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MLB Storylines: Could Cliff Lee be dealt this season?

MLB Storylines: Could Cliff Lee be dealt this season?
Philadelphia Phillies' Cliff Lee works against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 6, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
February 28, 2014
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Top Stories:

  • Jim Salisbury of reported that 2014 could finally be the year that the Phillies trade Cliff Lee if they fall out of contention. 

Tribe News:

  • Carlos Santana saw his first live action at third base on Thursday. He played two innings at the hot corner. No balls were hit in his direction, but he successfully fielded a relay throw from the outfield and tagged a runner out at third.
  • According to Jordan Bastian of, Justin Mastersontold reporters, "I figure somehow, some way, I'll end up still being here for a few more years."  Bastian added that the two sides spoke earlier this week and plan to do so again over the weekend and in the early portion of next week. MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo wrote that the two sides recently exchanged parameters for a deal. Masterson has said in the past that he's willing to continue extension talks into the season, but GM Chris Antonetti is said to prefer a resolution by the end of Spring Training. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Indians' most recent offer to Masterson is believed to have been in the three- or four-year range.
  • Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote that the Indians know Trevor Bauer probably isn't ready for the Majors, which is what prompted their late signing of Aaron Harang to serve as depth. Bauer has altered his delivery somewhat and got mixed results in Wednesday's game against the Reds.
  • R.J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus looked at how the players he ranked in his Top 50 stacked up to the expected average annual value he laid out prior to the offseason. Anderson concluded that he underestimated the market for back-end starters, setup men and veterans with perceivable upside remaining. Because of that last category, he wonders if names like Asdrubal Cabrera and Chad Billingsleycould see larger paydays than many are expecting next winter. (Premium Article)

News and Notes

  • Todd Zolecki of wrote that Mike Adams of the Phillies threw his first bullpen session of the spring Thursday and said that he felt great afterwards.
  • Chris Iott of believes there's about a "ten percent" chance Max Scherzer inks an extension with Detroit prior to Opening Day.
  • The Athletics announced the acquisition of infielder Jake Elmore from the White Sox in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that the last thing he's concerned about is the health of Derek Jeter andMark Teixeira.
  • Juan Rincon is planning to work out for teams soon that are interested in his services, Jon Heyman of reported.

User Comments

February 28, 2014 - 12:29 PM EST
Even as good as Cliff Lee his age you'd have to imagine the Phillies would need to include cash. Still owed $62.5M guaranteed over the next two years. And that $27.5M option in 2016 has a very good chance of vesting IMO. May have to pay him $77.5M over the next 3 years. Not a lot of teams can afford that even if you consider half his 2014 salary will have already been paid.

Only way he could possibly fit in Cleveland (IMO at least) is if the Phillies ate $10M/year...would put his salary around $15M, which would be doable (couldn't resign Masterson though)....

I'm guessing though some team would take him without the Phillies paying that much. Yanks could really use him....and Dodgers with him would just be down right disgusting...
February 28, 2014 - 11:39 AM EST
I wouldn't read too much into Masterson's comments. He's a smart guy. All him saying something like that does is put a little more pressure on the Indians to get something done.
February 28, 2014 - 8:58 AM EST
Chad Billingsley still has an option for 2015...if he comes back and pitches decent the Dodgers very well could just pick it up...that or decline it/make a QO that will be worth the same essentially to the option. No one would give up a pick for him I can't imagine, not coming off TJS.
February 28, 2014 - 8:52 AM EST
Wow! Quite interesting to hear that Masterson wants to stay for few more years as an Indian. I thinks there 3 reasons why he wants to stay.

1, he feels that Indians will be in contention for next couple of years and wants to be part of that.
2. He enjoys working and feels comfortable with Francona and Calloway
3. Have recent twin newborns and problems of moving with at that young age.

I dont see Masterson signing a contract less than 5yrs. I think the Indians would have offer a 4yr with an option 5 th year in order of having a chance to retain him.

If Lee does get dealt I do not see the Indians in getting him. The big market teams and Cardinals would get first shot in acquiring him.

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