Phillies Rumors: Lee, Blanton, Pierre – Phillies Nation

Phillies Rumors: Lee, Blanton, Pierre

Could Joe go south on I-95? (AP)

-The latest on Cliff Lee comes from Buster Olney of, who says Lee is available and the Rangers are pretty much the only team that makes any sense. I’ve seen conflicting reports about Lee going anywhere, but Joel Sherman from the New York Daily News agrees that Lee to the Rangers is a possbility.

I still think it’s a long shot that Lee gets dealt, although Olney makes a point that some of the groundwork has already been laid from the possibility of Cole Hamels being dealt earlier this month, before he signed his new contract. The parameters wouldn’t change too much, although we know the cost-issues brought on by the $87.5 million Lee is owed over the final three seasons of his contract.

And also, does it send a good message to the fans and to other players around the league if the Phillies trade Lee yet again? Not saying it wouldn’t be the correct move – it would be if the proper prospects are included from Texas and they take on enough of his salary – however, they want to keep Hamels happy and they’ve made it clear they’re building around starting pitching.

Jim Bowden of ESPN says Mike Olt, everyone’s favorite minor league third baseman, would have to be involved in any deal with Lee.

-Joe Blanton to the Orioles is an interesting scenario that has gained traction today. reports that there is interest coming from Baltimore as the O’s look to give a shot of life to their rotation, which has struggled. As we know, Blanton is a free agent at the end of the year and the Orioles are looking to make a push at the wild card in the American League.

-Count the Orioles among a few other teams looking for outfield help as well. Juan Pierre’s name has popped up on their radar, and you can include the Reds attempting to get involved for Pierre, too. Cincinnati has long been a suitor for Shane Victorino, but his name has cooled off a bit today. That, as we know, can change instantly.

-Ken Rosenthal of says the Phillies also have interest in Shin Soo Choo from the Cleveland Indians, and Padres third baseman Chase Headley. Rosenthal notes that they could use prospects from other trades to pick up these players.

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  1. Rob Gardner

    July 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    A Lee trade makes sense. And Choo would solidify LF, making a Victorino trade more likely, platooning Pierre and Mayberry in CF. Though, it may be time to call up Dom Brown and let him actually play through his issues.

    • Jeff Dowder

      July 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      Brown’s issues have almost always been staying on the field the past two seasons. It’s been one injury after another.

    • Ron

      July 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Pierre is far removed from playing centerfield.

  2. Bob in Bucks

    July 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    A Lee deal is going to be difficult because unless Rangers take on overwhelming share of the salary there is little upside to the Phils. They have to dump a lot of salary to retool and I don’t see anyone picking up that amount now. If they do I don’t see getting Olt and let’s remember he is just a prospect.

    Pierre should net some prospects but I doubt any big ones.

    Blanton and Pence should net the most followed by Victorino.

    • George

      July 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      I agree on Lee. Pierre will probably net one prospect, and no more; probably someone very low on the prospect totem pole. They did well on the Thome deal to get one decent guy, so I doubt they’ll do better with Pierre.

      Blanton and Victorino likely won’t net much either, being two month rentals. Pence is the only guy with any real value.

  3. Brain

    July 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Ive been wanting this trade and it makes sense. The angels forced the Rangers hand. Unless they want to after JJ, who hasnt been anything spectaculr. Hell, from what Ive read, he worries the couts because of A) that mystery shoulder injury B) the consistency and C) his ERA. JJ *looks* solid because the market is empty right now. I say make this trade and get Olt, Martin and third to be named (maybe profar? lol)

  4. Lisa

    July 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Please tell us Hunter Pence is staying in Philadelphia.

  5. BirmCori

    July 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I will never forgive them if they trade Lee again. Granted, he’s not having the best season, but AGAIN?! No. I won’t mind losing Pence with the way he’s been so scattered this year, and sad to see Vic go, but I don’t see us keeping him either. But Lee? No…I can’t accept that again. 🙁

    • bclark856

      July 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Agreed. It’s not Lee’s fault his season is going so bad. He is pitching well, maybe not like in 09, but still really good. It’s the run support. Same thing that happened to Hamels a few years back. Keep Lee, and try and get as much as possible for Pence, and Victorino. Even Pierre and Wiggington. Just keep Lee and get some bats.

  6. Jon

    July 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Absolutely trade Cliff Lee….Rangers have to make a move and now is the time as they too have an aging veteran core. They have position players in the minors to fill Hamilton’s void in the offseason. Any trade must include Profar & 2/3 of the follwing (Olt/Martin/Perez). Keep Pence, trade Vic, Blanton, Wiggington, Pierre, and for god sakes, bring up Brown and give him a legitimate shot. I think he will be a player in the MLB, he just needs a fair shake at it!

  7. The Original Chuck P

    July 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    The Rangers have too many prospects to not shop Lee… Greinke, a rental, netted the Brewers THREE of their top 10 prospects including Jean Segura. If the Phillies could snag Profar and Olt, you do it without thinking twice. If you can get one of those two and an arm… Cody Buckel or maybe Neftali Feliz who is experiencing some elbow soreness and could be a buy low candidate, you consider it. That’s my $0.02.

  8. Chuck A.

    July 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Cliff Lee might be traded!!……again!!!! Oh, boo hoo hoo….

    People….get a grip. Trades are sometimes a necessary part of running a sports franchise. Life WILL go on.

    • The Original Chuck P

      July 30, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      I agree with you but I don’t think you should sell low on Cliff Lee… he’s still an ace and he’s under control. Pence is the only guy I move without reservation… I like Pence but he’s going to cost us a lot of money next year and I think we can replace one year of Pence easier than we can replace four years of Lee.

  9. The Original Chuck P

    July 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    It’s funny to see how MLB TradeRumors has turned into PHILLIES TRADE RUMORS after the sweep this weekend.

  10. Jeff

    July 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    The rangers won’t give the phillies olt for lee. Maybe for
    Zack. A young pitcher. You guys are crazy

    • The Original Chuck P

      July 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      Jeff – Zack has more upside than Lee but Lee is under control… Zack is a rental (he will most likely leave for free agency after this season).

  11. Jon

    July 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Jeff, Olt is far from a guarantee. 24 yr old in AA playing in a hitters league striking out a ton. Texas needs to get over the hump instead of being the bridesmaid each year! No way they get past LAA without a pitcher like Lee.

  12. Chuck A.

    July 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    OCP – from what I’ve read I think there’s maybe a zero percent chance that the Phillies would get Olt AND Profar.

    • The Original Chuck P

      July 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      I recognize that… that’s why I said “IF” they offer Profar and Olt (which they likely won’t). The Rangers haven’t really been willing to offer Profar but I think they would consider moving him… I think that Rangers can afford to lose one of those two but maybe not both but it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Profar, a shortstop, is blocked by a young all-star (Andrus). Olt is older and perhaps more MLB ready and he fills a need for us… it is a given that any deal contains Olt. If the Rangers want to match up with the Angels, they NEED Lee. There is no other pitcher out there that can make an impact in the postseason like Lee. And he’s under control for a while so the Rangers could build around him.

  13. Chuck A.

    July 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Absolutely can’t sell low on Lee….I agree. Especially considering how that deal went down a few years ago and the fact that you don’t want to weaken your rotation with Halladay showing some signs of regression. However, if you can get Olt or Profar (I’ve heard Profar is untouchable?) and maybe two other legit prospects then I think you have to pull the trigger.

    • Brain

      July 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Profar is the #1 prospect and TX will NOT deal him. But Olt, Martin and Perez are expendable considering the depth TX has.

  14. Jon

    July 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I just think the Rangers need to make a bold move and IMO they need Lee more than we necessarily need to move him. I do not fault Ruben for the moves he made because he made moves to improve the team to win now in past years. This year is a perfect example for us Phillie fans that nothing is a guarantee and you need to play for the moment.

  15. Jeff

    July 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Ok and lee is having a horrible year and will make more on
    The books for the next three seasons then any pitcher. Crazy.

    Great deal ruin

    • Jon

      July 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Horrible year is a bit harsh. Considering the team scores nothing for him has to be taken into consideration. Still one of the top LHP in baseball and definitely a guy I would want on the mound in the playoffs.

      Jeff, what are your suggestions for fixing this team?

  16. Jeff

    July 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Get rid of pence. To much money for a horrible fielder and free swinger. Bring Brown up now. Trade Lee and swing those prospects to padres for headly. Move utley to left and galvis to second. Get Blanton out for a middle reliever. Keep Shane in center. Bring back mad dog next season for the 8 th. we can find cheap pitching around doc and cole.

    • Chuck A.

      July 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      Jeff, that’s actually not a bad plan. It probably won’t happen but it kinda makes sense.

  17. bacardipr

    July 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I wasnt big on Galvis from get go. He grew on me just a little. However, not enough that i want him as a starter, not with his questionable bat. Galvis however can fill the role of Martinez. I would like to see if his bat improves after a full season of MLB. With a already weak offense we cant afford to have a starter with a possible BA hovering around .225. Even more so if the Phils decide to tender Polly’s 2013 option, which may be a real possibility.

  18. Don M

    July 30, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    “Brian” above, said it perfectly – “Profar is the #1 prospect and TX will NOT deal him. But Olt, Martin and Perez are expendable considering the depth TX has.”

    Texas could potentially lose Hamilton and Napoli … Cruz can’t stay healthy.. Young isn’t getting any younger . . . the time for them to go for it is now… the runner-up from the past two seasons, nobody would blame them for trading expendable pieces to bring in a legit ACE …. I don’t think money is a big issue for them either as they have a mega TV deal – which I believe was the basis for why the Phillies are expecitng a megs TV deal- and also aren’t worried about the luxury tax (besides THIS season).

    • loupossehl

      July 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Young isn’t getting any younger and Olt is getting older. The Rangers are a mess.

  19. Jeff

    July 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Lee has been bad. Giving up 4 homers in a game. He is very
    Hittable. How bout the lead in the playoffs

  20. Lefty

    July 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Jeff I like the Madson idea if he can prove he’s healthy. After the way things have gone this year, count me all in for Mad Dog.

    BUT- No more than a two year deal, he couldn’t even get more than one year last offseason. If he wants more then I’d say no, not that anyone in the Phils F.O. gives a crap what I think.

  21. Lefty

    July 30, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    A good reason not to trade Lee came from the Cole Hamels press conference.

    Hamels: “Having Doc and Cliff, they are a big part of why I want to be here, to be with two of the best pitchers in baseball and be able to go out there and have the confidence that you’re playing with guys who are the most talented pitchers in baseball, you can learn a lot from them and you can feed off them. And I think all three of us, we can feed off of each other. And when we get rolling, I think we have the confidence that no one can stop us.”

    Did Amaro make Cole any promises about not trading Lee to get him to sign?

  22. Chuck A.

    July 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    If Ruben made a promise to Cole that he wouldn’t trade Cliff then he’s pretty stupid. And Cole would be stupid to ask that of Ruben in the first place. However, I get why a certain player might want some sort of reassurances that the team he’s signing with is serious about contending for the next several years….that’s not weird or wrong at all. But to have some sort of guarantee that a aprticular teammate is staying put seems over the top to me.

    • Jeff Dowder

      July 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      RAJ also promised Lee’s wife that he wouldn’t trade him again. It doesn’t really matter though, that contract is impossible to trade without picking up a major portion of it.

  23. Lefty

    July 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Would you really put that past Ruben? I wouldn’t

  24. Lefty

    July 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    And just after I write that, I switch screens, and Jayson Stark is reporting a Lee trade with Texas is “not going to happen”

  25. Ken Bland

    July 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Least of all evils?

    “In three starts at Camden Yards, he is 2-1 with a 6.27 ERA and has allowed four homers in 18 2/3 innings.

    In his career against the AL East – including the Orioles – he is 11-15 with a 5.18 ERA in 39 starts, and has served up 33 homers in that span. The only team he has a winning record and sub-5.00 against in the division is the Toronto Blue Jays (4-2, 3.48 ERA in eight games)”.

    Numbers from Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun.

    The trade seems like it will go down, but seems is in the sentence because Joe just doesn’t seem like a Dan Duquette sort of guy.

    We’ll see.

  26. Psujoe

    July 30, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    If the Phil’s can get Schoop for Blanton that would be a great deal. Anoth young SS/2B prospect.

    • Ken Bland

      July 30, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      What do you like about him? Just that he’s a prospect, or something in particular about him?

      I was looking at some numbers of his year with Bowie. Month by month, he’s been upticking his extra basehits.

      70 batting average point discrepancy in favor of facing lefties (.290 V .220).

      Some report I read in this jumbled news day indicated the O’s want the Phils to pay some of Joe’s salary. Must be the old if you want this particular proispect, you have to pay.

  27. Ken Bland

    July 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    If the Phils are to consider dealing Cliff in the offseason, here’s something that might be a factor. And frankly, since I’m stabbing for truth here, might not be a factor at all.

    My understanding is Cliff submits a list of 8 teams he can be traded to each year.

    Frequent rumors would have you believe the Yanks and Rangers are on the “okay 8 list.”

    Today, stories circulated about how he doesn’t want to leave, and all that warm fuzzy stuff.

    If he wants to stay so badly, why does the 2012 list include 2 of the few clubs that could seemingly afford him?

    Sometimes, players have partial no trades so they can renegotiate with suitors with money.
    Like a no trade to the Yanks doesn’t mean you hate the Big Apple, it means you know you can get some extra caishe if they want you.

    Cliff could apply a similar strategy by allowing for 8 clubs with zero chance of affording him,
    or wanting him based on cycle of rebuild making it virtually impossible to be traded. Da Stros, the Padres, the A’s, Pirates, Reds, Brewers, Orioles, Indians, Mariners, Cubs might have been a good list for 2012 based on economics et al to insure he wouldn’t be dealt. Not exactly a No way, Jose list within the scope of anything’s possible, but hardly likely.

    I’m sure he could project 8 very unlikely teams that would want him in 2013 for next year’s list.

    Might force the Phils, if they are going to try to reduce salary to look elsewhere on the roster to do so, if his list has to be submitted early enough in the offseason. For now, and until that date, it would APPEAR that he might have included 8 teams he wouldn’t mind playing for, which if he’s that gung ho to keep wearing the red pinstripes (which hopefully he is) he still has control of his own destiny with this strategy.

    It might come down to how early a new list might be due, and how well Cliff can make his 2013 predictions.

  28. The Sarge

    August 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I know you can’t get enough of the Sarge!

    Follow him on Twitter @the_sarge36

    Oh My!! It’s cadillac time!!

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