MLB Trade Rumors: Could Cliff Lee Signing Make Josh Johnson Available?

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MLB Trade Rumors: Could Cliff Lee Signing Make Josh Johnson Available?
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The numerous ways that the Philadelphia Phillies are affected by the signing of free agent left hander, Cliff Lee, are well documented.

In fact, so much has been made about Lee and the rest of the Phillies' rotation has basically overshadowed what the signing means for the rest of the league, and in comparison, the division, outside the fact that many experts believe the Phillies are the favorites to win it. We must also examine, however, the decisions that teams will have to face to react to this signing.

Three out of the remaining four teams are easy to evaluate. The Atlanta Braves believe that they can compete with the Phillies' rotation, and rightfully so. Outside of a couple of upgrades to their outfield, and maybe the bench, they seem to be settled.

The New York Mets and Washington Nationals will undergo, or continue, different rebuilding phases. The Mets will attempt to work young talent back on to their roster and receive boosts from returning, injured veterans, and the Nationals will continue to develop their farm system with little output at the Major League level.

But what about the Florida Marlins?

The Marlins operate in a unique way. Never completely set into a competitive or rebuilding phase, they are the hardest to predict. On one hand, the Marlins always seem to make a commitment to winning, but on the other, they always seem to make questionable moves by trading away valuable pieces of their Major League roster.

So where does the Cliff Lee signing leave the Marlins, and more specifically, their most valuable commodity—ace, Josh Johnson?

The following slideshow will examine some reasons that the Marlins may benefit from moving the face of their rotation, and why the Cliff Lee signing may have forced their hand a bit more than they would have liked.

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