Months ago, Cliff Lee went aground, and the Phillies remain unable to track the movements of the squirrely 37-year-old whose late career injuries seemed to follow fellow ace Roy Halladay's in their abruptness and severity. One day, Lee was here, hurling his way into his late thirties, and the next, we'd all but forgotten what that mischievous, smirking face even looked like.
Questions arose on whether he'd ever even pitch again after straining his flexor tendon in 2014 and the Phillies declining his $27.5 million option this past September. This assumption was that you'd think a guy whose only 2015 stats were "entire season missed due to injury" wouldn't generate much interest in the off season, but you're probably forgetting that the Miami Marlins play in this league.
Per the Miami Herald:
The Marlins, still hoping to find a pitching bargain, have been discussing several names, including Doug Fister (5-7 in 2015), Edwin Jackson (4-3) and Cliff Lee (missed 2015 with an arm injury).
So here we are.
A 2013 All-Star and NL Cy Young candidate, Lee threw his lowest innings total ever in 2014 (81.1), though still walking only 1.3 BB/9 and striking out hitters at a 8.0 SO/9 clip. He made it until the end of July, barely, having returned from the DL only to register more discomfort in his elbow. That is the last time anyone has seen him on the field, but the Marlins have apparently such faith in the power of the human body that they think Lee could the capacity to bounce back.
And the thought has clearly entered other people's minds.
Granted, his ceiling is sky-high and somebody could probably make an argument about how he's a reasonable investment; Lee is seeking a one-year deal (with a "winning team" - aren't we all). But it wasn't so long ago that this injury was being talked about as though it was the end of Lee's career, which doesn't exactly instill confidence in his return.