Cliff Lee Rumors: Phillies Put Lee "In Play"

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 24: Cliff Lee #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park on July 24, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

UPDATE 1:49 PM EDT - An MLB executive believes Lee will either be traded to the Rangers or stick with the Phillies due to his exorbitant salary, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

1:00 PM EDT - The Philadelphia Phillies have put left-hander Cliff Lee "in play in trade talks," according to Buster Olney of ESPN:

Olney considers the Texas Rangers to be the "most logical landing spot" for Lee, as they can offer the Phillies a package built around top third base prospect Mike Olt.

Joel Sherman of The New York Post seconded Olney’s belief, calling the Rangers the frontrunner for the south paw. He spoke with an executive who told him Lee would be traded by the deadline tomorrow or in the off-season because the Phillies "need youth back plus dollars saved."

Olney adds that the New York Yankees, who have been tied to Lee in the past, are "not expected to be in the mix" for him because they don’t have room in their budget to get involved.

It was reported earlier this morning that the Phillies could become an active seller over the next two days.

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Should the Phillies trade Lee or keep the big three intact?

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