The release of Tyson Gillies on Sunday was the latest reminder of just how poor the Phillies' return was in the December 2009 trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle. Two of the three players the Phillies acquired have since been released, and Phillippe Aumont has failed three different times to hold a spot in the major-league bullpen. The timing of the release was interesting, because the trade deadline is approaching and Lee again could be on the move. The Phillies' 5-2 road trip briefly dimmed the cries to sell-sell-sell, but there's still a very real possibility that the Phils fall back out of contention before the All-Star break if they fail to perform in their slew of divisional games. If the Phillies do decide this summer to move Lee -- who has aged well aside from the recent elbow injury and is still considered an ace -- they must bring back a better package of prospects. And they must acquire a young player who is also major-league ready and somewhat proven. They cannot opt for pure upside again as they did in December 2009 when they obtained three players who still hadn't even played a full season at Double A. With that said, let's take a look at some potential fits and packages the Phillies should eye in a deal for Lee, who will be owed about $65 million through the end of 2016 if the option on his deal triggers. (And because Lee has a limited no-trade clause, it's likely that he'd need a guarantee that the 2016 option would be exercised before accepting a deal.) Keep in mind that the players highlighted below are not the only ones the Phils should seek in a Lee trade, but ones who should be the centerpieces of legitimate offers.
If Phillies deal Lee, they need MLB-ready talent
CSN Philly | Jun 24