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Report: Yankees 'on brink' of landing Lee

Posted on: July 9, 2010 9:10 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 1:06 pm

Cliff Lee New York may have a consolation prize in the LeBron James sweepstakes -- Cliff Lee.

The New York Post 's Joel Sherman reports the Yankees are "on the brink" of getting Lee from the Mariners. Sherman doesn't attribute the report to any source other than his own report, but says New York will give up top prospect, catcher Jesus Montero.

Sherman's report does hedge its bets, saying "The Yanks were not assured of obtaining Lee since other clubs such as the Mets, Twins and Rangers were in talks."

Lee is scheduled to start against the Yankees tonight.

According to the article, Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik suddenly wants to work quickly, trading Lee before the All-Star break.

UPDATE: ESPN's Buster Onley reports the Yankees and Mariners have "no agreement in place" for Lee and that it's possible another team could still get a deal done for the Mariners' ace.

So, this brings several questions:

1. Is Lee really going to the Yankees, or is this more New York hyperbole?

2. Is Zduriencik using scare tactics to get other teams to up the ante? Once you mention the Y word in baseball, emotions can get involved.

3. What would the Yankees do? They'd have six starters in the rotation, and they could be looking to trade one of them, even if they don't get much in return.

4. Are the Yankees just making sure they win a title, not just by improving their team, but keeping Lee away from any potential competition?

UPDATE 2: The New York Times' Tyler Kepner reports the offer from the Yankees has been made and it's up to the Mariners to decide.

Then the question becomes do the Yankees and Mariners get this done tonight, before Lee is scheduled to pitch against the Yankees? If so, when does he make his debut for Yankees? It would likely come in this series, so the Yankees would be dodging a potential loss and the Mariners would get to see all too well what they gave up.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 7:51 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 9:37 pm

Report: Yankees 'on brink' of landing Lee

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Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: July 9, 2010 5:25 pm

Report: Yankees 'on brink' of landing Lee

Rangers acquire Cliff Lee from Seattle

Posted on: July 9, 2010 5:03 pmEdited on: July 9, 2010 5:19 pm

'nuff said?

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:31 pm

Report: Yankees 'on brink' of landing Lee

Baseball should be fun, it should be unpredictable!  Here is an article from an Old Boston fan that i thought had some great points.  Business or not, its getting old and its becoming boring.

It feels like spring in Boston this week (sunny, temps in the sixties), and the weather makes me anxious for baseball. We are several weeks into spring training, a strange limbo period when baseball is being played somewhere far off, with palm trees in the background, but it is just a rumor around here.

This season feels different, though. I am not looking forward to Opening Day the way I used to. Maybe it is just that I am getting older. It is hard to take sports as seriously as I did when I was a kid. A bunch of guys run around with “Boston” or “New York” or “Cleveland” on their shirts — so what?

Also, to a lifelong Red Sox fan, 2004 changed everything. Winning is less urgent now. Losing does not seem to reflect on us personally anymore. Baseball, it turns out, is just a game after all. (If that sounds ridiculous to you, you did not grow up a Red Sox fan.)

But the real disenchantment, I think, came with last year’s Yankee blitzkrieg, culminating in a World Series that felt like a sham, the result seemed so inevitable. The entire playoff tournament was more kabuki theater than baseball: we had to go through the ritual of actually playing out the games before inevitably handing the trophy to the Yankees, but the outcome was never in doubt.

Of course none of this is new. The Yankee dynasties have always been powered by the economic engine of New York City. The team has always spent big and stockpiled star players (except for a hiatus in the 1960s). But for the last decade baseball fans — Yankee fans and Yankee haters alike — were lulled into believing that, whatever advantage the Yankees’ payroll gave them, the playoffs were chancy enough that we could still consider the whole thing … well, not fair, exactly, but fair enough.

The 2009 Yankees ended that little dream. The team was the apotheosis of checkbook baseball. Before the season the Yankees spent over $400 million on three star players — Mark Teixeira (8 years, $180 million), C.C. Sabathia (7/$161), and A.J. Burnett (5/$82.5). Their in a year when no other team spent more than $140 million. And then, after a bumpy start to the season, they simply overwhelmed the rest of the league. It was all just so predictable and obvious. Money, winning; cause, effect.

I don’t mean to turn this into an anti-Yankee screed. There is enough of that out there. ( is a triumph of the form.) My complaint is not with the Yankees, anyway. As their fans correctly point out, they are playing within the rules. They are supposed to do everything they can to win.

Also, let’s be clear: the lack of competitive balance in MLB is also a “Red Sox problem,” and a “Tigers problem” and a “Mets problem.” High payrolls correlate with wins, so all high-payroll teams have an advantage over lower-payroll ones. But no team benefits more than the Yankees for the simple reason that they have the highest payroll by a very wide margin.

No one seriously argues anymore that the system is not unfair. “You can’t buy a World Series, otherwise the Yankees would win every year, which they don’t.” “Look at the small-market teams who have succeeded, like the Rays in 2008.” “Look at how many different teams have won titles over the last ten years, doesn’t that prove the league is balanced?” After last season, you don’t hear these things much. No, you can’t guarantee the result of a baseball season. But to suggest that gathering so many of the best players on one team does not affect the odds is ridiculous.

So Yankee fans (and Red Sox fans, too) make a different argument: the system is unfair, but the inequality is justified. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say, the system distributes players unequally but not unfairly. The Yankees actually deserve an advantage.

Arguments favoring the current unbalanced system generally come in three flavors:

  1. Render unto Caesar: “The reason the Yankees can spend so much money is because they bring in so much money, which comes directly from [the fans’] pockets. We support and finance our team better than anyone else, so .”
  2. Blame the victim: The futility of small-market teams is . All of them could spend more to compete but they choose not to, opting to pocket their profits rather than reinvest in the team. Some small-market teams are badly managed, as well, unable to outfox the big-market clubs with clever moneyball strategies.
  3. Distributive justice, or “a rising tide lifts all boats”: The Yankee imperium is actually good for everyone because a glamorous team attracts TV ratings and big crowds when they visit small-market parks. Plus, some of the Yankees’ haul is redistributed to the needy via the luxury tax, so everybody wins. Except in the sense of actually, you know, winning.

There is a grain of truth to all these arguments, sometimes more than a grain. At the same time, they all feel lawyerly and dishonest. Once you concede that the system is unfair, the rest is details — excuse-making, special pleading.

All of this has been argued to death and, honestly, none of it reaches the real problem.

The real problem with the Yankees’ dominance is that it is utterly repetitive and predictable. It fails as drama. It is a dull story that we’ve heard a thousand times (well, 27). Pro sports, famously, is entertainment, and baseball has become the one thing that entertainment must never be: boring. I am not disgusted with baseball; I’m bored with it. It is a movie I’ve already seen.

Yankee fans have an answer to this complaint, too. The Yankee empire creates a ready-made storyline for every season: who will play David to the Yankees’ Goliath? That was the story that drove the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry for decades, and it is the default story sportswriters have told every year for the last decade when the Yankees lost.

The trouble is that the Yankees’ payroll has grown so enormous and their advantage so overwhelming that nobody really imagines the next decade will play out like the last one. In terms of resources, the Yankees have pulled away from the pack. The team is now so stacked and their spending power in the new stadium so outlandish that, looking forward, it is impossible to maintain even the pretense of competitiveness. Yes, the Yankees may lose some years — hey, you never know. But their advantage has never been greater, and over the course of a long season, even more so over a decade of seasons, that advantage figures to make baseball more and more predictable.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is all too gloomy, an overreaction to one lopsided World Series. Maybe, too, what I’m feeling is the usual Yankee Derangement Syndrome of a pre-’04 Red Sox fan. But I don’t see anything closing the payroll gap between the Yankees and everyone else in the near future. To me, the next few summers look like an endless loop of the 2009 season.

I don’t know much about baseball, but I do understand storytelling, and I can tell you that this plot has none of the elements of a good story. No character arc, no change, no movement, no personal metamorphosis from one thing to another. No redemption or triumph over adversity. Nothing really for the Yankees to overcome because the dice are loaded in their favor to begin with. (For the Yankees, the drama is all off the field: A-Rod and Madonna! A-Rod feuds with Jeter! A-Rod used steroids!) No adventure, no suspense, no dramatic tension. No situation, complication, climax, no afterglow of denouement. No Campbell , no Shakespearian five acts, no . A few surprises along the way, perhaps, but looking forward the surprises are likely to grow fewer and further between. Just a relentless, remorseless, repetitive playing-out of the inevitable.

Maybe that is a story Yankee fans will want to sit through again and again. For the rest of us, not so much. In the big picture, the real rival for the Yankees is not the Red Sox. It is the movies and cable TV and Wii and all the rest. The unique appeal of sports among all its rival forms of entertainment is that it is unscripted and therefore unpredictable. The NFL seems to understand that, and therefore has made a fetish of “parity.” Baseball has never bothered with competitive balance, which was fine as long as the rich and poor teams remained within shouting distance. Now, we are likely to see the same show over and over for the next few years. How long before people get bored and change the channel? Personally, I already have my finger on the clicker.

Since: May 14, 2008
Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:25 pm

Baseball=Business, Business built on Capitalism

Have NONE of you taken an economics class? Stop your sissy whining about how much the Yankees spend on their annual payroll. Its a BUSINESS people. They are in the business of MAKING money. You don't make money by LOSING. They have built a BUSINESS. This is a capitalistic country, and as much as I can't stand many facets of capitalism, including GREED, EXPLOITATION, BIAS, CHEATING, etc..., they are ALL parts of the business.

And YOU are ALL part of the business. I don't care if you're the biggest yankees hater and would never dare to spend even a red cent (knowingly) on any goods or services that would benefit the Yankees in any way shape or form. The fact of the matter is we ALL support this economic system, and we are all to blame for the ugliness that takes shape as a result of it.

Lets see just ONE of you...just ONE of you take a pay cut to keep things fair so that some other guy gets a job. How about gasoline caps so every person only gets so much gasoline each year. Maybe we wouldnt have had to completely destroy entire fishing economies and marine ecosystems in the gulf of mexico because of our selfish disregard. The oil companies basically buy our politicians, which is essentially the reason why we don't have better alternatives or better public transportation(ESPECIALLY in Los Angeles)

Look I'm a Yankees fan. Born and raised in NJ. My dad was even friends with steinbrenner and my mom's met reggie jackson on numerous occasions. I'll always root for the Yankees, but I too don't like the fact that you can simply buy your rings. This is why I've found college sports to be a lot more exciting. I wish things were different, not just for sports but for many areas of society. I mean you can buy your kid an education and essentially a good paying, if not great-paying job. You can buy your way out of jail, you can buy plastic surgery to make yourself more appealing. Our entire society is based on what you can buy. Socially speaking, it defines who we are, our value, our worth. It's completely superficial and disrespectful, yet we all continue to support it.

But until our entire economic system changes to make things more fair...which is essentially what all you knuckleheads are whining about, then there will always be the have-more's and the have-not's. To hate them is to hate the system which you support every day with every dollar you spend and every hour you spend working for it. May as well just hate yourself.

Just like with the oil companies, you may all hate them, but yet you continue to make them rich every time you fill up at the pump.
If you hate the Yankees so much then simply don't even talk about them, don't think about them, and please don't post idiotic rantings about their payroll on blogs. This only feeds the machine more.

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:11 pm

Report: Yankees 'on brink' of landing Lee

there will eventually be a salary cap in baseball because the league is becoming monotonous and boring. It is becoming a  regional sport when by the time football season comes around the only people paying attention live in the northeast, and a couple of others pockets.  

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: July 9, 2010 1:54 pm

Report: Yankees 'on brink' of landing Lee

The Padres are an abberation to the norm and you know that so please dont try to use them to justify the evil empire.  Padres have suffered for years trying to just get above .500  but they have done it how you SHOULD do it, the hard way and the right way. Padres fans deserve to feel great about their team!


The ’ payroll is $206 million. That number may not mean much to you, but chew on this: the Yankees’ payroll is $44 million more than the next highest team ().

That DIFFERENCE between the Yankees and the second highest payroll is higher than the ENTIRE TEAM SALARIES of two teams (Padres and Pirates). Their payroll is $33 million dollars more than the bottom 4 teams COMBINED. The numbers are staggering.

It is simply disgraceful that one team can dwarf the entire league by that much. What kind of skill does it take to buy the best and most expensive player and plop him on your team?

Do you remember those good Braves teams during the 90’s? The Braves earned their   crowns and   because they needed to constantly revive their farm system and trade talented players like Dave Justice to keep an affordable team salary.

The Yankees never have to worry about that.

A perfect example is what they did last year. Yankees fans were enraged that their team had not won a World Series in 9 years. So what was GM Brian Cashman to do? Would he bring up a shining star from the minors? Would he make a trade for a big time player? Would he look for a “diamond in the rough”? Would he make a strategic pickup of a guy at the trading deadline or take a chance on a Rule 5 player?

CC Sabathia Photo by Icon SMI

Of course not! Brian Cashman asked himself, “who is the best   player available?” Then bought  . Then found the second best,  , then BOUGHT HIM. Now he needed a hitter. Time to buy  .

That is such a joke. What skill does it take to just buy the best free agent available? There’s no risk in that. But that’s what they do in the Bronx.

Then the Yankees won the world series and their fans take full credit, citing the history of the organization and how much they deserve it.

Since: Mar 27, 2008
Posted on: July 9, 2010 1:47 pm

Report: Yankees 'on brink' of landing Lee

SALARY MEANS YOU HAVE THE HIGHEST PAID PLAYERS not the best team!!!! Yankees highest payroll last ten years one world series!! doesnt mean its automatic! stop crying about how much other teams spend and call your team office and tell them to spend most teamS can spend  they just rather have the money in the bank in stead of investing in there team!

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: July 9, 2010 1:45 pm

Report: Yankees 'on brink' of landing Lee

As most baseball fans are aware, the New York Yankees have been spending more money on payroll than any other team in the major leagues, by a long shot. In 2009, for instance, the , about two-and-a-half times the average, and $76 million more than the next highest team (the Mets).

And so, as you would expect, the lavish-spending Yankees have been very successful. The Yankees made the post-season every year but one since 1995. That's 14 out of 15.

buy 'em up Yanks.  Thats what you do!

Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: July 9, 2010 1:39 pm

Report: Yankees 'on brink' of landing Lee

Hello? Ned (Colletti)?  you there?  Get your butt up and start making some offers for this horse, or are we gonna sit and watch guys like Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt go to our contenders just like in the off-season???  Its sad the No. 2 market team doesnt do what it takes to win a title, like the yankees or, For God sake, the Lakers who are right in front of your face in the same city!  As a Dodger fan its frustrating.   McCourt could learn alot from Jerry Buss, but looks like he is just another Donald Sterling.  I yearn for the O'Malley days.  sigh!

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