Results tagged ‘ Cliff Lee ’

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. 
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

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 MLB.com 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 FOXSports.com 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 SI.com — 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 MLB.com 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 ESPN.com. FOXSports.com wrote Friday night that the O’s are “zeroing in” on Showalter. MLB.com’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 MLBTradeRumors.com. 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

Reds, Mariners discuss Lee?

Trade Deadline speculation this summer continues to have the Reds as a possible destination for Mariners lefty Cliff Lee. Seattle is receiving offers for Lee and Reds general manager Walt Jocketty would not confirm or deny that the club is one of those teams in the hunt. A report in the Cincinnati Enquirer on Monday said the Reds and Mariners talked last month while the two teams played at Seattle.

“We’ll do whatever we can to improve the club,” Jocketty told MLB.com Monday. “It’s going to have to be a significant improvement to disrupt what we’ve got, the chemistry and so forth of the club.”

Lee, a free agent at season’s end, is making $8 million this season. The Mariners would likely want Major League-ready prospects and the Reds have several. The first name that comes to mind is Triple-A Louisville first baseman Yonder Alonso, who is blocked at his primary position by Joey Votto.

– Mark Sheldon

Roundup: Tigers looking in Drew’s direction?

In search of middle-infield depth and a stable shortstop, the Tigers are “in the market” for the D-backs’ Stephen Drew, according to FOXSports.com. In Drew, the Tigers could improve their offensive production at shortstop — where a revolving door has led to a team-wide .235 batting average heading into Monday — and get a stable presence there. Drew isn’t a free agent until 2012. 

MLB.com reporter Jason Beck believes the Tigers don’t see Ramon Santiago as a long-term solution at shortstop and added: “If they have a chance to add a young shortstop they could keep around for a few years, there’s a good chance they’ll look into it.”
It’s unknown just how closely the Tigers are monitoring the market for Drew — who, like many of his Arizona teammates, is expected to be made available before the non-waiver Trade Deadline — but they’ll also need help at catcher, starting pitching and possibly reliever at some point, and it’s impossible to think they can get all of that. So they’ll have to prioritize. 
Here’s more from around the league … 
* The Rangers, Twins, Yankees and Mets are among the teams most active in discussions for much-desired starter Cliff Lee, according to FOXSports.com. The Cardinals and Phillies all had scouts watching Lee’s Sunday start — when he gave up a run in eight innings to move his ERA to 2.34 — but aren’t considered to have as strong an interest. The Dodgers also had a scout there, and they’re interested, too. 
* The further the Marlins drop out of the race in the National League East, the more likely it is that they become sellers, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro wrote. The most likely to be jettisoned is probably Jorge Cantu, who is a free agent after this season. So can Nate Robertson, Cody Ross, Dan Uggla and Ricky Nolasco
* The Braves signed veteran outfielder Willy Taveras to a Minor League contract recently and assigned him to Triple-A Gwinnett. Taveras was released last week by the Phillies, marking the third time he’s been released this year. 
Alden Gonzalez

Roundup: Lee’s landing spot still talk of MLB

Amidst the All-Star Game announcements, rumors continued to swirl on Sunday about a potential landing spot for Cliff Lee. The Twins and Yankees are still being tossed around as potential front-runners for the Mariners’ Cy Young hurler.

The possibility has also been raised by Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that Lee may be destined to become a Yankee, but not until the offseason when New York would be better equipped to sign him to a long-term deal. Others have suggested that Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s hand could be forced by A.J. Burnett’s recent struggles.

A baseball source outside of the Twins organization reportedly told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he believes the Twins are the front-runners to land Lee at this point.

The Mets, Rangers and Dodgers also remain possible contenders to land Lee before the Trade Deadline.

Here’s a look at happenings around the league on Sunday:

- SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted on Sunday that he believes the Astros might be willing to pay some of Oswalt’s contract, if they can get the right pieces in return.

With regard to the O’s mangerial search, Heyman said on Twitter that he believes it is now down to Wedge and Showalter, despite the players’ support of interim manager Juan Samuel.

- Kansas City utility man Willie Bloomquist has been drawing attention from a few clubs, according to a report in Sunday’s Kansas City Star. With Dustin Pedroia on the shelf right now, the Red Sox join the Phillies, Yankees and Rockies as potential interested parties, the report suggests.

- The D-backs designated Dontrelle Willis for assignment on Sunday, raising the question of his future once again. There were several teams interested in Willis after he was designated earlier this summer by the Tigers, before Arizona acquired him on June 1. Will another team take a chance on the hurler down the stretch?

Alonso to get Lee?

In a tweet on Saturday, ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote: “SEA continues to look for big bat potential in a Lee deal, and 2 guys fit the description:Justin Smoak of TEX and Yonder Alonso of the Reds.”

Alonso is at Triple-A Louisville and is definitely blocked at first base by Joey Votto. Even with the experiment of trying him in left field in the Minors, Jonny Gomes has played well enough in the Majors to be the every day guy there.

However, one reason why the Reds wouldn’t be so quick to part with prospects to get Cliff Lee from the Mariners is Edinson Volquez.

Volquez, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, has another rehab start with Triple-A Louisville on Sunday. After that, it’s possible he will re-join the rotation. And if he doesn’t, it will happen right after the All-Star break.

Both GM Walt Jocketty and manager Dusty Baker view the impending Volquez arrival as the equivilent of making a trade. The first-place Reds might be more willing to save their bullets to possibly shore up the bullpen, but really don’t have too many gaping holes to deal with.

— Mark Sheldon

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