May 2, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee (33) throws a pitch n the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Phillies willing to trade Cliff Lee?

The Philadelphia Phillies spent their offseason re-tooling, though many questioned some of the rather odd moves.

Still, with Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and Chase Utley clogging your payroll, it’s not as if you can really re-build so the Phillies opted to do the next best thing.

With the Miami Marlins still up and coming and the New York Mets a while away from competing, there wasn’t expected to be much competition in the National League East for the Phillies outside of the Atlanta Braves but Philadelphia has stumbled out of the game and isn’t likely to find themselves in postseason contention meaning multiple veterans could be shipped out come the July trading deadline.

One such name is Cliff Lee, who according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan could potentially be changing zip codes as the Phillies are considering trading their co-ace.

“The Phillies are considering dealing Lee to free up some salary from a roster larded with the overpaid, underachieving and aged. Because he’s Cliff Lee – because if healthy, he’s still one of the best – there will be interest. Knowing the market, though – or knowing it as well as a GM who generally struggles with market dynamics can – the idea of reloading a farm system and achieving salary relief with Lee simply will not happen.”

Of course, money owed to Lee becomes an issue as he’s due $20 million plus this season with $25 million due next year along with a $12.5 million dollar buyout for 2016.

There will certainly be a team willing to absorb Lee’s nasty contract, but Philadelphia may be best served to cut ties just to expedite a re-build.

Tags: Cliff Lee Philadelphia Phillies

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