Phils Made Contract Offer to Lee

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for lee 0731 a.jpgCliff Lee sounded like a truck had hit him.

He never saw it coming.

Lee, who the Phillies traded to the Mariners yesterday as part of the Roy Halladay blockbuster, spoke with Seattle reporters today in a conference call.

“At first I didn’t believe it,” Lee said. “I thought we were working out an extension with the Phillies. I thought I would spend the rest of my career there.”

The Phillies made Lee a contract offer about two weeks ago. Lee said they made a counteroffer the day he was traded, perhaps a last-ditch attempt to remain in Philly.

“We made what we thought was a pretty substantial offer,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said tonight. “We had some preliminary discussions, but other than that … it was amicable. Like I said before, I just didn’t feel comfortable that we were going to be able to get to the finish line. And so we ended up moving toward the Halladay situation.”

Amaro would not discuss specifics of Lee’s offer. But Halladay signed a three-year, $60 million extension, so it is safe to assume Lee’s offer was not more than that. It also was likely to be a three-year offer. Lee probably was looking for more years from the Phillies.

“As I have always said, I get very uncomfortable with length (of contract) on pitchers,” Amaro said. “Frankly, I wouldn’t want to go any more than four years. Three years has been kind of our standard on pitching, and I’d like to stay with that standard. That said, when you’re talking about a guy like Halladay who has the kind of track record that he has, sometimes special circumstances lead themselves to a different way of thinking. And that’s why we were comfortable guaranteeing four, including this year.”


Check out Baseball Prospectus’ take on the trade. I have been telling people over the last couple days that the fact the Phillies got Halladay, and signed him to a three-year extension under market value is a big thing. But Joe Sheehan really nailed it.

(Thanks to zach58 for pointing out the story in the comment section in the previous post.)


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So the going rate for a pitcher of the Halliday/Santana/Sabathia mold is about $23 million a year. It does seem an odd move unless Halliday is thinking the rate will go up in 3 or 4 years or atleast stay the same when its time for a new contract. Then Santana and Sabathia will be locked into $23 million a year and Hamels and Happ are signing contracts for $35 million a year. But then Sabathia and Santana can always do what football players do and refuse to play until their contract is renegotiated.

It was really sad to hear Lee’s comments. Guess he was as shocked as the rest of us. It is a real shame Ruben could not work out a deal quicker with Lee and try to trade someone else.
And you are right about that article…it is great to see that Halladay really wants to win above all else :O)


joebridge: If you read what Halladay said, (again, clouding the issue with facts) the money had nothing to do with it. He realized they were never going to win in Toronto. His wife said they have all the money they need, so he decided to go someplace where he can win. Several national writers are calling it an historic deal, since he went for so much less than what he could have demanded. It’s obvious that money is the least motivating factor here.
I hope Santana’s enjoying his money, because the Mets are a train wreck.
I think you’re way off in thinking that Halladay is banking on the next contract.

muleman, yes, I did read the article and the link to the historic deal article. I also have read what Halliday and his wife have said numerous times. I think its safe to say what is said to the press and what is said behind closed doors are not always the same thing. Just look at Amaro’s statements about signing Halliday weeks before Halliday was signed and I was posting that it was a possibility. Because bloggers beleive only what the read as gospel truth, I was ridiculed for suggesting anything other than what was written in the papers. Do you think you’ve read the complete truth about the Lee negotiations or the lack of attempt at a negotiation? Just like I keep saying…I’ll say it one more time….its all a poker game. Amaro is a hell of a player too.

mulman, come on, Im not the smartest guy in the room, a few of the regulars here including yourself seem to know a lot about baseball. I enjoy reading all of your posts. Especially, muleman, phan52 and phylan. I am not rubbing anything in anyone’s face and realize my opinion isn’t necessarily fact. I like discussing or reading all things Phillies with you guys and girls and like a good argument. When someone starts a post with, “if you read what Halliday said” that sounds like the lead in to an argument. I’ll tone down my posts if they’re inflamatory. Lets talk Phillies. I can’t wait for the season to start, what an incredible time in Phillies history.

joebridge: So, you’re calling Halladay a liar? Since you’re obviously the smartest guy in the room, you refuse to take anything you hear or read at face value and instead form your own opinion based on what you perceive as fact. That’s just being speculative.
I choose to believe what people say because I’m smart enough to know that $15 million IS enough money and added to what he’s made over his career and stands to make, it’s enough to satisfy everything except having a World Series ring.

Do you honestly believe that Amaro was going to come out and say what was actually going on? He can’t, for one thing and won’t tell anyone except his bosses what is happening. The fact that you posted something merely means that your speculation was correct, which you see fit to rub in our faces. OK, you’re a genius for thinking they could sign Halladay.

Unless you are a party to what is actually going on, you’re just another guy with an opinion.

muleman, give joe credit for his speculation about Halladay. I don’t think he is rubbing anything in anybody’s face, but he IS the only one who thought it was still a posibility. I know I didn’t.

To all the doubters out there (and there aren’t many posting on this board I know): check out Pete’s Halladay/Lee comparison over at

muleman, what’s irking you? Joe has been nothing but a gentleman on this blog. I already apologized for calling his theory of Halladay-coming-to-the-Phils idiotic. He was right, afterall and since then I’ve decided he’s one of the better posters to read on this blog. Of course along with you, phylan, phan52, zach58, karen, jenny, FIJ, etc…. Todd, thanks for keeping the ZO-zone alive!

Just trying to keep the conversation lively!

I took Halladay at his word that his below-market deal was a leap of faith, and I think we’ll like him as much as we liked Cliff Lee.

joe is a refreshing change of pace. Thanks, erichh1 for suggesting that mule lighten up a little. It is Christmas after all.

libertybelle, GREAT NAME!!

erichh1…thanks…a family member was in charge of moving the bell out of Philadelphia during the Revo War…when I hear it ring out in center each time one of our guys hits a HR I am reminded of what so many gave up so that we could enjoy the liberty we have today in this great country AND what an awesome team we have! That makes me proud to be a Philadelphia girl!

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