Lee snubs Yanks to rejoin Phillies

Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:50am EST
 

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Prized free agent pitcher Cliff Lee agreed to rejoin the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, turning down offers from the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.

Having helped lead the Rangers to the World Series last season, the left-handed postseason standout was courted most notably by the Yankees.

He opted to return to Philadelphia where he spent a portion of 2009, performing well in the World Series for the Phillies before being traded away to the Seattle Mariners.

Lee spent half of 2010 with the Mariners and then was traded to the Rangers for the late postseason run. This time he is deciding his own destination.

"Cliff called me," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told his team's website (texas.rangers.mlb.com). "He was very classy. He and his family enjoyed his time here.

"He also enjoyed his time in Philadelphia and liked some of the things that opportunity had to offer."

Lee reportedly agreed on a five-year deal worth $100 million with an option for a sixth year that could make the contract worth $120 million.

Lee received bigger offers from other teams competing for his services but he will now join a formidable Phillies pitching staff that includes National League Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels.

The 2008 American League Cy Young winner, Lee went 12-9 with a 3.18 ERA last season but he has thrived in the playoffs where he has gone 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA over the past two seasons.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Alastair Himmer)