Cliff Lee’s name floating around; Rangers the front-runner?

Cliff Lee may soon be involved in yet another significant summer trade. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney and the New York Post’s Joel Sherman have reported Monday that the Philadelphia southpaw is in play, and both writers agree that the Rangers are a logical fit.

Olney names third baseman Mike Olt — Texas’ No. 3 prospect — as a possible Rangers trade chip. 

The Phillies may be more inclined now to deal Lee than they previously were, since the club has locked up Cole Hamels with an extension, and also since Philadelphia is all but out of contention in the NL East after a most disappointing season. 

Texas, where Lee pitched for the latter stages of the 2010 season, is in desperate need of a starter. And, as Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal wrote last week, the Rangers are one of eight teams with whom Lee cannot block a trade.

The three-time All-Star and 2008 AL Cy Young winner is 1-6 with a 3.95 ERA, after having endured a bizarre season that did not see him win his first ballgame until his 14th start of the year, on July 4.

– Joey Nowak

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