Indians lock up Lee

Mark Shapiro and the Indians’ organization continue to take steps to keep their core players in a Tribe uniform for several years. Tuesday, the Indians signed starter Cliff Lee to a three-year extension.

Cliff Lee signed a three-year, $14 million contract extension with the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, another long-term commitment for a young player the club considers key to winning in the future.

Lee’s deal includes a club option for the 2010 season for $8 million, plus $1 million in award and incentive bonuses, ESPN Insider Jerry Crasnick reports.

“This signing further exemplifies ownership’s consistent, continued desire to maintain the present core group of Cleveland Indians players and demonstrates Cliff’s desire to be part of that core,” Shapiro said.

The Indians tried in the off-season and during spring training to sign Lee long-term but couldn’t get a deal done. Cliff is young and talented and has a lot of promise as a starter in this league. Now, if only he can learn how to avoid the big inning in games he’ll be fine.

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