While much of the offseason discussion has surrounded whether or not Cole Hamels would be here this season.  The guy who's name is typically reserved for those type of trade talks is Cliff Lee.

However, after being limited to just 13 starts last season due to a flexor pronator strain in his elbow, Lee was back in Clearwater on the first day of Phillies pitchers and catchers and seemed ready to go.

Lee spoke to the media on Thursday armed with a magic 8-ball to help get him through the line of questioning, many of which were directed to him about his friend and teammate, Hamels.

"It just showed up in my locker," Lee said about the magic 8-ball.  "Im kind of glad it did, it takes a lot of pressure off me."

While Hamels has said he wants to go someplace where he can win, it didn't sound like Lee was ready to concede that winning can't happen here in Philadelphia.

"It feels like a normal spring so far," Lee said.  "I started throwing a lot earlier this year, i've probably had 15 bullpens so far this year, so I feel like I am ahead of where I normally am this time of year."

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. discussed one of his returning aces who the Phillies still could move if he looks healthy.

"A lot of it depends on how he is out there competing there this spring," Amaro said.  "Everytime he gets out there he's more and more positive, feeling good, ball came out of his hand very good today I thought.  I think he's feeling very positive about how he feels."

Just because Lee is here now and saying all the right things, that doesn't mean he is immune to being traded.  At 36 years old, Lee doesn't really fit the rebuilding Phillies plan, but isn't going kicking and screaming - yet.

"If you could tell me right now you have an opportunity to go play on the World Series team, absolutely I want to do that," Lee admitted.  "I think every player should want to do that, I'm in Philly right now and that's where I'm going to try and do that, this is the place I am at, so I want the Phillies to try and win the World Series this year."

Lee admits that he is in a different spot in his career then Hamels is, but has been where Hamels as been before, but that doesn't mean he wants to see his left-handed friend shipped out there door.

"I definitely don't want Cole to get traded," Lee was adamantly stated. "We have a better chance to win with him here then with him somewhere else.  Personally, I do not want Cole Hamels to get traded, I hopefully we can sign another couple of him."

While Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee don't grow on trees, they are two special pitchers and different stages of their Phillies careers.  Hamels is ready to move on to the next winning chapter, while Lee is just hopeful that he can stay healthy and everything is ready for the start of another season.





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