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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