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Cliff Lee (Almost) Traded to Yankees?!!!
- Updated: July 9, 2010
Lee becomes 9th Yankee on AL All-Star team
Mariners receive prospect package with Jesus Montero as the centerpiece
The most talked-about sweepstakes at the trade deadline this year is coming to a close. THUH-UH-UH-UH—YANKEES WIN!
Despite missing the first month of the season with an abdominal strain, LHP Cliff Lee places 4th among pitchers in the WAR leaderboards at 4.0 according to Fangraphs. This includes an AL-leading 5 shutouts and an MLB-leading and mind-blowing K/BB of 14.83, which more than doubles second place Roy Halladay who owns an exceptional 6.61 mark. Cliff Lee is simply the best left-handed pitcher in baseball.
For the Yankees, who according to Cool Standings had an 80 percent chance of making the playoffs before the trade, this may just seal up a coveted spot to play October baseball and give them an absolutely fearsome top of the rotation for a 5- and 7-game series. CC Sabathia and Lee would certainly be Game 1 and 2 starters, while rising star Phil Hughes and playoff veteran Andy Pettite would both make excellent Game 3 and 4 starters. If early reports yield true, the Yankees will not trade away anyone on their 25-man roster.
In return, the Mariners will receive catcher and uber prospect Jesus Montero. Montero owns a .726 OPS at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. This isn’t a noteworthy mark on its own, but as a 20-year-old catcher one step away from the Majors playing in a notorious pitcher-friendly league, this is above-average production. According to Baseball America, Montero is the #5 prospect in baseball, and joins second baseman Dustin Ackley (#7) and RHP Michael Pineda as Mariners in the top 11.
Montero alone would be a much bigger haul than what the Mariners sent to the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2010 season to acquire Lee. Other players are rumored to be heading to Seattle, including Double-A second baseman David Adams.
Clearly, the Mariners did extremely well for themselves in the Cliff Lee saga in Mariners history.
4:00 PM EST **UPDATE**
Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets the deal has fallen through. The Mariners are extremely cautious of the ankle health of infielder David Adams and another team has jumped into the sweepstakes.
Joel Sherman says Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers is done. Reliever Mark Lowe will also go to Texas. First baseman Justin Smoak and 3 others will head to Seattle. Seeing as how the Rangers are trying to file for bankruptcy, it’s easy to assume Seattle will be sending cash Texas’ way.