In case you missed it: Cliff Lee talks trades

In case you missed it: Cliff Lee talks trades

June 9, 2013, 11:45 am
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Consecutive losses have put the Phillies back under .500, at 30-31, seven weeks before the July 31 trade deadline. The Phils have hovered in this range the entire season, leading many to speculate that key pieces like Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon could be shopped in mid-July.

Lee would be the prize of the deadline if the Phillies decided to put him on the trading block, as practically every contending team is in need of a frontline starter. He can call most of the shots, though, because he has no-trade protection that allows him to block a deal to 21 teams.

The oft-traded lefty can block trades to most of the big-market teams – the teams that most consistently have the money to acquire high-priced veterans. If he doesn’t want to go to the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers or Orioles, he won’t have to, according to FOX Sports.

“Yeah, pretty much,” Lee told FOX Sports last week when asked if he was feeling déjà vu. Lee has already been dealt by the Indians to the Phillies, by the Phillies to the Mariners and the Mariners to the Rangers. “Nothing I can do about it, so I’m not going to get too caught up in it.”

"I've got small control," he continued in an interview with the Inquirer. "I've got like nine teams I can choose to go to. If [they] choose to do it, that's out of my control, but the other 20 teams I can say no, so it's still somewhat out of my control."

Lee is owed $62.5 million from 2014-on. He’ll make $25 million in each of the next two seasons. In 2017, he has a $27.5 million option that carries a $12.5M buyout. That option becomes guaranteed if Lee 1) is not on the disabled list at end of 2015 season with injury to left elbow or left shoulder, and 2) has 200 innings pitched in 2015 or 400 innings pitched in 2014-15.

“This is where I signed as a free agent and this is where I want to be," said Lee. "But I definitely want to win, there's no doubt about that. That's the main thing.

“You can 'what-if' and do that all day, but until something is real and I'm approached with it, it's really a waste of time to even think about or talk about.”

Remaining contracts of other possible trade chips:
Jonathan Papelbon: Two years, $26 million left; vesting option for 2017 at $13M
Chase Utley: Free agent after the season
Jimmy Rollins: One year, $11 million remaining; 2015 vesting option at $11 million
Carlos Ruiz: Free agent after the season
Delmon Young: Free agent after the season
Mike Adams: One year, $7 million left; club option for 2015 at $6 million

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