With the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline in the near future, all MLB teams must decide whether they are buyers or sellers. The Yankees(54-31) and Mets(47-38) are both clear buyers. The Mets have been looking for a bonafide starter since the end of last season. Instead they decided to sign low tier guys like R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi. Both have worked out though. Takahashi has seven wins and Dickey has 6. To think Takahashi would have more wins to this point in the season then Johan Santana would have been ludicrous, but it is fact. The question is, when will Takahashi and Dickey come back down to earth? Dickey has only one loss in nine starts.
The Mets are definately looking for a starter. Since May the Mets and Twins seemed to be the in the lead for the top pitcher on the block Cliff Lee. Since though, the Yankees who had been playing it cool publicly, have emerged in the last 24 hours to be the favorites, thought to be able to finalize a deal for him before the Monday All-star break. The Yankees were thought to be waiting until the offseason to sign Lee as a free agent but SI MLB insider now puts this Yankees deal as “likely”. The deal would be the Mariners sending Cliff Lee and the remaining 6 million dollars on his contract to the Yankees for top catching prospect Jesus Montero.
The Mets, who backed out of the hunt for Lee when the Mariners requested the deal must include Ike Davis or Jon Niese, the Mets two best young players. Mets General Manager, Omar Minaya believed that was too high a price for a rent-a-pitcher. Instead, the Mets have turned a strong focus to Cubs left handed pitcher Ted Lilly. Lilly is is 3-7 with a 3.76 ERA in 14 starts this season, who spent the first 19 days of the season on the disabled list, and he is in the final year of a four year contract. Lee is much better than his record indicates, his loss total is not a result of his respectable 3.76 ERA but the poor offensive performance by the Chicago Cubs. The asking price for Lilly would be substantially lower for Lilly and his game is suited well for Citi Field, giving up a lot of fly balls that would certainly be kept in by the spacious dimensions of Citi Field.
Update: Yankees/Mariners: Deal for Lee will get done before tonights game in which Lee starts agianst the Bronx Bombers.
Update 2: Yankees WILL NOT AQUIRE LEE. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mariners are backing off of the Yankees offer to send Cliff Lee to the Yankees.
According to Sherman, the Mariners appear to be headed in a different direction, as they are concerned about the injury to Double-A prospect David Adams, who they would be acquiring in the deal, and so the Yankees no longer appear to be in the mix to acquire Lee.
Sherman says the Rangers are pushing hard to acquire Lee, but budgetary constraints regarding the sale of the franchise could be a potential hurdle.
Update 3: According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Rangers have acquired Cliff Lee from the Mariners.
The Rangers will send prospect Justin Smoak, RHP Blake Beavan, OF Matthew Lawson, and reliever Cory Lueke to the Mariners for Lee and reliever Mark Lowe.