Feb 18, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi (28) talk as they watch batting practice at Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

MLB trade rumors: New York Yankees in on Cliff Lee?

With over half of its starting rotation decimated by injury, including C.C. Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka, the New York Yankees need pitching help if the team wants to remain competitive in the American League East playoff race.

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According to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia, the Phillies’ Cliff Lee could be the answer.

The Phillies are in full sell mode, and Lee is an attractive potential pickup for a contending team. However, two months on the DL right before the July 31 trade deadline doesn’t help Lee’s trade value. He will have just two starts to audition for contending clubs who must weigh his health and effectiveness against the $37.5 million that he is guaranteed after this season.

The Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays both had scouts in attendance at Lee’s final rehab start, according to Salisbury, and Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted that more will likely be checking in on the southpaw Monday at Citizens Bank Ballpark, when Lee will make his first start in over two months.

Although Amaro noted that Lee wasn’t particularly effective in some of his rehab work, he fully expects his veteran left-hander to be his regular self when he takes the mound against San Francisco at home Monday night.

“I don’t think he was all that enthusiastic — he doesn’t see pitching in rehab games as something that’s necessarily beneficial other than to get his work in,” Amaro said. “So I think he’ll pitch fine. If he’s healthy, he’ll pitch fine.”

Lee, who turns 36 later this year, has spent time with the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers, in addition to the Phillies during his big league career. In ten starts prior to the injury this season, the lefty went 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA.

Tags: Cliff Lee MLB New York Yankees Philadelphia Phillies

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