WASHINGTON — The Phillies placed Cliff Lee on trade waivers, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports, which is merely standard procedure this time of year. Most teams place a majority of their players on waivers after Aug. 1 regardless if they intend on trading them or not.
Lee is likely to go unclaimed because he is owed approximately $95 million through 2015. If a team claims him, the Phillies can pull him back, negotiate a trade with the claimant, or simply allow that team to absorb his entire contract. It's highly doubtful anyone claims Lee for risk of inheriting a massive commitment.
The Phillies, a baseball source says, were not willing to assume any of Lee's remaining salary during trade talks before July 31. They were also asking for a bounty of top prospects in return.
Lee has a no-trade clause that prevents a deal to 21 teams without his consent.