Cliff Lee Trade A Long Shot

Monday, there have been reports that the Phillies are considering a Cliff Lee trade. Consider this, from Friday:

The Phillies plan to keep Cliff Lee, and won't trade him before the Tuesday trade deadline, sources say.

And now consider this, from later on Monday:

The Phillies are willing to listen to offers for Cliff Lee, because why wouldn't they be? No team will probably come up with a suitable offer for Cliff Lee, or at least with an offer that the Phillies consider to be suitable. So Cliff Lee probably will not be traded.

The main reason is that Lee is due an awful lot of money: $25 million in 2013, $25 million in 2014, $25 million in 2015, and at least $12.5 million in 2016. To say nothing of Lee's salary for the rest of 2012. He's an expensive, nearly-34-year-old starting pitcher, who is very good but very costly. Lee's contract limits the pool of possible partners, and those partners won't overwhelm the Phillies with an offer. The Phillies would also like to try to contend around a Lee/Cole Hamels/Roy Halladay foundation in 2013. So. It doesn't look like Cliff Lee is going to get traded anytime soon. Things could change in a hurry, but things could always change in a hurry. Practically all things.

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