Twins a front-runner for Lee?
The Twins have been linked to Mariners left-hander Cliff Lee quite often in early trade speculation. Various reports have even labeled the Twins as a front-runner for the ace pitcher.
Twins general manager Bill Smith and other team officials have said they
will not comment on whether the team is in discussions for
Lee. Still indications are that the two clubs have been talking about a
possible swap for Lee, although there
appears to be nothing imminent in terms of a deal.
One report on Monday night said that the Twins had offered two of their top prospects — outfielder Aaron Hicks and catcher Wilson Ramos — for Lee. That seems like much more than the Twins would be willing to offer for a short-term rental. Lee, who is making $8 million this season, will be a free agent at the end of this year and he is expected to draw a big payday as one of the marquee players available.
Ramos certainly appears to be the prospect that the Mariners could be most interested in, since they don’t have a Major League catcher. And with Joe Mauer having signed an eight-year, $184 million contract extension that begins next season, the Twins could move Ramos if they feel it’s for the right piece.
– Kelly Thesier