One person saying it wouldn't make me pay much attention. But a whole chorus of voices cannot be ignored.
As @jcrasnick wrote last week, the Phillies are discussing Cliff Lee with small # of teams. It's unclear why they don't market him broadly.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 30, 2013
A top AL exec on Cliff Lee and the #Phillies: "They are definitely open to trading him."— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 29, 2013
Speculation, but informed speculation:NL exec who has spoken w Amaro lately thinks Phils move Cliff Lee. Chose Boston as likely destination.— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) July 30, 2013
Buster Olney tweeted just yesterday that Cliff Lee was not on the Phillies' list of available players. Obviously things have changed. Or they have been *rumored* to change, since that's all these are -- rumors. Though these tweets may read as confident and self assured, it's important to remember that none of this has been confirmed.
But while we're riding the speculation train to Rumor Junction, we might as well make a few other stops along the way. Jon Heyman wrote two Phillies-centric pieces today, one about Lee and one about Chase Utley. The piece about Cliff Lee echoes the above tweets -- he is available. But at what cost? This is a particularly great quote about the asking price for Lee:
Another executive put it thusly, "You'd have to give up your first born, second and third born, too."
That seems like quite a lot! Something tells me that executive was being hyperbolic, or exaggerating for dramatic effect. I don't think that even Ruben Amaro would ask for someone's children in exchange for one of the best pitchers in the game. It's the job of his assistants to talk him out of doing crazy things like that!
Heyman's piece on Utley made me much happier, and right now my happiness is all I can think about since I just had to embed three tweets about Cliff Lee being available (I'M NOT CRYING YOU CAN'T PROVE IT). Heyman reported that two executives who were interested in Utley were told that he was not available. (*exhale*) Heyman goes on to say that the Phillies are attempting to sign him to an extension. Both Heyman and Andy Martino of the New York Daily News cite Carlos Beltran's 2 year, $26m deal as a template (superb if true), though Heyman says "some have suggested" while Martino cites a wholly unidentified NL executive as suggesting that.
Martino's same NL executive also had this to say about Michael Young:
Same exec is sure Michael Young is being traded. Yankees and Red Sox were the guesses there.— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) July 30, 2013
Both Boston and New York have been cited as possible destinations for Young before, but here is a new person saying it.
As the estimable Trev223 said to me earlier, trade rumors "have a shelf life of minutes." We'll keep you updated as we continue on the speculation train to Rumor Junction, just one stop of many on our way to Trade Deadline Gulch, ETA 41 hours and counting.