Updated 10:18 AM
The Mariners have now told many interested teams that they are out of the Lee sweepstakes, according to Ken Davidoff of Newsday. It would appear that an announcement is now imminent and that the Yankees will acquire Cliff Lee.
Cliff Lee was supposed to pitch tonight against the Yankees, instead he may now be pitching against the Mariners.
The Yankees will now boast a rotation headed by two of the last three AL Cy Young award winners.
Lee is 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA and a 0.954 WHIP. In 103 innings pitched, Lee has struck out 89 batters while walking just six.
Updated 9:45 AM
Steve Popper of the Bergen Record just tweeted the following:
Mets official said they haven’t heard from Mariners they are out of Lee talks, but wouldn’t doubt it if Yanks package blows away comp.
It sounds like the Mets may not be interested in beating any Yankees offer to me.
Original Post 8:00 AM
According to a new report by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the New York Yankees are very close to obtaining Cliff Lee from the Mariners for a package that would include top C prospect Jesus Montero.
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.
The Yankees who are already highly favored to win the division would have a tremendous threesome heading the rotation with Lee, Sabathia and Pettitte.
Montero is considered to be one of the top catching prospects in baseball and is the jewel of the Yankees farm system.
The Mets were also thought to have interest, but rumors abounded that they were unwilling to move any of their top prospects.