CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and AJ Burnett. New York is waiting to find Andy Pettitte whether he will not retire; the Yankees also promising Ivan Nova, a hard start right-hander who turns 24 next month.

New York also held talks with Crawford before its agreement with the Red Sox, but never made an offer.

AP Sports Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010 the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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