Via Jon Morosi: The Yankees are one of 20 teams (!) included in Cliff Lee’s no-trade clause. He can also block trades to the Red Sox, Orioles, and Rangers. There has been some speculation the disappointing Phillies could put the left-hander on the trade market to kick start a rebuild.
Lee, 34, has pitched to a 2.45 ERA (2.60 FIP) despite his lowest strikeout (7.54 K/9 and 21.6 K%) and ground ball (41.8%) rates in years. He is owed approximately $80M through 2015, but that could jump to $94M if his option for 2016 vests. Players put big market teams on their no-trade clauses all the time so they can get something out of it, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Lee wanted the option exercised in return for agreeing to a deal. There’s no word on whether the Yankees would be interested in acquiring the southpaw, but Brian Cashman & Co. have been enamored with him for quite some time. I have to think they’ll check in if he does hit the market.