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Cliff Lee

July 9, 2010 by Post Team 

Cliff Lee:As originally reported by Joel Sherman, and confirmed by most others, the Mariners are close to the negotiations Cliff Lee to the Yankees for a package of prospects headed by Jesus Montero. The Mariners, this is the type of agreement, simply could not miss.

Once the team fell out of the race in May, Lee trade became inevitable. Its value as the best pitcher in the American League ensures that the team would trade much of him to let him walk and take the draft picks. The only questions were when Lee moved, where he would go, and what the team will get in return. The answers appear to be today, New York, a lot.

Montero is a raw prospect whose value comes from having one of the best offensive profiles of any 20 year old on the planet. For a team that is last in the league in scoring runs, it has an obvious appeal. Considering the problems the team behind the plate in recent years, the fact that it is ostensibly a receiver also adds to its value, although I am one of the unbelievers who do not think I’m there.

The rest of the offer is reported that 23-year-old infielder David Adams and a third man. I’ll let our resident gurus perspective into his future, but suffice it to say that there are pieces Montero quality. He is entering into this agreement.

So, how do the Mariners in this agreement? Better than expected, I guess. If the project launcher for a premium holiday the deadline was the trade of CC Sabathia two years ago, think the M is getting a little more than Cleveland did. Matt LaPorta was a very good prospect, but probably a good step behind what Jesus Montero is now. When Lee was originally purchased, the idea that they could get a quality perspective Montero seemed unlikely.

And of course there is the reality of what the Mariners gave up to get Cliff Lee in the first place. Moving from Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and JC Ramírez Montero (and other things) is a substantial improvement in terms of future value. The Mariners are increasingly in the transaction that gave up, although this is largely a function of how badly Ruben Amaro agreement made this winter.

Above all, this has to be seen as a victory from the perspective of the Mariners. Lee rented, saw its value, and then turned to more than what they paid originally. The rest of the season has not worked well, but this series of transactions is a net positive for the Mariners.

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