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Report: Phillies place Cliff Lee on waivers (and it means very little)

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
Cliff Lee is 2-6 with a 3.73 ERA. (US Presswire)

First off, most players get put on waivers this time of year. It's a no-risk move for teams, so in the next couple of weeks you'll hear all sorts of reports about big-name players being put on waivers. So, with that said, here's the first of those reports -- the Phillies have put Cliff Lee on waivers, CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury reports.

Salisbury also notes that an executive told him some teams put everyone on their team -- from star to scrub -- on waivers in August.

Putting a player on waivers gives a team flexibility and the knowledge of whether they can pull off a deal or not. For more on how waiver trades work, check out Matt's primer from earlier today.

There's also the chance that a team could claim a player such as Lee off of waivers and the team (in this case the Phillies) say, take him (and his contract). Lee is owed more than $90 million through the 2015 season, so it's not out of the question -- although highly unlikely -- that the Phillies wouldn't mind shedding that contract. In 2009, the White Sox claimed Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios and his nearly $50 million remaining on his contract thru 2014 and Toronto was more than happy to move Rios and, more importantly, his contract.

As Salisbury writes, Lee is probably not the only Phillies player put on waivers -- Chase Utley (and his $15 million pricetag for 2013) has either probably been put on waivers already or will be soon, as will trade candidates Joe Blanton, Juan Pierre and Ty Wigginton.

The waiver process is supposed to be secret, with executives facing fines if they spill the beans, but word always seems to get out anyway.

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