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Indians receptive to Lee trade talks, Heyman says

By jcfortun Published: July 21, 2009

The Cleveland indians have been steadfast in their commitment to keep starting pitcher Cliff Lee in a tribe uniform this season, but things may have changed over the last few days, according to Sports Illustrated writer Jon Heyman.

The Indians appear to be more seriously considering the possibility of trading star pitcher Cliff Lee in recent days, according to an Indians-connected person. Indians people have been very reluctant to deal Lee all along since they have a reasonable $9 million option on him for next year and no obvious, certain top-of-the-rotation replacement.

Something apparently happened in recent days to change their thinking and make them slightly more receptive to a trade, though it's unclear exactly what.

Heyman writes that the Phillies and Dodgers are both possible destinations for Lee. The Rangers would also make a logical trade partner because of their excellent minor league pitching depth, he writes.

The Rangers could offer pitching prospects in the form of Derek Holland, Neftali FelizMichael MainMartin PerezKasey Kiker or Blake Beavan.

He also notes that Victor Martinez still could be dealt as well. Martinez would make more sense for the pitching-desperate Tribe to trade. Top prospect Carlos Santana, a switch-hitting catcher, is doing well at Double A Akron and could help fill any void Martinez would leave.

A deal for either player would have to "wow" the Indians and include major pitching talent. Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is the name that is often discussed for Martinez.


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