Cliff Lee pitches against the Yanks tonight in Seattle. Could he be pitching for the Yankees soon? According to a report by Jon Heyman at SI.com:
The Yankees have intensified talks with the Mariners for star lefthander Cliff Lee, sources confirm.
The discussions appear serious, and one source said it’s “quite possible” a deal will be consummated. The Mariners are said to love Jesus Montero, the Yankees’ 20-year-old catching prospect, and have been asking for him all along. SI.com reported Thusrday that Seattle’s asking price of the Yankees was Montero plus two other prospects.
Over at the New York Post, Joel Sherman writes:
The Knicks didn’t get LeBron James, but the Yankees were on the brink of obtaining Cliff Lee late last night for a package that would include top prospect Jesus Montero, the Post has learned.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik have been in constant contact over the last week, but it was only last night that the Seattle GM told Yankee officials he wanted to move quickly, possibly before the All-Star break.
The Yanks were not assured of obtaining Lee since other clubs such as the Mets, Twins and Rangers were in talks. But the Yanks were definitely making the strongest move last night, coming from seeming disinterest into the clear front-runner and last night it seemed they were all but certain to obtain the 31-year-old lefty.
Not to be out-scooped, Buster Olney at ESPN adds:
The Seattle Mariners are pushing hard to complete a Cliff Lee deal, and the Yankees could be closing in on a trade for the left-hander — but as of Friday morning, there was no agreement in place, sources say, and it’s possible that another team could step in and make a more aggressive bid.
The Mariners have been talking with the Rays, Twins, Rangers, Reds and other teams, and news that the Yankees were on the verge of getting Lee — first reported by the New York Post — could spur one of the other teams to strengthen their offer.
All along the Yankees have felt as if no other team matches up better than they would with Seattle in a Lee deal, because they are offering Jesus Montero, who figures to have a long and productive career as a hitter regardless of whether he plays catcher or first base.
….Mornin’. LeBron, who?
UPDATE: Nothing done yet. Buster said the Yanks were getting close, then Ken Dawidoff reported the talks his a “snag.” More to come…MLB Trade Rumors has the latest…
UPDATE: Nothing set yet, but here’s the skinny according to Joel Sherman.
[Photo Credit: Rich Lederer]