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Why are the Yankees scouting Cliff Lee?

Jul 5, 2010, 8:50 AM EDT

As the trading season gets increasingly nutsy, we’ve seen an explosion of “Team X had a scout at Player Y’s last game!” chatter.  Here’s a fine example of such a thing from Jon Paul Morosi yesterday:

The Yankees, Dodgers and Cardinals were among the clubs with a scout in
attendance at Cliff Lee’s start in Detroit
on Sunday afternoon.

It marked the second straight start by Lee that the Yankees scouted.

Rival clubs believe the Yankees are pursuing Lee ahead of the July 31
non-waiver trade deadline, although it’s possible the Yankees are
scouting Lee in preparation for his upcoming free agency.

Yes, it could be that the Yankees, a team without any discernible need in the rotation, feel it necessary to scout one of the most-watched, most well-known pitchers in baseball.

It’s also possible, is it not, that the Yankees had a scout at the Mariners game because they play the freakin’ Mariners this weekend and will likely be facing Cliff Lee on Friday.

Scouts scout. It’s their job. Just because they show up someplace doesn’t mean they’re working in advance of a trade.

  1. YankeesfanLen - Jul 5, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    Now wait…..Cliff Lee’s start before yesterday’s Tigers game was…….in Yankee Stadium last Tuesday night. Could someone from the Yankees organization have been THERE?

  2. Ditto65 - Jul 5, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    “It’s also possible, is it not, that the Yankees had a scout at the Mariners game because they play the freakin’ Mariners this weekend and will likely be facing Cliff Lee on Friday.”
    Couldn’t agree more. The Yankees have trouble with Lee. Scouting him might give them some much needed info on how to beat him.
    On a side note – Craig, I know you have a family and everything. And I realize I don’t post all that often. However, I read HBT all day, every day. Could you work weekends?

  3. andrewlw - Jul 5, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    It would make sense for the Yankees to be scouting him before offering 100 million plus in the offseason. I know the jays had a scout at every single one of AJ Burnett’s starts the year before they signed him.

  4. Old Gator - Jul 5, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    I’m a born again hegemonist, so I have to admit that I like the idea of the Borg with Cliff Lee in their rotation. In all fairness, though, I loved those impenetrable energy shields around the Martian death machines in The War of the Worlds, too. To hell with level playing fields.

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