Although his trade value is likely to be diminished by news that he has been scratched from his start tomorrow with neck stiffness, the Phillies are finally ready to at least pick up the phones for teams interested in acquiring Cliff Lee. This news comes straight from the horses mouth, as Ruben Amaro had some interesting quotes for ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, prior to tonight’s game against the Tigers.
First, Crasnick lays out that there are already teams competing for Lee’s services as we close in on the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.
Multiple teams are making a late run at the Philadelphia Phillies with offers for pitcher Cliff Lee as Wednesday’s trade deadline nears, baseball sources told ESPN.com Friday.
Then, Crasnick laid out two quotes from Ruben Amaro Jr., that show that while Ruben doesn’t feel inclined to trade Lee or anyone, he certainly is listening to trade offers.
“I never put any real absolutes on anything,” Amaro said by phone Friday. “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, or Michael Young or Chooch (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 fact that Amaro was willing to deliver this quote, shows that he may be coming to grips that the 2013 Phillies aren’t a playoff team. The most interesting part of the quote, wasn’t him talking about Cliff Lee. It was one of the names who he didn’t mention-Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon’s name not even being mentioned probably shows that the Phillies don’t view his value as high enough to even consider moving him.