Blog Entry

Ranking the suitors for Lee

Posted on: July 8, 2010 1:14 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 2:23 pm

Cliff Lee Is your team in on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes?

Chances are -- unless you're a Pirates or Orioles fan, the answer is yes.

An anonymous source tells Newsday's Ken Davidoff that "pretty much every team within five games of the playoffs" has called the Mariners about Lee.

So, if you're counting, that's 17 teams, nine National League squads and eight American League clubs.

Besides the whole 15 games under .500 thing, Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik must feel like the prettiest girl in school.

This is far from a final list, and I could be completely wrong -- but here's a listing of the possibilities in some semblance of an order. Feel free to offer your own favorites.

1. Twins -- still a good possibility, they've got the desire, the prospects (Wilson Ramos, Aaron Hicks) and with a new ballpark, they also have an influx of cash and urgency to do something special. With Lee, we could have some postseason snow-outs.

2. Mets -- the other New York team is always out there trying too hard -- like your one friend who gets a little too dressed up and has that extra spray (or four) of cologne when you go out. Sadly, he always seems to strike out.

3. Reds -- never underestimate the desire of an owner to make a splash. Bob Castellini is an emotional owner and believes firmly in his town's desire to see a winner and ultimately support it. If the Mariners want corner prospects, the Reds could dangle Yonder Alonso and Juan Francisco -- blocked by Joey Votto and Scott Rolen's three-year extension, respectively. There's also Todd Frazier, who can play about anywhere, and pitchers Matt Maloney and Travis Wood, who could be added to the rotation right away.

4. Rangers -- they're not as long of a long shot as you might think. Lee's not about money. It's about prospects, and Justin Smoak is a prospect that would fit perfectly. Roy Oswalt would be costly; Lee is only $4 million for the rest of the season. If money's still an issue, they could sweeten the pot with another prospect. MLB -- the organization -- has a vested interest in the Rangers and they'd likely loan the Rangers the money to make it work. A Rangers team in the playoffs is more valuable to a bidder than one that breaks down in August.

5. Yankees -- the team could go get him, but why rent him now and give up prospects when you've still got a good shot at winning and will just buy him in the offseason, anyway. That way you keep the prospects. But with the Yankees, you've always got to have them in the discussion. They're a courtesy top five, due to the fact they're the Yankees.

6. Rays -- pitching depth isn't a problem in this system, but they have a potential impact bat in B.J. Upton, and a serviceable catcher in Dioner Navarro. A Lee-David Price front of the rotation could be lights-out in a short series.

7. Phillies -- yeah, the Phillies could add the former Phillie, but it would likely cost them Domonic Brown -- who GM Ruben Amaro Jr. wouldn't give up for Roy Halladay. The desire is there, but the prospects may not be.

8. White Sox -- the news on Jake Peavy makes them the highest-riser on the list, plus GM Kenny Williams loves to make a splash, and this would certainly qualify.

9. Cardinals -- despite needs to fill out their rotation, the Cardinals are reportedly looking for bats more than arms. Still, it's tempting to think of a playoff rotation of Lee, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright -- that would make them a favorite based on "the great" Albert Pujols' offense alone.

10. Tigers -- Detroit could use him, that's for sure. GM Dave Dombrowski has never shied away from a big deal, but it's unclear whether Detroit has the juice in either prospects or cash to get it done.

11. Red Sox -- a lot of needs with all their injures, Lee would be a luxury -- not that they haven't indulged in those in the past.

12. Braves -- Atlanta could certainly use Lee -- who couldn't? -- but they don't seem like a fit in either needs or assets. The Braves, more likely will be crossing their fingers that Lee doesn't land in the NL East, which is still up for grabs.

13. Rockies -- they are more likely to fine-tune than to do anything big. GM Dan O'Dowd has prized prospects and is unlikely to mortgage the future for a rent-a-player.

14. Padres -- sure, they're broke and they're pitching well, but there is some reason here. 1. Owner Jeff Moorad has said he'll deal for an arm if he can, and 2. most of the Padres arms are young arms. Mat Latos, Wade LeBlanc and Clayton Richard may not only tire down the stretch, Latos, at least, is on an innings count of 150 to 180 and he's already an out away from 100 innings on the season.

15. Giants -- looking for bats, not arms.

16. Angels -- ditto.

17. Dodgers -- Jamie McCourt is unlikely to give any of her alimony to help Frank out.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 8:16 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:03 pm

Ranking the suitors for Lee

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Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: July 8, 2010 9:19 pm

Ranking the suitors for Lee

I am a Braves fan, and I really hope that Lee goes to the AL. If he l ands with the Phillies or Mets, it will make the walk to the Series very tough. All agree that Philly really made a mistake in dealing him . With Lee and Doc as a 1-2 punch, it would be the best in baseball, but hindsight is 20-20. Never believe that the Yankees or RedSox are not considering acquiring Lee. The Red Sox has a much deeper farm system than the Yankees, and could really use him, their starting pitching is average at best. We will know in a few weeks, he is definitely gone.

Since: Apr 20, 2010
Posted on: July 8, 2010 7:23 pm

Ranking the suitors for Lee

I have been listening to sports talk radio all day in Detroit and am convinced the Tigers will
make a strong run at getting Cliff Lee..The Tigers would have to include Rick Porcello SP, Jacob Turner SP,
and Alex Avila in a package to entice the Mariners...The key here is Turner,a hard throwing youngster drafted
by the Tigers who has terrific stuff....With Avila being young and improving his BA this year slowly and having
a adequate arm for a cathcher..Porcello has a bright future as a starter also...The deal would hinge on Lee willing
to accept a contract extension with Detroit.The Tigers would have the money to sign him to a long term deal since the contracts
of Ordonez,Willis and Bonderman will be off the books,I believe they are also still paying Sheffield some money....
With the money freed up by these contracts Detroit could afford Cliff Lee..........
A starting staff of Verlander,Lee,Sherzer,Bonderman and Gallaraga would give oppents fits the rest of this seson !!!
Go for it Dombrowski!!!!!

Since: May 25, 2008
Posted on: July 8, 2010 6:43 pm

Ranking the suitors for Lee

Johan Santana for Carlos Gomez.  Carlos Gomez for JJ Hardy.  Sounds to me like the Twins got a better trade out of the deal.  JJ Hardy is playing good ball, before and after his injury.  Santana, well, he hasn't done much for the Mets since the trade.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: July 8, 2010 5:16 pm

Ranking the suitors for Lee

The real losers of this sweepstakes are the Phillies. First they pass on pitching Cliff Lee in Game 4 of the '09 Series, which in my mind cost them the championship. Then they pass on pairing up Cliff Lee & Roy Halladay, which would have given the Phillies the best 1-2 punch in baseball. Now they have to sit back and watch another contender pick him up.

I say the Reds would be the best suitors for Lee, but the Rangers would be another interesting place for him to land. Either way the Mariners will probably get back better than they gave away for Lee in the first place so its a wash for them. 

In the end though the Yankees will make a hard push to get him this offseason. After watching Game 1 of the '09 series, I think he immediately jumped to the top of their must have list, but Lee might be signed to a deal before the Yankees get their hands on him so its def not a lock.

Odds Lee will end up with the Yankees this Summer = 10%

Odds Lee will end up with the Yankees this Winter = 90%
Odds the Phillies regret giving up Lee = 100 %

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: July 8, 2010 4:41 pm

Ranking the suitors for Lee

Everyone in the world knew that the Phillies screwed up trading him. Except Ruben Amaro who panicked and didn't check the market on Lee. They simply thought "We can get Halladay! Ok...We can't keep Lee, right? That's too good, right?"

So Amaro traded him for 10 cents on the dollar.

Tragic for Philly fans. Will go down as one of the all time blunders by any GM in Philly Sports history.

Amaro says he did it to stockpile the farm system. Problem is - they got 3 dingleberry's back for Lee from Seattle. All three prospects they got for Lee are terrible.

Anyway. The final point - is the even with Cliff Lee - we still are putting Wilson Valdez and Gregg Dobbs out there every night and not hitting for a darn.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: July 8, 2010 4:05 pm

Ranking the suitors for Lee

it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek

perhaps it didn't come off that way


Since: Sep 18, 2009
Posted on: July 8, 2010 3:55 pm

Ranking the suitors for Lee



Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: July 8, 2010 3:47 pm

Ranking the suitors for Lee

I had to stop reading this article right after his excerpt about the Mets.  I was honestly looking forward to reading it, but what he said about "the other New York team" is so ridiculously stereotypical and inaccurate in this context.  How's that Johan Santana trade looking now?  He might be reaching the hump in his career where the rest is downhill (even though he just threw a complete game shutout and hit his first career homer), but he already gave the Mets enough to cover for the chips we gave up (aka nobody).  

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