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MLB Trade Rumors: Did Cliff Lee’s Latest Start Impress Enough for New York Yankees to Make Trade?

July 26th, 2014 at 11:07 PM
By Douglas Rush

On Saturday night, Cliff Lee took the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies in what could perhaps be his final start of his second stint with the team.

Lee, who has been subject of many trade talks, especially with the New York Yankees, was looking to rebound from a rough 1st start back from the disabled list after surrendering six runs and 12 hits over 5.2 innings in a loss to the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.

Pitching against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park, Lee went five innings, allowed three runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out four while throwing 85 pitches, 53 of which were for strikes.

This was a much better outing for Lee this time around as he didn't get slapped around like last time; in fact, the only extra-base hit Lee allowed was a solo home run to Martin Prado; everything else Lee allowed was a single.

With the trade speculation running rampant, Lee may have done just enough for a team like the Yankees to want to take on his remaining $50 million and put him in their rotation if the Phillies are looking to shed his contract. 

The Yankees rotation currently consists of Hiroki Kuuroda, Brandon McCarthy, Chris Capuano, Shane Greene and David Phelps; Chase Whitey was in the rotation again briefly but was demoted back to the bullpen when they acquired Capuano. While the rotation is being held together by scotch tape, that rotation isn't good enough to make any kind of playoff run, especially if Masahiro Tanaka needs Tommy John Surgery and will be forced to miss the rest o 2014, plus a good portion of 2015.

While teams might be looking at David Price, Ian Kennedy, Jorge De La Rosa or John Danks, Lee may be the pitcher that still makes most sense for the Yankees before the July 31 trade deadline, as they can afford his salary and need him in the rotation to make a run at October baseball.

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