Making a comeback like Lee's -- who hasn't pitched since 2014 -- does come with its tempered expectations as well. With a workout impending, Braunecker seems to be fully aware of the possibility that his client might never pitch in the major leagues again.
Despite the uphill battle Lee's comeback already faces, Braunecker is clear that his client will need 'a perfect fit' in order to be motivated to spend time away from his family. More specifically, Lee hopes to add a championship to his resume.
Lee, who pitched 81 innings in 2014, was a Cy Young contender right up until his elbow injury. From 2010-2014, Lee pitched 960 innings and won 26.2 games by FanGraphs WAR. From 2010-2013, only Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander posted more wins above replacement and they did so with more innings pitched. Over the same time frame, only Stephen Strasburg posted a better park-adjusted FIP.
While Lee may be a bit choosy with where he signs, he arguably has earned that right. However, at the same time, a contender might not be looking for a reclamation project like Lee. According to Braunecker, up to 15 teams have asked about Lee's progress. Of course, it's worth noting Braunecker's job is to leverage situations for his clients. If Lee is adamant on looking for a contender, he may have to settle for a Spring Training invite or an incentive-laden deal.