I wrote a piece on Wednesday night about how the Seattle Mariners traded Cliff Lee to the Minnesota Twins for minor league catcher Wilson Ramos, left-handed pitcher Brian Duensing and a low-level minor league outfielder.
The trade disintegrated when Ramos got hurt last Saturday playing for Triple A Rochester.
Once Ramos returns to active duty (he is day-to-day with a strained oblique), the trade will be consummated like a new bride on her wedding night.
It is no coincidence that the Twins pitched Duensing for 3.1 innings last night in relief of a very ineffective Twins starter Nick Blackburn. It was 3.1 scoreless innings of relief by the way, where the lefty allowed three hits while striking out three Milwaukee Brewers hitters.
It basically cements the deal for Lee, with the only obstacle coming in the form of the New York Mets. With the Philadelphia Phillies floundering, the Mets believe they have a real shot of winning the NL Eastern division this season.
Renting Cliff Lee will not only help them achieve that goal, but when combined with a healthy return of outfielder Carlos Beltran, it would help them get to a World Series.
Never forget that Omar Minaya will strip an entire franchise’s farm system for one pitcher he feels can put him over the top. He already did it in 2002 when he was GM of the Montreal Expos.
Back then he TRADED Cliff Lee as part of a package of young players for right handed pitcher Bartolo Colon.
The Mariners could get greedy and, by using the Mets as leverage, try to wrest more away from the Twins.
But oftentimes the greedy get what they deserve, and that is usually something not nearly as good as what they had in pocket.
Why would the Mariners trade with the Mets anyway? The Mets have nothing the Mariners need, who, for starters, want a young catcher with the potential to start right away.
Ramos fits that bill. But is that why the Mets brought up catcher Josh Thole the other day, to show him off in the big leagues? The Mariners will have a few scouts in town this weekend scouting the Twins and can get a look at Thole. The Mariners will also be in town next week when they come in to play the Yankees.
But while Thole has rebounded well from a horrible April, he is very young defensively behind the plate and does not hit for much power (10 career HR’s in 3+ minor league seasons).
The Mariners also want a left-handed starting pitcher. While Duensing is not a complete youngster (he is 27), he does have good major league experience and can step right into Lee’s spot in the rotation–maybe throwing to Ramos. The Mets only have Jonathan Niese as a starting left-handed pitcher, and with his pretty good season thus far in 2010, it does not look like he is going anywhere.
But although these players are good, none are what the Mariners are seeking, so the Twins deal makes better sense for the Mariners.
But if the Mets give them ALL of those prospects, then you might have a deal.