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The Mets and Mariners have had "serious talks" about Cliff Lee

Jun 15, 2010, 10:41 AM EDT

Cliff Lee headshot Mariners.jpgThat report is from Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.  The sticking point: the Mariners want Jon Niese, but Omar is unwilling to trade him.

I think I have to side with Omar here.  Given that Lee is going to hit the market this winter, why not wait it out, be aggressive, and try to get him then, thereby giving the Mets a pretty spectacular rotation heading into 2011? By giving up Niese for him and then extending him you’re basically paying for him twice.

If the answer is that they wouldn’t be willing to pay what Lee would be asking for a long term deal, they shouldn’t be talking to the Mariners about him anyway. They should be sticking with younger, cheaper talent like, say, Jon Niese.

  1. Jonny5 - Jun 15, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    I’d bet my house that Cliff Lee is really tired of being dicked around. He’s got to be praying for the day of Impending FA.

  2. Jason @ IIATMS - Jun 15, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    “By giving up XXXXX for him and then extending him you’re basically paying for him twice.”
    You mean, like Omar already did for Johan?

  3. Drew - Jun 15, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    Jason: That’s only really true if you think the Mets “gave something up” for Johan Santana. Carlos Gomez is a slick fielding center fielder with a career .640 OPS. Phil Humber’s managed a 6.07 ERA in the bigs to date, and Kevin Mulvey’s put up a 7.09 ERA. Does that mean none of these guys will pan out? Well, maybe one of them will. But we’re not really talking about giving up much for the rights to Santana there.

  4. Cactus - Jun 15, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    It’s almost like small changes in the long term view of the team are more important than the goal of winning a world series. The division and NL is up for grabs this year, get Lee and worry about having a mid-rotation starter like Niese in the long term later.

  5. Jimbo - Jun 15, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    Hey Omar, how many Cliff Lee’s are available, and how many Niese’s do you think will be available. There are 68 Nieses languishing in the minors or as #5 guys on other rosters, but 1 Lee.
    Do the math home boy, jeez.

  6. mikevek - Jun 15, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    It is hard to compare a potential quality young starter like Niese to what they gave up for Santana, which was primarily Carlos Gomez.

  7. Derek Fisher Looks Like Gordon From Sesame Street - Jun 15, 2010 at 12:35 PM


  8. Yank fan in Phillies country - Jun 15, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    If Lee is coming to NY I can think of one team that will outbid the Mets. I still think the Phillies should have found a way to keep him and get Halladay. At the end of the season there will be one NY team in the playoffs and another taking vacation in FL.

  9. Benny Blanco - Jun 15, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    Omar has the right idea on this one. No sense trading Niese who could have many solid years ahead of him in Met uniform for a possible rental. That said, I would trade any other young pitcher the Mets have for Lee. Including Mejia.
    Yank fan = Met hater.

  10. Jason@IIATMS - Jun 15, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Whether Gomez, et al, panned out or flopped in MIN, the double dip is the same.
    Who knows if Niese will fly or flop if traded. The point remains: Omar hasn’t exactly shied away from the trade/extension route to get an elite pitcher before, so it’s worth considering.

  11. GimmeSomeSteel - Jun 15, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    I think you all are forgetting that there may be no “next year” or beyond for Omar as GM of the Mets. If he wants to continue, he needs to (finally) win–now.

  12. mikevek - Jun 15, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    It is not that Gomez has flopped. It is that he was not as valuable a chip as Jon Niese. First, he was not a pitcher. Secondly,he had no position on the team. I am not opposed to trading prospects to rent Lee, even Fernando Martinez, but it makes no sense to trade your number 3 starter to get a guy that will replace him in the lineup, unless you can lockup Lee ahead of time.
    Also, Lee has had one good year and one great year, but he’s not Johan Santana.

  13. ALLAN FRIEDMAN - Jun 15, 2010 at 4:59 PM


  14. i'm right you are wrong - Jun 15, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Finally, someone who see’s the same thing as I do when it comes to Cliff Lee… one great year, one good year, and one great postseason. Sounds kind of like Derek Lowe to me… solid pitcher, but not a guy to tie your future to.

  15. Utley's hair - Jun 15, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Just out of curiosity, when was his “good” year? We got him here last year when he was 7-9 with an ERA under 2, which tells me he had no run support, which could possibly have gotten him up into double digits in the win column. But that’s just me. And then Ruben got rid of him—the jury’s still out on that move. Who knows how the Phightins would be faring right now with the lack of offense if we had him in the No. 2 slot?

  16. i'm right you are wrong - Jun 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    He was 7-9 with an ERA just over 3, not under 2. Last year was a good year not great, so I will give you 2 good years and the one great year… and he was 5-8 with an ERA over 6 in 2007. I too was very confused by the move by the Phils, not because I am convinced he is a great pitcher, but if the reasoning was that he would be too expensive to re-sign, does that mean they aren’t going to be in the market this off-season?

  17. Utley's hair - Jun 15, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    My bad. I see that he was, in fact hurling pi. I could swear I saw a sub-2 ERA somewhere, but I can’t find the statistical parameters.

    But I think chances are slim that he’ll come back here. It’s been spun that it was a farm-saving move that replenished some prospects after sending out top ones away for Lee last year and for Doc this year. However, prospects or not, how long is this crew going to be together? I would’ve liked to see a Doc-Cliff-Hamels rotation. We may have been able to start printing WS tickets already.

  18. Mike - Jun 15, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    I have been out of the country for about a month without any local sports news…..when did Cliff Lee fall out of favor with the Mariners?

  19. Sean B - Jun 15, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    Mike, Lee is most definitely not out of favor in Seattle. The M’s are so bad, though, that they have virtually no chance of convincing Lee to resign here at the end of this season. So, if Jack Z can work a trade for hot prospects, Lee will be leaving the beautiful Pacific NW. M’s fans (like me) would LOVE to keep Lee, but this team is so bad, that many of us are looking back on the Bobby Ayala years with longing.

  20. Jojo - Jun 15, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    He hasn’t fallen out of favor. The team loves him and he’s pitched brilliantly.
    And seriously, are Mets fans really not willing to give up John Niese?? Haha. Niese is a #4 starter and nothing special. I doubt Jack Zdurenciek even cares about getting Niese. If they make a deal with the Mets it will revolve around Mejia and Flores.

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