National Baseball Writers Keep Talking About A Cliff Lee Trade


We went through it once… could it happen again?  Today featured not one, but two pieces about a potential Cliff Lee trade on from writer Jon Morosi.  

The first post focused on the premise that Cliff Lee is preparing for a trade.  Does Lee have a "here we go again" mentality?  Lee said,

“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.”

Lee's contract has a no-trade clause that he can use to his advantage.  The Yankees, Texas Rangers, and Baltimore Orioles are on Lee's no-trade list, according to Morosi.  All three teams could be in the market for a starting pitcher at some point during the season.   But the question is, would any team have what it takes to acquire Lee?   Morosi writes,

If the Phillies trade Lee, they almost certainly would ask for high-end young pitching to augment their rotation in 2014 and beyond.

Those types of pitchers are those that teams tend not to give up.  Last time the Phillies traded Lee the best they could do was Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and J.C. Ramirez.  Three-plus years later, none of the three are in the Major Leagues.   It would take a Michael Wacha-type for me to be satisfied if the Phillies traded Cliff Lee.

Speaking of Wacha, just hours later, Morosi wrote another piece, this time to reveal that the St. Louis Cardinals are one of the nine teams that Lee can be traded to without his permission.  But the St. Louis Cardinals are not likely to trade Wacha.  Nor are they likely to trade Oscar Tavares, one of the top outfield prospects in the game.   So really the Phillies would be looking at getting second-rate prospects for Lee once again.

The Phillies are not desperate to unload money (as we saw last year when the Phillies opted not to let Lee go to the Dodgers and when they would not trade Lee to the Arizona Diamondbacks), and unless there is a significant haul in return that no one will give, there is little incentive to trade Cliff Lee.   Simply put, it's not worth trading Lee again.