MLB News: Cliff Lee Heading Back to Philadelphia Phillies

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That's what I predict tomorrows headlines will read.

That mystery team that some have mentioned was also bidding for Cliff Lee's services, it was just a footnote right? Surely with the entire free world watching and all the "experts" and pundits listening to their "sources", we all assumed that if Lee didn't return back to the Texas Rangers he was definitely going to go to the Yankees.

The New York Yankees are offering a 7th year, the Rangers are offering no state income tax, and today we find out that the Philadelphia Phillies are offering..... well.... Philadelphia!

The story that Lee might sign with the Phillies is interesting enough in its own right, but the fact that Lee would have to leave significant money on the table to make this happen is the real story.

SI's Jon Heyman tweeted the following at about 10pm EST this evening:

JonHeyman"Lee may leave up to $70 mil on table to sign with Philly. If he gets it done with them, he will truly be able to say it wasn't about the $."

We find out today that after being traded, when Lee had his press conference in Seattle and he told us that he really loved Philadelphia, he wasn't kidding!

The last time I can remember anyone truly "not taking the money" was Greg Maddux when he snubbed the Yankees and took more than $5 million on the table choosing the Atlanta Braves over the Yankees.

While Jon Heyman may have been exaggerating to make a point when he stated that Lee would have to take $70 million less to go to Philly over NY, actually he's probably not all that far off! Word coming out of Philly is that when factoring in salary per year and number of year that Lee may have to literally leave $50 million on the table!

Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels all in one rotation!!! That has to be the best one through four in the history of the sport. If you have one better, I would like to hear it.

Wow, if this deal gets announced tomorrow as it looks like might happen, what would that say about the New York Yankees? And what about the MLBPA? Would they just stand by and let him take $50 mil - $70 mill (whatever the heck the number is) less. It's not like they just sit there and let you take less money to go where you want. Remember when they came out of the wood work to nix the A-Rod deal with the Red Sox when he wanted to play for less than his contract with Texas?

Now this is what I call Hot Stove Baseball!

Check out the Free Agent Tracker updated daily to find out who is going where. - Mike Cardano

Mike is the founder of Around the Horn Baseball & Xtra Point Football.

Email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at MC3SportsMedia - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

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