Mariners Willing To Trade Cliff Lee Immediately?

Mariners' GM Jack Zduriencik has maintained that he is not yet willing to throw in the towel and trade ace lefty Cliff Lee, but Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com heard from two executives that Seattle is willing to deal him "immediately for the right offer." One of those executives predicted that he could be moved in the next seven to ten days, similar to the timetable the Indians used when dealing CC Sabathia two years ago.

By moving Lee now as opposed to waiting until the deadline, the Mariners could maximize their return since the acquiring team will be getting an extra month of the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner. They'll also save a larger percentage of the approximately $4.94MM owed to Lee the remainder of the season, and of course reduce the risk of a trade value crippling injury.

Rosenthal's sources say that the Mets, Dodgers, and Rangers have all inquired about Lee, but many project the Twins as the front runner. The Mariners have scouted the Yankees' farm system, but the Yanks' scouting of Lee is just the team's routine coverage of a pitcher on their free agent wish list. They are happy with their five-man rotation at the moment.

Seattle is currently 14 games back in the AL West while Cleveland was 13.5 back when they dealt Sabathia. They received a four prospect package highlighted by Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley, and the Mariners can reasonably expect a similar return for Lee. The 31-year-old lefty has made 11 starts this year after missing time with an oblique injury, and has pitched to a 2.39 ERA in 86.2 innings. He's struck out 76 and walked just four. 


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80 Comments on "Mariners Willing To Trade Cliff Lee Immediately?"


5 years 1 month ago

Other than Wilson Ramos, what prospects are the Twins willing to trade?

Nicolas_C
5 years 1 month ago

I think they have some infield prospects, like Trevor Plouffe and Danny Valencia. The Mariners have some question mark in the right side of their infield.

jarg8
5 years 1 month ago

whats funny is that the mariners probably wouldnt except the same prospects they gave to the phillies for lee, but thats what amaro gets for being an idiot and offering him to one team and then trading him less than a day after putting him on the market. Not one of those prospects will probably be in the top 100 prospect list they release mid-season yet the mariners should get a top 30 prospect.

Lloydxmas
5 years 1 month ago

Lee improves any teams chances…..i just don’t see a fit with the Yanks currently. A rotation of Sabathia, Lee, Burnett, and Pettite in the postseason would be filthy though. Yanks need a bench bat and a bullpen arm currently.

ReverendBlack
5 years 1 month ago

It was basically never a possibility imo. The Yanks don’t mind paying, but they do mind paying twice.

5 years 1 month ago

Twins need to offer a package that is better than Lee + 2 first round picks.

Ramos/Revere + Blackburn/Slowey/Baker + LL prospect?

Lloydxmas
5 years 1 month ago

I would like to see the Twins get Lee.

Msforever
5 years 1 month ago

I think I’d be cool with Ramos, Revere, Slowey, or Ramos, Hicks, Slowey. I think it’s an overpay for the Twins, but you do that for Cliff Lee, especially if they can get him immediately. No Blackburn please. He’s no prospect.

Spirit of '69
5 years 1 month ago

It’s smart for the Mariners to move him sooner than later as with each passing day they lose leverage. The longer you wait, the less you get back. They have more leverage than the Astros have with Oswalt. Unless they really, really believe they can turn it around and make a legitimate move the time is now to trade him and get the best return possible.

The Twins want him bad and the Mets have already indicated they’re willing to rent him. There will be other suitors including some who are completely under the radar. Field the best offers and move him now if you want the best return. Wait til the deadline and you’re going to be underwhelmed.

Rich_in_NJ
5 years 1 month ago

I think it’s a gambit designed to get teams to raise their offers.

Infield Fly
5 years 1 month ago

Whatever the M’s strategy, for the Mets, this report should definitely serve as “fair warning.” Omar [and his retainers] badly misread the market for John Lackey last winter, and although this turned out for the best, it is a major cautionary tale. If they’re serious about contending – and about Lee – they need to start gathering their pieces and act like they’re in this thing…before there’s nothing left to be into…

mikefichera
5 years 1 month ago

I like Minaya’s approach towards these things he rarely gives up too much. When it comes to trades I’ve got good faith in Minaya.

CrustyJuggler
5 years 1 month ago

I’ll echo what someone else said in another thread about the Mets possibly getting Lee. If they do, Ruben Amaro will need to be chaperoned around Philly in the same bulletproof bubble the Pope used.

bflaff
5 years 1 month ago

Maybe. But no one in Philly fears the Mets. Maybe adding Lee would change that, but until the Mets are popping champagne while the Phils make vacation plans, Amaro will be fine. The team that really gets hosed in the Lee to NY scenario is the Braves, who have about one month to go (tops) before they’re looking up in the standings, regardless of where Lee winds up. Lee to the Mets would make the uphill climb for them that much tougher.

bflaff
5 years 1 month ago

Maybe. But no one in Philly fears the Mets. Maybe adding Lee would change that, but until the Mets are popping champagne while the Phils make vacation plans, Amaro will be fine. The team that really gets hosed in the Lee to NY scenario is the Braves, who have about one month to go (tops) before they’re looking up in the standings, regardless of where Lee winds up. Lee to the Mets would make the uphill climb for them that much tougher.

5 years 1 month ago

What do you mean they misread the market? They absolutely made the right move not offering Lackey 5 years. Aside from that Wolf was the only SP with anything to offer and he got overpaid. Who could predict Garland would have this start?

sportsnut969
5 years 1 month ago

First off Rosen-wrong is at it again the Indians DID NOT receive 4 prospects for CC they received LaPorta – top prospect – Rob Bryson who was at Low A and a talent but wasn’t even a top 20 prospect at the time, and Zach Jackson who was not a prospect but a throw in that the Brewers was on the verge of releasing at the time of the deal and a player to be named later that was between Tyler Green and Brantley, the Indians chose Brantley towards the end of the season at the time Brantley was rated in the lower half of the top ten.

As of right now that trade is looking like a hugh bust.

Laporta hasn’t been able to hit major league pitching in 2 different tries with the big league club, he is looking more like a AAAA outfield where his power does not transfer to the majors.

Brantley is a singles guy has not been able to hit major league pitching in 2 tries also, he is a 2 tool guy with below average speed and no POP or power . 60 games at the minors 7 stolenbases caught 4 times hitting around 285 with 3 homers 7 doubles ( had 3 in 1 game ) and 2 triples.
He hasn’t developed into the guy they thought he would — this is not going to be the guy to replace Sizemore from what I see.

Zach Jackson is out of baseball

Rob Bryson had TJ Surgery and has recoved well and is now back on track and is looking like he will end up being the key to this deal IMO BB/K 1/5 and is doing a good job closing games out he is either at High A or AA how the plan is for him to make it to AAA next year and maybe help the big league club out in the bullpen.

I think the Indians may include Brantley in one of their trades to try and upgrade at the CF prospect area. Maybe in a Carmona or Westbrook deal to help inprove the returning prospect play. I have heard they are interested in Bradley Holt Pitcher/ Kirk Nieuwenhuis centerfielder / and lower level finge players Robbie Sheilds and Zack Lutz.

I know the Mets have contacted the Indians about Carmona so lets see if the Indians sell high. Or just hang onto him and dump Westbrook.

S8P7W
5 years 1 month ago

Zach Jackson is currently playing for Las Vegas in the Pacific Coast League, Toronto’s AAA affiliate.

CrustyJuggler
5 years 1 month ago

At the time though LaPorta was viewed as a ML-ready DH type that would step in and hit 30 HRs right from the get-go. He was one of the more premium prospect bats in baseball.

CaseStreet
5 years 1 month ago

The Mets don’t need Lee, we’re getting Big Z :)

CrustyJuggler
5 years 1 month ago

^lol

Shikikazu
5 years 1 month ago

The Mets Gatorade Machines are now in serious danger.

Belandsexo
5 years 1 month ago

Twins: Ramos, Slowey, a B level guy
Rangers: Scheppers, Font, Chris Davis
Mets: Mejia or Flores, and whatever else they want to throw in

I would like the M’s to make one of those deals. Preferably with the Rangers given how many good minor leaguers they have

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

Trade Davis for Smoak and Seattle will take that deal right now.

Belandsexo
5 years 1 month ago

M’s would trade Lee straight up for Smoak. Texas would never be stupid enough to do that though. We’re not getting a player of that caliber back in any deal.

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

Which is exactly why i don’t think a Texas deal will work. Not that they don’t have the prospects, but that they won’t give up the one that we want. I think the whole “Seattle isn’t ready to throw in the towel” thing is just a smokescreen to not have to say no to team’s offers. Its one of those things where you negotiate with a guy that just stares at you and never says anything, so you just keep raising the offer. That way Seattle keeps everyone interested and bidding even though some offers they would never take.

Belandsexo
5 years 1 month ago

There are a number of Texas players that we would want. Just because Smoak is their best young player, doesn’t mean that we would demand him. No competent GM would believe they could get Smoak for a rental. And you would have to be an idiot of a GM to cut off talks with Texas just because they won’t give you Smoak.

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

I agree, but that’s what makes a good negotiator. Being able to make your trade partner think your saying that without actually saying that. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes if they get desperate enough, they will include that once piece to get it done. Personally i would agree to take Chris Davis instead if Scheppers is in the deal.

frank_costanza
5 years 1 month ago

i still dont think its a good move to deal Lee right now. the mariners have Lee, Felix, and Vargas all going well right now, not to mention Fister was just activated from the DL. what happens if come the deadline the M’s have cut their deficit in half and are only 7gb? in that division, thats more than possible.

Belandsexo
5 years 1 month ago

That doesn’t seem likely. It doesn’t matter that they have three guys going well. They have been awful on the road all season, and they are so bad offensively, that they more often than not will blow a great start from Lee, Felix, Vargas because the offense won’t score enough.

Look at the game the other day. Felix threw a CG and they lost in extra innings anyway.

This team isn’t contending for anything. Plus Vargas will not pitch this well all year. He’s done a great job, but he’s not going to finish the year with a sub 3.00 ERA. He has some regression coming his way.

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

Your not wrong. Seattle’s starters are doing awesome right now. But the bullpen is suspect with Lowe, Kelley, and Aardsma all gone. Aardsma will be back, but he is only the ninth inning. We can’t trust Sean White in the 7th or 8th anymore. And what is obviously worse is the offense. We cant hit our way out of a paper bag. Texas or anyone else doesn’t have to score more than a run or two to beat us. That’s why it is so painful to see Seattle do this. If only we had ponied up the doe to get Guerrero.

alphabet_soup5
5 years 1 month ago

Nobody ever mentions the Tigers, but they have the pieces to make a trade work, and could use another established starter in their rotation.1. Verlander2. Lee3. Bonderman4. Galaragga5. Porcello (When he comes back…)When the White Sox come back to Earth, this rotation would win the AL Central, and just looking at the first 2 pitchers they could get far in the postseason. Wouldn’t hurt for the Tigers to also look into trading for a shortstop, such as Stephen Drew.

Edit: Forgot Scherzer, that would probably make Porcello the odd man out.

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

so…what pieces?

Msforever
5 years 1 month ago

4 walks in 86.2 innings? That is just morbidly obese.

AngryPoster
5 years 1 month ago

I agree that the M’s will have no problem trading with Texas and the deal mentioned above where the M’s get Chris Davis and Scheppers…………but if the Twins to Ramos and Slowey, there is no better deal out there.
I don’t even like what the Mets really have to offer because even if the pony up a top prospect they won’t really offer much else and I think the M’s can get a package with 2 very good MLB ready players in it.
To expand on the 4 walks in 86.2 innings, Lee is averaging almost 8 innings per start!!! Um, yeah you put him on a team that can score some runs and he’ll win 4 out of 5 games started and he’s nails in the post season so someone will pay a very hefty price for him because he’s the real deal and will take a team all the way if they have the players to support him.

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

If you look at Ramos career number, he doesn’t even match up with Adam Moore. Moore may have struggled thus far, but remember, he was platooned and has played all of about 35 games. So lets not write him off just yet. And even if we didn’t have Moore, Scheppers and Davis is still better.

Belandsexo
5 years 1 month ago

There is something called tools and projection. Ramos has more defensive and offensive potential than Moore.

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

says you

5 years 29 days ago

Twins guy in the know here. All indications on the potential Twins trade front has Ramos, Slowey/Baker/Blackburn/Duensing, and a low-level prospect being what they’re willing to give up.

But keep in mind, this is NOT the type of trade the Twins have EVER done. I’m as curious as you are if they’d actually do something like this.

As for Ramos: He is a top-notch defensive catcher and has a high offensive ceiling with above average power at the Catcher position.

He has thrown out over 40% of basestealers every year he has played and was voted the Top Defensive Catcher in the Florida State League (high-A) in 2008 by managers. Was injured most of last year while at AA, so he didn’t put up huge numbers, But despite that Coach Ron Gardenhire fought with the Front Office in Spring Training this year because he wanted Ramos on the MLB squad to start the season, which as I’ve outlined above, would have meant he never played a AAA game before making his MLB debut, thats the type of talent he has. He was also arguably the best player in the Winter League Season this past year (where a lot of MLB-level players play).

Even though his AAA numbers don’t jump out at you right now, he’s a top-3 catcher prospect in all of baseball, and the Mariners aren’t going to get that type of player from any other team, and as a Twins fan, I’ll be pissed when he turns into an All-Star for your squad and Lee is nowhere to be found in a Twins uni if this actually happens.

5 years 29 days ago

Twins guy in the know here. All indications on the potential Twins trade front has Ramos, Slowey/Baker/Blackburn/Duensing, and a low-level prospect being what they’re willing to give up.

But keep in mind, this is NOT the type of trade the Twins have EVER done. I’m as curious as you are if they’d actually do something like this.

As for Ramos: He is a top-notch defensive catcher and has a high offensive ceiling with above average power at the Catcher position.

He has thrown out over 40% of basestealers every year he has played and was voted the Top Defensive Catcher in the Florida State League (high-A) in 2008 by managers. Was injured most of last year while at AA, so he didn’t put up huge numbers, But despite that Coach Ron Gardenhire fought with the Front Office in Spring Training this year because he wanted Ramos on the MLB squad to start the season, which as I’ve outlined above, would have meant he never played a AAA game before making his MLB debut, thats the type of talent he has. He was also arguably the best player in the Winter League Season this past year (where a lot of MLB-level players play).

Even though his AAA numbers don’t jump out at you right now, he’s a top-3 catcher prospect in all of baseball, and the Mariners aren’t going to get that type of player from any other team, and as a Twins fan, I’ll be pissed when he turns into an All-Star for your squad and Lee is nowhere to be found in a Twins uni if this actually happens.

Eric
5 years 1 month ago

Lee has been outstanding! I think the Mets have the right pieces to offer the M’s for the services of Cliff Lee. I would suggest a deal of RHP Jenrry Mejia, INF Reese Havens and C Josh Thole. I think this is a deal that would protect the Mets interest for this year and would help fill needs for the future in Seattle.

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

Fills your needs, not ours. ATTENTION ALL METS FANS!! IKE DAVIS OR NO DEAL!

Belandsexo
5 years 1 month ago

That deal would definately be considered by Seattle.

You aren’t getting Smoak or Davis, dude. And you would be a bad GM if you just cut off talks with these teams because they wont give you there current ML 1B. There isn’t a Gm in the game who would part with Smoak or Davis for a Lee rental

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

Exactly. I hold the best piece in Baseball. And no one has offered me anything i think is good enough to pass up the opportunity to sign Lee at the end of the season nor pass on two first round draft picks.

5 years 1 month ago

The Twins will get him for Plouffe, Ramos, and slowey/blackburn/duensing. Baker is Gardy’s man, and slowey can be replaced easily with left hander duensing if need be. Ramos will clearly be the center point of the trade, and is truly a top rated prospect. Plouffe is a solid ss prospect, just needs a little more time to develop. The Mariners will be happy with whatever pitcher they get from the Twins, because lets face it….the let Silva ride the bp and collect on his huge contract. The Twins have what Seattle wants, and Seattle has what the Twins want.

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

omg…stop being homers. The Twins likely have the least of any kind of player Seattle wants. We do not need a catcher and you starters are average at best (except Baker). But they are the only ones willing to deal. FYI for all you Twins fans, The Rangers, Mets, Yankees, and Reds all have better players for Seattle, they just arn’t to the point of wanting to trade them yet. The Twins better hope Texas doesn’t get desperate enough to give in, cause they got some good stuff down there and there is no chance they can sign Lee next season, so we don’t have to worry about that.

5 years 1 month ago

yeah okay…the Rangers aren’t going after Lee, they want oswalt. That has been documented all along. The Twins have all kinds of money to spend, they have the richest owner in baseball, and Target Field has been drawing even more money than expected. The Twins can afford him, and his extension, thats a no brainer. Duensing took us to the playoffs, while the M’s were at home watching. But your right…the Twins don’t have players and prospects who can take you to the postseason…

what a joke

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

Seattle has better pitching than most of the AL, including the Twins. Pitching isn’t this teams fatal flaw. Offense is. Specifically at 1B. Do you HW for once. And Texas likes Oswalt for the fact that he has a longer contract, but they cant get him because of their ownership problems that wont allow them to take on money. Any idiot with a newspaper would know this much about opposing teams.

CrustyJuggler
5 years 1 month ago

The Rangers can’t get Oswalt. There’s a little something of a 26-ish million dollar caveat in the way. They can’t take on money… period. Even if they dealt for Lee some contracts may have to exchange hands to make the books balance.

AngryPoster
5 years 1 month ago

LOL…….”I know the M’s have a great team”…….LOL

I’m a die hard M’s fan and there’s no way I could say all those words in that order when talking about the M’s!

GREAT?!?! We are 12th of 14 American League teams….that’s great? Of the 30 teams in MLB there are only 5 teams that we are better than! ONLY 5!

Come on guys, we have to at least be able to be honest about what we are and how the whole team of only defensive players has worked out for us. It’s failed! I’m a huge Jack Z fan, he’s got a plan but we have to call a spade a spade here….we are bad. We have some good players, some good parts of our team, but it’s a team and as a team we are really bad.
I would dissagree with the guy who thinks the Twins have nothing we want, I actually think they do have exactly what Jack Z wants but time will tell on that.

Oh and another thing….Texas will NOT get Oswalt because of the financial situation there and the 18 mil or whatever it is that Oswalt is still owed on his contract. Write it down, no Oswalt in TX.

Cheers

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

Most people forget that Seattle still has Bedard who could come up as early as July. Bedard isn’t Cliff Lee, neither before surgery and most definitely not after. But he ain’t too bad either. There is no way for Seattle to compete this year against Texas, but we could make a run. Texas is by no means unbeatable. Their pitching is average at best and their home ballpark does nothing to help them. If their opponents have the pitching to keep Texas off the scoreboard (a tall task), the Texas pitching staff will give them an opportunity to score against them. Seattle is a bad team because its offense is so bad, not because of its pitching. Give the M’s a true #3 hitter and the west would look a whole lot closer together than it is now.

sportsnut969
5 years 1 month ago

It blows my mind how so many mindless people think that the Mets a team trying to contend a starter off their team for a rental player.The only way Lee is dealt for a A type prospect is if Lee agrees to expend with the team receiving him or the A type prospect is a totally blocked prospect like Ramos.And for the above I don’t care were Zack Jackson is playin the point is that he still sucks has always sucked will never ever be a major leaguer and Rosenthal has no clue and is just a mindless rumor starter who is rarely gets it right.

dshires4
5 years 1 month ago

As a Mariners fan, here are my thoughts:Twins: Ramos is so overrated. If there is a Twins deal, it better be centered around an arm, or a top prospect recently drafted who sits in the low minors.Rangers: Justin Smoak + a pitcher, and I’d be happy. I’d be happy with Smoak straight up, actually. But if we could fetch Scheppers and Chris Davis, I’d be giddy.Mets: Ike Davis or no deal.

boy9988
5 years 1 month ago

See you know what your talkin’ about. There is no way we could get that kind of a deal from Texas but we can all dream. As an M’s Fan, I hope we don’t trade with the Twins. There just isn’t anything good from their system that will help us right now.

5 years 1 month ago

Have fun with your two draft picks