View Full Version : More Cliff Lee News...
07-07-2010, 01:18 PM
Update: Based on some conversations I've had today, I get the feeling the Mariners are not close to trading Cliff Lee, at least not to the Twins. I was told the Mariners are scouting the Twins' system, but they are looking at several other teams as well. The Twins and Mariners have yet to exchange proposals for Lee.
I was told by a person close to the negotiations that suggestions of the Twins offering Wilson Ramos and Aaron Hicks are pure speculation. For now, at least.
The Tampa Tribune reports that Upton's name keeps coming up in potential rumored deals for prize Seattle Mariners hurler Cliff Lee. The Trib notes that one possible deal involves a third team.
I have spoken with two scouts who say Juan Francisco, not Yonder Alonso, would be the #Reds' best bat to offer for #CliffLee. #Mariners
07-07-2010, 01:31 PM
Thanks for the update. So now we learned that the Twins are not as into it as we once thought and that Tampa might be the closer trader. I find it hard to believe the Reds are that interested in Lee.
07-07-2010, 08:58 PM
One year after the Indians dealt him to the Phillies, the other team in Ohio would like to acquire Cliff Lee.
A number of people in the industry say the Cincinnati Reds are motivated to get Lee – and have the prospects to entice the Mariners.
Cincinnati has become a “sleeper” team in the Lee sweepstakes, one rival general manager said Wednesday. A separate source said the teams have exchanged names “in preliminary fashion” but have yet to discuss firm proposals.
Lee is the most-talked-about commodity on the midseason trade market, and there are several reasons why the Reds could be a fit.
… The Mariners need offense, and Cincinnati has two big hitters at Triple-A who could headline an offer for Lee: third baseman/first baseman Juan Francisco or first baseman/left fielder Yonder Alonso.
… The Reds also have pitching prospects to trade, including starters Matt Maloney and Travis Wood. (Both are currently on the major-league club.)
… Unlike the talent-rich Rangers, the Reds don’t play in the same division as the Mariners – or even the same league. (The Rangers are a strong suitor for Lee, but trading within the division can be problematic.)
… The recent injury to Aaron Harang, Cincinnati’s Opening Day starter, has given the front office great incentive to trade for a pitcher.
One source said the Reds are aware that they would probably need to surrender Francisco or Alonso in order to obtain the Mariners’ ace.
Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik was fond of Alonso leading up to the 2008 draft, when the Reds selected him in the first round. After a disappointing June, Alonso is batting .379 with three home runs in his first seven games of July.
The Reds entered Wednesday with a two-game lead in the National League Central despite having three starting pitchers on the disabled list: Homer Bailey, Edinson Volquez and Harang.
07-07-2010, 11:14 PM
Justin Smoak would be an incredible return. He beats anything that the Reds would be willing to give up. Alonso is not bad either, but I'd expect a few more pieces in that trade. The Reds definitely seem to want him pretty bad.
07-08-2010, 04:34 AM
I can see us fleecing the Rangers in return of Cliff Lee. Who cares if they are in the division? We are out of it and they a have the deepest farm system in baseball at the moment. I would take Justin Smoak in a heartbeat.
07-08-2010, 07:37 AM
Yeah, I've contended that it would be even better to trade with the Rangers because they're in our division. It's not as if we're in a playoff race with them this year, and we'd control any prospects we'd get in a trade for years. Cliff Lee can't resign with them, so maybe they win the World Series, and maybe not. Either way, they get nothing because there's no way a bankrupt team outbids the east coast power houses for the biggest FA in the off season. They'd just have to sit back and watch their talent develop in front of their eyes 19 times a year.
07-08-2010, 12:02 PM
Very glad to hear that Z covets Justin Smoak. That's the kind of impact player you'd want to get in a Cliff Lee deal.
One rival general manager believes the Rangers have become the favorite to land Cliff Lee.
In order to do that, they will likely need to part with Justin Smoak, currently their everyday first baseman. And sources say the Rangers’ reluctance to include Smoak in an offer for Lee is one of the biggest remaining barriers in their talks with the Mariners.
Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik is said to covet Smoak, a switch hitter who is well suited for the Mariners’ home ballpark.
The Rangers’ ongoing sale — through a bankruptcy process — is a significant element in the trade dialogue, sources say. Lee has roughly $4 million left on his contract for this season, which is almost certainly too rich for the Rangers to afford right now. The Mariners can pay the remainder of Lee’s salary to facilitate a deal, but they will ask for better players as a result. Smoak is likely to be one of them.
If the Rangers deal Smoak, 23, they will need to find a new first baseman in the near term. Smoak is hitting .208 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 69 games this year. He has started virtually every game at first since debuting on April 23.
Smoak, however, has struggled to hit left-handed pitchers; entering Thursday, he had a .143 batting average against them.
The obvious internal replacement for Smoak would be Chris Davis, who was the Rangers’ everyday first baseman prior to Smoak’s call-up. Davis, 24, has played first and third base at Triple-A Oklahoma City and is leading the team with a .354 batting average.
Many in the industry believe that Smoak is a superior player to Davis, although Davis has been the more productive hitter in the major leagues and is a better defender. One rival executive even suggested the Rangers would be “crazy” to trade Smoak.
First base is a relatively easy position for teams to fill externally, and the Rangers could invest more money there once their sale is complete. But Smoak will be affordable for years to come, so the team may prefer to keep him and allocate future free agent dollars toward pitching.
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