In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney says that even though the Yankees already have five good starters, the tight race in the AL East is enough to keep them engaged with the Mariners about Cliff Lee. They will probably make an offer at some point, but they're unlikely to land him because they've been philosophically opposed to trading prospects for a player they could just sign as a free agent after the season.
Here are the rest of Olney's rumors…
- Olney's message to any team looking for bullpen help: Good luck with that. There are no difference-making relievers on the market, and guys like Kerry Wood, David Aardsma, and Jason Frasor are no sure things.
- Carlos Zambrano has some value as an innings eater, and the Cubs could probably get a team to absorb $10-15MM of the $45MM left on his deal. If he does get traded, Olney says it would likely be in the offseason.
- People in the Dodgers' organization say there is "little or no hope" that money will be available for the team to make moves.
- Olney doesn't see the Giants and Brewers matching up in a Prince Fielder trade. Matt Cain is a deal breaker given Tim Lincecum's recent struggles, and Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner won't be enough.