Welcome back: Phillies pull coup, sign Lee

Cliff Lee is returning to the Philadelphia Phillies, the team that traded him nearly one year ago.

The free-agent pitcher reached a preliminary agreement on a $100 million, five-year contract with the Phillies on Monday night, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The agreement is subject to the 32-year-old left-hander passing a physical, the source said.

The New York Yankees and Texas Rangers received telephone calls Monday night telling them they were out of the running, two separate people familiar with those team’s negotiations said, also on condition of anonymity.

Lee, the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner, turned down longer and more lucrative offers to return to the team he helped reach the 2009 World Series after a midseason trade from Cleveland.

New York had started with a $138 million, six-year offer to Lee, the person familiar with the Yankees’ negotiations said. After outfielder Carl Crawford agreed to a seven-year, $142 million deal with the Boston Red Sox, New York immediately increased its offer to Lee to $150 million over seven seasons, the person said.

Philadelphia dealt Lee to Seattle as part of a four-team, nine-player swap on Dec. 16 last year while simultaneously acquiring Roy Halladay from Toronto and signing him to a new contract that added $60 million over three seasons. Lee will join Halladay, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, and pitch alongside Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels to form one of the top rotations in recent history.


Hideki Matsui is set to be introduced today as the Oakland A’s new designated hitter, a source confirmed to Bay Area News Group.

The A’s have waited to make an official announcement because Matsui, 36, wasn’t scheduled to take his physical in the Bay Area until this morning.

Matsui hit .274 with 21 homers and 84 RBI for the Angels in 2010.


Outfielder Jeff Francoeur passed a physical Monday and officially joined the Kansas City Royals, his fourth team in less than two years. He agreed to a one-year contract for $2.5 million last week. … Right-hander Koji Uehara has finalized a $3 million, one-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles, who hope the former Japanese star will continue to excel as the team’s closer. … Matt Treanor signed an $850,000, one-year contract to be the Texas Rangers’ backup catcher. … Ken Oberkfell has been hired as the New York Mets’ bench coach under new manager Terry Collins following two seasons as the team’s Triple-A manager at Buffalo. Mookie Wilson was hired as first-base coach, a role he held from 1997-02. Wilson was the Mets’ minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator last season.