It’s safe to say that Cliff Lee’s second tenure for the Philadelphia Phillies has not gone according to plan.
When the Phillies signed Lee to a five-year, $125 million contract on the open market, many baseball fans figured that a dynasty would be on the horizon for the team. However, age and bad contracts have caught up with Philadelphia, with Lee being one of those bad contracts.
Look, the lefty is still a fantastic pitcher, but that contract is virtually unmovable, which is why he went unclaimed on waivers last season. But now that two years are off that albatross of a deal, is it possible that the Phillies could actually move Lee to another team?
Considering that Lee has a minuscule 2.34 ERA, 2.83 FIP and a very good 4.8 K:BB ratio, pennant-chasing teams will likely be interested in the left-handed ace. If the Phillies were to pick up some of his contract, they should get a nice package in return for the former Cy Young winner.
The question remains, though: will the Phillies actually start selling?
The writing on the wall should be clear for the team. They are simply too old and mediocre to make any sort of noise in the present and/or future. It also doesn’t help that they have one of the worst general mangers in the game in Ruben Amaro. In fact, the only reason why I doubt the Phillies will decide to sell is because of Amaro’s incompetence.
Regardless of what the Phillies decide to do at the deadline, it’s rather evident that Lee will be their biggest trade chip if they decide to go down that road. It may sting a bit to trade their best player, but it may be a move that has to be done.
I guess everyone will have to wait and see if the Phillies will shop Lee, and if teams will actually take on Lee’s contract. It should be an interesting summer.