Philadelphia Philles Emerge As Mystery Team In Cliff-Lee Sweepstakes

For several days, there has been rumors of a mystery team not named the New York Yankees or Texas Rangers involved in the bidding war for free-agent pitcher Cliff Lee.

On Monday night, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported that the Philadelphia Phillies are the mystery team.

"The extent of the Phillies’ involvement is not known, but as of 6:30 p.m. ET Monday, the source described them as 'not out.'" wrote Rosenthal. "Another source with knowledge of the Phillies’ budget said then that it would take, 'Nothing short of a miracle,' for the team to make the finances work."

"But it makes sense that the Phillies would at least try, considering their enduring obsession with Lee."

"It also makes sense that Lee might consider the Phillies an ideal alternative if he does not want to pitch in New York or at the Rangers’ hitter-friendly park."

Many baseball experts thought the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were the mystery team but that doesn't seem to be the case now.

Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman thinks the Phillies have a shot.

"The Phillies are a threat, as people familiar with the situation say Lee loved his brief time in Philly in 2009, when he won four postseason games and helped the Phils reached their second straight World Series."

However, if one breaks it down, Philadelphia doesn't really have a chance.

Yes, the Phillies have had the lefty in its pitching rotation before and could probably come close to what the Rangers or Yankees are offering. But there's no way Philadelphia is offering the same type of money in terms of overall dollars or years.

But one can only wonder if Philadelphia's involvement has anything to do with Lee's delay to make a decision.

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