Contract Crowdsourcing: Cliff Lee

The big one. This should be interesting. You knoow the drill.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


37 Responses to “Contract Crowdsourcing: Cliff Lee”

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  1. jordy says:

    How can you guys have a max of $25 mil per year? Sabathia already gets $23 mil per and Lee looked quite a bit better than Sabathia in the postseason.

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      About 10 percent of the votes cast have chosen $25 million as the annual average value of the deal. If I replace all of the $25 million selections with $27 million under the (obviously false) assumption that each of them wanted to pick a higher number but were constrained to the maximum selection, the average AAV goes up by a whopping $150,000 per year.

      Basically, it doesn’t matter.

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  2. Nick says:

    Easy, until Pujols signs, nobody is going to get more than 25/year for any length of time.

    Sabathia is two years younger than Cliff Lee now and he was four years younger when he signed with the Yankees than Cliff Lee is now. And those are four prime physical years. Lee’s value won’t be projected to increase from here on out. Or even stay the same over the life of a 5- or 6-year deal. It’s going to decline. He’s going to be 38 at the end of a 6-year deal.

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  3. CG says:

    In response to Jordy, basically everything that Nick said, plus not many baseball executives judge a player based on a SS like the playoffs.

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  4. James says:

    I agree he’s going to decline in coming years, he’s going to be 32 next year. But since he resurrected his career in ’08 he’s been on of the best left-handers in baseball, in the mold of Sabathia and Santana, averaging about 7 WAR per season. He won’t get Sabathia’s or Santana’s years, but he should get that AAV. So I went with 5 years, $120M. He’ll ask for seven years, clubs will start at three or four years, and I think the fifth year guarantee will seal the deal.

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  5. Cheese Whiz says:

    I went with 6 years @ 22 million. This contract would scare the bejeezus out of me if I wasn’t the Yankees… but then that’s where he’ll likely end up anyways.

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    • Chadam says:

      That’s exactly what I guessed, and your reasoning behind it was the same as mine as well. Scary contract, but it looks like the Yankees will offer it to get their guy.

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  6. Carlosologist says:

    I bet the Yankees give him 6/140 and his wife forgets about Yankee fans and their shitiness (this is coming from a diehard Yankee fan. I’m so fucking ashamed of the douchebags associated with all Yankee fans.).

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  7. Fred says:

    I was really rooting for him to do extremely well in the World Series just to make the Yanks bleed as much as possible, alas.

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  8. James says:

    I don’t know…it’s no secret the Yankees covet Lee, but I don’t know if it’s a done deal. The Rangers will pony up for him (or so says Greenberg), and Hal Steinbrenner has tentatively set the budget as status quo. So after signing Jeter, Rivera and Pettitte (assuming he comes back), and arbitration raises, that’s gonna be a tight squeeze for Lee. Doesn’t leave Brian Cashman much wiggle room to improve the team elsewhere. It’ll probably happen, and we all know the Yankees’ budget is just a loose guideline, but don’t be surprised if the Yankees trade for a starter and pass on Cliff Lee.

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    • Steve says:

      Is there a better way to improve the team elsewhere than adding Lee, though? They really don’t have a lot of needs. They have a good, young, athletic OF. They are set all around the IF. They have a catcher and a top catching prospect. They have some decent holdovers in the bullpen. They need a starting pitcher. Cliff Lee is available. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lee decides to stay in Texas for less money, but I would be shocked if the Yankees don’t have the biggest offer on the table.

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      • JK says:

        I would be SHOCKED if Lee stays anywhere for less money. This is the guy’s only chance to cash in on his free agent status. He has probably already been offered in casual conversations long term team friendly deals by Cleveland, Philly, Seattle, and Texas. He has obv rejected them all. Look for Cliff Lee to take the highest offer on the table.

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      • Steve says:

        Point taken, but I do think there is some room between “team friendly” and “taking a little less to stay near his home”.

        If the Yankees offered $115M/5, maybe he’d stay in Texas for $105M/5?

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      • anon says:

        Not to mention that a NY $115M/5 after state tax is $92M/5, while a Texas $105/5 after state tax is $105/5.

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    • Sam A says:

      “don’t be surprised if the Yankees trade for a starter”

      They tried this last year and it didn’t turn out too well.

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      • Steve says:

        It definitely did not, but that’s also one of the benefits of trading. Vazquez is now gone. In hindsight, they’d obviously not make the same trade, but it’s still not the end of the world that he sucked. He gave them a solid 2 months in the middle of the season, but I think his arm just has too many miles on it.

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      • Sam A says:

        The trade wasn’t the end of the world and I won’t criticize Cashman for it. It’s tought to get a top-shelf pitcher via trade and I believe that fact will push the Yankees toward Lee. They already tried to trade for him ealier this season and, after they lost out, he beat them in the playoffs.

        The Yankees will likely win the ALE next year and they have to feel that it was the pitching that kept them from going farther in the playoffs this time around. Obviously, they won’t give Lee a blank check, but they will be the high bidder.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        In hindsight, they make the same trade. Melky’s gonna be lucky to get a job next year. Javy obviously lost his velo (and then lost his command), but they really gave up nothing except a raw pitching prospect who’s years out to get him. It wasn’t a dumb trade.

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  9. Sam A says:

    I went 6/150 because of how well he did against the Yankees in the ALCS.

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  10. John Franco says:

    Hal said the payroll will be “approximately” the same… +10% would only be about another 20mil. Vazquez will be off the books, so will NJ, and Rivera’s average salary will probably decline a bit. I think the Yankees can comfortably fit Lee in for 5-6 years at 22mil/year.

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    • Steve says:

      Depends on Pettitte too.

      Where I think the budget comes into play is that the Yankees cannot sign much ELSE besides Lee and maybe some bench/bullpen guys.

      In other words, they don’t have the money to sign Lee AND Crawford (I know, cry me a river), but they are coming hard after Lee. That’s a given.

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      • John Franco says:

        The fact that they would even consider Crawford (if they actually are) means they are planning to spend that money somewhere. Because they don’t really need Crawford. They already have Swisher, Granderson and Gardner in the OF, Posada/Montero at DH, and a need to play Jeter and A-Rod at DH a couple times a week. Crawford is awesome but a luxury… in other words, hmmm, what do we do with this 125mil that we had budgeted for Cliff Lee now that he’s in Texas?

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      • JimNYC says:

        They’re not considering Crawford. Gardner gives them 80% of what Crawford would at 5% the price. If they get in on the Crawford discussions at all, it would only be to keep the Red Sox / Angels honest.

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    • Liddle says:

      What incentive does Hal have to tell the truth about the payroll for next year? Why would he announce that payroll is basically going to be the same?

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  11. Brandon says:

    I too expect he’ll get 6 years/$140. I think six years is the minimum, but I could see someone going crazy and guarantees a 7th.

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  12. Temo says:

    I went 5/115. Guess I’ll be on the low side.

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  13. Temo says:

    BTW, can we get an organized link to all the crowdsourcing results? The search function is spotty.

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  14. Bodhizefa says:

    I think my phone accidentally entered in a 6 year, $1 million per year contract. Please excise that from the data if that actually went through, and my apologies for the snafu.

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  15. edgar renteria says:

    I wouldnt give that guy more than 1 year

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  16. Andy says:

    I went 5 at 20, and I think that’ll be an overpay

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  17. Lee too says:

    I voted 6 @ 22, but the more I think about it, I think he’s more likely to get 5 @ 22 or 6 @ 20. I mean, if you were going to sign him to a 1 year deal he’s worth all of 30 million, it’s just how you anticipate him aging.

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  18. bender says:

    on the high side here at 6/27.
    I suspect he’s going to break the bank

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