• What We Learned From The Cliff Lee Outcome

    Posted by on July 10th, 2010 · Comments (18)

    By noon yesterday, it seemed like Cliff Lee to the Yankees was a done deal. Five hours later, the Texas Rangers swooped in and nabbed him. While adding Lee to an already strong Yankee rotation would have been fun, losing out on him is more beneficial in the long run. It was also educational. here is what we learned:

    The Yankees have faith in Jesus. After news broke that the Yankees were hot on Lee’s trail and willing to trade top prospect Jesus Montero for him, some fans speculated that the organization had lost faith in the catcher. This echoed the sentiment put forth last winter when the Yankees attempted to trade Montero to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay. The fact that the organization was willing to part with the 20 year-old for players of Halladay and Lee’s caliber is a testament to Montero’s ability.

    Other teams have faith in Jesus. The Blue Jays and Mariners have now both scouted Montero extensively, and were likely open to trading their top commodity for him. You know a player has value when his return yields one of the best pitchers in the game. Anyone else find it interesting that the Mariners still wanted Montero, despite his .253 batting average? Scouts see something in him, and while his bat may be more attractive than his glove, he is still a special player. So is David Adams, evidently.

    The Rangers will not resign Lee. Texas is currently dealing with some serious financial woes, and there is no chance that they can sign him to a contract extension during or after the season. On that same hand, why would Lee want to sign with Texas? Unless he has an extraordinarily good time, is comfortable with giving the Rangers a bargain and loves pitching in Arlington, expect him to become a free agent.

    The Yankees are serious about adding Lee. The mere act of offering a prospect like Jesus Montero (and Adams) for Lee demonstrates how badly the Yankees want to have him in the rotation. Now, some have argued that Brian Cashman was simply trying to drive up the Mariner’s asking price, but I think the Yankees were serious. Why else would they allegedly give the Mariners a “take it or leave it” offer? Although the baseball world has already come to this conclusion, it seems fairly certain that the Yankees will simply hand Lee a blank check this winter.

    So, unless the Rangers beat the Yankees in the ALCS, this situation worked out in the best possibly way. The Yanks were able to keep two of their better prospects, Lee went to a team that probably won’t resign him and Brian Cashman can now focus on adding a bat and some relief arms.

    Comments on What We Learned From The Cliff Lee Outcome

    1. K-V-C
      July 10th, 2010 | 9:34 am

      Could the Rangers re-sign Lee if they won the World Series?

    2. Raf
      July 10th, 2010 | 9:46 am

      K-V-C wrote:

      Could the Rangers re-sign Lee if they won the World Series?

      THey’d have to get their ownership situation settled first.

    3. bfriley76
      July 10th, 2010 | 9:48 am

      We also learned that Steve is a big fan of the term “dry-hump.”

    4. Corey Italiano
      July 10th, 2010 | 10:57 am

      I wonder if Gary Sanchez’s hot start to his professional career has made the Yankees more willing to deal Montero

    5. 77yankees
      July 10th, 2010 | 11:06 am

      It’s laughable to see all the anti-Yankee tools in the media wagging their fingers this morning like the Yankees got played.

      Now what happens if Montero gets called up at the end of August and does a 1998 Shane Spencer?

    6. July 10th, 2010 | 11:15 am

      @ 77yankees:

      Agreed. I would actually say that the Mariners played themselves out in the future for how they went about the deal.

      My favorite quote from this entire ordeal came from the Post (http://tinyurl.com/2fekx36) (emphasis added):

      Other club officials also were irked about the Mariners’ actions. “It’s disappointing to hear that Jack shopped that around, that’s not right,” an executive from a team not directly involved in this trade said. “You don’t do that with any team and you don’t do it with the Yankees, because [GM Brian] Cashman will drop you in a heartbeat. You don’t use the Yankees because they never forget.

    7. Evan3457
      July 10th, 2010 | 11:51 am

      Dan:

      Could not agree more.

      Fantasy: It’s mid-October 2014. Cliff Lee, 20-game winner, is on the mound for the Yanks, and all-star Jesus Montero is catching him after hitting .320 with 22 HR on the season as a C/DH. Lee throws a 3-hitter to win his 2nd game of the ALCS, and Montero hits a couple of bombs and knocks in 4, to lead the Yanks to an 8-1 victory in Game 5 in Safeco Fieldm winning the series, 4-1.

    8. Evan3457
      July 10th, 2010 | 11:52 am

      Raf wrote:

      K-V-C wrote:
      Could the Rangers re-sign Lee if they won the World Series?

      THey’d have to get their ownership situation settled first.

      And then, they’d have to outbid the Yanks. Not likely, unless Lee has a blast in Texas.

    9. Raf
      July 10th, 2010 | 1:24 pm

      @ Brent:
      That doesn’t make sense either, as the supposed Washburn trade fell apart last year. Not that that was a bad thing :)

      If both sides have compatible needs and wants, they’ll make a deal.

    10. MJ Recanati
      July 10th, 2010 | 2:00 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      You really believe Montero can catch? All signs point to the reality that he can’t catch. If Montero’s still on the club in 2014 — and at this point I really don’t see it — he’s a DH or playing 1B because the Yanks moved Teixeira to DH.

    11. MJ Recanati
      July 10th, 2010 | 2:03 pm

      @ Brent:
      All the talk about the Yanks “remembering” and “dropping Seattle” in the future is BS. If the Yanks need something and the M’s have it, the Yanks won’t avoid dealing with them out of spite. GM’s don’t need to love eachother in order to make deals. New York is a mid-market GM’s best friend because of how much “mistake money” we can take on.

      Jack Z may not get a Christmas card from Cashman but they’ll have ample opportunities to deal again. Just wait a couple of years when the M’s need to get out from under Ichiro’s contract…

    12. Evan3457
      July 10th, 2010 | 3:03 pm

      Montero’s development is not nearly finished. Existence of Cervelli and even Romine give the Yanks multiple years to see what he can learn about catching, even working at the big league level with Pena while he DHs, and catches part time. He’s still only 20.

    13. MJ Recanati
      July 10th, 2010 | 4:43 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      Given the premium the Yanks place on MLB readiness, I have a very hard time seeing or believing that the Yanks will use a roster spot on someone that isn’t ready to contribute. In other words, the Yanks don’t do MLB-level apprenticeships.

      Montero will either be MLB ready when the Yanks call him up or he’ll be traded.

    14. 77yankees
      July 10th, 2010 | 10:20 pm

      Cliff Lee’s first Texas start: 8 IP, 5 ER, 3 HR vs. the Orioles.

      Yes, as the media-ocrity will tell you – Seattle sure stuck it to the Yanks indeed – LOL.

    15. July 10th, 2010 | 11:24 pm

      If Seattle’s plan was to acquire Smoak all along, and have the Yankee deal be the fallback option (should Texas not bite), I wonder if the Mariner scouts felt that Montero is a future first baseman.

    16. Raf
      July 10th, 2010 | 11:36 pm

      Something else we learned is that the Yankees are a dangerous organization in that
      1. They have prospects to trade for Lee (or any other premium player)
      2. They were looking to trade for Lee despite having a rotation of Sabathia-Burnett-Pettitte-Vazquez-Hughes
      3. They’re the odds on favorite to land Lee after the season through free agency, where the cost will be only money, which the Yankees have plenty of

      http://tinyurl.com/268c9tq
      A revised bond rating issued by Standard & Poor’s today provides an in-depth look at the New York Yankees’ 2009 revenues and it reveals that the champions grossed $397 million in ticket revenue, including $72 million on the postseason alone.

      The Yankees are now earning a great deal more than they did just a few years back.

      No other organization in MLB can say that.

      It’s great to be a Yankees fan :D

    17. Evan3457
      July 11th, 2010 | 1:56 am

      Raf wrote:

      Something else we learned is that the Yankees are a dangerous organization in that
      1. They have prospects to trade for Lee (or any other premium player)
      2. They were looking to trade for Lee despite having a rotation of Sabathia-Burnett-Pettitte-Vazquez-Hughes
      3. They’re the odds on favorite to land Lee after the season through free agency, where the cost will be only money, which the Yankees have plenty of
      http://tinyurl.com/268c9tq
      A revised bond rating issued by Standard & Poor’s today provides an in-depth look at the New York Yankees’ 2009 revenues and it reveals that the champions grossed $397 million in ticket revenue, including $72 million on the postseason alone.
      The Yankees are now earning a great deal more than they did just a few years back.
      No other organization in MLB can say that.
      It’s great to be a Yankees fan

      Raf…for the win!

    18. Raf
      July 11th, 2010 | 4:22 am

      Mind you, that’s just ticket revenue, not counting what they get from concessions and the YES Network.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.