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UPDATE: Cliff Lee to the Yankees "is just about done"

Jul 9, 2010, 10:37 AM EDT

The rich are poised to get richer

UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that, according to an executive involved in the talks, the Cliff Lee-to-the-Yankees deal “is just about done.”  Wow. This is actually happening.

5:42 A.M.: Joel Sherman of the New York Post dropped a bomb this morning, saying that the Yankees are “on the brink” of landing Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners.

The details are slim, but Sherman says that the deal would involve a package that includes top prospect Jesus Montero. There is no indication of who else would be involved.  Notably, Lee is scheduled to pitch against the Yankees tonight in Seattle.

The Yankees landing Lee would be a shock given that even the most overheated reports this week have them merely (altogether now) kicking the tires on the Mariners’ ace.  At best people figured that the Yankees were trying to make the price of Lee higher for, say, the Twins or the Mets.  That they may be about to swoop in and land Lee is nothing short of astounding.

And nothing short of demoralizing, frankly. Demoralizing for the Mets who, even if they themselves could not get Lee probably don’t want to see the Yankees get him, thereby stealing his thunder. Demoralizing for anyone in the AL who thought that getting Lee would help them out in a short playoff series against the Yankees.

And maybe most of all, demoralizing to sports fans in general. Indeed, a day after living through the LeBron James experience — which Will Leitch apty described as something that makes one “feel extremely stupid to be a sports fan” by virtue of the unnecessary excess involved — the idea of the richest team landing the richest trade deadline prize when they don’t even really need starting pitching isn’t going to sit well with a lot of fans.

Don’t get me wrong: the Yankees are playing by the rules here and should
not be expected to merely stand pat while their competition improves. But don’t for a minute think that their landing Cliff Lee won’t spark a fairly significant uproar.

  1. 27xchamps - Jul 9, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    would be nice!!

  2. BigBBFan - Jul 9, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    IF they sign Lee it would make sense to move Hughes to the bullpen just for the rest of this year. He was lights out coming in from the bullpen last year. The rumors are strong that Andy will ride off into the sunset after this year. If so Hughes moves back to starter next year.
    This move would also solve the innings pitched limitation on Hughes for this year.

  3. YankeesfanLen - Jul 9, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    Still see Andy coming back next year, think Vazquez would be odd man out, too much invested in AJ and he has his security blanket in the form of Dave Eiland back.

  4. YankeesfanLen - Jul 9, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    Yankees tickets and accompaniments: $600
    6 man Gold Star starter rotation: $57 million
    Sending non-Universe fans into apoplectic state: Priceless

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 9, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    The 2010 Baseball Season is officially over. Why play the rest of the season? To root for injuries? Because that is the only way the Yankees do not win the WS again.

  6. lardin - Jul 9, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    Which rules are you referring to? All the teams in Major League baseball play by the same rules. You must be referring to the Yankees willingness to spend more money or trade young players. Or are you referring to there win now attitude? Any team in baseball can make a TRADE for Cliff Lee. This is not the Yankees giving him a massive contract, that will happen in November. The Yankees are giving up their number one prospect plus others to have Cliff Lee for three months. Is this the rich getting richer? Absolutely… But for a team whose mission statement is to win the world series every year, this is Standard Operating Procedure.

  7. Simon DelMonte - Jul 9, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    Further further thoughts: as persecuted as I feel, the Mets just weren’t willing to part with the prospects needed. So it’s not really like the Yanks are stealing Lee from Queens. It just feels that way.
    And maybe, just maybe, seeing a team trying to stick with its prospects and plan for the long haul when it doesn’t have a great farm system is a smarter thing to do than renting a pitcher for three months. It will sting to see the Yanks go deep into October while the Mets sit home or bow out early – as of now, the Mets are still in position to make the playoffs, so I will be optimistic – but if Meija and Thole really pan out, it might be worth patience and suffering.

  8. Utley's hair - Jul 9, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    How often is it that you see multiple championships in two pro sports bought within 24 hours? Damn.

    Ruben, I once said that the Lee debacle would be your watershed moment with the notoriously vocal Phightins phans: either you would be looked at as a genius…or you would be ridden out of town on a rail. Well, that rail is all greased up and ready to go. Second only to costing the Phils a damn near certain WS appearance, this deal has all but cinched a title for another team, and it’s the YANKERS, too!!! As if they needed that one extra credit card.

  9. SabathiaWouldBeGoodAtTheEigthToo - Jul 9, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    I say either Hughes to the pen, or trade Javy for a DH/3B who can help moer than Pena when Arod needs a day off. Or they can trade Javy to the Phils for Werth for a 4 man OF/DH rotation.
    Javy to Toronto for Bautista? The Jays would get better draft picks for type A Javy than for Type b Bautista…I’m just saying…

  10. Jonny5 - Jul 9, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    This is why you either have to love (fans only), or hate (everyone else) the Yankees.

  11. DualLeads - Jul 9, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    So this morning it’s the Yankees. Tune in tomorrow – I think it’s the Brewer’s turn.

  12. Jonny5 - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Why doesn’t anyone think pitching will move to Seattle from NY? You do know Seattle wil need to fill the spot Lee vacates, right? So which “other pitcher” goes to Seattle with your star future prospect? They will surely want a pen arm at the least.

  13. Md23Rewls - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Do the Yankees “need” another starting pitcher? By the numbers, no. The rotation is fine. They do play in the toughest division in baseball, though, and you’re going to have one team out of Tampa/New York/Boston looking out at the end–not to mention the possibility the wild card might not even come from the East. Boston looks like it’s on the slide, but it’s not like the Yankees are eight games ahead of everybody and trading for Lee. They’re in the middle of a pennant race. You do what you have to do. The Mets could have made this trade, the Twins could have made this trade, any of these teams could have, but they held back on their prospects.

  14. Utley's hair - Jul 9, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    I vote for “detest.” But the Wankers are driving up the sales of beer and liquor in the area.

  15. Pete leary - Jul 9, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    The PIGS are going to the trough again!Steinbrenner is a hideous human being and a hog personified!No wonder this team is the most reviled team in all the sports world. Its no sport any longer. The Yankees will be the ruination of baseball.Some day, someone, with more money than GREEDY GEORGE, will screw him to the wall. What goes around, comes around . I hate the man. He has ade it impossible for small market teams to compete. This aided and abetted by a no gonad Commissioner who allows these greedy bums make trades that are bad for baseball. Shame on the BULLY Yankees and the listless Mariners who are complicit in a stinkbomb of a trade that has made a joke of the game.May Steinbrenner and his money burn in HELL!

  16. YawnFlorio - Jul 9, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    All of that when one word would have sufficed?

  17. YawnFlorio - Jul 9, 2010 at 1:20 PM


  18. Don in Dallas - Jul 9, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    Gee, Pete, where have you been the past several years? George S. is as “out of it” as you are. The Yankke owners at least spend their money and attention on trying to win – owners like the Dodgers McCourt like to line their buddies pockets with charity contributions. And as soon as the small market teams spend all their revenue sharing money on players salaries, I’ll start to agree with you. The Twins have as good a package as the Yankees but they appear to be satisfied with just winning the division.

  19. Ditto65 - Jul 9, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    The Rangers are for sale – know anybody richer than Steinbrenner?
    BTW – I am sure there are already owners with more money than George. They just choose to NOT SPEND.
    Oh, and as already mentioned, George is retired.

  20. bigtrav425 - Jul 9, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Has to be nice to pretty much BUY world Series rings!..altho im not sure if the Yanks have enough to get Lee…iv never even heard of this Montero guy so he cant be that good…they have to be gettin Joba/Hughes back in this deal if it happens…Another thing that pisses me of majorly is that teams complain bout the Yanks and Sox buying up players but then they continue to trade with them to help them out! Here is a idea…STOP trading and doing deals with them to help them out…TARDS!

  21. Ditto65 - Jul 9, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    “…iv never even heard of this Montero guy so he cant be that good…”
    per the Seattle PI:
    He’s a big 6-foot-4, 225-pound catcher, though some feel he’ll ultimately wind up as a first baseman.
    For the Mariners, what matters most is the big bat and whether Montero is as good as projected by Baseball America, which rated him the fourth-best prospect in baseball coming into this season behind the impressive threesome of Jason Heyward, Steven Strasburg and Mike Stanton. all making big-league waves already.

  22. Mark B - Jul 10, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Gator, you’re an Oaf

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