If it's July, Cliff Lee must be on the trade market.
Actually, Lee hasn't been traded during the season since 2010. Chances are, he will not be traded before the non-waiver deadline at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday. But the Phillies are discussing their All-Star left-hander with other clubs, according to major league sources, creating the possibility of another Lee blockbuster.
One rival executive on Sunday night acknowledged the Phillies' willingness to trade Lee but said the team would do it only "for a lot!!!" -- meaning, a steep package of talent.
The Phils' demands, however, would be but one obstacle to a deal. The other obstacles would include:
- Lee's contract:
Lee, 34, is owed nearly $9 million for the rest of this season, salaries of $25 million in both 2014 and '15 and a $27.5 million option or $12.5 million buyout in '16.
A team such as the Boston Red Sox or Los Angeles Dodgers might be willing to absorb such a deal but likely would not part with substantial talent unless the...