The Mariners expect the Yankees to make a run at lefthander Cliff Lee as the July 31 nonwaiver trading deadline approaches, according to a report in the New York Post.
Seattle acquired Lee, who will be a free agent after this season, from the Phillies this past offseason. However, Seattle is expected to deal him because it has been unable to climb back into contention in the AL West.
The New York Post reports Seattle already is scouting New York’s minor league system in anticipation of trade talks. The Mariners are said to be interested in one of the Yankees’ catcher prospects and shortstop prospect Eduardo Nunez.
Despite the Lee chatter, the New York Post noted the Yankees’ most pressing need is another bat. The team has been scouting Astros first baseman Lance Berkman, whose contract includes a team option for 2011 and a no-trade clause. Berkman would be an option at DH with Nick Johnson (wrist) out for an extended period. Another option at DH: White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who also will be a free agent after the season and who has a limited no-trade clause.