Cliff Lee Rumors: Sunday

9:17pm: The Cardinals had a scout at today's Tigers-Mariners game as well, tweets Morosi.

2:45pm: Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says that both the Dodgers and Yankees had scouts in attendance for Lee's brilliant start against the Tigers today (8 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K). For the Yankees, this is the second consecutive start of Lee's which they've scouted.

According to Morosi, some clubs feel the Yankees are scouting Lee for a potential acquisition prior to the July 31 deadline, while others feel they're scouting with an eye toward this year's free agent market.

2:39pm: Jamey Newberg takes a lengthy, but interesting look at some reports guessing what it might take for the Rangers to acquire Lee from Seattle. Ultimately, due to the elite prospects required and the difficulty of working out the payroll (Newberg suggests adding Rich Harden and including an extra prospect to offset the salary), he feels he'd say no to Zduriencik were he in Ranger GM Jon Daniels' shoes.

Newberg also makes the point that while Lee projects as a Type A free agent, it shouldn't be assumed that he'll net his new team two first-round draft picks. Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford both project as fellow Type A free agents. With all three on the Yankees' radar, it's possible that Werth and/or Crawford end up outranking Lee, though Lee currently leads the three. If that happens, and the Yankees sign Lee and one of the two outfielders, Lee's new team would receive a supplemental round pick and a second-round pick instead of a first.

12:28pm: Citing rival executives, ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider link) says that Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik is searching for a "difference-making hitter" in any Cliff Lee negotiations. Expanding upon a tweet he made yesterday, Olney takes a look at the type of young hitter the Mariners may ask for in return for Cliff Lee.

One scenario that Olney suggests involves bringing the Brewers into a potential three-way trade. During Zduriencik's time in Milwaukee, he drafted Brett Lawrie, who Baseball America ranked as the 59th-best prospect in baseball coming into this season. The 20-year-old has only improved his stock this year, hitting .297/.362/.476 with 22 steals for Milwaukee's Double-A affiliate. While trading for Lee makes little sense for the Brewers, they could hypothetically add talent and depth to their farm system by sending Lawrie to Seattle and receiving prospects from the team acquiring Lee. This is speculation on Olney's part, but it's something Zduriencik could very well consider in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Cliff Lee checks in on his former teammates in Philadelphia every now and then. Within the piece, Lee says he'd be happy to stay in Seattle for the rest of the year, and touches on how the season may have played out if he'd remained a Phillie.


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