Phillies exercise Lee’s option for 2010; extension talks next?
In perhaps the biggest no-brainer decision of the offseason, the Phillies have exercised their $9 million option on Cliff Lee for 2010. While speculation about Roy Halladay dominated the headlines leading up to the July 31 trading deadline the Phillies sent prospects Carlos Carrasco, Jason Knapp, Jason Donald, and Lou Marson to the Indians for Lee and watched as he went 11-4 with a 2.78 ERA in 17 starts between the regular season and playoffs following the deal. Prior to the trade Lee had a 3.14 ERA in 22 starts for the Indians and was the reigning AL Cy Young winner after going 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 2008, so there should be little doubt that the 31-year-old left-hander is among the truly elite starting pitchers in all of baseball. Expect the Phillies to pursue long-term contract talks this offseason and expect Lee to begin negotiations with a proposal well north of $100 million.