Cliff Lee spent his morning in Seattle expecting the exact same thing thousands of fans in New York were expecting. Lee was all but certain he was about to become a Yankee.
“I was thinking it looks like I might be going to New York,” Lee said. “That’s what they were saying so I was thinking, maybe that’s reality, but come to find out, that’s not what happened. I think maybe that story triggered some other teams to get a little bit more aggressive and forced this to happen. I don’t know what all was going on. I didn’t know anything. The only thing I knew was what I saw on SportsCenter and what I saw on the news.”
Lee started getting curious last night. He didn’t specify, but he said he had a feeling a trade might be close, and he was hearing the Yankees might be involved. One his first calls was to CC Sabathia.
“I called him last night and said, ‘Hey, have you heard anything?’” Lee said. “I’m hearing that potentially a trade is going down with New York. He said some people had asked him some questions about my background and stuff. He told them what he thought, and he was thinking it was going to happen.”
Of course, it didn’t happen. Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik said he was talking to multiple teams. He said he never took a deal that was done and brought it to another team to sweeten the pot. If the Rangers had included Justin Smoak yesterday, he said, the deal would have been done yesterday. That said, there was more than one deal in place today that he felt good about. He said he simply chose the Rangers package of players, mostly it seems, because of Smoak.
“Who knows what might have happened,” Lee said. “There were probably a lot of things that were close to happening.”