Lee Being Watched By Rangers

Does Lee to Texas make sense?

It has been widely reported that the Texas Rangers are looking for an anchor; someone to be the ace of their good, but not great, pitching staff. Rangers starters have the fifth best ERA in the American League this season, and GM Jon Daniels doesn’t want this team to fall short in the postseason for a third straight time.

At the top of his list is Cole Hamels, followed by Brewers righty Zack Greinke. But after those two, Daniels could have his sights set on one that got away, Cliff Lee. As you’re well aware, Lee is no stranger to the Dallas area, having gone to the World Series with Texas in 2010.

Would he want to go back? Would the Phillies send him back? Lee’s family was dead set on returning to Philadelphia when he became a free agent that it’s hard to imagine the Phillies shipping him off, even though his season has not gone as planned. However, Ruben Amaro has not shied away from the big move, and he’s in a bit of a tight situation with Hamels presently.

Ken Rosenthal of reported that the Phillies have no desire to move Lee. Wouldn’t they be wise to do it if it kept Hamels in town? Yes, the Phillies are built on pitching, but if you’re building for the future it makes more sense to build with the 29-year-old than it does the 34-year-old. Moving his contract, which owes Lee a guaranteed $87.5 million over the next three seasons with his buyout included, would allow you to use those funds and reallocate them to Hamels new deal.

Then again, we don’t even know if Hamels will sign. There have been rumblings he’s looking straight ahead to free agency and realizing his potential on the open market, something he’s free to do.

Maybe the Phillies don’t want to piss the Lee’s off like they did a few years ago. If that’s a factor, it shouldn’t be. This is a business and Amaro needs to shape this team not only for next season, but for the future. Hamels fits better than Lee.

The issue with such a deal is that the Phillies cannot be left without both Lee and Hamels. It’s a risky proposition to trade Lee and then attempt to lure Hamels into inking a deal. Would Hamels see such a move as a sort of dismantlement, therefore pushing him farther away?

Don’t take this as me trying to push Lee out the door, either. A trio of Halladay, Lee, and Hamels strikes more fear into opponents than just two of three. That said, if it comes down to it, the way to go is easy to see.

If the Rangers call and blow the Phillies away with an offer, they should think long and hard about it. But only if it means retaining Hamels.

Click to comment


  1. TheDipsy

    July 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Sure. Why not? We’ll be taking both those top two prospects off of your hands though.

    The Dipsy

    • Pat Gallen

      July 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      Yeah, I doubt that would happen. Not sure what kind of haul they would get. Kind of unprecedented type trade.

      • George

        July 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

        There actually have been trades involving such major talents as Lee. Unfortunately, some of them also involved some of the worst decision making in ML history.

        Examples: Grover Alexander for “Pickles” Dilhofer (excuse my spelling. I’m too lazy this morning to look him up), Babe Ruth for cash considerations, and more recently, Fergie Jenkins for whoever those two ancient hurlers were, Steve Carlton for Rick Wise (actually Wise was a good pitcher, but not anywhere near H.O.F.), or Ryne Sandburg and others for a bag of doo-doo, Some major talents have even been let go in the Rule 5 draft, like Johan Santana.

  2. Chuck A.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Can you imagine getting away with keeping Hamels AND getting Mike Olt?

    • George

      July 20, 2012 at 8:32 am

      Actually, I can. I’d guess that Olt would be ready by 2014, and for next year, and maybe beyond, the Phils would have the likes of Kyle Kendrick and a rookie in the starting rotation.

      Trading Lee would be a major rebuild and the Phils would be out of contention for several years.

      • Chuck A.

        July 20, 2012 at 8:39 am

        Blanton (on a cheap deal)
        KK (or someone else)

        Pick up Blanton’s option…it’s cheap enough at 5.5M

        Olt ready for 2014

        Salary is cleared with moving Lee.

        The Phillies could do worse if they had a plan such as this. But, I agree…..the chance of A) the Rangers getting Lee back and B) trading away Mike Olt….is unlikely. But who knows…

      • Chuck A.

        July 20, 2012 at 8:42 am

        ^^ meant to say “pick up Polanco’s option” … not Blanton’s. Not thinking straight yet this morning!

  3. Lefty

    July 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I don’t believe Daniels has interest in Lee. If the Rangers wanted Lee they’d have kept him, no? They spent the posting money, and contract to get Darvish, an unknown quantity in terms of how he would perform in North America. They could have kept Lee, a known quantity for about 20m more than Darvish. And now it’s suggested they would trade a top prospect for him to get him back?

    I think Jon Daniels is a pretty sharp guy, whose team is vying for a third straight WS appearance.

    Lee back to the Rangers? I’ll believe it when I see it.

  4. Ryne Duren

    July 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    lefty i don’t think it was the matter of texas not wanting him back. if i recall he was intent on leaving and let it be known. i don’t think for a minute if they can’t get cole then they’d love ,to have! why wouldn’t they or any strong contender trade a minor league piece with a high cieling for a proven commodity! that’s how teams on top stay on top. the phils did it for five years. the only problem is that sooner or later you have to pay the piper as they say. as we all know here! but i think they’d do it. and i also think he’s not going anywhere without hamels in the fold.

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