Slumping Phillies prepare to clean house
By QMI Agency
|Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee pitches against the New York Mets during the fourth inning of their MLB National League baseball game at CitiField in New York earlier this month. (REUTERS)
The cellar-dwelling Philadelphia Phillies have gone into full-fledged sell mode after a lost weekend against the Atlanta Braves.
Starting pitchers Cliff Lee and Joe Blanton and outfielder Hunter Pence are among the players who could be moved before the non-waiver trade deadline Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
The Phillies, last in the NL East with a 45-57 record, have renewed trade talks regarding Lee, according to multiple reports Monday. The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers were said to be interested in the 33-year-old left-hander with the big contract.
The Phillies also are offering right-hander Blanton and the Baltimore Orioles have shown the most interest, sources told MLB.com. The 31-year-old has an 8-9 record with a 4.59 earned-run average.
The San Francisco Giants reportedly are negotiating with the Phillies for outfielder Pence, who is batting .268 with 17 home runs and 59 RBI this season. The 29-year-old is making $10.4 million and becomes eligible for arbitration in the off-season.
Money could be an obstacle in trying to deal Lee, who is 1-6 with a 3.95 ERA this season. He was a rental player for Texas in 2010, helping the Rangers to the World Series, then, as a free agent, signed with the Phillies for five years and $120 million.
There will be $75 million remaining on his contract after this season.
Phillies outfielders Shane Victorino and Juan Pierre and infielder Ty Wigginton also are available.