More on Cliff Lee and the Yankees
Here’s Joel Sherman (NY Post) on Cliff Lee and the Yankees:
The Yanks currently believe Seattle would not move Lee without obtaining one of their top position prospects, Jesus Montero or Austin Romine. The Yanks are against giving up elite prospects for half a season of a player. And GM Brian Cashman has long been against giving up prospects and paying free-agent dollars to retain a star within one deal.
So, with the rotation currently pitching well, the Yanks are not prioritizing Lee, despite loving him as a pitcher. However, one Yankee official said, “Who knows what the pressures will be and what we’ll need in July?”
Here is a key element: Will the Mariners ultimately take a good — but not great — deal worth more than the two compensation picks they would receive if they kept Lee? If so, the Yanks undoubtedly will play hard for Lee.
This is just me offering a scenario — in other words, this is not from an executive of the Yanks or any other team: I wonder, with Javier Vazquez pitching better, if the Yanks could trade him to an NL team such as the Cardinals, Dodgers or, heck, even Mets and obtain two prospects they know Seattle likes and then package that with one or two of their good prospects such as, say, David Phelps and/or David Adams to get Lee.
Remember, if the season ended today, Vazquez would not be one of the Yanks’ four postseason starters, while Lee might start Game 1. With Lee, the Yanks could put Phil Hughes in relief in September onward to keep him from exceeding his innings limit while bulking up the pen.
Vazquez is additionally attractive because he also is currently a Type-A free agent, which means he could bring two draft picks for next year, as well, to an acquiring team. Plus, to help bring better prospects, the Yanks could kick in $2 million of Vazquez’s salary yet remain cost neutral because Lee is making $2.5 million less than Vazquez this season.
So a lot of scenarios will be pursued when it comes to Lee between now and July 31.
Do these scenarios seem absurd or is it just me?
Now, don’t get me wrong–I do believe the possibility exists that the Yankees will pursue Cliff Lee at the trade deadline. However, that possibility is only contingent upon one scenario, in particular–a serious injury to one of the Yankees’ current 5 starters. Beyond that, though, I don’t think it will happen.
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