While most of the New York population felt the disappointment of the Knicks and Nets not acquiring LeBron James, the Yankees made themselves a frontrunner to acquire another marquee player: Cliff Lee. The New York Post reported late Thursday night that the Yankees were “on the brink” of acquiring Lee from the Mariners in exchange for a package that would include top catching prospect Jesus Monetero.
While the Rangers, Twins, Mets, Rays and others have also been in the running, the Post wrote that the Yankees were “making the strongest move last night, coming from seeming disinterest into the clear front-runner.” Seattle officials, according to the Post, now want to move quickly and would like to move Lee before the All-Star break.
The Yankees are currently in Seattle, and Lee is scheduled to start against the Yankees on Friday night.
ESPN.com reported Friday morning that Lee to the Yankees was “just about done,” though there is still no agreement in place. News that the Yankees are involved aggressively, however, could’ve spurned other teams to make more-lucrative bids to acquire the ace left-hander. Still, the Yankees are deemed the favorite.
FOXSports.com agreed that the Yankees are the front-runner and that the deal “awaits only the Mariners’ final approval.” At about 11:15 a.m. ET, Kevin Davidoff of Newsday reported via Twitter that the Mariners “told many interested teams that they’re out of the Lee sweepstakes,” adding: “All signs point to [the] Yankees completing this deal.”
— Alden Gonzalez