FanPost

Desperation and Denial

Let me open with a caveat that the basis for this post is strictly speculative at this time, and the question I ask at the end might be completely irrelevant as the situation described may never develop.

You may have heard that the Phillies recently devoted a swimming pool full of hundred dollar bills to retain the services of Cole Hamels. Because of that and the fact that they've been playing about as bad as, uh, the Red Sox this year, they are generally expected to try to shed a lot of payroll over the next few months, whether by trades or placing some of their money men on waivers and see who makes a claim. One such name that has come up is Cliff Lee.

You may remember that the Phillies played this same game with Mr. Lee not too long ago. They traded for him, then traded him away, only to see him return in free agency because he liked the city or perhaps (inexplicably) the fans. He's well paid, obviously, and getting on up in years. By neanderthal metrics he is having a down season, despite peripherals that are good and even great in some cases. So the Phillies (maybe) are thinking about cutting him loose so they can redistribute the other swimming pool of money they have set aside for him.

It might turn out that he's not really available. I mean, who gets rid of Cliff Lee twice? It might even be the case that his salary makes him untradeable, at least within the time frame of the next couple of days, so he'll have to pass through waivers if he's leaving. My question is this: if he becomes available, should the Sox go after him? After all, he's pretty expensive, and the Phillies are hardly the only team struggling to stay under the luxury tax threshold. Also, while the rotation is stacked with underwhelming and/or underperforming pitchers, it's still stacked. And Lee is no spring chicken, after all, so it's more likely than not that he'll be spending some time on the DL over the next few seasons (at least if he is a Red Sox, he won't likely be lonely while disabled). On the other hand, he's Cliff Lee, for crying out loud, and he might be available.

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