The 37-year-old’s career might be over, after his agent remarked that Lee’s camp “doesn’t anticipate him playing at this point”. It was reported earlier in the offseason that there was plenty of interest in the veteran right-hander, but Lee has stated before that he would only pitch if it was the perfect situation for him.
If this is the end of Cliff Lee, he did have a noteworthy career. He began his professional career with the Cleveland Indians where he spent the first eight seasons with from 2002-2009. His best season came in 2008 when he received his first All-Star selection, and he also won the AL Cy Young award and the AL Comeback Player of the Year. He led the MLB in wins and the AL in ERA.
At the Trade Deadline in 2009, the Indians opted to trade their reigning Cy Young winner to the Phillies and pitched in the World Series that year with Philadelphia.
In the offseason that 2010 season, the Phillies traded Cliff Lee to Seattle Mariners. Only about three months into his Mariners’ tenure, Seattle traded Cliff Lee to the Rangers and was elected to the AL All-Star team once again. He pitched for the Rangers in that year’s playoffs and helped Texas reach the 2010 World Series against the Giants, but the Rangers lost in five games.
After the 2010 season, Lee opted for free agency and signed a five-year deal and a $120 million to return to Philadelphia. He joined what was called one of the best rotations in history: Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, and Joe Blanton. The top four pitchers in that rotation (excluding Blanton) were known as the “Phantastic Phour”. The Phillies had the best record in the MLB in 2011, but lost the NLDS to the Cardinals. Lee did receive his 3rd All-Star selection in 2011 and one last time in 2013 with the Phillies.
As recently as 2014, Lee was having a solid season when he pitched to a 3.65 ERA clip and was the Phillies’ Opening Day starter. He started last year on the DL when he tore a flexor tendon, which marked possibly the end of his career.
If this is truly the end, Lee was a four-time All-Star and the 2008 Cy Young award winner.
What do you think of Cliff Lee’s career? Do you think Lee will attempt to pitch again? Sound off in the comments!