Teams Are Calling About Cliff Lee

GM Jack Zduriencik told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that teams are calling the Mariners to see if Cliff Lee is available. Those clubs see the Mariners’ 25-41 record and hope that they’re ready to sell, but that’s not how Zduriencik sees it.

“I say, ‘Look, I appreciate the phone call, but what we’re trying to do is get back in this thing,’” Zduriencik said.

The M’s are in last place in the AL West, 12.5 games out of a playoff spot, but Zduriencik has not taken names of potential trade targets from other teams. He says he’s not going to “wave the white flag just yet,” but knows that a number of teams will want to chat if that changes.

Lee, 32 in August, has a 2.88 ERA in nine starts since returning from an abdominal injury. He has 7.9 K/9 and a stingy 0.5 BB/9 in 68.2 innings. His $9MM salary is a bargain and he projects as a Type A free agent after the season. That means his team will get two top picks if Lee turns down arbitration to sign elsewhere. Offering arbitration is risky in some cases, but Lee will almost certainly turn it down.