Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox would be interested in trade for Cliff Lee

The Philadelphia Phillies have to fall out of the race first. If they don’t, this point will be moot. But if they do fall out of the race as many people expect they will eventually, they will have arguably the most intriguing trade piece come deadline time.

Cliff Lee is off to his usual solid start, save for some bad luck in the win-loss column: 3-4 record, 3.23 ERA, 2.64 FIP, 8.5 K/9. Under team control for the next couple seasons, albeit at an expensive price, Lee could bring in a significant haul in a trade.

When it comes to teams that could afford to keep Lee at $25 million next season and $27 million if his option vests in 2016, it is utterly predictable that the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox would be at the top of the list. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:

Michael Pineda (lat) and CC Sabathia (knee) are expected back, but for the Yankees to compete over the long haul they must add a significant arm.

Baseball executives think they’ll have their eyes on Cliff Lee if the Phillies fall out of the race. Of course, that’s a big if.

The Yankees would have plenty of competition for Lee, perhaps even from the Red Sox, who have long coveted him, especially given his past relationship with John Farrell in the Cleveland organization.”

The problem for the Yankees, of course, would be the fact that they continue to leave the cupboard bare in terms of prospects they can package in such a trade offer. As for the Red Sox, if they are in a position to make such a deal it would make for a frighteningly good rotation this season and next. Both teams, along with other interested partners, will wait and see if the Phillies plummet in the standings or not.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Boston Red Sox Cliff Lee New York Yankees

  • therza82

    Given Lee’s salary, there is only a handful of teams that could afford him. I do see the Yankees being interested….However, like mentioned in the article, they aren’t exactly stacked in their minor league system.

    The Red Sox, on the other hand, are absolutely brimming with talent in the minor leagues. Many of them are near major league ready. However, I do not think that the Red Sox have much interest in adding that much to their payroll. Especially, when you consider the fact that they have yet to ink Lester to a deal, a deal which is looking to be more and more expensive as Lester’s incredible year continues.

    The Red Sox are at about $162 million in payroll right now. With no major players nearing free agency, other than Lester, you have to think that their payroll will only be higher next year. Lester is making $13 million this year. I gotta figure that he will command $17 to $20 million a year, bringing the Red Sox payroll entering next year at approx $165 million. If they acquire Lee, that pushes them up over past $190 million, which is past the luxury tax threshold, something the Red Sox management wants no part of.