Pending a physical, Cliff Lee is back with the Philadelphia Phillies. Lee turned down offers from the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees (who offered $50 million more than the Phillies) to sign with the club he led to the 2009 World Series.
Lee – acquired by the Phillies around the 2009 trade deadline – pitched impressively for the Phillies and was dominant in the postseason. The Yankees won the series, however.
Lee was then dealt to the Seattle Mariners in a multi-team deal which brough Roy Halladay to the Phillies. Now Lee and Halladay will be teammates and the best one-two punch in baseball.
Lee was 12-9 in the 2010 season; however, his record is misleading. Lee finished with strong numbers as he compiled a 3.18 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, seven complete games and one shutout.
Lee started the 2010 season on the DL with an abdominal injury. Nevertheless, he dominated upon his return. With the lowly Mariners, Lee was 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, five complete games and one shutout.
Lee suffered some poor outings with the Rangers and inflated his ERA (4-6, 3.98 ERA and 1.06 WHIP). Lee’s struggles with the Rangers did not affect his performance in the postseason, as he compiled a 3-2 record with a 2.78 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and one complete game. Both of Lee’s 2010 postseason losses were the result of the San Francisco Giants roughing him up in the World Series.
In his postseason career, Lee is 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and three complete games. Unfortunately for Lee, he is 0-for-2 in his hunt for the World Series title, having lost with both the Phillies and the Rangers. Joining Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels in Philadelphia, Lee will have a tremendous chance to win the World Series in 2011.
Christopher Wenrich is a fantasy baseball columnist for BaseballDigest.com.