It’s a cold, rainy day here in New York, and in the Yankee universe (ahem) all anybody wants to talk about is the waiting game for Cliff Lee. I’ve weighed in here numerous times, as have most of my fellow writers. So I thought it would be a good time to open things up to the readers, and let you guys hash things out for yourselves. To get the conversation started I’m going to post some recent comments from Mo’s TYU Twitter. If you don’t already subscribe, you really should. Here’s a few tidbits:
Honestly, I’d love to give him an opt-out after the 4th season. Even if he’s great, let him use it.
Bingo. Anyone who complained about giving CC an opt out a few years ago was nuts. I’d love to have one of these in the middle of every long term deal around the 3rd or 4th season. Let Lee opt out as a 35 year old after a big season, thank you very much. The risk of most deals is in the out years of the contract, and the only time this didn’t work out well was the A-Rod opt out, but that was a result of Yankee ownership being in flux, which no longer applies. Do you think Blue Jays fans are still crying over AJ Burnett’s opt-out? JD Drew gave the Dodgers one and a half big years and has been banged up or unproductive half the time as a Red Sox .
But that suggests that 7/161, considering future inflation in value of win and standard aging, might not be a bad deal.
Assuming Lee starts at 5.5 fWAR next yr, 2011: 26.1M 12: 25.6M 13: 24.9M 14: 23.9M 15: 22.6M 16: 20.9M 17: 18.85M Total: 7yr/162.85 million.
The problem I have with this is that it assumes 7 injury free seasons, and when it comes to pitchers there’s typically no such thing. But it’s impossible to predict such things, so you just have to make an arbitrary adjustment in your own head and move on. The Yanks rarely make any money on their big free agents. The Steinbrenners operate the franchise at break even or a small loss and make their money on the playoffs, YES, Steiner Collectables, Legends Hospitality, etc. This contract is par with the deal they just signed for Derek, the A-Rod pact, the CC and AJ deals. The Yanks are lucky to break even on these deals.
“The chances of Lee being the pitcher he’s been over the last few seasons two years from now are slim” I dont think that’s true.
The issue is that people using standing aging curves even for players who have already proven to be outliers.
Yep. Elite talents like Lee are by their nature unique and exceptional, so comparing their aging curves to a group that includes loads of fringy guys who were barely hanging on in the bigs is kinda silly. For a much more targeted group, check out Lee’s top 10 player comps on his BR page.
BTW-Do you folks know that Cliff’s full name is “Clifton Phifer Lee “. Yep.