Dodgers Awarded Claiming Rights On Cliff Lee

8:43pm: Ruben Amaro didn't confirm or deny the reports of the Dodgers' claim on Lee to the media (including MLB.com's Paul Hagen) but said "It's irrelevant. [Lee] is not going anywhere."

5:16pm: The Dodgers were awarded Lee's claiming rights, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.  This means that all NL teams with a record worse than the Dodgers' 56-50 mark (every NL team except the Reds, Nationals, Pirates, Braves, Giants and Cardinals) first passed on Lee.

5:06pm: The Phillies don't see a trade as very likely, reports Jon Heyman.  The Phils also aren't likely to just let Lee leave to the claiming team without getting anything back in return.

3:46pm: Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee has been claimed on waivers, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The Phillies can now pull Lee back off of waivers, assign his contract to the team that won the claim, or work a trade out with the claiming team. Lee can block trades and claims to 21 teams, which could limit the Phillies' flexibility, depending on the identity of the claiming team.

The team(s) that claimed Lee showed a willingness to take on approximately $95MM in future commitments. Lee earns $21.5MM in 2012 and $25MM per season through 2015. His contract includes a $27.5MM vesting option for 2016 with a $12.5MM buyout. If the Phillies can assign Lee to the claiming team without his permission, they will now have to decide whether they value Lee's performance more than the flexibility they'd obtain by letting him go. If multiple teams claimed Lee, National League teams have priority over American League teams.

Lee, who turns 34 this month, has a 3.73 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 125 1/3 innings so far this year. He has averaged seven innings per start and contributed 2.7 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs.

The Red Sox didn't claim Lee, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports (on Twitter). More than 58% of 14,000 MLBTR readers correctly predicted that Lee would be claimed.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post


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239 Comments on "Dodgers Awarded Claiming Rights On Cliff Lee"


55saveslives
3 years 26 days ago

I guess its Giants turn…

JackParkman
3 years 26 days ago

Red Sox guaranteed

NYYANKEES
3 years 26 days ago

probably a block attempt

SixtoLezcano
3 years 26 days ago

Someone’s going to risk getting stuck with Lee’s contract just to “block” another team? Uh….?

3 years 26 days ago

Definitely not the Marlins

Andy Forrester
3 years 26 days ago

I wonder who claimed him to block him from another team….

mmiller54
3 years 26 days ago

Hoping it’s the Dbacks, even though it’s unlikely the Phillies would let him go.

Andy Forrester
3 years 26 days ago

Wouldn’t surprise me if the dbacks blocked him, but they don’t really have to worry about the Dodgers anymore since they just picked up Joe Blanton from the Phillies.

3 years 26 days ago

This couldn’t also be the dodgers, right?

Terrence1
3 years 26 days ago

Dodgers…

Roy Baker
3 years 26 days ago

It’s OBVIOUSLY my Astros, folks. C’mon…. (I have the trolliest of troll faces on right now)

metatron5369
3 years 26 days ago

Please be the Tigers…

Doug_Not_Dascenzo
3 years 26 days ago

Astros gotta be the Astros

3 years 26 days ago

Pirates?!?!?

3 years 26 days ago

don’t count on it. the Pirates couldn’t afford him, and even if they could, the Phillies would pull him back. besides, he’d most likely reject a trade to them anyway.

i’d be lying if i said i wouldn’t like to see him in a Bucs uniform, though.

3 years 26 days ago

Definitely the Yankees, which Lee will then deny.

randyfastman
3 years 26 days ago

cant deny to the yanks, they are one of the 8 teams not on his list

ROR1997
3 years 26 days ago

Lee cant deny to the yankees

not_brooks
3 years 26 days ago

So every other team in baseball passed on him, as well as the chance to block him going to a division rival?

Not that it matters. Lee isn’t going anywhere. And, once again, it’s proven that leaked waivers in August are the most annoying thing in baseball.

3 years 26 days ago

Want the Dodgers, expect the White Sox.

KEK
3 years 26 days ago

double post

KEK
3 years 26 days ago

Huh? The Sox would be one of the last teams to get a shot at claiming him. Don’t see that happening.

John LeClair
3 years 26 days ago

My guess it’s either: The Rangers, Red Sox, Yankees, possibly Dodgers.

the_show
3 years 26 days ago

Not the yankees they are trying to lower their payroll

3 years 26 days ago

Didn’t they throw beer on his wife? He won’t allow a trade to NY

ROR1997
3 years 26 days ago

They fliped her off, he cant deny to NY, he didnt want too

NYYANKEES
3 years 26 days ago

Yankees are not on his no-trade list.

John LeClair
3 years 26 days ago

That’s true but who knows. Yankees are very unpredictable.

3 years 26 days ago

The Rangers got Dempster so its about a 30% chance that the Rangers go hard after Lee. But Ryan Loves Lee and it wouldn’t surprise me that at the end of it all that Lee is back in a Rangers uniform.

danistheguy
3 years 26 days ago

I’ll wager the Nats. Lots of money there.

3 years 26 days ago

my guess….arizona diamondbacks… towers is known to do this…

mmiller54
3 years 26 days ago

If it is and gets done, I’ll be really happy. I know this would limit us in the future, but I would love to go for it.

3 years 26 days ago

Arizona is one of the 21 teams

Bigj48
3 years 26 days ago

doesnt matter, that just means he has to waive it, or phillies can just let us have him, or he will stay with phillies. great move if it is dbacks because it blocks la or sf from getting him

Andy Forrester
3 years 26 days ago

He has a 21 No-Trade Clause, not a No-Move clause. He can be moved to any team if claimed off waivers.

3 years 26 days ago

Not true. He can veto trades AND waiver claims to 21 teams.

3 years 26 days ago

Cliff Lee is a great pitcher, but I hope Arizona isn’t the team. They cant justify spending a quarter of their payroll on a 35-37 year old starting pitcher.

bergeraj
3 years 26 days ago

Arizona is on his NO NO List so he would have to waive his rights and bet that would be make his vesting option a guarantee year

Patrick Beliveau
3 years 26 days ago

They are on his trade blocking list. If philly just gives up and lets the claiming team take on the salary, pretty sure he has no say there

Joe Matise
3 years 26 days ago

Kenny Williams pulling another magic trick with an expensive player he figures the Sox can fix?

baseball52
3 years 26 days ago

They want prospects back for Lee, not to mention they’re basically at the bottom of the waiver list.

Joe Matise
3 years 26 days ago

Ahead of the Yankees, another popular choice :) And who knows, they seem to be giving up most of their bats, why keep the high priced pitchers? Salary relief might be sufficient…

baseball52
3 years 26 days ago

They got a pretty good return for Pence and salary relief.

Joe Matise
3 years 26 days ago

Pence was on a $10MM, one year contract, with another year of arbitration coming (ie, no risk). Entirely different situation than a pitcher owed nearly $100M over the next four plus years.

baseball52
3 years 26 days ago

Pence is going to make close to 15 million next year. That’s quite a bit of money.

Sandy Karoll
3 years 26 days ago

Don;t forget, Peavy comes off the books after this year. Slight increase but worth it

3 years 26 days ago

I was waiting for someone to mention the waiver order…

3 years 26 days ago

Cliff Lee is NOT broken.

danistheguy
3 years 26 days ago

Doubt it’s an AL team.. entire NL has first crack.

3 years 26 days ago

So, if I’m reading the article right, Lee could block an attempt to move him via a waiver claim? Interesting.

thegoldenone
3 years 26 days ago

Not how I read it. He can block the trade. But if Phillies decide to give him up without getting anything back, he cant do anything about it.

CubbieBlueHoosier
3 years 26 days ago

The best way I have had it explained is it is essentially a “no move” clause so he can block a waiver claim

Steve Keasling
3 years 26 days ago

pretty sure that clause doesn’t exist.

3 years 26 days ago

It does exist in Cliff Lee’s contract. Doubt the words “no move” are in it, but he has the right to veto trades AND waiver claims to 21 teams.

3 years 26 days ago

I doubt he made it out of the NL.