[Update] ESPN.com is reporting that Cliff Lee has been traded to the Rangers for Justin Smoak and three others. It is too bad they couldn’t wait a few hours but it is nice to see Lee is not going to the Yankees.

[Update] Joel Sherman is reporting (via Twitter) that talks between the Mariners and Yankees may have reached an impasse. The M’s are concerned about the health of one of the prospects involved and a mystery team has swooped in. It would be surprising to us if that mystery team is the Rays.

[11:00am] Buster Olney is reporting that Cliff Lee has not been traded to the Yankees yet and that there is still time for other teams to improve their offers…

As of Friday morning there was no agreement in place, sources said, and it was possible another team could have stepped in to make a more aggressive bid…The Mariners had also 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 have spurred one of the other teams to strengthen their offer.

This does not necessarily mean that the Rays still have a shot at trading for Lee. The Rays have likely already made their best offer and are not going to pay more than what they believe to be a fair price.

Of course, this could still be good news for the Rays. Even though the Rays have had success against Lee in the past, the road to the playoffs would certainly be more difficult if Lee is in the AL East.

If the Rays do not land Lee, it is unlikely that they would trade for another starting pitcher. Lee represents the only available starting pitcher that would be considered a significant upgrade over what is already in-house. Instead, look for the Rays to put all of their efforts into trading for a hitter, if they haven’t already.

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27 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Game over if the Yankees get Lee. Might as well hand them the World Series Trophy

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  2. Connie says:

    They wouldn't be interested in Oswalt?

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  3. Thad says:

    Isn't it slightly coincidental that the Lee to Yanks rumors start to gain momentum the exact day that the Mariners come to town and they are started by the Post? Seems like typical paper selling to me by the Post.

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  4. John S says:

    This speculation is crap. It is also as bad as what ESPN did last night.

    If the Yanks want to bust up their already weak system, let them do it.
    The Rays will get 2nd place and the wildcard. The Rays will bring in another $15 million for a post season trip.

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  5. Alex says:

    Well its not really speculation. The deal is pretty much done

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    • John S says:

      Alex,
      Do you know what speculation is or what the definition is?
      It is not done. Anything short of not done signature on the paper is speculation.
      Buster Olney has said at 2 PM, an official involved with the talks has said it is almost done; however, there is time for anything team to jump in.

      Haha read that and think, if it was done then how could a team come in with a better offer. Seriously read and absorb it and think. First off which executive do you think he is talking to. My bet is a NY executive to try and lure someone like Tampa or Minnesota in for the deal because they know if this happens the Yankees will sign him in the off-season and then those teams will be gutted from the only source of them actually being good, their farm system.

      And if the Yankees get him. Good for them. They will sign him to a much larger deal than he is worth. And they will feel the fallout from their last shopping spree in the last 90's where they didn't win a world championship for a decade because of a bunch of bad contracts that become horrible deals for older players.

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  6. Sam says:

    sounds like this deal is gaining steam

    let's see if Sternberg is actually gonna put his money where is mouth is

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  7. MJ says:

    This to me is a byproduct of no salary cap. Idk the yanks farm system very well, but it seems as if they know that even if the trade their top catching prospect (a high value position) and cervelli amounts to nothing and posada retires/declines, they can still go buy a serviceable catcher anyway (not sure what the free agents are in coming years). We won't trade away hellboy or Jennings cause we can't replace them.

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  8. CharlieRay says:

    #mlb Officials involved in Lee trade say that Seattle will get Montero and Adams, as reported by Joel Sherman, along with another prospect.
    8 minutes ago via web
    .BNightengale
    Bob Nightengale

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  9. Don says:

    Rays management striking out again....to keep their precious prospects...maybe...all talk.."this is the Year"....Bull

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  10. John S says:

    Don, the Rays simply can not afford to give up prospects loike that if they are going to competitive for years.

    Open you mind and think about it the Yankees can replenish their system with the vast amounts of money they have. When you have a TV station and a sold out crowd you can spend. We can not simply, I would rather have a team that will be competitive for 5 years then be competitive for 1 year (no guaranteeing of winning anything) and then be shitty for 4 years.

    Matter of fact the Rays can not do that. Because if they are bottom of the AL East, then no new stadium and no fans; which means goodbye Tampa Bay.

    The Rays need to worry about the Red Sox and beat them for the wildcard. Make the playoffs get some extra playoff money and then spend it to improve the team for next year. We will be the underdogs and more people nationally will cheer for us against the Yankees. People do not like "superpowers" they like the underdog.

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    • John S says:

      Let me educate everyone about the business:

      Read this exact clip:

      A trade that would send Mariners left-hander Cliff Lee to the Yankees was "just about done" on Friday morning, according to an executive involved in the trade talks.

      The Mariners have been pushing hard to complete the trade, but as of Friday morning there was no agreement in place, sources said, and it was possible another team could have stepped in to make a more aggressive bid.

      The Mariners had also 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 have spurred one of the other teams to strengthen their offer.

      First reported by the New York Post that is an interesting source. You do not think they want someone else to come in and get him. They are raising his price. And some sucker is going to bite and I hope it is not the Rays. Let the Twins or Reds do it.

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  11. Sarah says:

    Here's my theory -- Rays are keeping discussions going on possible Lee trade just long enough so that the trade isn't completed today; Lee takes his turn pitching for the Mariners tonight, beats Yankees. Trade completed tomorrow. Sound plausible?

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  12. John S says:

    Maybe.... expect it is now being reported the deal is at an impasse over a player's health history.

    Thank god Rays management is not made up of a lot of you posting just really simple minded crap on here. Just believing this NY propaganda for the lazy mind.

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  13. John I says:

    MLBtraderumors.com saying the Rangers have came in and won the cliff Lee sweepstakes. They are giving up Smoak and a couple others. I am just glad he is not in the AL East.

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  14. Don says:

    NO LEE to YANKEES......Book IT!

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    • Rumpy says:

      So clever.... posting a prediction AFTER the news broke that Lee was going to the Rangers. lol

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      • Don says:

        Who said it was a "prediction", it was a "statement"....
        Learn the difference!

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        • Dirtbag Fan says:

          Don,
          I'm coming out of retirement just to remind you that you are the biggest tool in the history of the Rays-iverse. You really should seriously consider becoming a Red Sox fan, you'd fit in well with the Chowdz...

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  15. John S says:

    Well that was a waste of a discussion... can I get that time for my life..

    Yankees were not a serious player even if ESPN or the damn NY Post.. they wanted someone to bite to give seattle more and to get it done now..
    The shitty part is he is pitching against the damn Yankees tonight... and the Yankees did that on purpose believe me.. ironic that this is coming out on this day

    bullshit

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  16. Gus says:

    Nothing like losing out in a trade war to a team in bankruptcy that we'll likely face in the playoffs. How can that team add payroll????

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    • Rumpy says:

      They were given a budget they could stay within. The amount remaining on Lee's contract this year minus the amount of $$$ Seattle sent equals out to only a couple mil I think. PLUS the ticket sales that will come from the aqcuisition of Lee and the presumed playoff run helps also. Make sense?

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    • Michael says:

      Easy, the M's sent over enough money to cover Lee's salary for the rest of the year and in return they go an extra prospect or two.

      This was never about the money for the Rays -- they would have taken on the extra ~$3 million for Lee. We just don't match up well with what the M's were looking for: young, MLB ready bats. It would have taken a team willing to part with that type of hitter in exchange for a raftload of our young pitchers. Either that or send them Brignac or Jennings. Never a realistic possibility.

      We should just be glad the Yanks didn't get him and focus on adding a hitter ourselves. I like the way Josh Willingham would fit into our lineup, just not sure the Nats will be realistic with their demands since they don't really care about getting rid of salary.

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  17. Alex says:

    Dodge a bullet there

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  18. MJ says:

    I think the fact they sent over the money makes it smell a lil fishy. So basically rangers give up smoak for half a season of lee at only 1.5 mil? Sounds like a great deal for a team fighting bankruptcy and run by MLB. They must like Arlington more than Montreal.

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