Lee prefers to stay in Cleveland, but OK with trade

BY Ken Rosenthal • July 28, 2009

Cliff Lee will not be upset if he is traded.

While the Indians left-hander wants to spend the rest of his career in Cleveland, he recognizes that his time with the team is running short.

So what else is new?

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Lee, after learning in spring training that the Indians would not sign him to a contract extension, told the team that he plans to become a free agent when his current deal expires after the 2010 season, according to his agent, Darek Braunecker.

A trade appears inevitable, perhaps even by Friday's non-waiver deadline. Lee, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, would prefer such a move to happen sooner rather than later, Braunecker said.

The Phillies, Dodgers, Angels, Rays and Rangers are among the teams pursuing Lee. One source with knowledge of the trade discussions estimates the chances of him getting moved are between 25 and 50 percent.

"I love Cleveland and I love being an Indian," Lee told FOXSports.com. "I've always said I would prefer to play my entire career here. But I do understand the business and realize that it's extremely unlikely that will happen.

"Like any player, I want the opportunity to play in the postseason, something that I didn't get to do in 2007. If the Indians feel they can improve the club by trading me and it gives me the opportunity to hopefully pitch in the postseason, I'm fine with that.

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