On Wednesday, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reported that the Rangers sent their top scout to Los Angeles to watch Cliff Lee and Clayton Kershaw pitch.
"Interesting," Salisbury tweeted somewhat ominously.
Interesting indeed -- Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reported on Wednesday evening that Lee could actually be a backup plan for the Rangers in a possible trade, should they be unable to land either Cole Hamels or Zach Greinke.
Don't freak out just yet, as Knobler did note that this was a "long shot."
"One long-shot option the Rangers would consider, according to sources: A reunion with Cliff Lee," Knobler wrote.
There are a number of different problems with the Rangers pursuing Lee, of course. Most notably is his salary, which will pay him $25 million over each of the next three years and includes a $12.5 million buyout the year after that.
But the Rangers are in absolute win-now mode, and they know Lee well. Lee made 15 starts for Texas during the 2010 season (after coming over in a trade from Seattle), compiling a 3.98 ERA over 108.2 innings, which featured 96 strikeouts, four wins and two complete games.
Lee would be a tremendous addition to a Rangers team that's now lost the last two World Series, and would very much like another shot at winning a title for the good people of Arlington.
It's a total long shot, but if the Phillies can crank up negotiations with Cole Hamels and lock down the younger left-hander to a contract extension, it's entirely possible they'll consider moving Lee for the right price.
For now though, it's simply another ridiculous piece of the old MLB rumor mill.