Joel Sherman, who originally reported the Cliff Lee for Jesus Montero, David Adams, and Zach McAllister deal, is now reporting that the deal may be off. Via Sherman’s Twitter (at 3:44)
3:45 PM: update from Joel Sherman
I find it hard to believe that Adams’s health would cause the Mariners to turn down a deal including Montero, who’s likely the best centerpiece they will get in a deal. Either another team raised their offer (as Sherman seems to think), or else the Mariners are trying to raise their price and get the Yanks to give up better prospects. The Yankees should hold steady with their offer, as I think including Montero already makes it a great deal for Seattle. I have speculations that maybe the Yankees decided they wanted a negotiating window for an extension, but Seattle would not give it (at least not at the current price).
4:06 PM: Sherman thinks the Rangers are the mystery team.
The Rangers do have the prospects to get a Lee deal done. A few guys who would interest Seattle include AA LHP Martin Perez, 1b Justin Smoak, AA RHP Tanner Scheppers, or closer Neftali Feliz. Smoak could be replaced by Chris Davis, and Scheppers could probably fill in for Feliz if he is dealt. Rising outfield prospect Engel Beltre could also be an intirguing trade piece (h/t Stephen). One interesting aspect of a potential Lee acquisition for Texas is their financial troubles (as Sherman mentioned). This would mean that Seattle may need to pay some of Lee’s salary, but more importantly, means that the chances of the Rangers signing Lee to an extension are virtually nil.
4:12 PM: Frankie Piliere confirms the Rangers’ involvement in the negotiations.
4:17 PM: From YES Network’s Jack Curry
Just spoke to Yankee official who confirmed that they aren’t getting Lee. “Sometimes, these things just don’t get done,” he said.
4:56 PM: from Joel Sherman
The inclusion of Smoak makes this a good deal for Seattle, as he is on a similar level of value with a higher floor than Montero (though I think Montero, as a possible catcher, has more upside). The identity of the other 3 prospects are from Texas determines whether this is a heist for the Mariners, or if the Yankee offer was better. I will be ecstatic if this goes through, because Texas has no chance to resign Lee, and I still think the Yankees are a significantly better team this year.
I will update this post as more news arises.
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