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Cliff Lee would need a “perfect fit” to pitch in 2016

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Cliff Lee #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 31, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

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The agent for free agent left-hander Cliff Lee, Darek Braunecker, appeared on MLB Network Radio on Sunday and said that the veteran would need a “perfect fit” to come back and pitch in 2016. Some highlights of Braunecker’s radio spot:

  • Lee is “taking it day-by-day”
  • Lee informed Braunecker that he was going to attempt to make a comeback in 2016
  • It’s going to have to be a “perfect fit” for Cliff and his wife Kristen “from a competitive standpoint, from a financial standpoint, from just an overall opportunistic standpoint”
  • Lee has accustomed himself to being a full-time dad and leaving baseball behind, but Braunecker thinks there’s still “that fire that burns” within Lee -- in particular, to win a championship
  • There has been “an enormous amount of interest in the last month”
  • Braunecker has informed teams that they will work “a little bit deeper” into the offseason to make sure that there aren’t any setbacks
  • Lee is working out and has begun his full offseason throwing program
  • Braunecker and Lee are not certain if the lefty is going to do an actual workout or not; it might be a case-by-case basis
  • They intend to make a decision here in the next couple of weeks

Lee, 37, hasn’t pitched since the end of July 2014 due to a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. The Phillies declined his $27.5 million option for the 2016 season, instead buying out that final year for $12.5 million. Lee is certainly looking at just a one-year deal and it would likely be laden with incentives to protect teams in case he suffers another injury.

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