MLB Rumors: New York Yankees Close To Trading Curtis Granderson To Philadelphia Phillies?

By Ryan Gaydos
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

According to unconfirmed reports, the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies are working on a deal that would send Yankees’ outfielder Curtis Granderson to the Phillies for left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee.

Due to the Yankees’ unbelievable budget constraints for the 2014, the team does not believe it will have enough money to sign Granderson to an extension after the 2013 season and a trade would be the best option

Since early November, the Yankees have been looking to trade Granderson knowing that he will not be able to fit into the budget plans for the future as the Yankees try to get under the $189 million payroll mark. Granderson is owed $13 million in 2013 but is not locked up beyond that.

The 31-year-old center fielder hit 43 home runs and recorded 106 RBI last season with the Yankees but floundered in the playoffs batting a mere .100 with one home run and one RBI between the American League Division Series and the American League Championship Series.

Lee has been on the Yankees’ radar for a long time. When he was with the Seattle Mariners, the Yankees almost acquired him in the original deal that sent Jesus Montero there. Then, when Lee hit free agency, Lee picked the Phillies over the Yankees and the Texas Rangers.

The probability of this happening is slim right now since Lee holds a no-trade clause to all but eight teams and could block a trade to the Yankees like he has done in the past. Plus, Lee is owed $75 million over the next three seasons. How would he fit into the Yankees’ plan to be under the $189 million mark? There would be a lot of questions that GM Brain Cashman would have to answer unless the Phillies plan to eat a chunk of his contract.

However, Lee could be more susceptible to play for a contender in the playoffs and with the Phillies finishing in the middle of the pack in the National League East last year, the Yankees make themselves more attractive.

Lee is 30-21 over three seasons with the Phillies with a 2.85 ERA. Lee also has 519 strikeouts with the team. Acquiring Lee would bolster the Yankees rotation greatly.

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