The Phillies may be re-signing Chase Utley, but they could be looking at a potential Cliff Lee deal as well. The Phillies scouts were seen at AAA Memphis scouting Cardinals pitching prospect Carlos Martinez. That would appear to make sense for one trade: a Cliff Lee trade. The Cardinals are in the market for a shortstop and a top of the rotation starting pitcher and the Phillies could be a fit. In a market where Jake Peavy is a hot commodity, Lee could be hotter.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Phillies scouts were attending games in Memphis, the Cardinals' AAA affiliate:
Mozeliak said he sees clearly how prospects Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha, two top pitching talents, could make September contributions to a playoff push. Martinez started Sunday night for Class AAA Memphis and he struck out Manny Ramirez, former All-Star turned Rangers’ minor-leaguer.
As many as seven scouts from opposing teams were in attendance, including representatives from Philadelphia, San Diego, Kansas City, and Toronto. The reeling Phillies have reportedly discussed moving lefty Cliff Lee before the deadline.
It was Martinez who pitched while the Phillies' scouts were in attendance. Wacha would be a nice arm to acquire, too. Martinez has an electric arm, but some question whether or not he could be a starter.
A common worry about a Cliff Lee trade is that teams would be unable to afford Lee's contract. But the Cardinals have money:
The Cardinals have flexibility to add salary to this year’s payroll and their preference would be to acquire a player who is under control for at least next season. But the market has changed so that a team willing to take on dollars doesn’t necessarily get a price break when it comes to prospects.