This afternoon Jayson Stark stated on ESPN.com that the Philadelphia Phillies were the rumored "mystery team" in the mix, along with the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees, for the services of a free agent known as Cliff Lee.
Later in the evening, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal cofirmed via Twitter that the Phillies are involved in the pursuit of Lee. Other info via the likes of Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman (yes, the real one) and others state that the Yankees still have the edge on the monetary value of the contracts offered. However, if location means enough, as Lee stated in the past that he loved his time in Philadelphia, the Phils are certainly a contender to be high on Lee's list of desired destinations.
Other reports state that the Phillies have touched base with multiple teams in an effort to trade Joe Blanton, which would help to free up money in the team's ever-rising payroll. Blanton is owed $8.5 million ($17 million total) in each of the 2 years remaining on his contract.
If the Phillies do re-acquire Cliff Lee, plenty of Phillies fans will be overjoyed. However, it will still stand to be mulled over by some that the Phillies gave up several top prospects for Lee, later gave Lee away for very little to Seattle and then spent more money than they've ever given any pitcher to bring him back. Of course, the Phillies' inclusion in the Lee Lottery could simply be a method by Lee's camp to drive up the offers from the other bidders.
**UPDATE- TR Sullivan broke the news first, on Monday night, that the Rangers were informed that Cliff Lee had reached an agreement with the Phillies. Early reports state that the deal will be in the 5-years/$100 million range. More news as it becomes available.**
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