Originally posted on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 10/16/13
Cliff Lee was in elite form throughout 2013. (AP Photo) While it’s hard to justify paying any player on a 73-win team $25 million in retrospect, Cliff Lee made about as good of a case for it as possible this season for the Phillies.  The lefty, who turned 35 in August, was the anchor of the Phils rotation from start to finish, posting an ERA over 3.23 in only one month; an injury-plagued July in which he was skipped twice in the rotation and had an ERA of 6.05 in three starts in the midst of daily trade rumors. Lee’s performance in 2013 put to bed any notion that his six-win “down year” in 2012 was the start of an age-based decline, instead validating the claim that he was the victim of poor run support and bad luck.  Still owed at least $62.5 million over the next two years — $77.5 million over three if his 2016 option kicks in – some (me included) advocated moving Lee, the Phillies best asset, at the deadline in exchange for pieces that might help build the foundation of the next ...
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