The big hurdle in Cliff Lee trades
As someone noted on Twitter on Monday, the Phillies' relationship with Cliff Lee has been like Ross and Rachel, or like something out of "90210." They get together; they break up; they get back together again; they break up.
Then, that winter, after the Phillies came to believe that Lee wouldn't sign a reasonable long-term deal with them, they made an aggressive trade to get rid of him -- swapping him to the Seattle Mariners before speaking with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and other possible bidders. (None of the prospects the Phillies got in that deal have made a dent in the big leagues.)
Just one year later, in December 2010, the Phillies made another aggressive move to get Lee, giving him the second-highest annual salary ever for a starting pitcher as part of a five-year, $120 million deal. General manager Ruben Amaro told reporters he should've never let Lee get away.
But a year and a half later, as the Phillies deal with the squeeze caused by their collection of massive contracts, they are looking to move Lee to get some financial relief, and their level of investment in the left-hander has become the biggest hurdle to a breakup.
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