"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Friend or Foe, eh, State Your Business

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]


Show/Hide Comments 1-100
1 rbj   ~  Jul 9, 2010 8:55 am

Catching prospect + two others for a half season? Me no like. Only do the deal if you can sign Cliff for 3-4 years.

Otherwise, I don't mind giving up Montero, (though I'll miss all the "Jesus saves" type titles) as I think Romine will work out better at catcher and first base is already occupied, and Frankie will be a very fine BUC.

2 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jul 9, 2010 8:56 am

If Montero is going to be traded I would hope the Yanks can work out an extension before completing the trade. And I would hope the new contract is a tad shorter on years than the open market might dictate (but not on dollars).

3 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:06 am

Quote from Heyman's article: "While the Yankees have been in the mix for Lee for weeks, they were seen as less likely than some others to obtain him since they have said they are happy with their current rotation, which features All-Stars CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte."

So adding Lee would give the team 4 all star starting pitchers, plus one AJ Burnett. wow

4 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:06 am

I don't see it happening. Who gets bumped from the rotation? Not Andy, not CC, not Hughes, and not AJ, which leaves only Vazquez. Who has all of 2 relief appearances in his career. That part doesn't make sense to me.

I suppose you can explain it all away by saying "who cares! Its Cliff Lee!" but I don't get it. This team has the best record in MLB, there's been plenty of guys underperforming, and it doesn't fit Cash's M.O.

If I had to guess, he's just trying to drive up the price for someone else.

5 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:08 am

Cliff Lee?! THEE Cliff Lee? You gotta be kidding me!

Oh, the ice cream sundae COMES with the pancakes? Thank you!
I can take the rest of the summer off WITH pay? Great!
The supermodels are here to see ME? Oh, this is a wonderful morning.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:10 am

[4] yes, with all due respect to Cash's M.O: "Who cares! it's Cliff Lee!"

7 RIYank   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:10 am

I don't like it. As ny2ca2dc, both of these are true: Montero is too much for a half season of Lee; if the Yanks sign Lee long term, they must not sign him for long term. I'm not sure there's any happy medium: any sign-and-trade with a new contract long enough to justify giving up Montero is dangerous because Lee is already out of his prime.

8 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:11 am

[4] I agree it's not a necessary or desirable trade (to the extent it's possible for acquiring CLIFF LEE to be UNdesirable!), but Vazquez is no barrier. He's an excellent trade candidate, most teams would love to have him. I do think the Phils would trade Werth for him (RAB's idea). Executing those two trades would make the team a frigin beast, but at a high cost.

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:14 am

anyone who's against acquiring Cliff Lee obviously has not tried the pancakes WITH ice cream. Dig in, they're wonderful!

10 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:20 am

7) Montero is too much even for three or four seasons of Lee.

In any case, I'm not buying it. This sounds like trade deadline rumor BS.

11 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:22 am

pancakes, paid hiatus, and supermodels aside (I'll be right back, ladies) perhaps this is Cliff Lee's doing. He wants to win a championship with the Yankees. He wants a longterm parking deal in the Bronx. He tells his agent to tell the Mariners this is what he wants. Cashman is going to say no to Cliff Lee? He's not going to move the sun, moon, stars, and Javy Vazquez to make it happen? I don't think so.

12 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:23 am

Montero. Man, what a hitter he will probably be. But 1B is blocked. And if there is some serious doubt about his catching abilities, the Yanks have a young DH or a project on their hands to turn him into a corner OF. No one knows better than the Yanks where he can play. If they think he's a 1B or DH only, then go get Cliff Lee. So hard to part with him, though.

He will hit the snot out of the ball for years - and he could be the new Edgar the hammer in Seattle. We know what it's like to get hit by a hammer, it hurts.

13 bp1   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:24 am

[6] heh heh heh ..... "supermodels are here to see ME"?? LOL

[4] I bet we'll have a few turns of a six-man rotation and lots of smoke and mirrors while they actively shop Javy.

14 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:25 am

And c'mon guys, we're not getting Cliff Lee for a few months. That doesn't make any sense at all. An extension will be part of the whole thing.

15 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:28 am

If the Yanks were really into this, they make this happen today to avoid Lee's start tonight and throw the m's rotation into disarray. Might be able to steal a game or 2 in the standings, which would be pretty huge the way this race is shaping up.

16 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:30 am

12) i just don't buy the argument that X or Y position is locked up, so the best hitting prospect the team has had in thirty years is expendable. If he can hit, a position will open up for Montero. Moreover, it is not clear that Jorge will be with the team at all after 2011. That opens up two potential positions: C and DH. Jeter is scuffling and is obviously closer to the end than the beginning of his career. Gritner is not a longterm solution, Granderson has not eased concerns about his inability ro hit LHP or even his own decline. Etc.

Montero's bat is in no way expendable or a luxury.

17 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:34 am

11, 13) I am also not entirely sold on Cliff Lee. He is awesome now, at age 31. He has been pretty aweson for a couple of years after about five or six years of not awesome. He may be a late bloomer, like Curt Schilling or Randy Johnson. or he may be enjoying a very short, very exciting peek...followed by precipitous decline.

Take a look at his career and age comparisons on baseball-reference.com (I know, I know)...it's not a pretty list.

18 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:34 am

would Lee increase the team's chances of winning in the playoffs this year? IMHO yes, yes he would. Chances to win the Series don't come along every year, gotta do it. I know thats not the most popular mentality in the world, but this is about winning isn't it?

19 The Hawk   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:41 am

The only way this really makes sense is if they can trade Vasquez. I don't want to see any of the current rotation in the bullpen, for various reasons.

20 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:41 am

18) that's a self-fulfilling prophesy. Chances to win the WS definitely won't come along frequently if the team always focuses on nahort term strategies. What would happen if you re-formulate your question:

Would trading for Lee at a hefty price increase the chances of winning in the playoffs over the next ten years?

21 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:44 am

[16] I agree with you, f Montero can play catcher, don't trade him. My whole point was that if the Yanks, who know him best, don't think he can, then trade him now while it helps the most.

[17] I am completely sold on Cliff Lee, for now and at least 2 or 3 more years.

[18] I agree.

22 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:46 am

19) agreed, to a degree. If the Yankees make this move...and I still don't believe it...itmwill be followed by at least one or two other big trades. Mynbrother thinks that Joba is going to be traded, and I think that he might be right. Vazquez seems like an obvious trade chip, but it would not surprise me if the team pushednall of their chips in and traded Hughes, which might get them some young hitting talent in return. Now, i don't think this will transpire, but I think the chances fo way up if they decide to buy high on Lee.

23 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:47 am

[20] well thats entirely contingent on whether or not you can sign him. If this is a straight up rental, then yes I'm slightly hesitant. But if you can get 3-4 years of Lee I think you gotta do it.

I understand how much we love the idea of Montero, but at the end of the day he's still a prospect. A damn good one, but one with no position and sure took a long time to catch up to AAA pitching. Am I curious to see what he may become? Of course I am. But I was curious about Drew Henson, and Willy Mo Pena, and Ricky Ledee. We know what Lee is, is my point, we still don't with Jesus.

24 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:49 am

21) if he can play C thenof courier he should be untouchable. My point is, however, that even if he is a DH in the making, his bat will still help the team immensely and at low cost for years to come. You dont just trade away that kind of bat.

Also, I've had my fill of Marcus Thames and company.

25 The Hawk   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:50 am

[22] Gosh at this point I'd really hate to see Hughes go. I think that would be a mistake.

It just strikes me as unnecessary. The rotation has been good. Vasquez has come around; getting Lee isn't going to make Burnett any more consistent.

Maybe the deal is that whoever gets him is going to insist on signing him as well and thus the Yanks can't wait for the off-season to make their play.

26 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:51 am

[22] I would be surprised if they Traded Phil Hughes. I think I would be beyond surprised, I'd be in a state of medical shock.

27 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:53 am

[25] That's my fear as well. I think some of the teams in on Lee will insist on the extension and thus the Yanks will lose the chance. No matter what Lee has said in the past, he would be hard pressed to pass up another postseason run and gobs of money vs playing out the string in seattle and then gobs of money.

28 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:53 am

24) ...then of course...

Grrrr...I need to turn off the autocorrect.

29 rbj   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:56 am

[27] And would this be a pre-emption move by the Yankees, simply so that neither Boston nor Tampa (or possible WS opponent Philly) doesn't get him.

30 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 9:58 am

23) montero is on a completely other planet from the other prospects that you mention. The last player in the Yankees organization to get this sort of attention was Phil Hughes, and before that, as I recall, it was Derek Jeter. He is beyond a prospect...he's a no doubter.

Also, as much as it is gamble to keep prospects, I see an equal or greater gamble in buying high on a starting pitcher who is in his thirties.

26) I would say the same thing about trading Montero, the same guy who has been so off limits that allegedly his non-inclusion nixed talks for Roy Halladay.

31 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:00 am

[23] I'm sympathetic to that argument. I'd love to have Montero in the lineup for the next 20 years.

32 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:02 am

sorry, [31] was in response to [24]

33 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:02 am

[30] One of the writers said Montero was offered in the Halladay talks.

34 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:07 am

[33] I think it was Joel Sherman - I think Alex linked to it the last timewe had a Lee discussion. But I had never heard that b4.

35 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:10 am

[25] that's what I'm guessing.

[20] I look at it in shorter terms, say 5 years. Who could help the Yankees win more championships over the next 5 years, while Mo still has some magic in his arm, while Jeter can still move, while ARod's still healthy...
Cliff Lee or Jesus Montero? I'd bet on Cliff Lee.

Can the Yankees win a championship this year without Lee? Good chance. Can they win a championship this year with Cliff Lee? Great chance. I'll take THAT chance.

Montero is a HUGE price to pay, but one I think the Yanks can afford especially if he's looking like a future DH on this team.

We'll see what happens. I'd be thrilled if they do this deal (plus an extension for Lee), I'll also be happy if they pass, and keep Montero.

36 Ben   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:17 am

Jon, you're lighting up the thread! Ha! I'm guessing you're a little psyched about a possible Lee acquisition... The guys is an absolute monster. I can't wait to see him in pinstripes.

37 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:27 am

[36] Very excited, but also conflicted. I didn't want to lose Montero.

38 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:36 am

[37] Me neither.

And I still don't buy this whole thing. Jon Heyman? The Post? Yawn.

BTW, how are the Yanks going to pay the $5M or so they'd owe Lee without also dumping (just as an example) Vazquez on someone else and taking on no salary in return? We know that the Yanks have a budget - Cashman was told he couldn't have ~$5M extra to get Cameron last year - all of a sudden that's out the window too?

Again, you could explain that as "its Cliff Lee!".

Last point on Montero - I think the bat is real, and wherever he plays, he's got another advantage besides hitting the ball. For the first 6 (maybe 7) years of his career, he's going to cost the Yankees peanuts. The Yanks are going to be able to pay A-Rod, CC, Tex, AJ, and Jeter ~$115M by themselves in 2013 by having guys like Montero around, who (presuming a late 2010 or early 2011 debut) will be making all of $550K or so.

Nope. Not buying this at all.

39 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:39 am

Olney reporting that its "just about done"

Brian Cashman > Pat Riley

40 omarcoming   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:43 am

If this doesn't come to pass can we eliminate Joel Sherman as a source permanently?
My guess is that Cashman is driving up the price for other teams. This does not seem like his usual way, trading "A" prospects for potential free agents. But of course, I do not have Sherman's sources.

41 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:44 am

just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free...

42 Simone   ~  Jul 9, 2010 10:44 am

I have been so caught up with LeBron that I didn't realize that the Yankees were going after Cliff Lee. Great acquisition.

43 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 9, 2010 11:05 am

BTW, this from Buster Olney on twitter 2 minutes ago:

"In the Lee-Yankees trade talks, there has been no discussion of a negotiating window on a contract extension for the pitcher, to . . . this point, and there won't be."

Montero for a three month rental of Cliff Lee? Insane. And that's why I still don't buy it.

44 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 9, 2010 11:07 am

[43] The Yanks would not be so arrogant as to assume they ca have him if they want him come November?

45 Simone   ~  Jul 9, 2010 11:16 am

The Yankees must be confident that Lee will sign an extension. Back channels?

46 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 9, 2010 11:23 am

"... I don't like this, Sarge..."

47 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 9, 2010 11:45 am

Trading Montero for Lee only makes sense if the Yankees privately believe he is an overrated prospect. Otherwise, this trade makes no sense because the long-term hit is much greater than the short-term gratification. Besides, this team probably needs hitting more than anything else.

As for where Lee fits, don't be surprised to see Hughes use up his remaining innings as the eighth inning set-up guy.

48 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 9, 2010 11:53 am

47) Nah, they'll ship out Javy before making Hughes a reliever, though I'm sure anything can happen.

And even if they don't sign an extension now, the Yanks aren't getting Lee to lose him this off-season. He comes here, he stays here. You can take that to the YANKEE BANK, Son.

49 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 9, 2010 11:55 am

PeteAbe tweet

So LeBron humiliates them on national TV and Yankees could have CC and Lee in their rotation. Nice couple of days for Cleveland

50 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 9, 2010 11:58 am

Jay Jaffe points out .... 87 SB attempts in 65 games against Montero.

13 PBs, 21% CS for Montero this year

Kevin Goldstein (from 7/1/10)

8. Jesus Montero, C/DH, Yankees
Why He's Here: Montero has just started to hit this year, batting .287/.330/.511 in June, but for a 20-year-old in Triple-A, he remains one of the more impressive offensive prospects in the game, with barrel control and raw power well beyond his years. Few scouts I've talked to have lowered their scouting scores in any way.
Nitpicking: Montero continues to improve behind the plate, but it's unlikely he'll be good enough to play there every day in the big leagues, as he leads the International League in passed balls and has thrown out just 22 percent of opposing basestealers while constantly getting run on.
Future: If he can't fit at catcher, it's unsure what Montero's future is with the Yankees, considering first baseman Mark Teixeira's long-term deal. Is he the best trade chip in baseball, or is he untouchable?

51 ed   ~  Jul 9, 2010 11:59 am

[40] From Sherman's article:

"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."

He makes it pretty clear that this isn't quite a done deal, and it could come apart at any moment. So even if this doesn't come to pass, I think Sherman's in the clear.

52 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:04 pm

So if this trade happens soon, do the Yanks skip Phil and ptich Lee tonight? Would there be a riot?

53 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:11 pm

52) Nah, Lee won't pitch tonight I'm sure. Might skip the whole series...

54 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:13 pm

[50] Its a fair point, but (1) are the AAA pitchers really trying to help Montero by holding guys on and (2) as long as he hits, does it really matter?

I don't think Montero catches full time in the bigs, but does he have to? He could catch a couple of times/week, and play LF/1B/DH the rest.

55 Raf   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:15 pm

[49] Cleveland by way of Philly and Seattle?

56 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:18 pm

So there's just no way to make Montero an outfielder, where we really need depth, huh? I'm thinking right now he could be no worse than Thames out there, and with a superior arm...

57 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:19 pm

[56] I think there's no reason to move Montero off the plate yet, and that's why it hasn't been done.

I still don't believe this is going to happen.

58 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:21 pm

The Hoss moseys back into the saloon as discussion heats up (no Miami puns).

I was initially against dealing anyone for Lee mid season since we can sign him in November. But a few factors

1. Hughes is going to hit his innings cap. Whatever we say about caps, the team believes in it, and it will come into play. Phil back to pen in August would address this, and if he delivers, covers the last 3-4 innings beautifully.

2. Or Vazquez is trade bait and we gain serious young talent for him. Werth would be a dream.

3. Montero IS blocked. He is. And even DH is blocked as vet sluggers age. He profiles best on NY as the best trade chip around

4. This is a pennant race! Boston will get better as they get players healthy. Tampa Bay is not going away at all. We can have a terrific team and miss the playoffs this year. Fact of life. So Cash does need to think abut how to make us better - now.

Therefore, the old timer here says do it. And sneak a Friday night win in the process. Every game counts.

59 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:22 pm

[55] It's where he became THE Cliff Lee, which does matter to them. I'm certain they've gotten over Manny at this point, but not before he won two rings with the Recked Sox...

60 Raf   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:35 pm

[59] At least Manny went directly to the Sox from the Indians, and they were a contender while he was there, as well as after Manny left. When Lee was traded, the Indians were rebuilding

61 Start Spreading the News   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:36 pm

Speaking of business, has anyone seen this?

A revised bond rating issued by Standard & Poor’s today provides an in-depth look at the New York Yankees’ 2009 revenues and it reveals that the champions grossed $397 million in ticket revenue, including $72 million on the postseason alone.

industry insiders tell CNBC that the Yankees' total business now approaches $600 million in annual revenues.

62 Just Fair   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:40 pm

After reading about Montero for the last couple years, I, in no way want to see him traded. His bat is no joke and he will indeed be cheap. The thought of him killing us like Edgar or Manny for the next 6 years or so is not a pleasant thought. Save Montero! Praise Jesus!

63 Dimelo   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:49 pm

[61] holy shit! And that doesn't include YES revenue either.

64 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:55 pm

[61] No, but let me echo Dimelo and say: Holy shit!

Put just in financial terms, if winning the World Serious equals $72M extra in revenue, and Cliff Lee (money only) costs $5M . . . cripes.

That said, there's no such thing as just money only costs, and so I remain very much with just fair in [62]. If the Yanks want Lee so much, buy his this offseason with some part of the $22+M they won't be paying Andy and Javy next year.

65 Ben   ~  Jul 9, 2010 12:57 pm

Lee, the 2008 American League Cy Young winner, is 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA this season, striking out 89 batters while walking only six in 103 2/3 innings.

Good god is this true? SIX walks. Forget it. Don't bother with this guy. He's too wild.

66 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:01 pm

58) as fun as the scenario sounds, I am pretty sure that there is no way Lee could pitch tonight for the Yankees because the league has to approve all trades, which usuallybtakes a day or two...IIRC.

67 The Hawk   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:01 pm

An added bonus to this deal is presumably not having to face Lee tonight. Right?

68 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:02 pm

57) I agree...I'm not buying it either.

62) agreed.

69 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:19 pm

[61] A favorable review by the rating agencies is great news for the business end. The revenue figures don't surprise me. The Yankees are really an excellently run business. Maybe they should have signed Lebron?

[68] When was the last time the Yankees were rumored to be close a deal that didn't happen? It seems as if Cash is tight lipped until the deal is close to done.

70 Start Spreading the News   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:20 pm

[64] But if the yanks wanted to, they could afford to pay Andy and Javy. It would only dent their profits a few % points.

Would Andy retire if he wins 18 games this year? I don't think so.

So Javy would most certainly be gone if Lee shows up. That is a potential bummer. Pettite is not likely to pitch this well next year (or even for the rest of this year). And Javy will probably be a 3.75 ERA pitcher next year.

71 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:22 pm

[70] I don't agree that Javy is gone if Lee shows up. Unless they can trade him for real value, I think the more likely scenario is Hughes returning to the bullpen.

72 Start Spreading the News   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:24 pm

[71] That would really suck. I think moving back to the bullpen for Hughes is a big step back for his development.

73 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:26 pm

not sure if anybody's mentioned.. but Montero had to be benched earlier this year because he was dogging it, not running out groundballs.
Not uncommon for a 20 year old to have to be disciplined like that, but perhaps his stock isn't as high as we think in the organization.
Montero could prove to be great, but I'd do the trade.

74 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:27 pm

[72] If he still gets to 150-160 innings, I don't have a problem with that. The key would be to use him for more than just the eighth inning when the team has a lead of 3 or fewer.

75 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:28 pm

[71] Now that I just don't buy at all: Hughes in the 'pen, inning limits or not. If the Yanks learned anything from the great Joba debacle, it is that jerking a young pitcher around between roles is a bad, bad idea.

Or at least that ought to be what they've learned.

76 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:28 pm

I wonder if Joba gets dealt, and Javy becomes Mr. Eighth Inning for the rest of the season?

77 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:29 pm

[73] For me, you only trade him if at least one of two things is true: Montero won't catch much in the bigs, OR, you can extend Lee for less years than on the open market. I'd guess it's the former.

78 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:29 pm

[73] I think it is very possible that Montero is viewed as highly by the Yankees, but reports about his bat are hard to deny. Miguel Cabrera doesn't run out groundballs and doesn't have a position either, but his bat trumps all. If Montero is anything close to what some think, this will be a big mistake for the Yankees. They have to be gambling on Montero not developing because this isn't a deal you make otherwise.

79 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:33 pm

[78] if Montero is a player like Cabrera, I won't miss him much, no matter how much he hits.

80 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:33 pm

[73] Yawn. I don't think that matters in the slightest to anyone in the organization.

81 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:35 pm

[79] But the Yankees will.

82 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:37 pm

[80] it mattered enough that they benched him. Their number one prospect... benched for dogging it. Nothing to yawn at.

83 Raf   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:40 pm

[78] I don't think it's such a big mistake. Yanks are in a win-now mode, and Lee can help them more in the immediate future than Montero can. And even so, as referenced in [61], the Yanks are playing on a different level financially than the rest of MLB, they can buy whatever they want.

Montero develops as a catcher, the Yanks won't miss him, if Romine is the real deal. If Montero is eventually moved off position to 1B or the OF, the Yanks are set @ 1b for a long time, and OF bats are relatively easy to come by.

84 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:43 pm

Yanks acquire .... Chad Tracy!

85 Raf   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:43 pm

[83] Having said that, this deal doesn't make sense on the surface; nice to have Lee, but it seems like overkill to give up such a package for him with the potential of Lee walking after the season.

86 Raf   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:47 pm

[84] Better get my money ready for playoff tickets!

[85] And it strays away from Cashman's MO, with Sabathia and Santana. Who was the last "premium" starter Cashman acquired in-season; Neagle? Weaver?

87 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:48 pm

69) When was the last time the Yankees were rumored to be close a deal that didn’t happen?

I thought that I remember a lot of imminent talk surrounding Santana, but maybe i'm wrong. It seems that whenever there is a big time player on the market, rumors swirl that he is g owing to the Yankees. Bit again, maybe I am wrong on this one.

In any case, I am really down on this trade. Like I was about Ajax for Granderson, though the jury is still out on that one (and this trade involves a player and a prospect of much higher profile).

88 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:49 pm

[86] That's why I just don't believe it. Cash has said, time and again, he doesn't want to pay twice. I find it hard to believe he just switches that around now.

I also notice that there's still no confirmation of a deal. If they were as close as was rumored this morning, why hasn't a deal been announced yet?

89 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:52 pm

83) the Yanks are set @ 1b for a long time...

I am not 100% convinced of this either, though Teix exceeded my expectations last year.

90 thelarmis   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:53 pm

ooh, now it's looking like zach mcallister is the 3rd prospect. ouch.

[this according to mlbtr. sorry if it's been mentioned, haven't had the chance to go thru the comments yet...]

91 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:53 pm

Looks like Z-Mac is also in the deal. M's getting a nice haul

92 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 1:58 pm

90,91) yes, but notice also that the deal has gone from imminent to likely. Hmmm...I'm still skeptical.

12:44pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that 22-year-old righty Zach McAllister will likely head to the Mariners in the trade (Twitter link). 

12:12pm: The sides have some things to work through, but a deal remains 'likely' according to a source who spoke to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Heyman says the Mariners may or may not acquire Adams (Twitter links).


93 Raf   ~  Jul 9, 2010 2:00 pm

[88] It could be that Jack Z is still working the phones, it could be that both sides are working out minor details, it could be that there are other, smaller, trades that are being lined up that are contingent on this one.

94 Raf   ~  Jul 9, 2010 2:04 pm

[89] If not Teix, Jeter and Rodriguez will probably see time at 1b. If not someone already on the roster, I would say finding someone to play 1b is just about as easy as finding someone to play the OF.

I'm skeptical of the deal as well, just for the package for what amounts to be a 1/2 season rental. Seems excessive, even for the Yanks.

95 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 9, 2010 2:11 pm

[82] Didn't we have that same thought about Tabata when we moved him? Only with Tabata it had become a habit. I don't see where Montero has a habit of dogging it; maybe it was nipped in the bud before it could start. But say that it has become a habit; I would be far more alarmed that the organization is letting it's best prospects develop badly and that would have to be addressed at the source before you give up on or agree to let go of any more prospects.

96 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 2:12 pm

94) I doubt that either jeter or Arod see any time at first, at least for years. The Yankees have show a strong tendency to keep aging star players at their positions well past expiration date. If anything, jeter will be gone or, possible, would agree to move to the OF (I doubt this happens). As for Arod, and jetted if he sticks around longer, they will clog up DH instead.

But in any case, it Is a poor strategy in my opinion to plan on using 1b or DH as a rest home for aging players. That leads to things like Miguel Cairo starting way too many games. Rather, they should focus on having a deep pool of offensive talent. The rest will sort itself out with injuries, performance, etc.

97 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 9, 2010 2:12 pm


I wake up to THIS???

WIll the "Curse of Nick Johnson" ever end???

98 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 9, 2010 2:16 pm

[90] [91] I'm not worried about losing McAllister much. He's a nice pitcher, but he's primarily a groundball pitcher with a not-very-high K-rate. That will play just fine in Safeco - and I still don't think this deal happens.

In any case, with Phelps, Noesi, and Nova in AAA, and the guys coming behind them in Tampa and Trenton, losing McAllister wouldn't be a big deal to me.

Adams would be a small loss, because he was hitting nicely before he got hurt, but Curtis Joseph's continued development at Tampa would mitigate that somewhat.

Montero would be the real loss, because (here's a point not yet mentioned) - he's the ONLY bona fide big time big league bat the Yanks have in the farm system. Folks can say that the Yanks have plenty of catching prospects, and they do - but they don't have plenty of hitting prospects. Jesus is the only one.

99 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 9, 2010 2:16 pm

This trade is sounding more and more ridiculous by the minute; it totally flies in the face of Cashman's M.O. and involves so many what ifs I have to wonder if Cash is under some sort of duress...

100 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 9, 2010 2:21 pm

[95] It was something they nipped in the bud, not habitual dogging.

Show/Hide Comments 101-109
101 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 9, 2010 2:22 pm

[99] I'm not sure what that would be.

The team is in 1st place, we just won the World Series, the team is rolling in money, I'm not exactly sure what more could be asked of Cashman.

Win the Superbowl?

102 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 9, 2010 2:30 pm

OK ... seeing those revenue figures .... one might ask.... have the Yanks maxed out their revenue base, and if so, how much profit are they making each year, IN SPITE OF the luxury tax.

103 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 9, 2010 2:30 pm

[101] My point exactly. It makes no sense to me why he would suddenly change his way of thinking for a short term solution with no guarantee that it can be long term and at such a cost in the meantime. What would force him to change his mind? Is he actually not confident about signing him long term off-season; then why take such a high risk in the meantime? It just doesn't make sense, unless (and it's quite possible) there is something wrong enough with Montero that hasn't been disclosed that he can't be an option for them (attitude, aptitude with other positions?)

104 monkeypants   ~  Jul 9, 2010 3:04 pm

From imminent to likely to take it or leave it mode.

1:27pm: The Yankees have offered Montero, Adams and a third prospect, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link). It's now up to the Mariners to accept or decline the offer.

105 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 9, 2010 3:31 pm

great writeup on the potential trade from the M's perspective at http://www.ussmariner.com

as one of the commenters points out, another benefit of getting Lee now is they don't lose the draft pick they'd surrender if they signed him as a Mariner free agent.

Montero is a lot to give up, but Cliff Lee is huge. I hope this happens.

106 seamus   ~  Jul 9, 2010 3:33 pm

[104] it's hard to say if that's an actual progression or just different sources with differing perspectives.

107 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 9, 2010 3:50 pm

New Cliff Lee thread above...looks like it ain't happening...

108 Raf   ~  Jul 9, 2010 4:00 pm

[96] They had a deep pool of offensive talent, injuries was the reason Cairo started so many games @ 1b was injuries, IIRC

109 Raf   ~  Jul 9, 2010 4:01 pm

[108] probably should proofread before I hit submit :p

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