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Ken Rosenthal Toys With Our Emotions, Say Phillies Still In Cliff Lee Race

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Phillies are still in the bidding for free agent pitcher Cliff Lee. While he said the extent of the Phillies involvement in the process is unknown, a source tells him that the Phils are “not out.”

Until now, it seems like the Cliff Lee sweepstakes was down to the Yankees and Rangers. Problem is while there’s little doubt Reuben Amaro would love to bring Lee back, it’s hard to see where they’d come up with the cash to do it. The team has $146 million on the payroll for next season. To make room for Lee they’d have to find a taker for Joe Blanton’s $8.5 million dollar deal and maybe jettison some other players as well. Even after that, they’d probably have to come up with upwards of $10 to $15 million in the budget.

Rosenthal acknowledges another source that expressed skepticism over the Phillies ability to make the deal work.

Another source with knowledge of the Phillies’ budget said then that it would take, “Nothing short of a miracle,” for the team to make the finances work.

So it’s extremely unlikely the Phillies could make a deal for Lee work, but for some reason either the team or the media or both feel the need to keep our poor hopes alive…