I remember Joe Torre once talking about how, when he was managing the Mets back in 1979, the Phillies traded (actually sold) Jose Cardenal to the Mets in between games of a doubleheader and so Cardenal just walked across the hall from one clubhouse to the other. Strange as it was, Cardenal dressed for the second game and Torre nearly played him but Cardenal asked out and Torre accommodated the request.
Depending on how things go this afternoon, there could be a similar situation out in Seattle. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Yankees have told the Mariners that their current offer – said to feature Jesus Montero – is the best they’ll get, and they want an answer before tonight’s game since Lee is scheduled to pitch against them.
A few more thoughts and notes from the past few hours:
• Sounds like there is no negotiating window for the Yankees to work out an extension with Lee. I know some of you are surprised/upset by this, but Lee had been pretty clear he wouldn’t do this and the Yankees still will have exclusive negotiating rights with him after the season.
• Don’t forget, by adding Lee now, the Yankees a) won’t lose a draft pick if they sign him this winter; and b) can try and replenish their farm system by moving Javier Vazquez, who is quickly becomes the top pitcher available at the deadline.
• I’ve said for awhile – and written in my column on SNY.tv – that I thought this was something the Yankees had to be in on, mostly because their rotation is strong but hardly a lock (Burnett/Vazquez inconsistency, Hughes innings limits) and – and this can’t be overstated enough – because they play in the toughest division in baseball.
The Rays and Red Sox are not going away and will surely be trying to upgrade at the deadline, so if the Yankees had a chance to add a difference maker by using a position at which they had organizational depth, I say they HAVE to jump on it.
Let’s remember: This isn’t Ted Lilly they’re getting or a reclamation hope like Ben Sheets. It’s one of the premier pitchers in baseball and a guy who has shown he’s got no problem at all when it comes to winning the big game. Obviously there are varying schools of thought on the value of trading prospects for proven commodities, but to me this is a no-brainer, especially when you add in the pluses of the upcoming offseason (exclusive first rights, no lost draft picks, etc.).