Is Cliff Lee to Texas the Right Move?

Nathaniel BallanceContributor 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

Only moments after pulling out of an "imminent" deal with New York for lefty ace Cliff Lee, Seattle has reportedly agreed to send Lee along with reliever Mark Lowe to Texas in exchange for first baseman Justin Smoak and three other prospects.

We'll have to wait and see who the three other prospects are, but this is still a strange move for the Rangers regardless.

With severe financial troubles, the Rangers will be hard pressed to resign Cliff Lee to an extension following the season, so he is most likely a three-month rental.  With the Mariners sending cash that will cover some but not all of Lee's remaining salary, one might question the Rangers taking on salary when their current financial position does not lend themselves to do so.

With MLB subsidizing the Texas Rangers, is taking on more salary really the smartest idea?

He undoubtedly improves the team, but does his acquisition alone turn the Rangers into a serious World Series contender?  Already the top team in their division, does Lee's arrival put them on par with New York and Tampa Bay?

Another questionable part of the trade is the fact that Texas will be moving four young pieces within their own division.  Since they made the move, three months of Cliff Lee is obviously worth the twenty-some cost-controlled years they're giving up in young talent.

Adding one of the game's best pitchers can't really be considered a bad move for any team, but a good move isn't necessarily the right one.