Cliff Lee Rumors: Tuesday

The Twins offered prospects Wilson Ramos and Aaron Hicks to the Mariners for Cliff Lee, according to a report by Jeff Fletcher of AOL FanHouse yesterday. Reports have since indicated that the two clubs are not close to a deal. If nothing works out between the Twins and Mariners, other teams, such as the Yankees, Mets, Rangers and Reds would likely be involved. We'll keep track of all the day's Cliff Lee rumors right here, so check back later in the day to see if we have moved this post back to the top of the page with updates.

  • ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link) hears that Lee trade talks are "heating up," since some teams want to add the southpaw as soon as possible.
  • An official from one team interested in Lee tells AOL FanHouse's Ed Price that his club has yet to hear back from Jack Zduriencik regarding what sort of return the Mariners are seeking.
  • B.J. Upton, now involved in the Lee rumors, tells Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that he doesn't want the Rays to trade him (Twitter link). Joe Maddon also talks to Topkin about the Upton rumors, saying there's "nothing from our end regarding that being true."
  • The Yankees believe they could trade for Lee if they wanted to, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter).
  • The Yankees are “kicking the tires” on Lee, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The source estimates that the Yanks have less than a 50% chance of obtaining Lee and suggests the Yankees could flip Javier Vazquez to another team if they do acquire Lee.
  • The Rays are on the periphery of the Lee sweepstakes, according to Rosenthal’s sources, who confirm that B.J. Upton-Cliff Lee trade talk surfaced amoung scouts last night.
  • The Tigers like Lee, but aren't optimistic about acquiring him, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • Olney hears that the Mariners "really like" Brewers prospect Brett Lawrie (Twitter link). The 20-year-old second baseman recently made Baseball America's mid-season All-Star team. Lawrie "still strikes out too often and is a work in progress at second base," but is among the offensive leaders at AA. The Mariners have 2009 first rounder Dustin Ackley, also a second baseman, hitting well in AA, though Ackley's presence doesn't mean they can't pursue Lawrie.
  • Morosi hears that talks between the Mets and Mariners have not progressed much (Twitter link).
  • Jerry Crasnick's sources estimate that there's a 60-100% chance that the Mariners trade Lee this month. The Mets prefer Lee to innings eaters and the Yankees ‘covet’ him, but the Phillies would be more likely to pursue Dan Haren if they go after an ace, according to Crasnick’s report for ESPN.com. One AL executive suggested the Mariners might have to explore three-way trades to get as much as possible in return for the left-hander.
  • A rival executive told Ed Price of AOL FanHouse that the Twins will ‘go hard’ after Lee. Some believe the Rangers called Omar Beltre up to showcase him for the Mariners.
  • Peter Gammons hears rumblings of a Lee-B.J. Upton deal and wonders if a third team could be involved along with the Mariners and Rays (Twitter link).
  • Rosenthal hears that no deal between the Twins and Mariners is imminent. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik declined to characterize the talks he has had with the Twins, but Jon Paul Morosi hears that the Mariners have scouted the Twins extensively. Executives were divided on whether the Twins, who have traditionally held onto their prospects, would offer Hicks and Ramos in the same deal.

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