As Phillies fans, we’ve grown accustomed to see the jersey with the number 33 on the back associated with Cliff Lee for the past 5 seasons, well 4 if you don’t count last season that Lee was on the DL for the whole year.
Cliff Lee didn’t throw a pitch in 2015 for the Phillies but still collected a cool $25M on his contract, and recently a $12.5M buyout of his contract if what could be an important lesson for any future GM signing a pitcher with a lot of miles on his arm already to a multi-year deal like the Phillies did with Lee.
Despite the great times with Lee, the Phils also had a tough parting with him, as he only pitched 81.1 innings in 2014 for which he also collected a big $25M payday for the year. Adding this all up and you didn’t get too much from Lee for the $62.5M of the last couple years on his contract.
If Lee doesn’t ever throw another game in his career, he’ll end with a record of 143-91 with a 3.52 ERA over his career. Lee’s career with the Phillies was pretty good, he was 48-34 with a 2.94 ERA overall.
Lee’s jersey number 33 will be worn by a new pitcher that the Phillies just signed this offseason, and that pitcher is Jeremy Hellickson.