Looking for an ace to bolster their so-so rotation, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Lee on Wednesday from Cleveland, marking the second consecutive year the Indians traded the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner.
"One of our goals has been to add someone to our rotation that can be a difference-maker," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a conference call. "It's important to show our guys on the field that we're making the best effort to put the best team out there."
The NL East-leading Phillies, who also got outfielder Ben Francisco, gave Cleveland Triple-A pitcher Carlos Carrasco, infielder Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson along with Class A pitcher Jason Knapp.
"I'm going to miss all these guys here, but it's an opportunity for me to help a team that's in first place," Lee said after the Indians lost to the Angels 9-3 in Anaheim, Calif.
Last year, the Indians dealt CC Sabathia, then the reigning Cy Young winner and in the final year of his contract, to the Milwaukee Brewers. Sabathia helped the Brewers into the postseason before signing a $161 million, seven-year contract with the New York Yankees.
The Phillies pursued Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, but shifted their focus because Toronto's asking price for the six-time All-Star is high.
Amaro acquired Lee without giving up pitching prospect Kyle Drabek, rookie left-hander J.A. Happ or highly touted minor league outfielders Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown.
PIRATES STRIKE DEALS
Pittsburgh had an eventful day that saw it lose a 1-0 game to San Francisco then deal infielder Freddy Sanchez to the Giants for minor league pitcher Tim Alderson.
Earlier Wednesday, the Pirates traded shortstop Jack Wilson and right-hander Ian Snell to Seattle for shortstop Ronny Cedeno, catcher Jeff Clement and minor league right-handed pitchers Nathan Adcock, Brett Lorin and Aaron Pribanic.