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Report: Phillies Talking Cliff Lee Trade

(credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

(credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Phillies recent eight-game losing streak is either coming at the right time, or the wrong time, depending on who you ask. People who think the Phillies should “sell” and make moves for the future are probably glad that the 1-8 road trip has effectively knocked them out of the 2013 playoff chase. Those who think the Phillies current core still has some life left in it are probably less glad.

The one player who might bring the most back in a trade, is unsurprisingly, their best player; left handed starter Cliff Lee. Lee’s season has been one of the few bright spots of the 2013 season.

But Lee is 34 years old, and has two guaranteed seasons left on his contract at a $25 million per year clip. There is a $27.5 million option for 2016, or the Phillies can buy him out for $12 million.

Trading Lee could mean clearing salary, and bringing prospects back to help rebuild the team.

So would the Phillies trade Lee?

“The Phillies are discussing their All-Star left-hander with other clubs, according to major league sources, creating the possibility of another Lee blockbuster,” Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports writes. “One rival executive on Sunday night acknowledged the Phillies’ willingness to trade Lee but said the team would do it only “for a lot!!!” — meaning, a steep package of talent.”

“He’s telling people it’ll take you three or four best prospects, plus you’d have to take all the money,” one competing executive said of Phillies GM Ruben Amaro to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. 

Another MLB executive told Heyman “”You’d have to give up your first born, second and third born, too.”

Lee has a limited no-trade clause, that allows him to block trades to 20 MLB teams.

One rival executive told Rosenthal that one thing that could hold up a Lee trade is Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro. But not because Amaro doesn’t want to trade him, but because he doesn’t know how.

“Ruben has always been a buyer,” one rival executive told Rosenthal. “He doesn’t know how to sell.”

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