Phillies trade rumors: Phillies will listen to offers on Cliff Lee

Jim McIsaac

While it is unlikely that they move the lefty, the Phillies will at least listen to what teams have to offer for him.

The Philadelphia Phillies are not closing the door on a potential trade involving Cliff Lee and will listen to offers for the star left-hander, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.

Crasnick notes that "multiple teams are making a late run at the Phillies with offers for Lee", and spoke with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. about the possibility of dealing the 34-year old.

"I never put any real absolutes on anything," Amaro said. "Although we don't have any desire to move a guy like that because we view him as someone who will be key to our future, I am a businessperson as well and I'll be a good listener."

"I can't sit here and say I'm not going to trade Chase Utley, or Cliff Lee, or Michael Young or Carlos Ruiz, or any of these guys. Some guys are less tradable than others. But I think I owe it to us as an organization to listen. If teams are going to come at us and suggest things, I'm not going to turn off the faucet and stop listening to them."

The Phillies, who made headlines on Friday night by agreeing to sign star Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, are in a difficult position as the trade deadline approaches.

They currently sit nine games back of the NL East-leading Braves, but have not committed to become sellers at the deadline. While teams have shown interest in assets like Lee, Young, Ruiz, Utley and closer Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia has shown a reluctance to give up on the season by selling key assets.

Young has drawn interest from many teams, including the Yankees, Red Sox, Reds and Rangers, and is the most likely Phillie to be dealt before the deadline.

The team is reportedly working on an extension with Utley, and deals involving Ruiz or Papelbon are considered very unlikely. If Lee hits the market, he would instantly become the top starter available over Jake Peavy, Ervin Santana and Bud Norris.

Lee can block trades to twenty teams due to a partial no-trade clause in his contract, as Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reported in June. The Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles and Rangers are among the teams on that list, and the Cardinals are not.

While Texas is all set after acquiring Matt Garza and Lee is probably out of Baltimore's price range, the Red Sox and Cardinals are known to be actively looking for starting pitching. Unlike Boston, St. Louis could pull off a deal for the left-hander without Lee's approval, which would be an easier process.

Other teams in the market for starters include the Blue Jays, Pirates, Dodgers and Athletics, but it is unclear at this time if Lee can block a trade to any of those teams.

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