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Cliff Lee Signs With Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies and Cliff Lee made it official today, agreeing to a five-year, $120 million contract with a vesting option for a sixth year. If the option for the sixth year kicks in, Lee will earn $27.5 million in 2016. If it does not, Lee will earn $12.5 million through a buyout.

Lee joins a Philadelphia rotation which already boasts three of the league’s premiere starters in reigning Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels.

The Phillies traded Lee to the Seattle Mariners last winter after acquiring Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays. Lee, who has pitched with four teams since April 2009 (Cleveland, Philadelphia, Seattle and Texas) is now returning to the organization that traded him a year ago.

With Lee in Philadelphia once again, the Rangers will likely seek out a top of the rotation pitcher via trade. Texas has been linked in trade talks with Zack Greinke, the 2009 American League Cy Young winner, along with Matt Garza and James Shields of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.