The truth of the Cliff Lee situation shall set us all free
Updated: December 18, 2009

By Zaki,

We give a then 45-year-old Jamie Moyer $13 million after a sub-par 2008 postseason and now we send Cliff Lee packing after plowing through the eventual World Series champs like he was Tiger Woo…ok, nevermind. But something ain’t right here, Rube.

I heard on 97.5 The Fanatic this morning that the Phillies presented Lee with a contract extension offer about a week before the deal went down and within hours of presenting a counter-offer to the club, Lee was headed to Seattle for prospects.

If the above is true, then the Phillies essentially offered Lee a contract extension knowing he wouldn’t accept it right away and were talking to Toronto about trading for Roy Halladay in the meantime.

To me, that’s pretty damn shady of Ruben and the Phillies to dismiss Lee just because you want to bring in Roy Halladay. As great as Halladay has been and will probably be for the Phillies, I think Lee has earned the right to be treated as a king in this town for what he did this year instead of being heandled like Adam Eaton’s soiled draws.

Personally, I wouldn’t have made the deal if it strictly came down to keeping Cliff Lee or taking Roy Halladay. Halladay’s got the deeper resume, but you can’t do any better than 4-0 and shutting down the Yankees twice in the postseason, so I’m not tinkering with a great thing.

The only reason I initially liked the Halladay deal was because of the rumors about Lee wanting too much money and wanted to walk after the season.

Of course, most of this will fade when Halladay heads out there and does what Halladay has done for some time now, which is dominate anyone holding a bat 60 feet away from him, but we still have to wallow in this mess for the next couple months. What would make it worse is if Halladay or Cole Hamels goes down at some point — or worse — if Cliff Lee pitches out of his mind in Seattle and we’re left wondering what could have been in Philly for 2010.

I just want the truth of what really went down because it’s sounding like the Phillies screwed Lee over and if that’s the case, it’s going to be hard to stand behind a team that rolls that way when he gave you the most thrilling pitching performances this franchise has ever seen.

Zaki is the Chief Rocka and senior writer for

2 Responses to “The truth of the Cliff Lee situation shall set us all free”

  1. Dan on December 18th, 2009 2:34 pm

    “The only reason I initially liked the Halladay deal was because of the rumors about Lee wanting too much money and wanted to walk after the season.”

    Couldn’t agree more with this - I was great with the deal until I started reading these stories today about Lee’s reaction to the trade. If he truly was ready and willing to work on an extension with the Phils, why would you NOT keep both? With the two of them headlining the roation for the next 4 or more years, we wouldn’t *need* to dip into the farm system for a Drabek type pitcher as early as we might otherwise. I agree something else has to be going on here that we’re not being told.

  2. Zaki on December 18th, 2009 3:21 pm

    Thanks for the comment Dan. I won’t even get greedy in this situation and say we definitely should have gone after Halladay and kept both. My issue was from the beginning, it looked like Lee wanted to stay, so at that point they should have just worked out an extension.

    If it turns out that Lee wouldn’t have accepted anything less than a 5-year deal, then the trade looks better at that point. I don’t agree with signing 30-plus guys to long-term deals either.

    The truth would certainly be nice. Either way, the regular season is looking promising….it’s just the postseason that’s looking daunting right now.

Feel free to leave a comment. Or don't. It's whatever...