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Phillies trade rumors: Cliff Lee's no-trade list revealed

The left-hander drew a large scouting presence in his return last night.

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Hunter Martin

Phillies' lefty Cliff Lee struggled in his first appearance since May 18 last night, surrendering six earned runs on twelve hits in 5.2 innings of work while seeing a drop in velocity. Despite his struggles, Lee is expected to be the subject of constant trade rumors in the nine days before the trade deadline, and could be moved to a team looking for rotation help.

As Jerry Crasnick of reported, eleven teams-- the Tigers, Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners, Brewers, Angels, Royals, Giants, Rangers, Diamondbacks and Pirates-- had scouts in attendance for Lee's start last night. Obviously some of those teams may not be actively looking to acquire Lee, but the large turnout shows just how much the southpaw is coveted among teams looking for starting pitching.

Lee can block a trade to 21 teams as part of his partial no-trade clause, and Crasnick reveals that he can not block a deal to the Braves, Marlins, Indians, Astros, Twins, Mets, Padres, Nationals and Rays. Because most of those teams are out of contention, it seems as though the Braves and Indians are the two most likely spots for him on the list of destinations that he has no control over.

Lee can block deals to many contenders, including all eleven teams that scouted him on Monday night. The Yankees, Mariners, Orioles and Pirates would seem to be among the most likely candidates to pursue him, but any trade to those teams would have to be approved by the southpaw.

Lee, 35, is 4-5 with a 3.67 ERA in eleven starts on the season. He is owed roughly $9.5M for the rest of this season, $25M next season and anywhere from $12.5M to $27.5M in 2016, meaning that any team that acquires him will pay an estimated $47M-$62M over the next three seasons.

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