Cliff Lee close to throwing off mound

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Cliff Lee managed to avoid surgery after being limited to just 13 starts last season due to a flexor pronator strain, but he’s still a big wild card coming into 2015. The Phillies hope to get a sense on his progress soon.

According to Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. said yesterday that Lee is expected to throw off a mound in the next week to week and a half. The veteran southpaw has been long-tossing without pain, but the Phillies aren’t sure what to expect from him yet. Amaro could probably best be described as cautious:

“That will be a good test for him, and we’ll find out more about how he’s progressing,” Amaro said before noting the lefthander’s health is “still a question mark, and until he’s pitching in spring training and pitching like we hope Cliff Lee will pitch, then we’ll know that he’s healthy and ready to go.”
Lee, 36, is owed $25 million this season and his contract includes a $27.5 million club option with a $12.5 million buyout for 2016. With the Phillies in rebuild mode, he will likely become a trade candidate if he can prove his health and effectiveness.

White Sox acquire reliever Franklin German in trade with Red Sox

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CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox acquired reliever Franklin German in a trade with the Boston Red Sox.

The White Sox sent minor league right-hander Theo Denlinger to Boston for German, who made his major league debut in September. Right-hander Jason Bilous was designated for assignment to make room for German on Chicago’s 40-man roster.

The 25-year-old German played for Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester for most of last season, going 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA and seven saves in in 43 relief appearances. The right-hander had no record and an 18.00 ERA in five appearances with the Red Sox.

German, a fourth-round pick in the 2018 amateur draft, was designated for assignment when Boston acquired reliever Richard Bleier in a trade with Miami.

The 26-year-old Denlinger had a 2-2 record and a 4.47 ERA in 40 appearances last season with Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. He was a seventh-round selection in the 2021 draft out of Bradley University.