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Twins reportedly considering 'a serious run' at Cliff Lee

Jun 17, 2010, 11:43 AM EDT

I was a radio guest on ESPN Twin Cities earlier this week (you can listen to the segment here) and one of the co-hosts, Tom Pelissero, hinted that he had some information about the Twins being legitimately interested in Cliff Lee.
Pelissero has now put it in writing, reporting today that “more than one person in the know” say “they wouldn’t be surprised at all if the team makes a serious run at acquiring” Lee from the Mariners before the trade deadline.
That a contending team would be gearing up for a run at Lee certainly isn’t surprising, but pursuing a blockbuster deal for a star player that would almost certainly require giving up multiple top prospects is highly uncharacteristic for the Twins. However, in addition to Pelissero’s report there have been some other rumblings about the Twins looking to make a bigger splash than usual this year.
Any offer for Lee would have to be more valuable to the Mariners than the two draft picks they’d receive by simply letting him walk as a free agent, although of course the new team would also have the ability to recoup some of the value given up in a trade by getting those same picks. Pelissero suggests Ben Revere as the most likely name being offered up by the Twins, but while he’s a solid prospect and former first-round pick he projects more as a Juan Pierre-type player than a future star.
It seems unlikely that Seattle would settle for a package built around Revere, in which case catching prospect Wilson Ramos’ name would probably come up in negotiations. Based on their trading track record I’d be shocked if the Twins actually gave up two of their best prospects for a half-season rental and draft picks, but there definitely seems to be some fire behind the Lee-related smoke and if nothing else Minnesota might as well kick the tires on the best pitcher available.

  1. Bill@TDS - Jun 17, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    USS Mariner suggested either Baker or Slowey + Ramos, as I recall, and that seems reasonable to me, though it’d be nice to be able to bump Blackburn from the rotation. Not sure they’d do that anyway, though, given the amount & years they’ve committed to him now.

  2. Jonny5 - Jun 17, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Here we go again………………

  3. Kanonen80 - Jun 17, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Baker is too much of a proven pitcher and is under contract. Slowey maybe, be he’s also a proven MLB pitcher and will be getting a raise soon. I think that’s reason for both sides to want to deal with prospects only.
    Ramos PLUS Revere, and go for the gold?
    I wonder if Lee would fit in though. He seemed like a D-Bag when he was with Cleveland. Remember when he yelled at Go-go several times for trying to bunt for a base hit?

  4. aleskel - Jun 17, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    aren’t the Twins something like 10th in payroll this year? After the Mauer extension, I think we can stop viewing them as paupers. Having a swanky new stadium helps.

  5. Professor Dave - Jun 17, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Also, the younger generation of Pohlads seem a little more willing to spend (their dad’s) money.

  6. Anon - Jun 17, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    How wishy-washy is this report?
    “more than one person in the know” say “they wouldn’t be surprised at all if the team makes a serious run at acquiring” Lee from the Mariners before the trade deadline.
    He’s not saying the Twins will, or will not, try to acquire Lee. He’s just saying that other people “wouldn’t be surprised” if they did make “a serious run at acquiring” Lee. And what does “person in the know” mean? He doesn’t say that these people actually work for the Twins – I assume, therefore, that they don’t. This report is nothing.
    I don’t think Pelissaro is making up his story. I’m sure that his quotes are accurate. But where 1) there’s no real source; and 2) even the wishy-washy source is essentially just guessing, I don’t put any stock in this.

  7. Jonas - Jun 18, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    Maybe the Mariners would take Blackburn + Ramos + a B prospect in the low minors. Blackburn would likely do well in the confines of Safeco, and his contract is pretty reasonable.
    Face it… he’s miles better now than Silva was when they signed him to that awful contract.

  8. sploorp - Jun 20, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    Ha! I love it! My thoughts exactly.

  9. sploorp - Jun 20, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    I do believe there are talks going on with Seattle for Lee and I also believe there are talks going on with Boston for Lowell too.
    I think Seattle is going to be asking too much and any interested teams will be trying to give up too little. It’s similar to what the Twins went through when they had Santana on the trading block.
    Someone above said the USS Mariner is thinking Slowey or Baker plus Ramos and that’s exactly what I mean. I could see one or the other, plus a lesser prospect, but not both. Not for a rental. Not only that, I just don’t see the Twins going for it.
    Unless the M’s lower their expectations, they better plan on Lee being around for the rest of the season.
    A Lowell trade should be doable though.

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