John Smallwood: Teams should look before jumping on Cliff Lee

Julia McClatchy (admin)

Some team – most likely the New York Yankees – should show at least a hint of concern about giving Cliff Lee the megamillion-dollar contract he is about to get.

Lee, the short-time Phillie whose name is not allowed to be spoken within the confines of Citizens Bank Park, is the top starting pitcher on the free-agent market.

He’s going to be a valuable addition to any staff and a top-of-the-rotation starter for most.

Lee, however, is not the slam-dunk, can’t-miss, must-have pickup a lot of people insist he is.

In fact, considering the amount of money Lee is about to get, there is a 45 to 55 percent chance the team that acquires him won’t get full return on its investment.

How can I say that about a guy who, until the start of the 2010 World Series, had been one of the most dominant pitchers in postseason history?

How can I say that about a pitcher who, despite losing two games in the World Series for the Rangers, is 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 10 career playoff starts?

Well, because to reach the postseason, a team has to first get through a 162-game regular season.

During the regular season, Lee just has not been all that with sprinkles on top.

Full story: John Smallwood: Teams should look before jumping on Cliff Lee | Philadelphia Daily News | 11/09/2010