Cliff Lee Rumors: Thursday

The Twins aren’t close to a deal for Cliff Lee, but the Rangers are working hard to acquire him and a number of other clubs are involved. The Mariners are seeking a monster return for Lee, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com and Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Click here to check out yesterday’s Lee rumblings and check back throughout the day for the latest on the lefty:

  • MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports that talks between Seattle and the Reds have yet to "hit the serious stages." No formal proposals have been exchanged between the two teams.
  • Lee appeared on ESPN 710's Brock and Salk earlier today, and said that he and his agent approached the Mariners about an extension before the season only to be told that the team wasn't "going to go down that road."
  • The Mariners are interested in some of the game’s top prospects and young players, sources tell Jon Heyman of SI.com. Their wish list includes catching prospects Jesus Montero (Yankees) and Wilson Ramos (Twins) plus Justin Smoak and Wade Davis. A competing team says the Twins are a “real” threat to acquire Lee, though we’re not accustomed to seeing them give up lots of talent at the deadline.
  • A rival executive told Heyman that the Rangers discussed Chris Davis and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in a possible Lee trade. As we heard earlier today, the Mariners prefer Smoak and would want more than Davis and Saltalamacchia.
  • The Mariners asked the Yankees for at least three prospects, including Montero, according to Heyman.
  • B.J. Upton’s name has come up, but Heyman suggests the Rays haven't offered him to the Mariners.
  • Larry Stone of the Seattle Times hears rumblings that the White Sox, who just lost Jake Peavy to the DL, are at least 'kicking tires' on Lee. That would not be a surprise given Kenny Williams' track record.
  • One MLB GM told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Rangers are the favorites to acquire Lee. The Rangers don’t want to include Justin Smoak in a trade and at least one rival executive believes they would be ‘crazy’ to do so. The Rangers’ desire to hold onto Smoak is one of the biggest barriers remaining between the two teams. If the Rangers trade Smoak, they could call on Chris Davis, who has a .961 OPS in Triple A.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears the Mets mentioned with Lee less and less frequently (Twitter link). The Mariners are looking to obtain a major league-ready power bat, but the Mets don't want to part with Ike Davis
  • Jack Curry of the YES Network says the Yankees are being thorough and will inquire on Lee, just as they would on any available player of his caliber (Twitter link). That doesn't mean the Yanks are willing to out-bid everyone else, however.
  • The Rangers and Mariners continue to discuss a possible Lee trade, according to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. The Rangers have spoken to numerous teams to figure out what it will take to improve the club for the stretch run.
  • In case there was any doubt remaining about the Mariners' asking price, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer clears it up. An insider tells Fay that "it's going to take a ton," but Fay does not get the sense that a trade is about to happen.
  • The Rangers have financial restrictions, but MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports that they have some money ‘tucked away’ for making moves. GM Jon Daniels is ‘fully engaged’ in the Lee trade talk.
  • We know a lot of teams are interested in Lee, but how many? “Pretty much every team within five games of the playoffs," a source tells Ken Davidoff of Newsday (That's 17 teams). We’ve heard that the Mets may have trouble adding payroll, but GM Omar Minaya and his front office are operating as though they can add salary. That means Lee and Ted Lilly could be targets for the Mets.


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145 Comments on "Cliff Lee Rumors: Thursday"


Pat_M
5 years 27 days ago

They’re asking for a haul and they’re going to get it. With so many races so close someone is going to be desperate enough to really overpay for this guy – and with the way he is pitching, he might be worth just about any package. Great job by the Mariners to get this guy on the cheap. Teams are always going to overpay for a guy that is pitching this good and who looks like he could single-handedly take you to the playoffs, ala CC 2008. The only thing remaining is who is going to put together the biggest offer.

Tigerfan93
5 years 27 days ago

Just like Detroit did last year with Washburn too

boy9988
5 years 27 days ago

…are you trying to compare CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee to Washburn?

Tigerfan93
5 years 27 days ago

No, I’m saying Detroit overpaid for a pitcher that they didn’t need. Granted, CC was needed by the Brewers. Luke French and Maurico Robles were way too much for that Washed up Washburn.

billydisaster132
5 years 27 days ago

the yankees do need cliff lee, after CC and Pettitte who do you have? AJ has been very rocky this year, Vazquez has been good and bad, and Phil Hughes is approaching his innings limit

Tigerfan93
5 years 27 days ago

No, I’m saying Detroit overpaid for a pitcher that they didn’t need. Granted, CC was needed by the Brewers. Luke French and Maurico Robles were way too much for that Washed up Washburn.

boy9988
5 years 27 days ago

…are you trying to compare CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee to Washburn?

Cyyoung
5 years 27 days ago

After the way Price pitched last night, I think the Rays go after Adam Dunn. I dont think Lee is on their radar. A true power hitter like that would make that team very formidable.

5 years 27 days ago

The Rays still have one bullet to fire for their offense and his name is Dan Johnson. .304/.411/.615 23hr 77rsbi! I still don’t understand why he hasn’t been brought up. He’ll make league minimum and has shown great plate discipline. With Johnson coming up the Rays can make a move for someone like Lee or Oswault. The O couldn’t cost more than Brignac and Davis. With Hellickson on the way Davis becomes expendable and has been overrated anyway.

bomberj11
5 years 27 days ago

Because there’s a belief that Pena can still be able to produce stats similar to years past. Pena’s also much more experienced than Johnson. I mean it’s too big of a risk to have someone like Johnson starting with the division so close.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 27 days ago

Because he’s a career minor leaguer who has never earned his weight in the majors.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 27 days ago

Because he’s a career minor leaguer who has never earned his weight in the majors.

coolstorybro222
5 years 27 days ago

isn’t Carlos Pena basically a latino adam dunn? and besides Adam Dunn has a no trade clause.

Yankees420
5 years 27 days ago

Adam Dunn does not have a no trade clause, or even limited no trade protection, you sir are confused.

coolstorybro222
5 years 27 days ago

isn’t Carlos Pena basically a latino adam dunn? and besides Adam Dunn has a no trade clause.

hacker13
5 years 27 days ago

How stupid is Amaro going to look when Seattle flips Lee for more than what they give the Phils for him? That trade will go down as the worst deal in the history of baseball!

boy9988
5 years 27 days ago

Derek Lowe/Jason Varitek -> Bos for Heathcliff Slocumb
Rafael Soriano -> Atl for Horacio Ramirez
Shin-Soo Choo/Shawn Nottingham -> Cle for Ben Broussard
Carlos Guillen -> Detroit for Ramon Santiago/Juan Gonzalez

We have made some REALY BAD deals in our time. I’m hopeful that we can at least try to balence out this scale.

coolstorybro222
5 years 27 days ago

wow. if I was the GM and I traded away Choo, and he’s having the year he is having, man. I would kick my own ass so hard.

boy9988
5 years 27 days ago

Derek Lowe/Jason Varitek -> Bos for Heathcliff Slocumb
Rafael Soriano -> Atl for Horacio Ramirez
Shin-Soo Choo/Shawn Nottingham -> Cle for Ben Broussard
Carlos Guillen -> Detroit for Ramon Santiago/Juan Gonzalez

We have made some REALY BAD deals in our time. I’m hopeful that we can at least try to balence out this scale.

bbxxj
5 years 27 days ago

Can anyone think of the few playoff teams that won’t be in the Lee bidding? I think it would be a fair bet that the Braves won’t be giving up Freeman(1B) and Bethancourt(C) plus another young player for Lee when you already have Hudson-Hanson-Jurrjens-Lowe-Medlen plus Kawakami and perhaps Minor and Resop making up a great staff with solid backup options. Maybe the Padres woud also not be in the mix as their pitching staff is already fantastic and they may not be willing to part with that level of prospects even if they are looking for pitching?

johnsilver
5 years 27 days ago

Even with Beckett on the DL, can’t see Boston interested in Lee as one team still in the chase for the playoffs if they can hang on with half the starting 9 on the DL. Rest of the rotation of Lester, Bucholz, Lackey, Matsuzaka and Wakefield has been decent enough with Doubrant making emergency starts in between to go out and try to upgrade what is already one of the better right now even 4 deep rotations around.

BravesRed
5 years 27 days ago

Wren already said they’ll being look for anything at the deadline, except for pitching, so Braves are out.

scott4
5 years 27 days ago

I see a big 3 way deal deal coming. Mariner’s trading away Lee, Aardsma, nd J. Lopez.

Dylan
5 years 27 days ago

Phillies would def. be interested in Aardsma and Lopez at this point…

bbxxj
5 years 27 days ago

Brown and Cossart for Lee, Lopez and Aardsma? I wouldn’t do it but would Philly get desperate enough to do it if they can’t make up some ground before the deadline?

Dylan
5 years 27 days ago

I don’t think RAJr. will trade either…so Lee def. will not be a Phillie, but I don’t think that will stop them from going after him in the FA….but they will def. get outbid. They need to focus on RP and a bench guy…

scott4
5 years 27 days ago

Kind of what I see happening, bu not sure who the Phils have to deal, D. brown isn’t going anywhere, who do they have of value in the minors?

Dylan
5 years 27 days ago

After Brown and Cosart, they have Colvin, May, Gose, Valle, Bastardo, Savery, Matheison, Santana, and Singleton, but I don’t think any combination without Brown in it will get us Lee. Although, Singleton is ripping the ball but he is like 19, so he is prob. not of interest to the M’s.

small_ball_13
5 years 27 days ago

Where ever Lee goes. Its huge. Everyone knows it especially the mariners so they are asking for the bank here. Which they should. It will help them for years to come. Im glad everyone is bidding for it because it almost guarantees the yankees won’t be able to offer anywhere near the prospects most every other team will be able to offer. Rangers would be the AL favorite if they land him I do believe.

huskydon
5 years 27 days ago

As a Mariners fan, we wish Cliff Lee the absolute best and hope he wins a few games in the World Series. He has been a true competitor, great in the clubhouse and a fantastic mentor and influence to the young pitchers. Hopefully it will be a great deal for both (or all) teams.

Msforever
5 years 27 days ago

Well said. The guy has really been fun to watch. It will suck to see him go.

Spirit of '69
5 years 27 days ago

Give credit to the Mariners on Lee. Either he and Felix Hernandez were going to be part of a resgurgent year or they were going to get something good for him. Lee has exceeded even the high expectations at the start of the year, so they will get a big-time haul for him.

Favorites: Twins, Rangers
Possibles: Mets, Phils, Rays, Tigers, Yanks
Sleepers: Reds, White Sox

scott4
5 years 27 days ago

Mets get C. Lee, R. Johnson(just cuz Cliff likes him.)
Red Sox get J. Lopez, D. Aardsma, J. Thole
Mariners get W. Flores, L. Anderson, F. Martinez

jwredsox
5 years 27 days ago

The Sox would do that in a minute. Lars for 3 players? Sign them up.

Nicolas_C
5 years 27 days ago

The Red Sox give up Lars Anderson and get Jose Lopez, David Aardsma, and Josh Thole? Doesn’t seem close to fair.

scott4
5 years 27 days ago

No, it doesn’t. Was going to include Ryan Kalish as well, just forgot.

dc21892
5 years 27 days ago

The Sox would not trade Kalish and Anderson for that, lol. They are tearing it up in the minors Jose Lopez won’t have a spot on this team once every one comes back and a BP arm? Come on man.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

Anderson isn’t tearing it up in the minors. I agree with you about the trade, but let’s not make things up.

Pat_M
5 years 27 days ago

If the Mariners aren’t biting on Hick & Ramos I’d have to think Texas becomes the huge favorite. With two big league ready 1B, couple of young catchers, and tons of pitching depth in the minors I can’t even speculate on what the Mariners would want but there is plenty to chose from. It would really put Texas over the top and they’d be a scary looking team come playoff time.

5 years 27 days ago

Texas has the highest playoff probability (85.1% according to coolstandings.com), so it definitely makes sense for them to get him.

CrustyJuggler
5 years 27 days ago

Rumor has it from a few reports now that Smoak isn’t off the table.

scott4
5 years 27 days ago

Smoak would be the best centerpiece out there for the M’s I think. Him and a pretty decent pitching prospect should get the job done. I think they aren’t biting on Ramos/Hicks because of Hicks being a few years away yet and I think their brass believes Adam Moore is still a very good catching prospect and they aren’t sure if Ramos will be better.

5 years 27 days ago

As a Mariners fan, I would *love* to have Smoak. We’ve been needing a young mashing 1B type for a long, long time. It would be a lot to give up but he’s a guy that would enable the Rangers to get him now, instead of having Seattle wait around for other offers.

Maybe Seattle could send Russell Branyan along with Lee, and take Rich Harden back along with Smoak (possible a few low level prospects) to offset salary? It seems like Texas could use Branyan’s bat at 1B for the stretch run.

boy9988
5 years 27 days ago

Smoak/Holland/Font

I would take that deal right now.

5 years 27 days ago

LMAO. Dream on. No way the Rangers make that deal.

5 years 27 days ago

LOLOL … I bet you would take that deal.

5 years 27 days ago

LOLOL … I bet you would take that deal.

5 years 27 days ago

LMAO. Dream on. No way the Rangers make that deal.

Gunner65
5 years 27 days ago

Well I guess that puts to rest those crazy ideas that some people have about getting Lee for one top prospect and some 2nd tier minor league players. While he’d look good in a Reds uni, I still can not justify over paying for the man without a pre-trade extension.

CrustyJuggler
5 years 27 days ago

If your in the Rangers shoes, Lee is worth a load. With their offense and Lee leading the staff, they are legit WS contenders.

Gunner65
5 years 27 days ago

Yeah, I agree there may be some team other then the Reds willing to over pay for two months of him … but I can’t justify it in my mind for a small market team who can’t afford to give away their top prospects like that …

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

He’s not worth a load of players that you’re counting on as parts of your core for the next five years.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

He’s not worth a load of players that you’re counting on as parts of your core for the next five years.

5 years 27 days ago

The Reds have Alonso, Francisco, and Heisey. 3 men, 1 LF spot (unless you think Juan can play 3rd or Alonso will usurp Votto or Heisey will take down Stubbs). Trade 2 for Lee, offer him arb, watch him decline, and then get back 2 early draft picks.

With those 2 picks, refill the farm system. The draft picks obviously won’t be as close to big league ready as Alonso/Francisco, but what’s the point of being big league ready if they don’t have position on the team?

Gunner65
5 years 27 days ago

Because based on what Fay is saying, sending two of those guys on your list doesn’t sound like its going to be enough to be honest. If his gut feelings are correct, you are looking at the M’s asking for a package of: Alonso/Heisey/Wood … or subtract one of those & insert Mesoraco … that isn’t a price I am willing to pay.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

None of those guys is as good a primary piece as either Hicks OR Ramos.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

None of those guys is as good a primary piece as either Hicks OR Ramos.

5 years 27 days ago

Ok does anyone really want Davis? Yeah he’s dominating in AAA right now, but he is still striking out a ton and not walking a ton. Smoak will headline the rangers package or this trade won’t happen. Now Smoak is a ton to give up for half a year of Lee. Do the Rangers really want to give up more than that?

boy9988
5 years 27 days ago

I agree. With Smoak, Perez, and Scheppers off the table, I think the Twins and Reds become the leaders in the sweepstakes. Davis just isnt the kind of prospect that headlines this deal.

SoCalAngelsFan75
5 years 27 days ago

As an Angels fan, it’s scary to think that Lee may go to TX. With the Halos struggling, the Rangers keep stretching that gap. The AL West is almost guaranteed if they get Lee. Also, more than likely they’ll be facing the Yanks in the playoffs and Lee has pitched well against them. Not familiar enough with what TX would have to give up but winning the west and having a pitcher that can take on NYY seems like it would be worth it for a team that hasn’t made much noise in recent history.

icedrake523
5 years 27 days ago

If the Mets thought they might have trouble adding payroll in the future, why did they give Willie an extension during their 07 collapse? Or overpay for Castillo? Or re-sign Oliver Perez at all?

caseyB
5 years 27 days ago

The “rumors” of payroll/financial difficulties came only AFTER the Madoff scandal, which was after ’07 and the Castillo/Perez contracts. Keep in mind that these are only rumors too, and they’ve been denied by many sources.

caseyB
5 years 27 days ago

The “rumors” of payroll/financial difficulties came only AFTER the Madoff scandal, which was after ’07 and the Castillo/Perez contracts. Keep in mind that these are only rumors too, and they’ve been denied by many sources.

CrustyJuggler
5 years 27 days ago

Something else to consider is when people scoff at dealing away Smoak because he is a part of their current offense. He really isn’t hitting well at all in his first big league stint. The patience is there but he is getting pretty much overmatched by ML pitching so far. If Seattle threw in Branyan it would be an decent offensive upgrade at 1B for 2010.

5 years 27 days ago

It has nothing to do with him being up in the Majors. We don’t want our team to deal him because 5 years down the line, we want Justin hitting 40 HR’s for us and not for Seattle.

5 years 27 days ago

It has nothing to do with him being up in the Majors. We don’t want our team to deal him because 5 years down the line, we want Justin hitting 40 HR’s for us and not for Seattle.

5 years 27 days ago

Just throwing it out there (In response to Buster Olneys latest tweet):

Javier Vasquez and prospect for Jayson Werth.

Dylan
5 years 27 days ago

No Thanks….IF Phillies trade Werth it will be for a RH corner outfielder OR a stud pitching prospect…not a guy who is struggling this year.

icedrake523
5 years 27 days ago

He’s not been struggling lately.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

Which team will be sending you that stud pitching prospect for a rental of Werth’s home/road splits?

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

Which team will be sending you that stud pitching prospect for a rental of Werth’s home/road splits?

BigRedOne
5 years 27 days ago

My sources tell me the main Reds brass, Walt Jocketty, Bill Miller and Cam Bonifay are all in Philadelphia to watch Wood and Maloney to decide which one to throw in the Lee sweepstakes. Look for Yonder Alonso to get pulled from his minor league game after the All-Star break…

scott4
5 years 27 days ago

Alonso just isn’t Smoak. They would have to get Alonso, Francisco, and one of Maloney/Wood.

Gunner65
5 years 27 days ago

If its Maloney …I can live with that deal … I will not be happy if Wood is included

5 years 27 days ago

Player Names: Career Minor League Stats…
Justin Smoak .292avg/.403obp/.452slg/.855ops
Yonder Alonso .293avg/.378obp/.459slg/.837ops

Now…I know Yonder isn’t Justin…But Do not tell me that they are not EXTREMELY comparable to each other. And IMO, Alonso is a Edgar Martinez clone…I think SEA might find that comparison quite alluring.

scott4
5 years 27 days ago

Wow, that’s quite a stretch. Edgar Martinez? You’re comparing a prospect, any prospect to Edgar? You think Alonso will hit about .325, get 30 hr, and drive in around 120 for 10 straight years or so, and turn around and start batting righty?

As for Smoak and Alonso, it’s not all about stats in the minors, there are other factors otherwise C. Davis would be a ML All-star instead of back at AAA.

Msforever
5 years 27 days ago

Edgar Martinez?

Msforever
5 years 27 days ago

Edgar Martinez?

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

Just because you hope a guy’s bat will come around and you don’t think he’ll ever be useful in the field doesn’t make him Edgar Martinez. Let’s see Alonso hit better, hit for more power, get over his platoon splits, and show anything at the upper levels before we compare him to a hall of fame caliber bat and perhaps the greatest DH of all time.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

Just because you hope a guy’s bat will come around and you don’t think he’ll ever be useful in the field doesn’t make him Edgar Martinez. Let’s see Alonso hit better, hit for more power, get over his platoon splits, and show anything at the upper levels before we compare him to a hall of fame caliber bat and perhaps the greatest DH of all time.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

I’d rather have the two picks than Alonso, Francisco, and Maloney.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

I’d rather have the two picks than Alonso, Francisco, and Maloney.

ghost5599
5 years 27 days ago

Well if the M’s get some kind of Smoak deal done I hope they don’t have to include Branyan as part of it. I myself would like to see both Smoak and Branyan in the Seattle lineup next year. Get rid of Branyan and they will have to go out and find another power bat. Which did not go well in their search and efforts for one this year.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

If the Rangers will give you Smoak in a deal for a rental and they want Branyan too, Jack Z will personally drive Lee and Branyan to Texas himself. As well he should.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

If the Rangers will give you Smoak in a deal for a rental and they want Branyan too, Jack Z will personally drive Lee and Branyan to Texas himself. As well he should.

Belandsexo
5 years 27 days ago

If we can land Smoak, the Rangers wouldn’t have to throw in much more. Hell I would do Lee for Smoak straight up. They could take Branyan back too if they wanted a short term 1B solution.

A more realistic deal is probably Holland/Beltre/Salty or Davis. I just cant see Texas giving up Smoak. If he was still in the minors, he’d be the #1 prospect in baseball.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

I agree with you until the last sentence. He wouldn’t be number one, but he’d be mighty high.

aap212
5 years 27 days ago

I agree with you until the last sentence. He wouldn’t be number one, but he’d be mighty high.