The Phillies won't trade Cliff Lee before the July 31st trade deadline, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Furthermore, the Phillies have no plan to consider trading Lee in August, when players can be dealt after being placed on waivers. Something would have to change for the team to consider trading Lee, Heyman writes.
The Rangers had been scouting Lee, and viewed him as a long-shot alternative to Zack Greinke, Josh Johnson and James Shields. The Rangers would have asked the Phillies to cover a substantial portion of Lee's salary in any trade, Heyman writes. Lee, 33, earns $25MM per season from 2013-15, so there’s a chance he’d clear waivers. His contract includes a $12.5MM buyout for a $27.5MM option in 2016.
Lee can block trades to 21 teams, but the Yankees, Braves and Marlins are not on his no-trade list, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported today (Twitter links). Phillies officials intend to build around Lee, Roy Halladay and the recently-extended Cole Hamels, Heyman reports.