During his weekly Thursday spot for Sports Radio WIP in Philadelphia, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons suggested that the Phillies, due to their last-place standing and the changes in compensation for free agents, may explore getting into an area where they can sign pending FA Cole Hamels and trade Cliff Lee, who turns 34 next month and signed through 2015 with an option for 2016.
If that were the case, Gammons said a big-market team would go for Lee in a hurry, and one of those teams could be the Yankees. Ironically, the Yankees were this-close to trading for Lee in 2010 before the Mariners chose to do business with the Rangers. That winter, Lee turned down the Yankees’ seven-year, $148 million offer for five and $120M in Philadelphia, a place he claimed he never wanted to leave. (Lee was traded from the Phillies to the M’s in December 2009).
The Phillies are 37-50, losers of four straight and 10 of 11, and are closer to the last-place Astros in the National League than the East-leading Nationals. The Yankees have professed fiscal responsibility and are aiming for a payroll under $189 million by 2014. Lee will cost a contender top prospects and the acceptance of the left-hander’s contract. That along with Brian Cashman’s insistence he’s not looking to do anything big by the July 31 trade deadline would put the Yankees out of play.
Or would it?
"The Yankees can say all they want that they won't trade," Gammons said (LISTEN HERE). "I do think it's not exactly in Brian Cashman’s DNA to trade young players, but it's different when you're Cliff Lee. I think there's a possibility. I really do. I think (the Phillies) can get more for Cliff Lee than for Cole Hamels."
-- See Pinstripe Alley for complete discussion and analysis of the Yankees