Cliff Lee’s No-Trade List is Revealed, But It Really Doesn’t Mean Much

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Scouts watching Lee last night, via (@M_Coca_COLA)

Jerry Crasnick, writing for, reports on the nine teams Cliff Lee can be traded to without his consent:

Lee’s deal also includes a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block trades to 20 teams. According to a baseball source, Lee has listed Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston, Miami, Minnesota, the New York Mets, San Diego, Tampa Bay and Washington as the nine teams he can be traded to without his consent.

Against that backdrop, the Tigers, Pirates, Orioles, Mariners, Angels, Royals, Blue Jays and Giants — contenders all — were among a dozen teams that had scouts at Monday’s game. No one can say for sure who was on hand to expressly scout Lee, in part because the Phillies have so many other tradable commodities on their roster.

Good reporting there. These lists often aren’t ever made public. But, it doesn’t mean much. Typically when players have a limited no-trade clause and are able to select teams to which they’d accept a trade, they choose small market franchises and division rivals. Why? Because the small market teams can’t afford them and there’s little chance a franchise would want to see a traded star a dozen times per season. So, with the exception of Cleveland, Lee’s former team, this list basically represents the teams Lee would never get dealt to. But that doesn’t mean Lee couldn’t or wouldn’t waive his NTC to go the Yankees, Giants, Orioles, Angels or whomever else. Listing unlikely suitors just means that he’ll get to have a say in all al this. Hashtag themoreyouknow.


11 Responses

    1. While Lee certainly bears some blame, it was actually Charlie Manuel who blew the 2011 playoffs by playing his full squad against Atlanta in the final series. Let Atlanta win one and the hot team doesn’t make the playoffs. Charlie saw first hand what the hot team does the year before.

      1. I’ll never give Charlie the blame for that one.
        As much as i thought “uh oh” from the moment that the Cardinals entered the playoffs that year; i would never wish that my team tanked a game. That being said, i recall that many regulars were not played that final game anyway and the braves still found a way to lose it. It would have taken a very suspicious/extraordinary tanking effort to lose that last game.

  1. Kyle as is so often the case, you added nothing to the ESPN story you pasted. He needs to approve a trade to some cities and not others as listed by ESPN. We got that, thx.

    1. I disagree. Most people think that a player’s approval list are teams “he’d want to go to,” which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s usually the list of teams that he’d be unlikely to get traded to, effectively giving him a full no-trade clause. Crasnick didn’t really spell that out. It’s fair to criticize for copy and paste, but in this case I think I added useful context to the quote. It’s a little more complex than “needs to approve a trade to some cities and not others.” But that’s assuming you’re even able to grasp that low-level strategery.

      1. I disagree with your disagreement. How is it effectively a no-trade clause? Does he get extra compensation if he hadn’t listed those teams? Does he get less $ depending on how many he lists as acceptable? Unless there’s something to that, your point is pointless, or blind speculation at best.

  2. trade anyone do something now amaro you dick smoker an mayes an kayal still blow

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