Cliff Lee-to-Philly imminent?

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ESPN is saying . . .

Three Cleveland scouts — including the club’s director of player
personnel, Steve Lubratich — were in Lehigh Valley to watch the
Phillies’ Triple-A team play an 11 a.m. ET game.

Lehigh Valley starter Carlos Carrasco, who has been a subject of
talks between the two teams, was abruptly scratched from his start in
that game with no explanation from the club.

An official of a team that had been speaking to Cleveland about Lee
told Wednesday morning it was his impression that Lee was
about to be traded elsewhere, and the Phillies’ discussions with
Toronto about Roy Halladay have slowed to a trickle in the last 24

Many outlets have reported that the Phillies are hellbent on getting a
starter and many more are saying that Halladay is increasingly unlikely
to go anywhere. Not hard to do the math there.

UPDATE: More details on Lee and Philly:

The defending World Series champion have offered the Cleveland
Indians a package of players for Lee, a baseball official familiar with
the trade proposal told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Philadelphia’s offer doesn’t include top pitching prospect Kyle
Drabek, the person said on condition of anonymity because negotiations
are ongoing. The non-waiver trade deadline is Friday.

Drabek was a clear dealbreaker for Philly, and their off-limits sign on him is why the Jays won’t deal Halladay.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.