Cliff Lee Trade Rumors: Rangers Prefer Lee To Cole Hamels

Here we go -- again. After signing Cole Hamels to a mega deal, the Philadelphia Phillies are likely a little strapped for cash. So strapped that they may consider listening to offers on co-ace Cliff Lee, and "rival executives" believe that the Phillies will be compelled to listen to offers on Lee. Again.

Per FOX Sports:

Rival team officials believe Amaro has little choice but to at least explore the market for Lee, who has three years and $87.5 million left on his contract after this season. Given the Phillies' high payroll and poor performance this season, the opportunity to save money - and acquire a low-cost replacement of comparable ability - appears too enticing to pass up.

Lee's contract will be an obstacle in all trade talks. Lee will make $25 million a year starting next year through 2015, before making $12.5 million in 2016.

FOX's report also contained this important information as well:

Texas GM Jon Daniels is believed to prefer Lee to Hamels; after all, Daniels offered Lee well more than $100 million as a free agent two offseasons ago. The Rangers would be more likely to trade minor league third baseman Mike Olt for Lee, than a two-month rental such as Milwaukee's Zack Greinke.

Lee can block a trade to 21 teams -- but the Rangers are not one of those teams.

Earlier this week, I wrote about Lee's potential availability and his fit in Texas. After Colby Lewis' injury, Lee to the Rangers makes even more sense, especially in conjunction with the $140 million dollar deal Cole Hamels just landed.

We'll see what happens in the next week, but it's certainly something to keep an eye on going forward.

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