Phillies starter Cliff Lee, dealing with a tear in the flexor tendon in his left elbow, threw on Thursday but continued to feel discomfort as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. If the discomfort leaves Lee unable to pitch, he’ll have to undergo season-ending surgery.
Lee, 36, is entering the final year of a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phillies. They owe him $25 million for this season plus $12.5 million as part of a buyout for the 2016 season. The lefty made only 13 starts last season with elbow-related issues. In the three seasons prior, Lee had compiled a sterling 2.80 ERA and a 667/102 K/BB ratio across 666 1/3 innings. If Lee has to miss the rest of the season, his two-inning stint against the Astros on March 5 will have been his final appearance in a Phillies uniform.
The Phillies had hoped Lee would be healthy and productive during the spring in an effort to eventually trade him as part of their rebuilding process. As it stands now, they’re not likely to get anything of value before his contract expires.