Trade talks have progressed quickly between the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners throughout the morning, and the Yankees now appear on the verge of acquiring top trade target Cliff Lee in exchange for prospects.
Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reported that, according to an unnamed source, a deal between the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees for All-Star Cliff Lee is “imminent.”
Lee had previously stated that he would not mind playing in New York. Ironically, that statement was linked to rampant speculation over a potential Mariners-Mets trade.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who broke this story, reported that the Mariners will most likely receive catching prospect Jesus Montero and second base prospect David Adams in return for Lee. Sherman opined that the Yankees may send a third prospect, but Double-A prospects Montero and Adams are “sure things” to be included in the package.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports recently speculated that the third prospect could be 22-year-old pitcher Zach McAllister.
The deal makes perfect sense for the Yankees. At catcher, Jorge Posada is under club control for one more season, and prospect Austin Romine has been hyped as a potential long-term replacement. At second base, the Yankees are sitting on 27-year-old Robinson Cano, an All-Star and emerging offensive juggernaut.
For the Mariners, they receive what they wanted in return for Cliff Lee’s services. Jesus Montero is a top-tier catching prospect, and David Adams has incredible offensive talent (with a markedly average glove).
The move makes the New York Yankees even higher favorites to repeat as World Series Champions, cementing a rotation of C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes.
Ironically, Cliff Lee is scheduled to start against the Yankees tonight at Safeco Field. It will be interesting to see how this scenario is affected by a potential trade.
This story is developing, as the deal is yet to be formally announced.
UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted that the Mariners are "backing off" from trade negotiations. In his opinion, the Yankees may no longer be in the hunt for Cliff Lee.
UPDATE: A Yankee official confirmed to Jack Curry of the YES Network that the Yankees will not obtain Cliff Lee.