As I watched Cliff Lee dominate the Yankees last night, two things came to my mind:
1. Cliff Lee is one of the top 5 starting pitchers in baseball
2. Too bad Cliff Lee was not a free agent after this season
Seriously, could you imagine the type of contract that Cliff Lee would be in line for? His resume is awfully impressive:
-AL CY Young award in 2008
-22 wins, 2.54 ERA in 2008
-14 wins, 3.22 ERA in 2009
-3 wins with a 0.81 ERA in the 2009 postseason (so far)
-31 years old
While I doubt Lee would come close to signing a Sabathia-esque deal, there is no doubt in my mind that Lee's contract would have exceeded the AJ Burnett contract, the John Lackey contract, and probably topped $100 million dollars.
In fact, it would not have shocked me if Lee received something like a 5 year/$110 million dollar contract if he was a free agent this offseason. Is that figure excessive?
With his performance this offseason, Lee is certainly raising his free agent stock when he hits the free agent market in 2010. Even though Lee will be 32 after the 2010 season, it's not out of the realm of possibility to think that Lee will command a five or even six year contract on the open market as long as he performs well once again in 2010.
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