Cliff Lee’s reputation as a hired gun has not gone unnoticed. And not just here in Philadelphia, but in national circles.
The ace lefty doesn’t own a full no-trade clause and, depending on how the Phils come out of the All-Star break, the trade rumors are only going to pick up steam. Lee (10-3, 2.86 ERA) can only control what he can control.
“My job is to perform and give a team a chance to win, for whatever team I’m with,” Lee said. “Right now it’s the Phillies and I hope it’s the Phillies for the rest of my career.”
GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. previously stated that he would prefer to retain Lee in the second half. The Phillies made up monumental ground heading into the break, courtesy of a 7-3 homestand to get back to the .500 mark, and are very much alive in both the divisional and wild-card races. Of course, a swoon in late July could alter those plans.
“We’re six-and-a-half back,” Lee said. “We’ve been playing well the last three to four weeks, winning series and showing positive signs of playing good baseball. I have no other option but to look at it as we’re in it and we’re going to catch up with the Braves, and we’re going to win the division and win the World Series.”
As the summer months heat up, so will the trade rumors. Amaro recently indicated that the Phils are leaning towards buying versus selling at this point. Lee can’t comment on any of that.
“I think we’re in the race but as far as adding players, you have to talk to Ruben about that,” Lee said. “I don’t know. I don’t make those decisions.”