The bubbly was still flowing in the Rangers locker room (With the exception of Josh Hamilton who received a Ginger Ale Bath due to his bouts with Alcoholism) Tuesday night when the speculation started on how much Texas ace Cliff Lee stands to make in the free agent market this offseason.
Lee pitched another postseason gem in the Rangers series-clinching win in Game 5 of the ALDS, increasing his already sky high value on the open market.
ESPN's Buster Olney has already opened the bidding at "5 years, $115 million." Of course, Olney predicts Lee will go the Yankees, the team that tried in vain to acquire him this season and which Lee faces in the ALCS.
As soon as the Texas Rangers acquired Cliff Lee before the trade deadline, I was groaning because I knew it meant the Rangers would have a showdown against the Yankees in the ALCS. The Yankees had all but locked up the lefty when out of the blue, the Rangers showed up and now I know they are glad they did. The southpaw has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since winning the Cy Young Award in 2008 with the Indians, and he’s become one of the postseason starting pitchers we’ve seen.
Lee beat the Rays for the second time in the series, allowing just six hits and one run while striking out 11 in a complete game win. For the ALDS, he pitched 16 innings allowing just 11 hits, two runs, no walks and posting 21 strikeouts. The big stat that was being trumpeted for the series was that only seven times in postseason history has a pitcher gone 7 innings with double-digit strikeouts and no walks, and four of those games have now been accomplished by Cliff.
Earlier this year my blog brother wrote a piece on Mr. Cliff Lee telling his Rangers fans to enjoy him while you can. What Cliff Lee is doing in the playoffs the past few seasons is nothing short of spectacular.