(NEW YORK) -- With the Philadelphia Phillies fading fast in the standings, they could use all the help they can get. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced that they expect starting pitcher Cliff Lee back after the All-Star break. Lee is recovering from a strained left elbow, and is eying a return to the rotation July 19. He hasn't started for the Phillies since May 18.
The 35-year-old Lee made his first rehab start on Sunday, but he was limited to just 24 pitches for Class-A Clearwater due to poor weather.
Still, Lee remains one of the most consistent pitchers in Major League Baseball.
With the Phillies staring at another losing season, Lee is one of their biggest trade chips. The sooner he can prove he's healthy, the better chance the team can get a good return for him.
Lee is signed through 2015 and has a minimum of $50 million left on his contract over the next season and a half. That figure could grow to $62.5 million if he vests his option for 2016.
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