Report: Philadelphia Phillies Won't Trade Starting Pitcher Cliff Lee

The Philadelphia Phillies will not trade left handed starting pitcher Cliff Lee before the July 31st trade deadline, according to a report by CBSSports’ MLB Insider Jon Heyman.

The Phillies also won’t trade Lee at any point this season, such as in August when players can be traded after being placed on waivers.

Lee has a clause in his contract where he blocks trades to 21 teams. The Texas Rangers are not on his block list, and he’s already been rumored to return to the city where he pitched in the second half of the 2010 season.

If the Rangers had acquired Lee they would have asked the Phillies to cover a substantial portion of Lee’s salary, Heyman says. Lee is earning $25 million per season from 2013 through 2015, and he has a $12.5 million buyout in his contract that will pay him a total of $27.5 million in 2016.

Another team not on his block list is the New York Yankees, who expressed interest in Lee a couple of years ago. When Lee was a free agent after the 2010 season, he turned down a seven-year, $148 million deal from the Yankees to sign with Philadelphia (a five-year, $120 million deal).

Heyman also reports that the Phillies intend to build their team around their dominant starting pitching trio of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels, all who will be earning more than $20 million starting next season.

This season, Lee is 1-6 through 17 starts. He’s pitched 118.1 innings and recorded 112 strikeouts against just 23 walks, and his earned run average of 3.95 is right around the league average.

This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.