Lee’s on Waivers! Uh, So What?
Folks, this is not a big deal. Not even a little bit. It wouldn’t surprise me if Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jonathan Papelbon and Jimmy Rollins are placed on waivers this month. Certainly Joe Blanton, Juan Pierre, Ty Wigginton and Placido Polanco will be. Now that the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, players need to clear waivers before they can be traded before Aug. 31.
This is a procedural move designed to give the Phillies flexibility before the end of the month.
Yes, if Lee clears waivers the Phillies can trade him. And I would expect Lee to clear waivers because he is owed $87.5 million beginning next season. Very few teams can absorb that contract. That is the biggest reason why the Phillies had no luck trading him last month. He is owed a ton of money.
But keep in mind waivers are revocable. If Lee is claimed — the claiming team must be prepared to take on his entire contract, making it a tremendous risk to put in a claim — the Phillies can let him go to the team that claimed him. But they also can pull him back or attempt to work out a trade with the claiming team.
If the Phillies pull him back he can no longer be traded until the offseason.
So don’t freak out. Lee hasn’t been released. (I’ve had people ask me if he’s been waived.) He hasn’t been traded. It doesn’t mean he’s going to be traded. It just means the Phillies are trying to give themselves as many options as possible before Aug. 31. You never know. Maybe the Rangers come back to the Phillies this month with an offer they simply can’t refuse.