What we already knew was that the Phillies weren't entirely opposed to the idea of trading Cliff Lee and his contract. What we already knew was that a Cliff Lee trade between the Phillies and Rangers was unlikely. Now it looks like we can bump that one level north of "unlikely." Reports:
Source says Cliff Lee deal to Texas is "not going to happen." More to come at ESPN.com— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 30, 2012
It's confirmed that the Phillies and Rangers did talk about a Cliff Lee trade -- this wasn't just speculation -- but nothing got going. The spark didn't catch. Teams exchange plenty of names, all the time, and most of those name-exchanges don't lead to trades, and this name-exchange won't lead to a trade, probably. Lee is outstanding, but he's simply due too much money over the rest of his contract, and the Rangers don't want to take on the bulk of that. It seems.
With the deadline still nearly a full day away, you never know when one team might suddenly change its mind about something, so we can't declare with 100-percent certainty that Cliff Lee will not get traded to the Rangers. He just almost certainly won't. He almost certainly won't get traded anywhere this week.