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Lee on trade: 'At first, I didn't believe it'

Cliff Lee was introduced to the Seattle media in a conference call tonight, but many of the questions were about his departure from the Phillies.

Lee was traded yesterday for three prospects as a precursor to the deal that brought Roy Halladay to the Phillies.

"At first I didn't believe it," Lee said of the trade. "I thought we were working out an extension with the Phillies and I was going to spend the rest of my career there. That's when I guess you know it's a business ...

"Disbelief. Shock. Initially I was disappointed," Lee said when asked to expound on his emotions. "Obviously, it was great being part of a team that went to the World Series for the second year in a row and I was looking forward to trying for a third. That's a great group of guys. I enjoyed every second I was there. Now I'm in Seattle and I have to make the best of it."

Many fans wanted the Phillies to keep Lee and get Halladay, making for a superstar rotation with Cole Hamels.

"I was told it was possible," Lee said. "I heard two different stories. I think the Phillies would have liked that to have happened, but they didn't want to diminish their farm system. That's their prerogative. They're trying run a business and you have to respect that. Until you have a full no-trade clause, you're at their mercy."

Read more in tomorrow's Daily News