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Jul 092010

Thanks to Joel Sherman, New York fans have now gone from a hyped-up, overwraught LeBronathon to the possibility that the Yankees will deal their best prospect for Cliff Lee. There’s no rest for the weary, especially in the City That Never Sleeps.  Here’s a roundup of rumors and reactions around the interwebs and Twitters:

Mike Axisa from River Ave Blues does a superb job summing up the central issues surrounding the possibility that the Yankees could part with Montero, widely considered the Yankees’ best hitting prospect since Derek Jeter.  His tentative conclusion is one with which I agree:

“We’ll have more analysis if the trade is ever made official and we know all the details, but it’s tough to argue with it. I don’t like giving up prospects for a few months of Lee, but if the second move is to turn around and acquire someone like Werth, I mean holy cow, trading sessions don’t get any better.”

Ken Rosenthal, also known as “Sucka Got No Juice”, also known as RoboKen, loves the move for the Yankees.  He calls Lee the best starting pitcher available, and says that Montero “essentially has no future with the Yankees”.

Ed Price tweets this morning that an official with a team with interest in Lee believes that the Mariners are now negotiating exclusively with the Yankees.  The only reason they would do that, I’d imagine, is if they are hammering out the final details and no longer need other teams for leverage.

Buster Olney followed that up by saying that the deal is “just about done”.   In previous tweets he mentioned that Vazquez becomes the most desirable starting pitcher on the trade market, ahead of Roy Oswalt, because of the short-term contract and his recent turnaround in performance.  The question would be whether the Yankees would attempt to acquire another short-term contract like Jayson Werth or acquire some prospects to restock the farm system. Later in the morning, Olney mentioned that there has been no discussion of a negotiating window and that there likely would not be.  He then stated that the Yankees made their best and final offer last night to the Mariners, and expect an answer before the game tonight.

Since then, Ken Davidoff (who has a lovely Twitter background, if I might add) tweeted that the Mariners have informed interested teams that they’re out of the Lee sweepstakes, indicating that a deal was getting closer to completion.  Finally, Prospect Insider says that the deal is “not official, but done”.  It looks like this is a go, but we’ll wait to see what the cost is.

22 Responses to “Cliff Lee Rumor Roundup”

  1. If they can sign him to an extension then I’m on board; if it’s just for this season I can’t justify giving up JM  (Quote)

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    bornwithpinstripes Reply:

    your right, cash would never rent him…maybe thats whats holding it up..talking to lee’s agent  (Quote)

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    Stephen R. Reply:

    I’ve heard that there will be no negotiating window.  (Quote)

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    bornwithpinstripes Reply:

    that would shock me…unless cash is going to give CC money at the end of the year anyway..i would not make the trade unless he is signed.  (Quote)

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    Stephen R. Reply:

    I think that’s the idea – that they know they can blow everyone out of the water on the FA market when the season’s over, and that they will.  (Quote)

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  2. I’m still trying to get over trading AJax for Granderson. That’s certainly working well so far.  (Quote)

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    David A Reply:

    Completely irrelevant  (Quote)

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    bornwithpinstripes Reply:

    in a way it is relevant, we gave a blue chip up ,  (Quote)

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    Stephen R. Reply:

    Since May 1st:

    Jackson – .278/.321/.366

    Don’t let his hot start fool you. Granderson has obviously been a disappointment so far, but Jackson isn’t exactly tearing it up.  (Quote)

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    bornwithpinstripes Reply:

    i was sick when i heard of that trade.  (Quote)

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  3. I think someone on RAB said it best, this is Cashman being gangster. He’s finishing this shit now. I think he sees how down the Red sox are and is crushing them with this news, he sees that the twins and tigers were they to get him would be significantly better and cockblocked them. If the big bat flip for Vasquez is true he’s going to block both the Rays and the Red sox, particularly if its Werth because they desperately need a righthanded bat with drew hitting .108 against lefties and in danger of becoming strict platoon player. At the very least he upped the prospect ante cost for both teams for that bat since the Yanks can provide a proven NL starting commodity,something many wanted through Lee free for all but will get just in a different way. This is a message as well once again from the organization, not to us the fans, but to the players and future free agents “We play to win the game…” Come here and you’ll win championships…hmmm where has that pitch worked recently? Bottom line: I don’t think the Yanks bought Jesus as a catcher, and they feel good about the other horses in that stable and I’m pretty sure at this point we do as well. This is go for the “finish him” moment and they did just that. I say bravo Cashmoney!  (Quote)

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    Stephen R. Reply:

    I’d agree with this part of your comment in particular – “Bottom line: I don’t think the Yanks bought Jesus as a catcher, and they feel good about the other horses in that stable”  (Quote)

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  4. Update – third player is believed to be McAllister. Z Mac is cool and all but he’s nothing special.  (Quote)

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  5. I understand every fan base gets attached to its “home-grown” talent, but this move would not only make the Yankees the clear favorite, it strengthens the team’s major weakness (the back-end of the bullpen when Hughes gets shifted their for Sept/Oct) and prevents other teams (e.g. Twins Lee/Liriano, Rangers, Rays) from getting better and posing a bigger threat. Given the age on the roster, Cashman had to take this shot. I have no worries if an extension isn’t reached, that will get taken care of.  (Quote)

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  6. I’d say trade Javy for Werth instead of for prospects if that’s an option.

    By trading for Lee, they Yanks keep their 1st round pick. Also, it’s debatable whether they would offer Javy arbitration out of fear that he would accept it and be paid around 13-14 million. I’m not saying I agree with the decision, but I think the Yanks would hesitate to offer him arbitration. However, I would be incredibly surprised if the Yanks didn’t offer Werth arbitration. And I’d be just as surprised if Werth accepted it. So trading Javy for Werth might really be Javy for Werth and a 1st round pick and a supplemental round pick.

    In the end, the net result could be:

    Yanks lose: Montero, Adams, McAllister (assuming that’s the package), Vazquez (plus possible compensatory picks, but it’s unlikely)

    Yanks gain: 3 months of Lee, 3 months of Werth, their own 1st round pick (from not having to sign Lee as a FA), and a 1st round and supplemental round pick for Werth.

    Next year’s draft is absolutely stacked, so the Yanks might figure that they could recoup some of the losses there. Obviously, they’re not as valuable as Montero, but they would have 3 picks in the top 50 or so instead of having their 1st pick around #80 (when they sign Lee and lose their 1st round pick).  (Quote)

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  7. A thought -

    Cashman refused to deal Montero for Halladay (oversimplification, but still). He refused to deal for Lee w/ CLE and PHI. He refused to deal for Sabathia. He refused to deal Hughes and co. for Santana. Every time, we’ve had a greater need at starting pitcher than we do now. His M.O. has been to wait til they hit the free agent market and then pounce.

    So why the change? Is it a change in strategy? Is it a change in the valuation of Montero (i.e. they no longer see him as a catcher)? Is it a combination of both and a recognition that Javy and Burnett aren’t performing as he’d like?

    Lot of unanswered questions on my end, and I like the deal.  (Quote)

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    Eric Schultz Reply:

    I have these same questions myself  (Quote)

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  8. Im not into this. This lineup has shown signs of aging and teams have been locking up their impact bats. Montero, even if it was at DH or COF, would have been exactly the kind of prospect they needed over next few years. Yes, I know Lee is awesome, but they were already the favorites. I thyink it may sacrifice some of next season’s offense to an extent, and certainly down the road. All this to go from favorites to bigger favorites?

    Furthermore, all of this just assumes that signing Lee longterm is something they want to do, but 3 pitchers over 30 making huge money is not the greatest team building strategy. I wanted them to approach the market and try and get a shorter deal at high AAV. Now Lee has all the leverage, because there is no way they make this trade and then let him just leave.  (Quote)

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    Stephen R. Reply:

    As much as we might want it to happen, there was no way that we were getting Lee on a shorter deal with a higher AAV. Even if we were, we’re not all of a sudden more likely to commit to more years simply because we traded for him. IOW, the probability of us getting Lee on a short deal w/ a higher AAV was very low to begin with, and that doesn’t change w/ this trade.

    That aside, just because we’re spending too much on Burnett now doesn’t mean we shouldn’t chase Lee if we have the financial flexibility to do it. Burnett’s a sunk cost; if there’s room in the budget going forward for Lee (no sure thing, but it seems to be the case), then I think it makes sense to go for it. Additionally, there’s no guarantee we’re going to have 3 pitchers over 30 making huge money after next year. CC has an opt-out. If he left and we didn’t have Lee, our rotation is essentially Burnett, Hughes and…Joba? Hope that Pettitte doesn’t retire? It’s a complicated question, but if you’re going to spend big money on anyone, Cliff Lee is a great choice. I’m salivating over our rotation this year, and I’m excited for a Sabathia-Lee-Burnett-Hughes foursome in 2011.  (Quote)

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    Moshe Mandel Reply:

    You are probably right, but even then, Lee has the leverage. The terms are almost certain to be worse than they would have been. More importantly, you could have signed Lee and had Montero, all while having a very good chance at a 2010 title.  (Quote)

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    Stephen R. Reply:

    It definitely seems like we could have had both Lee and Montero. That’s why I have so many questions about why Cash has chosen to take this route (http://www.theyankeeu.com/2010/07/cliff-lee-rumor-roundup-19452/comment-page-1#comment-31885). It just doesn’t seem like his normal way of doing biznz.

    I dont think we lose a lot of leverage with Lee though. I mean, really, everyone knows we want Lee. We haven’t been coy in the least bit about it. We can’t tamper, but if we were trying to keep our interest in Lee a secret then we did a pretty poor job.  (Quote)

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  9. I truly hope it happens.
    Hughes has been very, very ordinary of late and very ordinary last year around the playoffs and series.
    AJ isn’t truly reliable, Pettitte is gone after this season and Javier Vasquez is mediocre in the American league, not somebody you want to throw against the SOX, Rays or in the WS.
    I always felt Montero wasn’t the catcher of the future and that Romine is.If they love Murphy and Gary Sanchez too (Montero with Romines glove?) how much is Montero’s bat really worth and has he hurt himself in their eyes this spring/summer anyway with his attitude?
    Adams is blocked and the 3rd guy will be just a guy.
    We save the #1 pick and guarantee that we have a top Lefty with CC, after Andy retires, probably next season.
    I’d keep VAsquez as my 5th, unless you can get a good deal for him and move Hughes back to the Bullpen because he’s better than Joba and you limit his pitch count.Believe me, it won’t hurt him and he’s a starter again next year after Javier is let go.
    No-brainer actually.  (Quote)

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