Sources: Dodgers claim Cliff Lee, but Phillies unlikely to deal star pitcher
Star Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee could be traded to the team that claimed him. However, the Phillies are expected to seek a big prospect in return, and are not anxious to lose Lee, so a trade isn't probable.
Cliff Lee was claimed on waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the teams have two days to try to work out a trade.
The Phillies and Dodgers will talk, but the Phillies people have suggested to others they don't see a trade for Lee as very likely. The teams technically are given 48 1/2 hours from the time of the award to complete a deal. If a trade can't be worked out, the Phillies would then pull back Lee and he wouldn't be traded this season. If a player is put on waivers a second time, he can't be pulled back.
Prior to the deadline the Phillies weren't offering to pay down the $95 million remaining on Lee's deal through 2015 while also asking for a big prospect back. The claiming team obviously has to be willing to absorb the full contract, as the Phillies theoretically could just send him to that team (although people familair with the team's thinking say they aren't likely to do that).
Lee also has a 21-team no-trade list so he could nix deals to a majority of teams, though it is believed some big-market teams are on the short approved list. The Rangers are the only team known to be approved, but while they talked about Lee before the deadline they aren't thought to be willing to absorb the full $95 million.
The Phillies have told people they want to build around their vaunted trio of starting pitchers since signing Cole Hamels for $144 million over six years. Lee's original deal was for $120 million over five.
The Dodgers claimed another Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton, and the teams worked out a deal for him. Los Angeles is picking up the $2.9 million reamining on his 2012 salary, and the Dodgers were seen as the most likely team to claim Lee. Dodgers people have been unavailable all day. Sources tell Danny Knobler that Blanton was needed because Ted Lilly's rehab is coming along slowly.
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