Phillies GM Ruben Amaro is hoping the veteran-laden Phillies can stay in the race all season, as this is Amaro’s last-ditch effort with this group of players. However, if they get to the trade deadline as a sub-.500 team and a fire sale ensues, Cliff Lee will be the Phils’ most marketable asset and offers the best chance of bringing back a significant prospect package.
Lee (3-4 with a 3.23 ERA this season) makes $25 million a year through 2015 but has a vesting option for 2016 at $27.5 million if he pitches 200 innings in 2015 or 400 innings in 2014 and 2015 combined. The Phillies might have to eat some of the contract depending on the prospect package they receive. Either way, due to his contract, age and limited no-trade clause that blocks 20 teams, Lee won’t have a long list of suitors.