Either Cliff Lee constantly smells like farts and vinegar or he is just a terrible person, because the former Indians, Phillies, and current Mariners pitcher seems to move more than Travis Henry’s sperm. The latest news on Lee is that he’s practically a Yankee – a done deal, as Buster Olney’s sources tell him. Olney writes that an “executive involved in the trade talks” claims it’s “just about done,” a statement that must have made several other GMs and team presidents say, “Oh really?”
While the addition of Lee to a rotation that already features C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettite and that other guy sounds pretty darn tootin’, it’s also not happening just yet. Other pundits are predicting that this New York media assumption that the best player available will be a Yankee should light a fire under one of the other teams desperate for Lee’s services. That’s not to be confused with Hyapatia Lee’s services, which once commanded $5,000 per hour at her peak.
Who else wants a piece of Cliff’s Lee?
The first-place Reds are one of several teams in the hunt for the left-handed Lee, an ace-quality starting pitcher, who is earning $8 million this season with Seattle. He would essentially be a “rent-a-player” for Cincinnati since he can become a free agent at season’s end. (MLB.com)
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. (FoxSports.com)
The Rays, Twins, Rangers, Phillies, Yankees, Reds, Red Sox and Mets are among the 12 to 15 teams that have inquired about star Mariners left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee, and Seattle is said to be targeting big-time prospects in return, such as Yankees’ catching prospect Jesus Montero, Rangers’ first-base prospect Justin Smoak, Twins’ catching prospect Wilson Ramos and young Rays pitcher Wade Davis. (SI.com)
Yikes, 12 to 15 teams, well you get the point. The Yankees do have the advantage of being in Seattle right now, as they’ll play the second of a four-game series tonight at Safeco Field. Lee is starting for the M’s tonight, but the main speculation seems to point to the Yankees leaving with Lee in tow.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs heard that Lee was in huge trade demand and immediately sent out a press release thanking God. When hearing it wasn’t Derrek, Jim Hendry frowned and cut his arm with a dull knife.
(Side note for the baseball fans out there. I’ve signed up as “Burnsy With Leather” at FanVibe, a site that’s basically like FourSquare for sports, and will be checked into the Cardinals/Astros series, as well as most of the Yankees/Mariners and Cubs/Dodgers series this weekend. Check it out and swing by to tell me how awful the Cards are right now. I doubt I’ll disagree.)