Updated 11:25 AM EDT, Wed, Sep 30, 2020

MLB Trade Rumors: Cliff Lee Likely to Be Traded Before July; NY Yankees, LA Dodgers, NY Yankees Front-runners

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Former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee could find himself pitching for another ballclub as the Philadelphia Phillies look to unload his hefty paycheck this season, a reliable league source disclosed on Thursday.

The 35-year-old Lee will likely be moved before the trade deadline, if the Phillies are not in position to contend for a World Series championship this season. The former Cy Young winner is still owed $50 million over the next two years and $75 million over the next three years, but teams—especially World Series contenders—are expected to make a gamble for him in July.

"Lee has been the subject of trade rumors each of the last two seasons, but Phillies management, hoping for one more run at a championship, has hung on to him. If the 2014 Phillies aren't positioned to make that run in July, this might end up being the season that management pulls the trigger on Lee," CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury reported.

Lee finished 2013 with a 14-8 slate, a 2.87 ERA and 222 strikeouts in 222.2 innings pitched despite his advanced age.

Bleacher Report's featured columnist Alex Espinoza believes teams will have second thoughts about acquiring Lee via trade, but the veteran hurler can easily downplay these doubts with another strong start in the 2014 season.

Espinoza stated the Phillies front office might be aware of their inability to contend with the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves in the National League East, and are now preparing to unload some big contracts.

Big-spending teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees are expected to make a run at Lee, who could easily boost any team's pitching squad next season.

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