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Will Cliff Lee claim he was blindsided?

Jul 30, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Cliff Lee AP

It’s a safe bet that Cliff Lee never guessed the Phillies would be considering dealing him barely a year and a half into a five-year, $120 million contract.

Lee picked Philly over competitive offers from the Rangers and Yankees because he wanted to be back in Phildelphia, even though the Phillies had already traded him once. Now it looks like it may well happen again.

Lee does have a partial no-trade clause that covers 21 teams. One presumes he put all of the clubs likely to acquire him on that list, leaving off unlikely possibilities such as Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and so on. If that is how he went about it, then he’d have the right to refuse a deal to his likely suitors: the Rangers and Dodgers. But if Lee is feeling unwanted in Philly, maybe he’d be willing to go. Maybe he’d simply ask for his 2016 vesting option, worth $27.5 million, to be picked up as part of a deal.

Or maybe not. There’s no reason to think the Phillies won’t bounce back and return to contention with a Roy Halladay-Lee-Cole Hamels rotation next year. Philadelphia is where Lee wanted to be 19 months ago. One rough year may not have changed that.

  1. vallewho - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    I think I’m gonna be blindsided by a story on here worth reading…

    • number42is1 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      I still don’t get people that come here and post simply to complain. it’s like going to a movie that you know you will hate JUST to say how bad it was and how much you hated it. we get it… you don’t like the articles here.. so stop reading them.. or not reading them… which ever

      • vallewho - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        Real baseball insight is appreciated by readers.

      • acdc84 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        I keep hoping Florio’s wit will rub off on PFT’s sister sites. No luck so far.

      • mgdsquiggy17 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:35 PM

        I can see some of Florio’s other qualities are starting to rub off here.

      • mgdsquiggy17 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:38 PM

        maybe some of us do like a good number of the articles here but we get tired of some of the same stuff we read/see… so just like they complain about Dempster or whatever else it is we can’t do the same thing?

    • yankeesgameday - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      Only read the posts written by craig. If you skip everyone else you will have a much less frustrating time.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Do not know if Toronto is on the no trade list, but it is a great place to live and the spring training camp for the Jays is just down the road from Philadelphia’s. In the absence of any news from AA, I am offering Happ, Thames and Cooper for Lee. I would substitute Gose for Thames, if the Phillies paid part of Lee’s salary.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      I hear he’s allergic to maple syrup and moose.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        Do not anger the moose. Do you know what happens when a car meets a moose? The car and the occupants lose.

  3. uwsptke - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Trade me once, shame on you. Trade me twice…

  4. paperlions - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Hallady, Lee, and Hamels are nice….but in 2013, how are they going to score runs?

    • hittfamily - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:00 PM

      why don’t you just google it.

      it’s wayback day

      • paperlions - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:17 PM

        I did. It said, “They won’t.” :-)

  5. lewp - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    As for the Rangers, I am hesitant to get worked up over the chance to get Lee back. He’s broken our hearts enough.

    That said though, if we, you know, were to get Lee back, then we might have a chance at the World Series, if no Lee, no chance at all.

    Did I mention we don’t need Lee?? (bluffing)

  6. chew1985 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Lee’s location has been terrible lately, leading to his steady ERA rise. Not sure that’s what a contender is after at the deadline. But if they can ship him out please do so to free up a little cash and get a youngster with talent.

    As for Halladay, he’s made 3 starts since his return and his arm isn’t showing any signs of 2011-type effectiveness even after the lengthy rest. It’s a good thing they signed Cole Hamels

  7. phillyphever - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    They have to do it. Their time of competing is over. It’s time to blow this up and rebuild. Not only Lee, but Pence, Victorino, Pierre, Wigginton, Blanton, Rollins (depending on if he wants to go (10-5 rights)), and I have to say Halladay. He’s showing signs of decline and we’re not gonna contend in 2013. Might as well see what they can get for him. The only players I would keep are Hamels (DUH), Ruiz, Worley, Paps (unless someone’s willing to take that contract), Utley (until next year) and Howard (same as Paps).

    • xmatt0926x - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      Let’s not write off Halladay just yet, please. Remember, he was injured so it’s not like his location issues and slightly decreased velocity have no origin and came out of nowhere. He’s had 2 starts back since his injury. 2 starts with barely any rehab time in the minors! If this was any other team without the desperation he would have made his last 2 starts in triple A and we’d all be saying he has to build his arm strength back up. Let’s not crucify the man just yet.

      • phillyphever - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        Ok, but still think about this: Halladay’s contract is up after next year (unless he pitches 225 innings next year). They’re not gonna be contenders next season (and beyond). The smart thing would be to trade Halladay to a contender so he can get his ring and the Phils can get players back in return.

    • seanmk - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      calm down this team does not need a blow up, it needs a better bullpen/less injures to occur to it, but those can be fixed. If you wanted a rebuild why are you saying they have to keep carlos ruiz? a 34 year old catcher with one year left, he’s the chip to trade while he has high value if you were going to “rebuild”. The phillies can easily contend next year with a few tweaks. What kind of message does it send to players if you traded lee and rollins ONE year into their contracts. Might as well call yourself the marlins north.

      • phillyphever - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:15 PM

        Well with Ruiz, the baby aces down in the farm (Julio Rodriguez, Trevor May and Jonathan Pettibone) are gonna need a veteran to help them get though in the majors, and Ruiz does that. As for contending: WC maybe, but the Nationals aren’t gonna go away anytime soon. I just don’t want this team to fall into no-man’s land.

  8. CJ - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    rumor has it Rangers aren’t on the no-trade list, which is one reason why they’re at the top of the list of likely suitors. Makes sense given how he enjoyed his brief stay there and seriously considered resigning there before the mystery team swooped in.

    But yeah, wouldn’t shocked me if the rest is Pittsburgh, KC, Houston, San Diego, Cleveland, Tampa, etc.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    I wouldn’t worry about Cliffy- he has a ton of money now thanks to the Phillies to buy plenty of Kleenex.

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