Roundup: Lee sweepstakes heating up

It’s hard to say who will come out on top of the Lee sweepstakes as Fox Sports reported on Wednesday that it would take a “mammoth” offering to pry Lee away from the Mariners. Other reports have suggested the Mariners want as much as two blue-chip prospects and one other talented young player in exchange for Lee.

The Rays’ chances increased on Tuesday when principal owner Stu Sternberg met with the media on Tuesday night and basically gave his blessing to midseason additions to the club. Does that mean the club has the assets made available to them to go out and acquire Cliff Lee?  Only time will tell, but his words indicated the Rays would spare no expense to see results in the standings.

“By any means necessary,” Sternberg told reporters. “We’ll do whatever. Money won’t be an object. Players are always an object for us and the money will be an impediment, but we’ll figure it out if it makes all the sense in the world for this team.”

Sternberg’s announcement came the same day as MLB analyst Peter Gammons tweeted about a possible BJ Upton for Lee deal, increasing the rumor mill.

Here’s a look at some of the other developments around the league:

 —  Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle suggests the Giants are interested in bringing Brewers outfielder Corey Hart to San Francisco, but Milwaukee might not be willing to let him go.

 —  Reports out of Philadelphia say that the Phillies had a scout watching Oakland hurler Ben Sheets’ latest start. Sheets and his big salary could be moved by the Trade Deadline if the Athletics move farther out of contention, and the Phillies appear somewhat interested.

— After being designated for assignment by the D-backs recently, hurler Dontrelle Willis needs a break from baseball. The level of interest in Willis’ services is unknown, but he needs some time away from the game after the trials of this season, his agent told USA Today.

— The Pirates picked up an extra arm on Wednesday, trading for right-hander Sean Gallagher in exchange for cash. Gallagher is still only 24 and could provide some helpful innings for the beleaguered Pirates pen. 



Bailey Stephens

1 Comment

Sternberg’s proclamation is tough to understand. He said late in free agency that the Rays would not be adding anymore salaray, and then about a week later signed Rafael Soriano (best move of the offseason). All season he has said that the Rays are stretched monetarily, and now is not only considering adding Cliff Lee (BJ Upton traded?), but also adding money to the team? I don’t get it.

But I’ll take it.

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