Bowden: Deals that should have happened
With Felix Hernandez not on the trade market, the only No. 1 starter that could be had is Lee of the Phillies. Mike Olt would solve the Phillies’ third base position and fifth spot in the lineup for the next decade while Buckel should develop into a middle-of-the-rotation starter. With a revised rotation of Lee, Dempster, Harrison, Darvish and Holland, the Rangers would be poised for a third chance at a World Series championship.
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Not only would the Rangers have had to be willing to deal a top prospect like Olt, but the Phillies, according to reports, weren't willing to take on much of Lee's remaining contract. Sure, the Rangers have an ownership group willing to spend. But the Rangers are in position for another run at a World Series because they've spent smartly (for the most part). Lee has three more years at $25 million each on his deal and an option year at $27.5 million for 2016 (with a $12.5 million buyout).
Some of you asked me why the money was such a big deal when the Rangers offered Lee such a large contract after the 2010 season. But part of the point of that kind of deal would be to get the benefit of the first two seasons of the agreement, when Lee would be at his youngest in the life of the contract. So in no way would you give Lee the deal that was on the table nearly two years ago. And paying Lee's entire remaining contract could hamstring the club from signing other players in future years.
So it didn't come together and it looks like Lee will be with Philadelphia for the rest of the season. It should be interesting to see what the Phillies do in the offseason.
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