Cliff Lee's name is "definitely out" there in trade talks and the free-falling Phillies appear to at least be considering trading one of their aces.

However the price tag on the veteran lefthander is exteremely high leading some to speculate that ulatimately the Phillies may still still hold onto him.

"He's telling people it'll take you three or four best prospects plus you'd have to take all the money'' one competing executive said about Phillies GM Ruben Amaro.

Another executive put it thusly "You'd have to give up your first born second and third born too.''

Amaro didn't respond to a text message.

While some have thought the Phillies would never consider selling its very biggest pieces the recent slide may be weighing on them. They have a big TV deal coming and have been a team focused on winning now but more drastic measures may need to be considered and as one Phillies connected person said "If there's a good deal to be made Ruben will make it."

Lee has a stiff price attached to him and also a stiff neck that caused him to miss his last start though there's no indication that's more than a one-start issue.

One thing that shouldn't prevent a deal is Lee's 21-team no-trade list as Lee has said his main objective is to win. He spoke in this space a couple months ago about that being his prioirty and according to a friend that hasn't changed.

The question is: Who'd be wiling to take on a coontract that pays him $25 million a year through 2015 then has a vesting option for another year with a $12.5 million buyout bringing the guarantee to almost exactly $70 million.