Mets Time Machine: Seattle’s Price Tag For Lee Is Mejia or Flores

An article by posted on March 9, 2013

In this edition of a not-so-regular MMO feature that first appeared in 2007, our reader Pietro Sinapi gets the well deserved hat tip for taking us back to June 30, 2010 when the big news of the day was the Mets and their pursuit of Mariners ace Cliff Lee.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that if the Mets wanted Lee they needed to up the ante and make the M’s an offer they couldn’t refuse:

You are not getting Lee for Fernando Martinez and Josh Thole. That would be painless for the Mets. I don’t know if an injury-prone outfield prospect (Martinez) and a fringe catching prospect (Thole) are worth as much as the two first-round compensation picks an acquiring team would receive if it lost Lee to free agency after the season. So why would the Mariners gift-wrap Lee and those two picks for such a meager return? Flip it; if you ran the Mets would you trade Lee for the equivalent of Martinez and Thole? Of course not.

Thus, if the Mets want Lee — and, boy, do they ever — a trade will have to be built around Jenrry Mejia, whom Seattle likes, but does not love, or Wilmer Flores, an 18-year-old infielder already thriving at High-A. In conversations with Mariner officials, I strongly sensed they would accept no less than one blue-chip prospect or they will not do this trade.

One key impediment for Seattle is that Lee has been traded twice in the past 23 months for seven prospects — none of them blue chip — as teams dealing the lefty valued quantity in return over quality.

The Mets were feeling their oats that June after an 18-8 run that had them at 44-34 overall and in second place, ten games over .500. They were well within grasp of that coveted division title.

Desperate for another starting pitcher and unable to dole out another nickel as the Madoff scandal started to hit home, the Mets stood pat and there was nothing Omar Minaya could do about it. The team paid the price and it all went downhill from there going 31-45 the rest of the way and finishing the year in a disappointing 4th place.

The always dapper Omar Minaya and his gangsta Jerry Manuel were rubbed out while pulling up in front of Sparks Steakhouse in NYC two days later. It was a bad scene, man…

The Texas Rangers wound up winning the Cliff Lee sweepstakes and got him along with Mark Lowe for some of their one-time top prospects Matthew Lawson, Blake BeavanJosh Lueke and Justin Smoak.

Huh… Who? Wait… What?

Talk about getting Smoaked…

joe pesci

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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