Mariners Expect Yankees To Pursue Cliff Lee
By Tim Dierkes [June 9 at 8:03am CST]
The Mariners are preparing for the Yankees to pursue ace lefty Cliff Lee, reports George A. King III of the New York Post. King says the Mariners have already scouted the Yankees' Low A and Double A clubs and aim to watch their Triple A squad soon. King spoke to a "person familiar with Seattle's thought process" who believes Jack Zduriencik will seek Triple A shortstop Eduardo Nunez as well as one of the Yankees' minor league catchers. King suggests that the Yankees would need assurances that they could sign Lee to an extension if they're required to surrender Austin Romine or Jesus Montero.
King believes renting Lee would hold appeal to the Yankees despite their strong rotation. The Yanks' boast a front five of C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and Javier Vazquez, and it's not clear who they'd bump for Lee. The most likely candidate, Vazquez, has a 2.73 ERA in 33 innings since returning from a break on May 12th. Trading Vazquez to clear a spot for Lee seems a convoluted to me.
With Nick Johnson potentially out for the season, an offensive addition would be more fitting. To that end, King says the Yankees have scouts following the Astros in case Lance Berkman becomes available. Berkman is still owed $11.2MM heading into today's action, however.
So they want a AAA SS and a C?
Sell high on Mesoraco (making sure you can sign Grandal), give them their choice of Cozart/Valaika, and throw in another player (Heisey?) Perhaps that would be enough if there is no window for an extension?
Normally Alonso would be a natural fit here, but he's hitting like Willy Taveras in AAA. It may be a bad time to sell the bottom on him.
Another top of the rotation arm would ease the pressure on the bullpen and give a contingency plan if they need to shut down Leake. Thoughts?