New Leader for Cliff Lee

It appears that the Minnesota Twins are the favorite for the Mariners’ second ace, Cliff Lee.

The New York Yankees appear to be close to acquiring Lee this morning. While there haven’t been reports of the deal, you can expect that the Yankees will have to deal one of their catching prospects. Jesus Montero, one of the top catching prospects in the game, would be hard to give up for the rental of Lee; Austin Romine would seem to be more likely to be dealt, as he is looking almost as good as Montero. Montero is closer to the majors, which is something that the Mariners are requiring. David Adams, a second base prospect, is also expected to be included, as is a third prospect.

The Twins are still in on Lee; Wilson Ramos is still included, but there are multiple rumors about what else is being talked about. Reports show that Aaron Hicks was offered, but the Mariners wanted more. There was also a report showing that the Twins offered Ramos with Kevin Slowey.

The Rays have been hitting the Lee rumors too. There hasn’t been reports of what they’d give up, but it’s apparent that they would be moving B.J. Upton. If Upton is to be dealt, it’s expected a third team would have to be involved. The Mariners are interested in Wade Davis, but I don’t know if he’s available.

The Rangers are the other main suitor. They don’t want to give up first baseman Justin Smoak, which is the sticking point. I think they’d rather deal first baseman Chris Davis, who’s been killing it in Triple A but hasn’t had much success in the majors. A catcher, most likely Jarrod Saltalamacchia, would be included. Rangers players are pushing upper management for a Lee deal.

I think the Yankees are making this move to block Lee from the Rays. They don’t need the ace, but he can’t hurt the major league team. The Yankees have been reluctant to part with minor leaguers in the recent years, as they’ve worked to rebuild their farm system.

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