Here is some chatter about the Phillies signing Cliff Lee:

Michael Vick,

Eagles quarterback

You got to look at it as a plus. Any time you sign a guy to that type of money it shows your belief and your faith and your confidence in him. I think he's definitely going to bring a spark.

Brian Cashman,

Yankees general manager

He really liked Philadelphia. I remember hearing that. The word on the street was that it stunned him, that he really liked that environment. The fact that he's going to Philadelphia proves how much he really enjoyed Philly.

Omar Minaya,

former Mets general manager

That's the most I've ever seen a player walk away from. It's unprecedented.

Scott Boras,

player agent

The four primary factors [for signing] are winning, family, the geographical and economics. Maybe 30 percent of the players are where the focus is primarily economic. The vast majority want to meld those four factors. Only about 20, 25 percent of players take the biggest deal. They often take the secondary offer.

Gene Orza,

players' union outgoing chief operating officer

I think people underestimate the frequency players take less money to go someplace where they're comfortable. I know nobody want to hear this because it doesn't suit their prejudices, but in fact there's a whole slew of considerations: what the schools are like, who your friends are, who your wife's friends are, pennant-winning chances, farm system.

There's a whole bunch of things people consider. So I'm not surprised in the slightest that he chose someplace that offered him less money than another. I think that happens quite frequently in this sport, more than people care to know."

Mitch Williams,

former Phillies pitcher

Ownership here finally figured out that if you put a winning product on the field, people will come and come in droves.

Thomas Boswell,

Not so fast. When everybody knows the future, be careful.

Last month, everybody in the Ballpark in Texas as the World Series ended was almost certain they knew what uniforms Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth were going to be wearing after they signed the biggest free agent contracts of the off-season: Yankees, Angels and Red Sox, respectively. And Lee to New York was a lock.

Instead, it's turned out to be the Phillies, Red Sox and Nationals that get to hold the holiday news conferences and toast themselves.

Everybody, as is so often the case in baseball, was dead wrong, just as they (we) were wrong about a Ranger-Giants Series. No one saw it coming. These days, that seems to be the new norm.

- Staff writer Jeff McLane, Associated Press, New York Times
, Bloomberg News