Cliff Lee SP PHI 19 Days

Lee's (elbow) flexor tendon was shown to be healing well in an MRI and he is expected to be ready for spring training, MLB.con's Todd Zolecki reports.

You can never be quite comfortable when an older pitcher like Lee has elbow issues, yet the Phillies are confident enough in his recovery to begin his throwing program in November. The 35-year-old Lee had a weak year by his standards, with his highest ERA and WHIP since 2007. His 2.96 FIP from 2014 implies he was a little unlucky, but he still carries a large risk of being in decline.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 1 Month

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. expressed confidence that Lee (elbow) will be ready to contribute at the start of next season, CSNPhilly.com reports.

Lee was examined by a team doctor Monday, and while Amaro did not go into detail, he said that the left-hander's condition is "improved." A flexor-pronator tendon strain forced Lee out of action in May and a recurrence of the injury in late July in turn ended his 2014 campaign, but several top orthopedists have examined Lee and determined he will not need surgery. He's expected to resume a throwing program in November, and the expectation is that he'll be ready for Day 1 of spring training if all goes well.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 2 Months

Lee (elbow) was transferred to the 60-day DL on Monday, Stephen Gross of The Morning Call reports.

The move to the 60-day DL will open up space on the 40-man roster for the Phillies, who are expected to promote a slew of players Tuesday. Though the Phillies haven't explicitly said so, Lee can almost certainly be ruled out for a return this season due to a recurrence of a left flexor pronator strain.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 2 Months

Lee will not require surgery on his strained left elbow, the Phillies' official site reports.

Lee visited orthopedist David Altchek in New York on Wednesday who said surgery is not required. Lee then went to the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia for a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow. The Phillies hope to have him start a throwing program in October or November. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said he is hopeful Lee will be ready to pitch by the start of spring training.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 2 Months

Lee (elbow) cleaned out his locker before Wednesday's game, the Phillies' official site reports.

The Phillies have not officially declared Lee out for the season, but this is a sign it is only a matter of time. Lee has previously said he did not expect to pitch again this season. He is on the disabled list with a strained left elbow.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 2 Months

Manager Ryne Sandberg said "there wasn't a whole lot revealed" from the examination on Lee's elbow this past weekend, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Lee met with a team doctor Saturday, who confirmed the original diagnosis of a left flexor pronator strain. He has not yet undergone a MRI examination, and Sandberg was unable to confirm when that would happen. Lee is expected to miss the rest of the season.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 3 Months

Lee met with team doctor Steve Cohen on Saturday for an evaluation of his left elbow, the Phillies' official site reports.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 3 Months

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies are willing to absorb part of Cliff Lee's contract in a trade if they get the right prospects in return.

It's no surprise, of course, given that Lee is guaranteed more than anyone else in baseball through the end of next season (roughly $48 million) and hasn't pitched well in two starts since returning from an elbow injury. The veteran left-hander could be dealt next month, as he is expected to clear waivers.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 3 Months

ESPN's Buster Olney was told by rival evaluators that the July 31 trade deadline doesn't apply to Cliff Lee because he'll clear waivers and can be dealt in August.

It makes sense, as Olney notes that Lee is making $25 million this season, is owed $25 million in 2015 and has a $12.5 million buyout on his $27.5 million club option for 2016. All told, he's guaranteed at least $48 million over the next 1 1/3 seasons, which will scare most every team off. Because he can be dealt in August, Lee will have more time to show he's healthy after missing two months due to a flexor strain in his left elbow.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 3 Months

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Cliff Lee can be traded to the Braves, Indians, Astros, Marlins, Twins, Mets, Padres, Rays, and Nationals without his consent.

You'll notice that there are four teams from the NL East on his list, but the Phillies would be unlikely to deal him to any of those teams anyway, so there's a mix of strategy and preference in his list. Lee has 20 teams on his no-trade list, but it's still possible that he could waive it if the right situation presents itself. The veteran southpaw struggled in his return from the disabled list Monday, so a trade appears unlikely right now. The Phillies might be better off waiting until August or potentially the offseason.