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The Mariners are scouting the Yankees: Cliff Lee trade, anyone?

Jun 9, 2010, 1:12 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Cliff Lee M's throwing.jpgGeorge A. King of the New York Post reports that the Mariners are kinda sorta thinking about trading Cliff Lee to the Yankees.  The “kinda sorta” is because there’s no sense that the Yankees are at all interested in Lee. According to King, however, the Mariners are currently scouting the Yankees organization and are interested in shortstop Eduardo Nunez and either prospect catcher Austin Romine or Jesus Montero, no doubt on the assumption that the Yankees will get interested once the M’s start dangling Lee.

Makes sense for the Mariners to at least be prepared in the event the Yankees realize that they can get one of the best pitchers in baseball to help them fight the Rays for the division and, assuming a long-term deal gets done, help anchor the rotation for the next several years.

Given his reasonable price tag, of course, there may be a lot of teams interested in renting Lee for the playoff stretch. The M’s would be wise, however, to try and find a partner who could negotiate with Lee on a long term deal, thus bringing back some real value in exchange for their failed experiment at contending.

  1. BC - Jun 9, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    If Tampa is in first place at the trade deadline, wouldn’t you think they’d fork over the $5 mil or so for 1/2 year of Lee’s contract?

  2. SouthofHeaven - Jun 9, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    On my knees praying to the baseball gods on this one!!!

  3. matt - Jun 9, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    I think the Yankees should get rid of Javier Vasquez for Cliff Lee, Jav is off to a bad start, and looking at his numbers, he doesn’t appear to be as good as Cliff Lee.

  4. Matt - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    ^ is why people hate yankee fans.

  5. TT BOY - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    Here’s the problem with your theory , they’re both free agents at the end of the year , the Mariners are looking for high valued prospects that they can lock up long term. They got burned pretty good this year with some of their moves , so I’m thinking they are a little gun shy about spending too much . Cliff Lee can get them two to three top prospects that won’t cost them much money .

  6. L.A. Fan - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    I hate the Yankees, they just buy everyone elses homegrown talent.

  7. KC Mariner - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    If you’re suggesting they try to trade away Vasquez to make room for Lee in a seperate deal that makes sense. If you’re suggesting a straight up swap that makes no sense at all for the Mariners. Both are free agents, the Mariners could find a much better deal than that involving prospects and Vasquez would never waive his “no teams West of the Mississippi” clause to go to the Mariners.
    This story makes sense in that the Mariners are scouting Yankee prospects in anticipation of the Yankees being interested in Lee. My guess is they are scouting prospects for every team they think might be interested in Lee as well, so the Yankees aren’t any different from the Rays, Dodgers, Red Sox or any other contender that might want a pitcher come July.

  8. Simon DelMonte - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Hard to imagine Cashman giving up big prospects for someone who will be a free agent for short term gain. Never mind that right now, that rotation is pure gold, and even with Hughes Rules coming, I just don’t see the need to tinker with that.
    The Boys in the Bronx need one thing, and one thing only: relief help. Otherwise, Cashman has all the pieces in place.
    But you never, ever know with him. Every summer, he finds a way to make that one trade that no one would be dumb enough to help him make. And the Mariners aren’t as smart as we thought.

  9. Joey B - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    It’ll be interesting to see if the NYY have enough left in their minor league system to afford Lee. Montero’s value has to be well down with the .628 OPS and a couple of disciplinary issues. Romine looks okay. I’d guess it would take most of their top prospects.
    TB would make an interesting destination. $5M is relatively cheap for 1/2 season. Davis is struggling right now. TB has enough prospects that they could easily afford to trade off a couple of them and replace them with draft picks.

  10. Al - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Where’s the evidence that they’re scouting for a potential Lee deal? Maybe they’re looking to trade Milton Bradley or Mike Sweeney. More uninformed speculation from the so-called “media”! 😉

  11. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Hard to imagine Cashman giving up big prospects for someone who will be a free agent for short term gain.

    Repeating this for emphasis.
    Also, this is just a rehash of the Santana/CC situation. Cashman is smart enough to know that waiting for Lee to hit FA is far better than losing prospects + having the sign a long term deal.

  12. YANKEES1996 - Jun 9, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    The Yankees maybe willing to do a trade for Cliff Lee for a couple of reasons. First, the Yanks are going to need good pitching help down the stretch, Vazquez has had flashes of his former self but no steady production as of yet and Andy Pettite has almost assuredly let the Yanks know that this is his last year. If the Yanks were to trade for Lee they will first ask for a window of time to work out a long term deal with him so the entire FA thing can be avoided. Cliff Lee is worth a long term deal at a modest number and I would be willing to bet that since the wheels on his luggage are worn out he would be willing to listen to Cashman. There have also been rumors that the Yankees are entertaining the idea of talking to the Astros about Oswalt since they are getting ready to play a series against Houston, to be honest I would rather see them trade for Lee than Oswalt. The Yankees are in a good position to trade for Lee and should do their best to pull off something as our pitching maybe very thin when the offseason comes around it would be ashame to not have pulled the trigger on someone like Cliff Lee who has a pretty good upside. The prospects the Mariners would ask for may or may not be a deal breaker on a trade but in my opinion we gave up better during the offseason for Granderson. Granderson has been good so far I just hope he keeps it up.

  13. peteinfla - Jun 9, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Really LA fan? And you base this on what exactly, you’re extensive research? Or you like to just mindlessly parrot what other idiots say?
    Just so you know, based on today’s 25 man rosters, the number of homegrown players for the Yanks, Dodgers and Angels:
    Yanks 12
    Angels 13
    Dodgers 13 (Including Kuo and Kuroda -International free agents)
    ANy other brilliant (yet wrong) comments you want to share with us? As Mel Allen (like you know who he is) used to say, “You could look it up”. Try it sometime.

  14. JBerardi - Jun 9, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Well… the Phillies could use another starter…

  15. king - Jun 9, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    you are absolutely disabled. shutup

  16. Tony A - Jun 9, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    Just what I was thinking! Why did the Phils let him go?

  17. Daniel - Jun 9, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    I’d love to see the Angels pick him up for the rest of the year (please go to the bullpen, Kazmir), but they don’t have much going on down on the farm, and I don’t know that the Mariners would do that trade in-division anyway.
    But a trade like the one the Angels made for Teixeira would be awesome.

  18. pizzadude123 - Jun 9, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    I would love to see Cliff Lee a Yankee. Only, because I’m a HUGE Yankee fan. GO YANKS!!!!!!!!!!

  19. pizzadude123 - Jun 9, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    There is NO way the M’s will trade Cliff Lee to a Division Rival.

  20. pizza123 - Jun 9, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    I have been wondering that same question. If Philly still had Lee + Halladay they be THE best team in baseball!

  21. Dave - Jun 10, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    They let him go because he didn’t want to sign a long term deal. He was going to test free agency.

  22. michael sahade - Jun 11, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Maybe some of those teams should spend all that luxury tax money their getting and buy some players themselves. Instead they pocket it and don’t put competitive talent on the field.
    The Yankees have some pretty good home grown talent themselves.

  23. Orange - Jun 11, 2010 at 9:59 PM

    Your contention that the Yankees buy everyone else’s homegrown talent is only half true. In this case, Cliff Lee is not a homegrown Seattle talent, so that argument is irrelevant. As for the Yankees, they have Jeter, Posada, Cano, Pettitte, Rivera, Gardner, Chamberlain, Hughes who all came up through the Yankees farm system. Those are home grown All Stars or probable future All Stars. While the Yankees certainly bring in plenty of big name talent, their farm system is fantastic and they retain many fo their best talents.

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