Why Philadelphia Phillies Would Be Wise to Hold on to Cliff Lee

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Why Philadelphia Phillies Would Be Wise to Hold on to Cliff Lee
Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Wouldn’t this be a familiar situation?  The Philadelphia Phillies sign one pitcher to a long-term contract extension and quickly trade another member of their starting rotation?

Well, at least one team could have interest in seeing that happen.

The Philadelphia Phillies would take the top starting pitcher off the market if they were to sign Cole Hamels to a long-term contract extension prior to the trade deadline.

But that doesn’t mean the interest in their starting rotation would lessen.

According to Danny Knobler on CBSSports.com, the Texas Rangers could turn their attention to Cliff Lee if Hamels were to be taken off the block.

Knobler mentions that it’s a long-shot, but a recent tweet by Jim Salisbury also suggests that the Rangers could have interest in Lee.

Lee’s soon-to-be yearly salary of $25 million is both a reason why the Phillies could explore trade options if they sign Hamels to an extension, and a reason why other teams might shy away. However, this is the same pitcher whose 17-8 record and 2.40 ERA led to his finishing third in National League Cy Young award voting last season.

Yes, signing Hamels long-term could make trading Lee a good idea, eventually.  But trading him for the sake of shedding payroll, especially when he is currently 1-6, would not be a good idea this season.

Here are five reasons why the Phillies would be wise to hold on to Lee at the trade deadline.

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