Mariners have been scouting Yanks’ farm system

Sabathia, A-Rod carry Yanks to 2-1 win
The complicated New York legacy of Joe Torre

This one should come as no surprise, but the Mariners have scouted the Yankees’ farm system in advance of a potential Cliff Lee trade. The Yanks have, in turn, scouting Lee, but it’s nothing more than routine coverage of a pitcher they intend to pursue as a free agent. Yesterday we heard that the Bombers just weren’t focusing on the lefty right now given the strength of the team’s starting five, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be prepared and cover all their bases. The Indians received four prospects when they dealt CC Sabathia two years ago, so we have to assume that’s the blueprint for any Lee trade.

Sabathia, A-Rod carry Yanks to 2-1 win
The complicated New York legacy of Joe Torre
  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    If George (circa 1987) Steinbrenner were around, he would trade Hughes, Joba, Austin Romine and Jesus for Lee. And, just to prove he was serious, he would throw in Manny Banuelos as well.

  • http://RAB sjt

    I have read that Seattle wants a catcher back in a deal for Lee. Wonder if the Yanks can be involved in a 3-way deal where they part with a catcher (dealing from strength) to get something back they really want. Then they can always pursue Lee as a FA.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      but which cathcher would they trade that someone else thinks is worthwhile? they won’t/shouldn’t trade romine or jesus and after that there’s gary sanchez all the way down…who else is there? and what would they be worth giving up?

    • Total Dominication

      What do they really want though? A top SS prospect? Just how many of those are there?

  • bonestock94

    If the Yankees trade for Cliff Lee I’m gonna go on a Crazy Z tantrum.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      my name is jsbrendog and i approve this comment

  • BigGuy

    The SF Giants had Steve Balboni scouting SWB and Rochester at their game last night.

  • Reggie C.

    Cliff Lee likely wants to hit FA for a couple weeks to see how many 100 million dollar offers he can generate. Bragging rights and all. Seriously, Lee and his pple probably arent going to be cool with signing a 4/5 yr deal in some truncated trade deadline window situation.

    Its easier to name the guys I won’t trade for a half-season of Lee:
    1. Montero
    2. Heathcott
    3. Romine
    4. Gary Sanchez
    5. Brackman
    6. Stoneburner
    7… maybe Jose Ramirez.

    Lee would seriously put us over the top and maybe even allow the Yanks to go to a 6 man rotation and have’em all rested for another championship run without having to tax CC. If for some reason Lee doesn’t re-sign with the Yanks, we’d net 2 protected draft picks for Lee that can’t be lost, even if we then went on and signed Carl Crawford.

    All the above is simply theoretical as the Yankees simply do not need to add a starter. If the Mariners want to Brandon League … then that’s a trade convo that’d be waaaay more practical.

    • camilo gerardo

      I’d love League on our roster

    • All Praise Be To Mo

      Man-Bam, Betances as well.

  • Accent Shallow

    I don’t want any part of Lee, either via trade or free agency. I really think that anyone who gives him a big contract is going to be seriously burnt by that.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      i say just say no to lee and crawford and i have been since day 1

    • RichYF

      What do you see going wrong with Lee? He appears more Mussina than Burnett in my opinion. What do you count as a “big contract?” Years or dollars (or both)?

      I think Lee will be good well into his 30s just because of the way he pitches. I wouldn’t want to give him a CC type deal though, that’s for sure.

  • Dela G

    looks like they’re wasting their time

  • Scout

    Cashman’s M.O. is clear: he doesn’t deal top prospects to rent a pitcher he can obtain on the free agent market the following year. Barring an injury to a top starter (and it would likely have to be C.C.), he will not pursue Lee unless the asking price goes way down. And the Ms don’t conduct a fire sale — recall how much they wanted last year for the Washburn rental. The Lee-to-Yankees talk will continue up to the moment Lee is dealt because the Yankees are always connected to top players near the trade deadline.

  • RichYF

    General question directed at no one in particular…

    If the Yankees were able to get Cliff Lee via trade and sign him to a 3-4 year extension at $20 million per year (aka the Halladay extension):

    1. Should they do it?
    2. What prospects would it be worth giving up if that were the case?

    I’m on the fence with it myself. I am not sure what Lee is going to command on the free agent market, but my guess is 5-6 years at no less than $20 million per, so a 6/130 deal isn’t out of the question. At 4/80 (if the option vests), that’s much more reasonable for front-line starter (not an AJ Burnett/John Lackey type “ace”).

    • CJ My Bros a Grizzlie! Henry

      Yeah, that is reasonable. I’d do Gary Sanchez, Dellin Betances, Kevin deLeon, and…Romulo Sanchez? Is that a valuable package? Too much? Too little?

      • whozat

        That package is far, far too weak. The highest upside guy is three starts into his recovery from TJ — in A ball (or is it short-season ball?). The next best is 17.

        When the Indians traded CC, they got at least one near-MLB impact prospect. Which means Montero or Romine.

        • vin

          I wouldn’t say it’s “far too weak” – it seems to be more “far too raw” if anything. There’s a lot of talent there, but I assume most of it is too far away from the big leagues to interest Seattle. If those guys reach their potential, then that would be a huge coup for the Mariners.

          A front end starter
          A back end starter
          An All Star caliber catcher
          An All Star caliber OFer

          all for 3 months of Cliff Lee and two draft picks. That’s a franchise-turning type trade.

          I don’t think the Yanks acquire Lee this July. They have no need for him – at least not enough to justify the cost. The Mets or Twins makes too much sense, IMO.

          • Pete

            saying that Kevin DeLeon has the potential to be an All-Star caliber outfielder is like saying Cito Culver has the potential to be a hall of fame shortstop. It’s not impossible, but it’s kindof a ridiculous thing to suggest at this point.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              My 8 week old son has the potential to eventually be the President of the Conglomerate of United Eurasia.

              It’s true.

        • Captain Jack

          When the Indians traded Cliff Lee they got a utility infielder, a back up catcher, a fourth starter, and an 18 year old with elbow problems. Translate to the Yankee farm, probably something like: Corban Joesph or David Adams, Frankie Cervelli, Romulo Sanchez, and they’re a bit short on hard throwing 18 year olds with elbow problems so it’d have to be maybe someone like Graham Stoneburner. Older, worse stuff than Knapp, but he won’t need TJ as a 19 year old.

      • Pete

        I would make that trade in half a heartbeat, which means Seattle probably wouldn’t make it at all. My guess is something along the lines of

        G. Sanchez, Brackman, Nunez, Man-Ban, and R. Sanchez OR Romine, Betances, Nunez, Ramirez, and Melancon.

        And it simply wouldn’t be worth it for the Yanks to make either of those deals.

    • Captain Jack

      4/80, hellz to the yeah. Cliff Lee got a late start to his career and has plenty of pitching left in that left arm, he’s got great command and excellent K rates for how few batters he walks. Yeah I’d do that in a heart beat. Since next year’s draft is loaded the Yankees should consider the draft pick that they’ll be giving up too, not sure who is the best prospect I’d give up, but all the “spare parts” (i.e. guys who can start for Seattle, but not the Yankees) are on the table.

  • Opus

    A friend of mine in Seattle says the Mariners want a major league ready starter (guess that would be Joba) and two prospects for Lee (they would also be willing to pay for his salary if the return on him was great).

  • Mike HC

    The way I see it, the Yanks made their big “mid-season” deal for a big time pitcher in the off season already. The one for Javy. Trading for Lee would be obvious overkill.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    Senator, you can have my answer now, if you like.

    My offer is this: nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up, personally.

  • joe

    I like Cliff Lee, but I rather see the Yankees go after a bat. I like Lee, but I don’t like trading away prospects for a 33 year old pitcher. Maybe if Lee was 26 years old than I would more seriously consider doing it. They need a bat for some depth and a reliever because say what you want, but Joba isn’t going to get it done in the 8th inning.

  • The Three Amigos

    Maybe the Yanks are also scouting Lee because they are about to face him 2x in the next 2/3 weeks

  • Captain Jack

    The Indians received four prospects when they dealt CC Sabathia two years ago, so we have to assume that’s the blueprint for any Lee trade.

    Why wouldn’t the Cliff Lee trade last year be the blueprint? It seems that teams are getting less and less in prospects for superstar players.