Mariners Insider

The Cliff Lee countdown continues …

Post by Ryan Divish on June 28, 2010 at 11:34 pm with 7 Comments »
June 28, 2010 11:34 pm
AP photo

Well technically it’s Tuesday here in Manhattan.  And that means, Cliff Lee is starting on the mound for the Mariners later today against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

Will it be his last start as a Mariner?

My guess is no. But it’s a complete guess. I have nothing to base it on. But it sounds as though GM Jack Zduriencik has finally come to the understanding that the Mariners are done and this move needs to get done. So now he has to deal Lee.  And that isn’t exactly simple.  Sure he’s been listening to offers and doing his research, but I do think that trading Lee could take enough time that he may get one more start beyond this one. Here’s a couple of reasons why:

1. Every team is going to put up an offer. They have to. Any GM has to do his due diligence and throw out some offers to see if there’s a match. If they don’t, they are doing a disservice to the team, the players on the team and the fans.

You can’t use money as an excuse because Lee is a half season rental. And it’s not a major investment, even for supposedly cash-strapped teams like the Padres and the Dodgers. It’s prospects. It’s not money.

And Zduriencik will listen to all offers.

2. Lee is that good. He’s proven he can win in either league. He’s proven he can win in the postseason. He’s also pitching about as well as he ever has in his career.  He has more value than any other pitcher that could be available.  So Zduriencik is certainly going to want to maximize his return. He’s not going to take just the first offer.

This is a trade that needs to return at least a few players that can contribute immediately or by the latest next season. The Mariners have no immediate prospects within their system – maybe with the exception of top pitching prospect Michael Pineda – that could contribute next season. So this is a way to bridge the gap till players like Dustin Ackley and Carlos Triunfel are ready for the big leagues.

3. When you think Zduriencik is going one way, he tends goes another.  Who honestly saw the trade for Russell Branyan coming? Jack has proven that he’s a creative thinker when it comes to trades. When he made the JJ Putz, he helped engineer a three-team trade. Would that be possible? Perhaps, I wouldn’t put it past him. Because addressing the Mariners needs isn’t simple and maybe he’d like to get pieces from two different teams.

I guarantee you that Lee will be asked about being traded at least once or twice after the game, and he won’t get miffed or angry – he’s too professional for that. He’ll just say, what he always says and all he can say: “It’s out of my control. You’ll have to talk to Jack. Until that happens, I’m a member of the Mariners and I’m trying to help this team win.” or something along those lines.

Will it be Lee’s last start as Mariner? Selfishly I’m hoping it isn’t because I enjoy watching him pitch. But if it is, I won’t be surprised.

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Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. wabubba67 says:

    Ryan–I just heard that the Cardinals are now interested in Lee. Already have a thumnail sketch of what the Mets and Twins would likely offer….do you know about prospects in the Yankees or Cardinals organizations? Btw, I think that Lee would be a perfect fit for St. Louis…his southern no non-sense attitude would play very well in the midwest. For his sake, I hope that is where Lee lands!

  2. bigmike04 says:

    Wabubba67
    NYY has a Top Catching Prospect that is on baseball 2010 Prospect list Jesus Montero: Some say better than Rob Johnson and maybe Adam Moore.

    Thought in my opinion if Lee goes than so does M’s fan because they have to be so fed up with this consident BS that management provides about winning when in reality it seem like what they know best is losing. I would like to see Lee stay in Seattle for long time but that just me.

  3. guidocarmasi says:

    trade felix keep lee

  4. zombiehooliganfc says:

    I think you avoid dealing with the Yankees. Their prospects are overrated, the media hypes them all too much, as if every Yankee minor league player is the second coming.

  5. wabubba67 says:

    “Some say better than Rob Johnson and maybe Adam Moore.”–that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for the Yankees farm system.

    I think that we’ll be fine at catcher with Moore and unless the prospect we get in return is a true threat offensively and defensively (like a Posada or Mauer), than we should concentrate our efforts on getting the best HITTER available regardless of position.

  6. footballscaa says:

    I really don’t think the M’s will be “fine” with either Johnson or Moore at catcher. Neither fields the position well, as we have seen again and again. But, both are equally terrible with a bat. And that’s the upside. But it’s easy to bash on them. I do however think Cliff Lee can control a trade, by signing a contract with the M’s. Hey, it’s my pipe so let a man dream.

  7. I agree that it’s close to the time to give up on RJ & Moore. Perhaps 1 more season but……………….

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