Some of my fellow Yankee fans need to be coaxed out of their thumb in mouth, lying on the ground fetal position they are in due to the Yankees not signing Cliff Lee. From an HR perspective, I think the signing of Lee by the Phillies (and the non-signing of Cliff Lee by the Yankees) makes perfect sense for both organizations.
For the Phillies – here’s a guy (Lee) who never wanted to leave in the first place. The Phillies thought that they couldn’t afford him, but when Jason Werth left to play elsewhere, money freed up on the payroll to afford Lee and give the Phillies the strongest rotation (on paper) seen since the 90’s Atlanta Braves.
For the Yankees – the Yankees have bigger question marks (shaky bullpen, aging left side of the infield), and not signing Lee has allowed the Yankees to address these issues at a lower price. Sure, Lee would have been a great #2 on the Yankees, but the Yankees need to get their money’s worth out of existing talent (Sabathia, Burnett, Nova, Hughes, and the possibly) returning Andy Pettitte)
Looking at this scenario from a business perspective, sometimes getting the best available is not as good as going for the best – and sometimes that means looking from within the existing talent you have. This coming season, the Phillies may be better than the Yankees, but from a long-term perspective, this deal may take a few years to assess.