The Mariners will trade left-hander Cliff Lee only for high-level prospects who can contribute to the big club in 2011 or 2012, AOL FanHouse’s John Hickey reports.
Hickey speculates that, given the M’s organizational strengths, potential trade partners would need to offer primarily top-flight outfielders and pitchers, in particular left-handed starters. Seattle has a strong set of infielders and right-handers between Double-A West Tennessee and Triple-A Tacoma.
Some teams, including the Mets, reportedly are reluctant to part with top minor league talent for Lee, especially if they can’t first negotiate a contract extension with him. Lee can become a free agent after this season.
The Yankees likewise seem determined to hold on to their prospects and wait until Lee becomes a free agent in the offseason. They’ll get a chance to scout Lee tonight when he pitches against the Bombers at Yankee Stadium.