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Report: Dodgers claimed Cliff Lee on waivers

Aug 3, 2012, 6:20 PM EDT

cliff lee getty Getty Images

6:20 p.m. EDT Update:’s Jon Morosi reports that the Dodgers were awarded the claim on Lee, but he added that any sort of deal remains unlikely.

The Dodgers as the claiming team make a lot of sense. They were expected to put in a big bid for Cole Hamels this winter, a route that is no longer open to them now that Hamels has signed an extension with the Phillies.


It doesn’t mean anything is going to happen — in fact, it probably makes it less likely that something is going to happen — but Cliff Lee has been claimed on waivers, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.

In a normal case, the claim would give the Phillies three options: to pull the player back, to try to work out a trade with the claiming team or to simply let the player go on waivers. Lee’s no-trade clause, however, applies to a waiver claim just as it would a deal; if the team that claimed him is one of the 21 teams Lee has on the no-trade, then the Phillies wouldn’t be able to let him go without his permission.

Since the Phillies can now deal with just one team instead of potentially multiple suitors, it’d seem to make a Lee deal less likely. Of course, if they want out of his contract badly enough, they could just let him go, assuming the team isn’t on his no-trade, but indications before the deadline were that they wanted significant talent back in return for Lee.

Lee is due about $7 million over the rest of this year, $25 million each of the next three years and then $27.5 million or a $12.5 million buyout in 2016, so the team that claimed him has some guts. He currently stands to be baseball’s highest-paid pitcher from 2013-15.

Update: The first of the denials is in. A source told WEEI’s Rob Bradford that the Red Sox are not the claiming team.

  1. djm426 - Aug 3, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    All of the sudden lee is a liability..the guy threw 30+ shut outs innings a row last year and is unhittable at times.. Amaro has done fine.. 5 div titles,Nl pennant n o yea a WS series. It’s a down year..the problem is their scouting..their prospects stink,even the ones they gave up stink

  2. flyeredup - Aug 3, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Phillies need to stick Dodgers with Lee. Amaro and Holmgrens stupidity has set the Phils and Flyers backwards 5 years. Hopefully Vick delivers the Dynasty!

  3. jsgceg - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Leave it to an Iggle fan to dish out the stupidity. Jesus “flyeredup”, change your handle to AndyReidsToiletseat or ILuvHowardEskin.

  4. phillyphan83 - Aug 4, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    this is sooo sad, goneyickkity, in your defense, you’re not the only person here who thinks he knows what he’s talking about. I love it when I see all these “armchair experts” run their mouths, only to look stupid in the end. the Phil’s are NOT stuck with his contract, they can make the trade with any terms they can agree on. they can eat any amount of that money they wish, whether it be none, some, or all. stick with your day job.

    as for flyeredup…thank you for making us ALL look dumb. Shea Weber SIGNED with us. the preds MATCHED! Shea and the flyers had no control over that, its the teams’ option to match or not. clearly you have no idea how offer sheets work. once again, stick to your day job, however, I have a feeling you’re a now-it-all there too.

    • paperlions - Aug 4, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      Actually, they can’t make any deal they want because if they try to make a deal Lee can reject it via is no-trade clause. In addition, the Dodgers are the one’s holding the cards, they can take on the entire contract (which is a horrible one…but at least it is short)….and Philly will have to eat a LOT of money to get any kind of prospect at all. It would be a major coup if Philly could get Zach Lee or Webster…they really don’t have much else, and they don’t have any position players to speak of.

      In the end, there will probably be no deal and Lee will probably stay right where he is.

  5. gogigantos - Aug 4, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Dodgers, suddenly the Yankees of the West, will readily move into lux tax regions to make a splash and land a mind bending TV deal. Not surprised if they take on all the money and go ‘all in’ for this initial run under new ownership. The spending already is bending the shape of things in the West, what the future holds, murky as it always is, may put the old Yankees to shame. It just may flow like water. Also like water seeking depth, I hope it settles at the bottom and buys no wins, this season anyway. Back on the map they are for sure and McBankrupt they are not. Wow. Nothing they spend will surprise me going forward.

  6. manchestermiracle - Aug 5, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    As a long-time Dodger fan I hope the new ownership doesn’t bite on bad deals like this one. Get the farm system back to where it used to be, make smart free agent signings or trades and take the time needed to build a winner. Loading up on over-priced players like Lee won’t get you a pennant.

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