Breaking Down Lee's Deal

New deal back-loaded with millions

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Cliff Lee is taking less cash this season.

    New/old Phillies ace Cliff Lee starts off his $120 million, five-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies with a relatively modest $11 million salary next season.

    Including an option for 2016, the deal could be worth $135 million for six seasons, according to contract information obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

    His pay escalates to $21.5 million in 2012 and increases to $25 million in each of the following three seasons.

    There is an option for 2016 for $27.5 million with a $12.5 million buyout. For the option to become guaranteed, Lee must pitch 200 innings in 2015 or 400 innings combined in 2014 and 2015, and he also must not finish the 2015 season on the disabled list because of a left shoulder or elbow injury.

    Charlie: Cliff's Got a Lot of Doc in Him

    [PHI] Charlie: Cliff's Got a Lot of Doc in Him
    Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel is elated that Cliff Lee will be joining Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels in the team's rotation. And Manuel has no plans on messing with his aces out on the mound.

    The Phightins gain payroll flexibility after next season. Roy Oswalt enters the final guaranteed season of his contract in 2011, when he is due $16 million; and Raul Ibanez makes $11.5 million in  the final season of his deal.

    Lee is still going to make millions but by rejecting more lucrative deals elsewhere he showed that more than just money is important.

    "Players seem to like living here," Phillies chairman Bill Giles said. "There's nice housing -- and not as expensive as some other places if you want to buy or rent. The schools are good. I think our front office and manager and coaches have a good reputation around baseball right now as being good people."


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