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Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. says Cliff Lee “isn’t going anywhere”

Aug 4, 2012, 11:25 AM EDT

Cliff Lee Getty Getty Images

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported yesterday that the Dodgers were awarded claiming rights on Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee. But that doesn’t mean the southpaw will follow his former teammate Joe Blanton to Los Angeles.

According to Paul Hagen of MLB.com, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. wouldn’t confirm or deny Morosi’s report when asked about it last night, but said that it’s “irrelevant” because Lee “isn’t going anywhere.” A deal is considered unlikely, but Dodgers have until Sunday to convince the Phillies otherwise.

The Phillies can simply pull Lee back from waivers, leave the Dodgers on the hook for Lee’s contract or attempt to work out a deal. Lee, who turns 34 later this month, is guaranteed nearly $95 million between now and 2015. His contract allows him to block trades to 21 teams. Players can only be placed on revocable waivers once this month, so if the Phillies pull Lee back, he will remain with the club for at least the rest of the season.

  1. surefooted1 - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Come on Ruben, you have the opportunity to get out from that awful contract YOU did.

  2. ddjesus - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    why put him on waivers if he isn’t going anywhere…?

    • surefooted1 - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      Teams routinely put players on waivers to a) gauge interest in the player and b) to mask players you really are trying to trade.

      • siftin thru nonsense - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        Ok, so if they want to gauge interest ..that then means that there is the slight possibility for a deal if it is good enough!! So to say he isnt going anywhere really means he probably wont go anywhere unless a team can give up something good and take on most or all of that hefty contract without us eating a lot of it.

  3. maynardstool - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Wow that’s an insanely ludicrous contract! 95 mill in the next three years for a 34 year old pitcher.

    As a GM you almost have to let anyone that will take that contract have it. Between what he, Howard and Hamels make, I don’t know how you can even afford to put a team around them.

    • paperlions - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      Especially because the Phillies have pretty much no shot to be competitive the next 3 years….they have 3 great pitchers, a nice closer, and precious little else. Seriously, besides Ruiz, who are their plus offensive players for next year or beyond (and if you want to say Bourne, you are already losing the argument).

  4. phillyphever - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Ruiz’s out for the season (torn tendon in ankle). Ruben, please do the smart thing and dump Lee’s contract to the Dodgers.

  5. kvanhorn87 - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    He left money (years) on the table to sign with phillies. You dopes forget that every time you say how dumb Ruben was to sign that deal.

    • phillyphever - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      Does it really matter? The contract is still an anchor to the team.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      So Ruben was only the 2nd dumbest GM who was trying to sign Lee that year.
      Doesn’t make it any better

    • paperlions - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      Considering the luxury tax implications, having such a high AAV for a contract is probably actually worse than spreading a few more million over a couple of more years…it isn’t like the difference per year was only a million or two…Lee got a LOT more per year from Philly than anyone else was offering.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Aug 5, 2012 at 5:39 AM

        I get so angry when people trot out the “Lee took less to go to Philly!” comments because, as you pointed out, it’s really not true. He got a lot more per year from Philly and gave himself the opportunity, if he stays healthy, to sign another contract after this one (not another big contract, obviously). If all goes according to plan for Lee his option for 2016 will vest and he could easily make another $40 million after that which would put his total earnings from the time he signed with Philly at around $175 million. That’s more than he’d have made by signing in Texas or New York and I can’t figure out why people don’t understand this.

    • tonyz6060chevy - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      I remember the Yankees were offering him Bank to sign with them. Too bad the Yankee fans treated his family badly during the ALCS!

    • siftin thru nonsense - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      Wasnt dumb to sign him. what they are mad about is that he let him go in the first place!!! and gave up prospects to get him back.

    • phgreg - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      He didn’t leave money on the table. Baseball contracts are guaranteed so he gets the money anyway. He just took less money the first two years thats why on a 120mil contract they still owe 85 mil over the last 3 years. THE great GM back loaded the contract. Lee has killed this team in more ways than one.Two bad deals getting him and then when they traded him, then the contract we gave him. But that’s ok because all the dopes love him because he caught a ball nonchantly in the WS!!!!

    • gogigantos - Aug 4, 2012 at 7:40 PM

      If anyone can pay that contract, it is the Fodgers. Solid move Phightins, and let him go without a struggle, hope the Blue Turds pick up all the money.

  6. goawaydog - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    bottom line is, unless Lee approves the trade the GM’s hands are tied. Not sure why he would not want to pitch in LA, with Krenshaw, Kemp, the new management obviously taking steps and some risk to put together a winning team. They have a legit chance to make the playoffs and of course the weather is pretty good too. Then again he could go all Dempster and just say no.

  7. dodgersx1 - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    I also will ask the same question why put him on waivers if they aren’t going to trade him ?

    • paperlions - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      As stated above, it is SOP for teams to run every player through waivers to camouflage trade intent.

      • turdfurgerson68 - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        Damn,things must be getting really bad in Philly if they need to use Lee to ‘camouflage trade intent’, i.e., Joe Blanton….JOE BLANTON needs to be camouflaged!!!!

      • jrbdmb - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        Not much to camouflage anymore. The Phils are in five-alarm fire sale mode. Blanton, Victorino, Pence all gone. I suspect that Lee and Halladay will both be gone before the Phils are good again.

  8. tonyz6060chevy - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    I think Cliff’s wife and his family will like it in L.A.!

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      Especially if they like traffic jams, smog, and arrogant NY on the west coast attitudes.

      • gogigantos - Aug 4, 2012 at 7:42 PM

        The money paid, I think I could get used to all of that and more, like wearing a turd shade of blue.

  9. greymares - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    I for one want to keep Lee, along with Hamels and a healthy Halladay( thats what i ?) they are a few moves of being right back in it next year. 34 is not old for a pitcher and pitching is the name of the game. the contract thats an anchor is Howards. Utley and Howard have to be replaced i know the Phillies will be eating some salary but these are the guys along with Rollins that have to go.

  10. drewzducks - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    That’s great Ruben, cuz neither are the Phillies.

  11. bigjimatch - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    This time next year they will be kicking themselves for not letting the Dodgers eat that contract.

  12. andyreidisfat - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    First, the dodgers don’t want Lee. They just didn’t want him going anywhere else.

    Truth is i think still think Lee is traded to Texas in the offseason for mike Olt and few lower level prospects. Its a great deal for both teams, especially because the Phillies will eat some of the salary perhaps 7-10 million a year for the first two, which is fine for the Phills because then they are just paying that to the new third basemen which may be cheap for the amount of talent he has.

    As for the commentor who thinks the phillies won’t be in for atleast 3 years. Your out of your mind. The Phillies play with yankees money now. they will just sign 3-4 players who make them good again because they can. Sure i wish they had a salary cap in baseball, but until they do i am glad my team is one of the big spenders. Remember we were spending less than the Royals for 100 years so i think we deserve to have this for a decade or two.

    • paperlions - Aug 4, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      First and last, bullshit. No team is going to make an $87.5M gamble on a waiver claim for a guy they don’t want just to “block him” from going somewhere else. Teams don’t make those kinds of gambles anymore because so many teams that used to do that got stuck with the contracts.

      No team plays ” with Yankees money”, but a lot teams play with a lot of money….none of which matters if you don’t make good decisions and supplement they expensive players with quality cheap talent. The Phillies farm system is in terrible shape, there is no help there.

      Who is going to be available for them to sign? Because FA is going to be their only option….because they don’t have any assets that are worth more than their contracts….so they have no valuable trade pieces.

    • pound30 - Aug 4, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      You must be insane if you think that would be a good deal for the Rangers. Why would they want Lee is who is due so much money and give up one of their best prospects? The only way the Rangers would make a deal giving them Olt for Lee would if Philly pays at least 10 million a year towards his salary. You phillies fans are delusional if you think someone really wants to take that contract, plus give up good prospects. He is getting old too, remember that. Your GM made a great deal with Lee except for backloading the contract which is in Lee’s older years. He was a great deal for the first two years but now the contract is a joke.

    • skerney - Aug 4, 2012 at 6:48 PM

      Disclaimer: I am not a Yankee fan or a Philly Hater. That said, it is incorrect that the Phillies play with “Yankee money.” Yes, they sell out everyday, have a national fan base, and rake in cash at CBP, but the Yankees are a planet unto themselves. They are a a multibillion dollar global brand, they are their own TV network, and they have a subsidiary that caters the food at Dallas Cowboy games for christ sakes. Yikes. The Phillies also had a net operating income of -$11.6 million last year. Worth over $700 million dollars, but no where near the financial clout of The Empire.

  13. keithbangedyermom - Aug 4, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Lee might not be going anywhere. However Mr. Amaro, you WILL be going somewhere in a year or two.

  14. gogigantos - Aug 4, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    The only team suddenly playing with more than “Yankee Money” is the blue turds in LA. They could, can, easily absorb the hit now and into the future for the run at glory today, winning the West. Whatever happens in Chavez Ravine going forward moneywise, not going to be surprised. Pay for and keep the Lee, so be it, still the games must be won, and we know he can be had,,, let the Fodger Blue run wild with the dollars today, and fall short tomorrow, then I know there are Gods of Baseball for sure.

  15. giantssb42champs - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Who would have guessed the Yankees actually lucked out when he signed with the Phillies. Otherwise they would have been stuck with this awful contract for a rapidly aging pitcher.

  16. djm426 - Aug 5, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Just stop already! Stop and think! It’s cliff lee,yes the same dominant pitcher that won a cy young and is unhittable at times..Don’t be stupid and trade one of the best pitchers in the league when u have him for 3 more years

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