Trade Rumor: Phillies Make Cliff Lee Available

Starting pitcher Cliff Lee #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after allowing the go-ahead run in the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Two facts that, bizarrely enough, are not mutually exclusive:

Fact No. 1: Cliff Lee has won exactly one game in 2012.

Fact No. 2: A lot of teams would love to add Cliff Lee to their pitching rotation.

And your third bonus fact? The Phillies are dead and, according to at least one source, are willing to trade Cliff to someone who's not dead.

The Phillies could use a third baseman, since as things stand now they don't have a third baseman lined up for next season. Not a good one, anyway. And Olt might be good, though some wonder about the ceiling for a 23-year-old hitter who's still toiling in the Class AA Texas League.

What would make such a deal particularly odd? It would be the second time for Lee getting traded to the Rangers in July; the last time was in 2010, when he went just 4-6 in 15 starts for Texas down the stretch. He did pitch brilliantly in the first two rounds of the postseason that October, before getting knocked around by the Giants in the World Series.

Any team trading for Lee does have to consider one small matter: Lee's large contract, which guarantees him $87.5 million after this season.

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