WASHINGTON — The Phillies placed Cliff Lee on trade waivers, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports, which is merely standard procedure this time of year. Most teams place a majority of their players on waivers after Aug. 1 regardless if they intend on trading them or not.
Lee is likely to go unclaimed because he is owed approximately $95 million through 2015. If a team claims him, the Phillies can pull him back, negotiate a trade with the claimant, or simply allow that team to absorb his entire contract. It's highly doubtful anyone claims Lee for risk of inheriting a massive commitment.
The Phillies, a baseball source says, were not willing to assume any of Lee's remaining salary during trade talks before July 31. They were also asking for a bounty of top prospects in return.
Lee has a no-trade clause that prevents a deal to 21 teams without his consent.
For those reasons, any Lee deal now or in the wintertime, is dubious unless Ruben Amaro Jr.'s demands change.
"They told us those were rumors and there wasn't anything really in the works," Lee said Tuesday. "Ruben did tell me some teams did propose some stuff to him, but nothing that even made close to sense for the Phillies. I signed here to win here. Obviously nobody is happy the way this year has gone, but this is where I want to be. We still have a lot of talent."