Cliff Lee SP PHI 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 5 Months

Cliff Lee struggled through 5 2/3 innings in his return from the disabled list, giving up six runs and 12 hits in a loss to the Giants.

Lee's velocity is typically in the 89-92 mph range when healthy, but he was working more at 86-89 mph tonight. Combine that with the fact that he still has some rust to shake, and he proved very hittable in his return. He gets the Diamondbacks next time out, so keep him active in mixed leagues for now.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 5 Months

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Tigers, Blue Jays, Orioles, Brewers, Angels, Royals, Giants, Rangers, Diamondbacks and Pirates have scouts in Philadelphia Monday.

Cliff Lee, of course, is making his return from the disabled list Monday and will be a prime trade candidate this month if he can show he's healthy. Crasnick notes that he's not sure which teams are scouting Lee and which are there for regular coverage. It's also not clear whether it's a complete list. One team noticeably absent is the Yankees, a club that many expect to make a run at Lee.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 5 Months

Phillies activated LHP Cliff Lee from the 15-day disabled list.

Lee missed over two months with an elbow strain. He will return to the Phillies' starting rotation on Monday night against the Marlins and has two turns before the July 31 trade deadline to prove his health. He'll be an attractive name on the block if he pitches well.

Cliff Lee SP PHI 5 Months

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that there is a "strong belief" the Phillies would "much prefer" to trade Cliff Lee rather than Cole Hamels.

It jibes with previous reports that the club isn't looking to trade Hamels, who also isn't anxious to waive his no-trade rights. Lee, though, has indicated a willingness to waive his no-trade clause and is also under team control for three fewer years than Hamels. Recovering from an elbow injury, Lee obviously will need to show he's healthy before teams consider dealing for him. He's slated to rejoin Philly's rotation on Monday.