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Cliff Lee trade rumors: Philadelphia Phillies ready to pay Lee salary in trade

Cliff Lee could get traded by the Philadelphia Phillies very soon.
Cliff Lee could get traded by the Philadelphia Phillies very soon.
Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

Cliff Lee trade rumors read like a soap opera each season. Now fresh Cliff Lee trade rumors indicate the Philadelphia Phillies are ready to pay part of his salary in order to entice another franchise to deal for him. According to a report from CBS Sports on Wednesday (July 30), the possibility is also there that the former Cy Young winner ends up on waivers in August. This means that a trade could still take place after the first MLB deadline this year on July 31.

Lee would be a very expensive option for any franchise, even a team like the LA Dodgers or New York Yankees. According to his contract, he makes $25 million this season, $25 million in 2015, and then $27 million in 2016 if he reaches 200 innings the season prior. The 2016 season comes with a hefty buyout of $12.5 million as well, showing just how much the Phillies were willing to invest in him when they offered that long-term contract.

This is one player that is no stranger to being dealt, as he has been traded by the Montreal Expos, Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, and Seattle Mariners in the past. Despite his success in baseball, he just hasn't found a team that was willing to keep him on when they started a rebuilding process. Now that the Phillies are ready to start a major rebuild of the current roster, it looks like they are willing to pay another team to take on one of their best starting pitchers.

While Cliff Lee trade rumors are certainly nothing new to MLB, he still seems like a veteran starting pitcher that could help out a number of teams. With the Phillies prepared to pay a lot of his salary, it could increase the numbers of teams willing to take a shot on acquiring him. Teams needing starting pitching soon include the Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, and Milwaukee Brewers. Maybe one will step up if they don't have to give up much to get him.

Lee has posted a 3.78 ERA and 1.411 WHIP in just 12 starts this season, but he was slowed due to injuries. Now he appears healthy and could return to the form that netted him a 2.87 ERA and 1.01 WHIP during the 2013 MLB season. The left-hander has the experience that could help just about any contending team in baseball.