Phils Made Contract Offer to Lee
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.)