If you were New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, on that plane to Arkansas to meet with Cliff Lee, how comfortable would you be with offering the ace left-hander a long-term contract?
Whatever you think your comfort level is, take it down a notch. Signing a free-agent pitcher to a lengthy deal is a risky proposition, with all sorts of causes for angst. We say this based on precedent and come armed with the numbers to illustrate our point.
ESPN Stats & Information has compiled a list of all of the free-agent signings since the 1990-91 offseason. In that span, there have been 52 instances in which a pitcher signed a contract of four years or more.
Check out how many of them lived up to the money they were given. Full story here.