Just 24 hours ago, we didn't know the Phillies were even pursuing Cliff Lee. They've since agreed to sign the left-hander to a five-year deal worth $120MM, and the reactions have been streaming in from around the web. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes pointed out some things we learned about the signing, the fallout for other teams, and some possible fits for Joe Blanton. Here are some other reactions from around the web:
- As ESPN.com's Jayson Stark says, "the Phillies had to station themselves strategically just off to the side of Lee's massive stage so that no one ever noticed them." It sure seemed like the Rangers or Yankees would end up signing the left-hander.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports argues that the Phillies' turnaround should inspire more clubs to operate similarly and says the Rangers, Twins and Nationals are making progress.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests that "though the 2014 Yankees might benefit from not having another high-paid, aging player such as Lee, the 2011 Yankees are sure to be hurt by his absence."
- In a separate piece, Sherman argues that the Red Sox and, especially, the Phillies deserve credit for joining the Yankees in the "uber-team" category.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the offseason starts anew today, since Lee's unavailable and the Yankees and Rangers are among the teams with major needs.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan says Lee is baseball's newest hero, an "antidote for a baseball-viewing public tired of the Yankees throwing around free-agent dollars like toy money."
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says there's an opportunity for a GM to capitalize on a pitching-thin market by trading a starter when no one expects it.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs gives Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. credit for acquiring a top pitcher at the right time.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff calls the deal "mind-blowing," since players so rarely turn away from tens of millions of dollars. As Davidoff says, the Yankees must be crushed, regardless of what they say publicly.