Both teams reportedly made seven-year offers, but neither was enough to land the most coveted free agent of the offseason.
Jerry Crasnick reports that Lee called Rangers general manager Jon Daniels himself, while agent called Yankees GM Brian Cashman to break the news.
Both Joel Sherman of the New York Post and Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated are saying the New York Yankees are out of the Cliff Lee sweepstakes and Rangers beat writer T.R. Sullivan says the free agent pitcher is going to Philadelphia.
Incredibly, Lee may have accepted a smaller offer (as much as $50M less) for fewer years in order to return to the Phillies, who he helped lead to 2009 World Series.
The Phillies traded for Lee at the deadline in 2009 and he went 5-0 in his first five starts in the National League. He was the winning pitcher in Philly’s only two victories in that year’s World Series against the Yankees.
At the end of the 2009 season, Philadelphia traded Lee for Roy Halladay, presumably because they could not afford his free agent price. The deal sent Lee to Seattle, who then traded him to Texas in mid-season of 2010.
The deal would give Philadelphia a fearsome rotation of Lee, Cy Young Winner Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels.
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