Two reports Monday shot down a rumored trade of Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers, with MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reporting that it has less than a 1 percent chance of happening. ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark also reported on Twitter that it was “not going to happen.”
Source says Cliff Lee deal to Texas is “not going to happen.” More to come at ESPN.com
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 30, 2012
The Rangers are exploring their options ahead of the trade deadline to answer American League West division foe Los Angeles, which dealt for starter Zack Greinke last week. The Rangers are also in need of a starter after losing Colby Lewis for the season and with Roy Oswalt battling back issues. But the Rangers were weary of giving up too much in a package for Miami Marlins starter Josh Johnson.
And Lee would take perhaps even more to acquire and keep. Sullivan reported that Lee still has three years and $75 million remaining on his contract, plus a 2016 club option that carries a $12.5 million buyout.
Lee entered the trade-rumor circuit Monday after ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies, which have entered fire-sale mode ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, put him on the market.