The Red Sox are said now to have in reality been a "non factor" for Cliff Lee before they landed Jake Peavy, and baseball people are highly doubtful anyone would meet the supposed Phillies' asking price of three top prospects for a pitcher who has $70 million guaranteed to go through 2015.
"No one's going to do that," one executive said.
"I don't know of a team in baseball that would [do] that. Taking on that much money and giving up three legit prospects seems like a stretch for anyone," another executive said.
The Red Sox have been successful since going away from the mega contract, such as Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, and doing mid-range deals. So they didn't especially want to get back into that game.
No other teams have been identified yet as a big player for Lee -- though the Phillies seem serious about wanting to make bold moves.
Lee appeared too be looking forward to a trade to a contender, and was ready to waive his no-trade to the Red Sox, if a deal materialized there. However, the reality is that unless the Phillies drastically drop their asking price, he will stay in Philly. Lee has a 21-team no-trade list but that appears to be no impediment.
There's a chance he could clear waivers meaning he could be an August trade, but the price still would have to drop. Last summer he was claimed by the big-spending Dodgers, but they appear well set in their rotation for now.
Lee makes $25 million annually thrugh 2015 but has a vesting option for '16 for $27.5 million, with a $12.5 million buyout, according to Cots Baseball Contracts.