PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 15: Pitcher Cliff Lee #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies talks with the media while general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. watches during a press conference at Citizens Bank Park on December 15 2010 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
UPDATE 6:13 PM EST: The Los Angeles Dodgers are the unknown team, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. However, it remains unlikely they will be able to acquire the southpaw.
Original Story: Philadelphia Phillies left-handed starting pitcher Cliff Lee has been claimed off waivers by an unknown team, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The southpaw had been recently placed on waivers, which was expected.
Cliff lee did NOT clear waivers— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 3, 2012
While it is unclear of Philadelphia's intentions, we will soon find out. The Phillies have several options and all are in play; the team can pull Lee off waivers to keep him for the remainder of the year and explore trade possibilities in the off-season or assign Lee along with his extremely large contract to the claiming team. Philadelphia can also try to work a trade out with the claiming team, but will be limited on time.
After 2012, the 33-year-old Lee is guaranteed $25 million annually for the next three years. A vesting option would trigger a $27.5 million guaranteed salary and remove any possibility of an expensive buyout ($12.5 million).