Posted on: July 9, 2010 4:50 pm

Lee scenarios abound

Cliff Lee Lots of things flying around about Cliff Lee, but the big news is that CBSSports.com's Scott Miller is hearing that the Yankees deal is not done and others, including the Rangers, are in the mix.

A Mariners front-office source tells me the team is "preparing for anything," waiting for general manager Jack Zduriencik to give them the word on what, if anything, is going down. There are a number of scenarios:

* No deal is finalized and Lee pitches, as scheduled, against the Yankees on Friday night at Safeco Field.

* Lee goes to the Yankees and pitches against the Mariners instead. I'm hearing that's unlikely, and that the Mariners would make that a condition of the deal just for the sake of logistics and the circus it would create. But the Yankees are in Seattle through the weekend, and Lee needs to pitch again before the All-Star Game. Once he's property of the Yankees, the Mariners can't really keep them from starting Lee against them Saturday or Sunday. They could just let him throw a bulpen session, but they'd probably like to start getting a return on their investment without waiting until after the break.

* No deal is finalized with anyone, and Lee doesn't pitch at all Friday night because he's being sort of held in escrow until a transaction. That's a strong possibility. Contrary to a report earlier, however, the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers are still listing standout prospect Michael Pineda as their starter for Friday night. That can of course always change in a hurry, which is one of the advantages of having your Triple-A club less than an hour away.

MLB Facts and Rumors will be at Safeco Field throughout the weekend, so check here for unfolding news on the Lee situation.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:38 pm

Oswalt doesn't like the Midwest

Roy Oswalt Once the Cliff Lee deal goes down, Roy Oswalt may become the next hot name on the trade block. Yesterday he showcased himself to scouts with a complete-game one-hitter, but it's not just who wants Oswalt, but also where he'll go. Oswalt has a full no-trade clause in his contract, so he must sign off on any trade.

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweets Oswalt won't accept a trade to the White Sox or Tigers, along with others.

The other difference between Lee and Oswalt is that he still has another year on his contract for $16 million, a team option at $16 million for 2012 and he can opt out of 2012 for a reduced rate from the $2 million team buyout. Not only that, he's still owed the remainder of his $15 million 2010 contract and the Astros don't want to pick up too much of the money themselves. So with all that, maybe the Yankees are the leader.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:33 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 1:13 pm

Yankees want deal done today

The Yankees want Cliff Lee, they don't want to face him. ESPN's Buster Onley is reporting the Yankees want the deal done before Lee's schedule.

Via Twitter , Onley has too much info for 140 characters:

Heard this: The Yankees told the Mariners overnight that their current offer is their last and best offer for Lee. They expect
yes or no soon, because Lee is scheduled to pitch against them tonight. "There has to be an answer before the game," says 1 source.
Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:01 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 1:19 pm

Lee's other suitors not giving up yet

Despite the reports that Cliff Lee will be a Yankee, other clubs in the race aren't giving up yet.

Two sources from two different teams tell CBSSports.com that they're not out of the running for Lee quite yet.

One source even quoted Animal House, "was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" he said in a text.

Although the Yankees appear to be the favorite, New York general manager Brian Cashman certainly won't be the only one calling Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik today.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 9, 2010 11:56 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 2:19 pm

Vazquez not on block yet

So, let's say the Yankees do land Cliff Lee, what does that mean for the rest of their rotation?

CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes aren't going anywhere. And nobody's gonna take A.J. Burnett and his $16.5 million a year through 2013, so that leaves Javier Vazquez as the odd man out.

Vazquez is 7-7 with a 4.81 ERA in 15 starts for the Yankees, OK numbers for a fifth starter, but he's no Cliff Lee.

However, Newsday 's Ken Davidoff tweets the Yankees may wait until the deadline to decide what to do with him. Davidoff also notes the team could move Phil Hughes to the bullpen to help cut down on his innings.

Vazquez could certainly appeal to any National League team in need of starting pitching, like say, the Cardinals. Vazquez has a limited no-trade clause, blocking deals to teams in either of the two West divisions. He's owed what's left on the $11.5 million salary from this season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 9, 2010 10:19 am

AL East teams covet Werth

If the Phillies falter, the American League East is interested in Jayson Werth, the New York Post 's George A. King III reports .

According to the report, the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays have all told the Phillies they'd be interested in the outfielder.

The Phillies are 44-40 and 5 1/2 games behind the Braves.

Werth would fill needs for all three teams, but won't come cheap. For the Phillies to concede, it may take a large bounty to make it worthwhile. He can play both corner outfield slots and going to the American League, he'd be able to DH as well.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

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

Report: Yankees 'on brink' of landing Lee

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.

Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:50 am

Baseball reacts to LeBron news ... sort of

LeBron James Since the world apparently revolves around LeBron James, the basketball star who now plays for ... was it Vitamin Water? ESPN? It all seemed like a blur. Anyway, here is your obligatory "baseball players react to news" item:

* The Marlins are happy. Hanley Ramirez held up a "Welcome LeBron" sign for TV cameras. Manager Edwin Rodriguez said, "It's going to be big. It's going to be huge ... I'm not a big [NBA] fan."

* The Indians are ... actually the Indians don't seem to care much.

"It's crazy; it's going to change up a lot of stuff," reliever Chris Perez said. "I'm sure Cleveland's not very happy about it -- it's a hometown guy that's leaving -- but it's a business. And he left money on the table, so obviously it's not all about the money, it was about winning, and Miami gave him the best chance, I guess."

"I don't even know what happened," center fielder Michael Brantley said. "[Miami's] a good choice for him, I guess."

* Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is one of James' close friends, and James angered fans in Cleveland by frequently being seen in a Yankees cap (though, as seen in this photo, he gave the Indians some love as well). He reportedly worked hard to try to convince James to join the Knicks, but to no avail.

"I'm happy for him," Sabathia said in a statement (seriously, there might be no better example of how ridiculous this thing became than the fact that a baseball pitcher was called upon to release a statement with his reaction to a basketball player choosing what team to play for). "He made a decision and it had a lot to do with trying to win a championship. You can't fault him for that. I do feel bad for the city of Cleveland, though. He meant a lot to that city and the people there."

More reactions as they become available. OK, probably not.

-- David Andriesen

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

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com