Could we have seen the last of Cliff Lee?

The Phillies announced that left-hander Cliff Lee has been placed on the 60-day disabled list.  Surgery has been recommended, but Lee will attempt to rehab the injury for a third time.  Surgery would end Lee's 2015 season, both Lee and the Phillies have mutually agreed to make another attempt to rehabilitate his torn left flexor tendon, giving him a slight chance to pitcher again this year.

Per the Phillies Press release:

The Phillies and Cliff have mutually decided to try once again to rehabilitate the injury non-operatively, with the hope that Cliff might be able to return to pitch during the 2015 season.  Cliff will immediately be shut down from throwing.  He will be sent home to rest and will be set up with a rehabilitation program to maintain his overall conditioning.  He will be brought to Philadelphia periodically to be evaluated to determine a time at which he might be able to begin a throwing program again.

Lee, 37, is owed $25 million this season and has a $27.5 million club/vesting option (200 innings pitched) for the 2015 season with a $12.5 million buyout, meaning that he is guaranteed $37.5 million before his contract expires at season’s end.   Meaning we may have seen the end of both Lee's career and Phillies tenure.

Lee acknowledged Monday that his career may be over if he needs surgery.

It would be a sad ending for one of the more popular figures during the Phillies run of success from 2007-2012.  While he was not on many of the successful teams, he become almost a cult figure when then Phillies acquired him in 2009.

He came to Philly along with Ben Francisco for pitchers Jason Knapp and Carlos Carrasco, shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson.

He pitched 12 games in 2009 for the Phillies going 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA, but it was his 4-0 record in the 2009 playoffs that made him a hero in Philadelphia.  However, during the 2010 off season, the Phillies traded for Roy Halladay, and sent Cliff Lee away on the same day in one of the worst deals in club history.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro famously proclaimed it was a "baseball decision"  when he shipped Lee to Seattle for outfielder Tyson Gillies and pitchers Phillippe Aumont and J.C. Ramirez.

Amaro explained the the organization needed to replenish the farm system after trading away prospects in deals over the years - none of the three players in the deal have made an impact on the Phillies roster.

While fans were happy to have Halladay in a Phillies uniform, many wanted to see Lee, Halladay and Cole Hamels pitch together in 2010 - and feel if they never traded Lee, the Phillies may have won the 2010 World Series.

In 2011, Phillies fans got their chance to see Lee, Halladay and Hamels pitch together.

On Dec. 15 2010 Lee signed with the Phillies giving the Phillies "Four aces" with Lee, Halladay, Hamels and Roy Oswalt.

While Lee pitched great in his return to the Phillies, his 0-1, 7.50 ERA in the 2011 playoffs will always be remembered.  WIth the Phillies leading 4-1 over the Cardinals, Lee was unable to hold that lead, the Cardinals won the series and eventually won the World Series in 2011.

The Phillies havent been back to the playoffs since.

In five years with the Phillies, Lee is 48-34 with a 2.94 ERA in 118 games.

So Phillies fans, was Cliff Lee's tenure in Philly a success or failure?



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