The Yankees are “lucky” they didn’t land Cliff Lee? Really?


Joel Sherman in the New York Post, where all stories in baseball are viewed through the lens of Yankees fandom whether it has anything to do with the Yankees or not:

The current rotation concerns of the Yankees and Rangers could be worse — Cliff Lee could have accepted one of the two highest total bids in December 2010.

The argument is that, now that Cliff Lee is breaking down, it sure would’ve been a bad thing to have signed him. Which, frankly, is kind of silly.

Cliff Lee’s contract is not fantastic — and as I mentioned yesterday, giving anyone an option buyout of $12.5 million is silly — but it’s not like Cliff Lee has been chopped liver over the life of his deal. Between 2011 and 2013, Lee averaged 31 starts, 222 innings, 222 strikeouts and a crazy-low 34 walks. His ERA over that span: 2.80. Do you not think that the Yankees could’ve used that in 2011 when they lost in the LDS or 2012 when they lost in the LCS? You don’t think one more ace may have gotten them to another World Series?

More fundamentally, would the money left on the back of Lee’s deal plus whatever was lost last season when Lee had to have been shut down really changed the Yankees’ fate today? They already have tens of millions in bad money sitting on the books. Would a few million more make a difference?

Sometimes it’s not all about the Yankees. And even if it is, it’s not always as dramatic as the all-about-the-Yankees crew likes to make it sound.