According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees inquired about Cliff Lee, but were told by Mark Shapiro and Co. that they would have to “surrender Joba or Hughes plus more.” Now, I like Cliff Lee, however, the Yankees can’t trade Joba or Hughes because it would be counterproductive to their cause. The whole reason they’re looking for another arm, like Lee’s, is because they have lost Wang for an indefinite period and chose to go with Hughes in the bullpen—a move that helps their bullpen, but hurts their rotation depth. Such a trade would actually hurt the Yankees this season, rather than help them (it’s not happening). The same can be said if they try to trade for Roy Halladay. Currently, with Wang out, possibly until next year, they need all the arms they can get, and that includes Hughes and Joba. The severity of Wang’s injury makes them bulletproof.
In the end, the Indians will ask for the moon and stars for Lee—that’s what a team does when trading a valuable pitcher. But, unless they’re willing to accept a package built on the backs of minor-leaguers like Austin Jackson, then I doubt that they’ll be trading Cliff Lee to the Yankees anytime soon.
(props to MLBTR)
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