LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 21: Cliff Lee #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on April 21, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Cliff Lee is 37 years old and hasn’t pitched since in the Majors since July 31, 2014, but the former Cy Young Award winner hopes to come back in 2016, “if he finds the right fit,” CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports.

Lee is currently a free agent, after the Philadelphia Phillies declined his $27.5 million option and bought him out for $12.5 million.

Last we saw Lee, back in March, he was pitching in Spring Training, apparently healthy after missing the latter half of 2014 with an elbow injury. But the lefty tore his flexor tendon before the season started and missed the entire campaign.

According to Heyman, Lee has received medical clearance and is ready to go for 2016, but surely any team interested in signing him will look closely at those medical records. Meanwhile, it sounds like Lee will be picky in looking for a suitor. We know his values extend beyond dollars and years because in 2011 he spurned larger offers to sign with the Phillies, reportedly because he liked the city.

Here’s hoping Lee finds a team and continues an impressive, if unconventional, career. The former Expos draft pick didn’t find his footing until 2008, when, at 29 years old and only a year after being demoted to Triple-A, he won the AL Cy Young while pitching the Cleveland Indians, leading the league in ERA, ERA+, FIP and wins.

During a six-season peak from 2008-13, Lee had baseball’s second best ERA (min. 1,000 innings) and highest pitcher WAR, according to Fangraphs, while finishing in the top seven in Cy Young voting four times. Now, only two years removed from being one of baseball’s best, Lee probably has to hope a pitching-hungry team takes a flier on him at a bargain price, offset by the hefty buyout he got in Philly.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.