Results tagged ‘ Cliff Lee ’

Roundup: Post-Lee market evolving

As Cliff Lee prepares to make his first start with the Rangers tonight, the rest of baseball is calculating their next move in a market without the hurler. But there’s still plenty of strong players left around the league, so it’ll be interesting to see where the chips fall in the next few weeks before the big non-waiver Trade Deadline. 

Here’s a look at some of the names and teams being mentioned on Saturday: 
— Several teams remain interested in Arizona’s Dan Haren as another potential impact starting pitcher. Fox Sports reported that multiple teams including the Phillies, Dodgers, Reds, White Sox, Angels and Yankees all had scouts in town for last night’s match-up between Haren and Ricky Nolasco, though exactly who the scouts were watching is unclear. 
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Saturday that the A’s don’t plan on being very active at this year’s Trade Deadline, according to GM Billy Beane. The team could still find a market for hurler Ben Sheets, but the club isn’t sure if he’s built up enough value to this point. 
— When Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is looking for pieces to add at the deadline, he’ll keep an eye out for a “personality,” according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. While Mozeliak is happy with the clubhouse chemistry as is, he said adding another energetic vibe to the club could only help. The Cardinals have been interested in the possibility of adding a starting pitcher and a middle infielder before the deadline.
Bailey Stephens

Oswalt plays wait-and-see game

Now that Cliff Lee is off the market, could Roy Oswalt be the next big-name pitcher to be dealt ahead of the July 31 deadline? Oswalt was asked Friday if he thought he expects to hear about more trade possibilities now that Lee has been dealt.

“This is my first time [going through this],” he said. “I don’t know.”

Rangers president Nolan Ryan told last month he was interested in acquiring Oswalt, who earlier this year requested the Astros trade him to a contender.

“That’s a good pick-up for them,” Oswalt said. “Lee’s a good pitcher, and adding a quality starting pitcher should make them better.”

Oswalt is 6-10 with a 3.08 ERA in 18 starts this year and is coming off a one-hit shutout thrown against the Pirates on Thursday at Minute Maid Park. Scouts from the Phillies, Mets, Twins, Rays and Dodgers were among those on hand to watch Oswalt pitch Thursday, but nothing appears imminent.

“They told me they’d come to me first and tell me what they have on the table, and they haven’t told me anything,” Oswalt said Friday.

Oswalt still has the remainder of his $15 million salary this year and is set to be paid $16 million next year, making him a much more difficult commodity to trade than Lee.

— Brian McTaggart

Reds one of three teams in on Lee

The Reds made a hard run the last couple of days at getting Cliff Lee from the Mariners. Reds GM Walt Jocketty believed his club was one of three teams that had a chance. From reports, I’d imagine the Yankees were definitely the other team that didn’t get him. Obviously, Lee was dealt from Seattle to Texas today in a six-player trade that moved premier prospect Justin Smoak to the Mariners.

“We felt we made a pretty substantial offer,” Jocketty said. “Obviously, they felt the Texas deal was better.”

Asked if he would pursue another starting pitcher, Jocketty said this:

“If you’re talking about significantly upgrading, this guy was a significant upgrade. I’m not sure there’s another guy like that out there that we can get right now. We’ll keep looking.”

Jocketty did not disclose the players Seattle asked for or his own proposals.

“It’s just one of those deals you would have liked to have done because we wanted to show our club we’re doing everything we can possible,” he said. “They’re doing their job on the field and we’re trying to do our job in the front office to keep us where we’re at.”

 — Mark Sheldon

Roundup: Rangers (not Yankees) end up with Lee

After a potential deal sending Cliff Lee to the Yankees stalled in the final stages, the Rangers ended up acquiring Lee from the Mariners, instead. First baseman Justin Smoak, pitcher Blake Beavan and two other players will be going to Seattle, according to’s T.R. Sullivan. 

The Yankees went from dark horse to front-runner in the Lee sweepstakes on Thursday night, when The New York Post reported they were “on the brink” of acquiring the ace left-hander from the Mariners. Come Friday morning, wrote that a deal to bring Lee to New York and put him in a starting rotation that was already stellar was “just about done.” 
By mid-afternoon, however, the seemingly imminent deal was put off, according to the Post. The Yankees were ready to send top catching prospect Jesus Monetero, second baseman David Adams and right-hander Zach McAllister, according to reports. But Adams had been out with a high ankle sprain, and the Mariners were apprehensive about acquiring him. 
Here are more rumors from around the league … 
* Jayson Werth is being shopped by the Phillies, but a rumor that has Philadelphia sending Werth — a free agent after this season — to the Yankees for Javier Vazquez — also a free agent after this season — will not happen,’s Todd Zolecki writes. The Phils, as Zolecki noted, want players they can control past this season, and besides, the Yankees may be more reluctant to keep Vazquez now that it seems they won’t get Lee. As for Werth, the Red Sox and Rays have also shown interest, according to The New York Post. Philadelphia likely seeks a proven starter in return. 
* The Mets will “turn strongly” towards Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly as a possible addition to their starting rotation, Joel Sherman of The New York Post — who reported the Lee-to-Yankees story — wrote via Twitter. 
* The way things shake out in the National League East could decide whether they’re buyers or sellers at the Trade Deadline. If they are buyers, though, says they could look to help out the back end of their bullpen by acquiring Blue Jays lefty reliever Scott Downs
* The Rays released veteran Hank Blalock after he was designated for assignment and cleared waivers. 
* The Yankees signed 30-year-old, left-handed-hitting corner infielder Chad Tracy to a Minor League contract, according to The Boston Globe. 
* The Cubs are picking up efforts to shed “cumbersome salaries,” according to The Chicago Tribune. The newspaper added that the club will address the media soon to speak about the club’s direction, especially if they keep falling in the NL Central. 
— Alden Gonzalez

Lee to Yankees imminent?

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. 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. 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

Reds, Mariners not serious yet

It appears that discussions between the Reds and Mariners about pitcher Cliff Lee have yet to hit the serious stages.A baseball source told Thursday that no formal proposals have been exchanged between the two teams.

“It’s just been the parameters and the types of players that they are looking for or not looking for,” the source said. “It’s been quiet lately.”

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.

It’s been widely reported that the Mariners are seeking multiple big league ready prospects, which is an area where the Reds have some chips they could deal. Triple-A Louisville first baseman Yonder Alonso is blocked in the Majors by Joey Votto and Alonso’s teammate, third baseman Juan Francisco, is blocked by Scott Rolen.

The Reds also have young left-handed pitchers like Travis Wood and Matt Maloney, who have both recently been called up.

— Mark Sheldon 

Roundup: Hot Stove Starting to Sizzle

With the All-Star break just around the corner, the trade rumors are really beginning to pick up. While Mariners’ ace Cliff Lee is definitely the talk of the MLB town, there are other names gaining traction as potential trade bait as we turn into the final weekend of the first half.

Here’s a look at talks around the league on Thursday:

— MLB analyst Peter Gammons reported on Twitter a rumor of potential Brewers-Braves trade that would send All-Star outfielder Corey Hart to Atlanta in exchange for 2009 1st-round Draft pick pitcher Mike Minor. Minor, who has put up big K numbers so far, is currently at Triple-A Gwinnett after a fast ascent through the system.

— The Mets have been named in a variety of trade possibilities, including the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. But most recently, Ken Davidoff of Newsday suggested on Twitter that the Cubs and Mets could both be interested in a potential deal for pitcher Ted Lilly.

— The Phillies currently sit 5 games behind the Braves in the NL East and there’s been no word on whether they’ll be buyers or sellers come the Trade Deadline. But, there has been chatter about moving Jayson Werth, talks which ESPN’s Buster Olney confirmed on Twitter are still gaining steam. In return, they are reportedly looking for a good starting pitcher who could fill one of the spots after Roy Halladay.


Bailey Stephens 


Mets looking to defy the odds again

The Mets have reason to believe they can defy the odds and land Cliff Lee at the deadline, despite widespread speculation to the contrary. Their reason for optimism is simple. They’ve done it before.

Heading into the 2008 season, the Mets were considered a distant third option for the Twins, who were trying to deal Johan Santana at the time. But Minnesota rebuked early offers from the Yankees and Red Sox, who both backed out of the sweepstakes by January. At the end of the month, the Mets landed Santana for a package of underwhelming prospects.

Banking on a similar turn of events this summer, of course, would be foolhardy. But the Mets, according to the New York Post, believe that the Mariners are leaning more toward scouting than number crunching in their dealings with Lee, which the Mets believe can help them. Though the Mets don’t have a ton of statistical marvels in their farm system, they do have some live arms and projectable bodies — i.e., the types of things that scouts love.

–Anthony DiComo

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

Roundup: Twins reportedly make offer for Lee

The Twins, according to the Twitter account of AOL FanHouse’s Jeff Fletcher, have offered Minor League outfielder Aaron Hicks and Minor League catcher Wilson Ramos in exchange for Cliff Lee. Hicks and Ramos were ranked by Baseball America as the No. 1 and No. 2 prospects in the Twins’ system, respectively, heading into the season. No deal is imminent, however, according to and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. But the revealing of names means things may be progressing. 

Lee, who has a 2.34 ERA, a 0.945 WHIP and a 14.83 strikeout-to-walk ratio, is also drawing interest from the Reds, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The newspaper reported that the Reds and Mariners talked about Lee when the Reds were in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. The Mariners want an impact bat for Lee, and Reds prospect Yonder Alonso could provide that in exchange, but Seattle is probably looking for more, the Enquirer wrote. Alonso is currently blocked by Joey Votto
The Twins and Reds, of course, are not the only ones who’d be interested in adding a top-flight left-handed starter with big-game experience and a rather affordable pro-rated price tag. According to — which said talks between the Twins and Mariners for Lee are “interesting” and “have possibilities” — close to 15 teams are believed to be looking towards adding Lee. 
Here’s more from around the league … 
* Peter Gammons of MLB Network and wrote via Twitter on Tuesday that “rumblings” around St. Petersburg had B.J. Upton going to Seattle in exchange for Lee — perhaps as part of a three-team deal. Whether or not that materializes, the Rays may be willing to trade their right-handed-hitting center fielder regardless. The Red Sox, Giants, Braves and several other teams could be a fit. 
* The Orioles and Buck Showalter have had “continuing conversations” regarding the managerial vacancy, which means the two sides may be closing in on an agreement, according to wrote Friday night that the O’s are “zeroing in” on Showalter.’s Brittany Ghiroli heard through a source that the O’s are interested in adding Showalter, and Eric Wedge is believed to be the other leading candidate. 
* The 10-5 rights of Mark Buehrle have kicked in, meaning the White Sox left-hander essentially has a full no-trade clause now, according to Ten-year veterans who have been with an organization for five years earn the right to veto a trade, even if they don’t have a no-trade clause in their contract. 
* The Red Sox have not approached Victor Martinez about an extension, according to The Boston Globe. Martinez, currently on the disabled list, is a free agent after this season but has said he’d like to stay in Boston. 
— Alden Gonzalez