Analysis

Phillies Rumors: Lee, Blanton, Pierre

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

-The latest on Cliff Lee comes from Buster Olney of ESPN.com, 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. CBSSports.com 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 FoxSports.com 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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