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PHILADELPHIA-- According to a report from Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee is starting to hear rumblings of him being traded at the deadline. With the Phillies currently struggling, sporting a 28-30 record which currently has them sitting third in the NL East, it is clear that some moves need to be made. This puts the team in an excellent position to trade Lee.
When asked if these rumors brought on a “here we go again” mentality, Lee said as much.
Yeah, pretty much,” Lee acknowledged Friday, during an interview at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. “Nothing I can do about it, so I’m not going to get too caught up in it.
That is not entirely true. As the report notes, the Benton, Ark. native has a 20-team no-trade clause, meaning that only nine teams wouldnot need the lefty’s permission to acquire him. Among the teams that need his permission include the Boston Red Sox.
Lee has three years and $77.5 million left on his current contract after this season. One thing of note is that the third year has a vesting option in addition to a $12.5 million buyout. However, the Phillies have not indicated whether or not they want to trade the three-time All Star according to a report from Jenn Slothower of NESN.com.
Even with all of these rumors swirling around him, he has kept a calm external appearance and is focused on contributing to the Phillies.
Management is going to have some decisions to make when we get closer to the trade deadline if we continue to play the way we have,” he said. “I want to do everything I can to make sure they’re not forced to make some of those decisions. I’m just going to try to pitch and do everything I can to help the team win.
If he were to join the Red Sox, he would certainly bolster the pitching staff. Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester have been the most consistent and productive and as Slothower notes “Lee would be an upgrade over every starter but Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.” He has been consistent and a strikeout machine, posting a 7-2 record and a 2.45 ERA coupled with 74 strikeouts and a .222 batting average against in 88.1 innings pitched.
Boston has money and prospects available so a deal for Lee is not out of the realm of possibility. This would make their pitching staff even better and the team an instant threat to go deep into the playoffs. In what should be a very exciting trade deadline, the rumor mill is starting to churn already.