The New York Yankees Trading For Cliff Lee is a Mistake

Justin NormanCorrespondent IJuly 9, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 29:  Cliff Lee #36 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 29, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The buzz in the baseball world is that the Yankees are nearing a deal to acquire Mariners' ace Cliff Lee. This blockbuster trade allows Lee to simply hop across Safeco Field into the visitors dugout, and even make his first start for the Yankees tonight, as he is scheduled to pitch for the Mariners against the Yanks.

What is currently in question is who the Yankees will have to give up to get Lee. Rumors say that the Yankees are going to have to part ways with a touted prospect, 20 year-old Jesus Montero.

Montero is the same prospect that the Yankees did not want to give up in a trade for Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, or CC Sabathia in years past. So my question is, why now?

Cliff Lee is without a doubt a superb pitcher, and would be a great addition to any team. But he is a free agent at the end of this season, and many view Lee as a rental for the rest of 2010. 

Sure, trading for Lee now would give the Yankees more of a chance to resign Lee to a long term deal, and I know that if they signed him in the off season they would have to fork over a draft pick. But is giving up Montero worth it? 

Yankees fans always think that the Yankees can sign any free agent they want, and for good reason. The Yankees are notorious for signing big time free agents. With that said, they still have a good chance of signing Lee in the off season. Yeah, they have to give up a draft pick, but I think that's better than having to give up Montero, who could be the next Albert Pujols.

I get that acquiring Lee is as much a move for this year as it is for the future, but there's not really room for Lee in the Yankees rotation right now. They already have CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, AJ Burnett, and Javier Vasquez—all of whom are pitching very well. 

Surely, Vasquez would be the odd man out. Lee is definitely a better pitcher than him. But Vasquez is still performing very well.

Do the Yankees really need Cliff Lee this year? I mean, they're the reigning World Champions and they currently have the best record in the MLB, playing in arguably the best division in baseball. 

My opinion is that the best way to win championships is through the farm system. Montero is 20 years-old and has a long future ahead of him with the Yankees. But if they trade him, they get maybe four more years out of Lee, as they presumably watch Montero become a star in Seattle. 

I just don't think parting with a blue chip prospect is worth it for a pitcher who may be in pinstripes next year anyway. Do you guys agree?