Yankees Not Pursuing Lee Yet

2:58pm: An official tells Marc Carig of the Star Ledger that the Yankees have yet to discuss trading for players at the deadline, including Lee.

THURSDAY, 2:07pm: ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears (via Twitter) that the Mariners and Yankees have had "zero" discussions about Lee. That doesn't mean that they won't discuss the lefty in the future, but we now know that talks have not begun. Olney reminds us (via Twitter) that the Yankees have passed on the chance to trade for top pitchers before.

WEDNESDAY, 5:49pm: A rival executive tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that, despite the Yankees' effective rotation, he expects the team to be "undeterred in their pursuit of Lee on the trade market." According to Rosenthal's sources, the Phillies discussed Lee with the Yankees last winter prior to trading the left-hander to the Mariners. The Yankees had been willing to include Montero in a package for Lee, but that was before both the Vazquez trade and the emergence of Hughes.

3:56pm: A Yankees official told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News that the team has no urgency to do anything with their rotation, which isn't necessarily at odds with King's report below.  In other words, the Mariners might like the Yankees to get involved on Lee, but so far they're not.

More interesting is the team official's suggestion that only three players have been made available across baseball so far, and Lee is not among them.

8:03am: The Mariners are preparing for the Yankees to pursue ace lefty Cliff Lee, reports George A. King III of the New York Post.  King says the Mariners have already scouted the Yankees' Low A and Double A clubs and aim to watch their Triple A squad soon.  King spoke to a "person familiar with Seattle's thought process" who believes Jack Zduriencik will seek Triple A shortstop Eduardo Nunez as well as one of the Yankees' minor league catchers.  King suggests that the Yankees would need assurances that they could sign Lee to an extension if they're required to surrender Austin Romine or Jesus Montero.

King believes renting Lee would hold appeal to the Yankees despite their strong rotation.  The Yanks' boast a front five of C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and Javier Vazquez, and it's not clear who they'd bump for Lee.  The most likely candidate, Vazquez, has a 2.73 ERA in 33 innings since returning from a break on May 12th.  Trading Vazquez to clear a spot for Lee seems convoluted to me.

With Nick Johnson potentially out for the season, an offensive addition would be more fitting.  To that end, King says the Yankees have scouts following the Astros in case Lance Berkman becomes available.  Berkman is still owed $11.2MM heading into today's action, however.


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