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What Cliff Lee Left On The Table

Brad Mangin | MLB Photos | Getty Images

When you talk about free agent negotiations, the team that is willing to offer the largest amount of guaranteed money will win that player — give or take a couple million.

But that's not what happened with Cliff Lee, who took a five-year deal reportedly worth $120 million.

Some people I spoke to last night thought it was worth closer to $100 million.

The Yankees offered as much as $148 million for a seven-year deal. Leaving $48 million on the table is absolutely unheard of. It has never happened.

So how much is $48 million? Let's put it in context.

  • Only three golfers have earned more than that in their career (Tiger Woods, Vijah Singh, Phil Mickelson)
  • Only one tennis player (Roger Federer) has ever earned more than that in a career
  • Lee could have bought 9.6 million more Geno's cheesesteaksif he took the Yanks offer
  • He could have purchased 549,136 tickets to Broadway shows
  • He could bought 68,767 Remington 30-06 Semi-Automatic rifles for his deer hunting

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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