Game 81, Mariners at Tigers

Dave · July 4, 2010 at 9:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Lee vs Bonderman, 10:05 am.

Most people I’ve talked to in the game believe that this is Lee’s farewell to the Mariners. Given that teams have already made offers and the M’s are working on counters, odds are pretty good he’s traded before his start comes up next Friday. So, if this is really it, thanks for everything Cliff – it was a short union, but a great one.

Ichiro, RF
Figgins, 2B
Branyan, DH
Lopez, 3B
Gutierrez, CF
Kotchman, 1B
Josh Wilson, SS
Johnson, C
Saunders, LF


74 Responses to “Game 81, Mariners at Tigers”

  1. Edgar4Hall on July 4th, 2010 1:30 pm

    Ramos is not in the same category as Montero or Smoak. And the Rangers are not trading us Smoak.

    Well if not Smoak then what about Chris Davis? it seems as if the Rangers have given up on him and he did have two pretty good years and he is just 24. plus he’s a left handed bat in Safeco and we might get him as a throw in, not as a centerpiece for the deal. I think that he deserves a second chance and the Mariners could develop him and have him ready for next year. I don’t know how hes doing in the minors right now but that may be something to look into.

  2. Idaho M on July 4th, 2010 1:39 pm

    As anyone seen projections on what kind of contract Lee will attract ? Are we talking $100 million for 5 years ?

  3. lalo on July 4th, 2010 1:42 pm

    I love Rusell Branyan, I love he come back in the team, 2 or 3 seasons more, is perfect for the M´s

  4. IwearMsHats on July 4th, 2010 1:48 pm

    I love Rusell Branyan, I love he come back in the team, 2 or 3 seasons more, is perfect for the M´s

    He’s already a big risk given his injury issues, 3 years would make him a gigantic risk.

  5. Axtell on July 4th, 2010 2:09 pm

    There’s little chance that Lee will go to the yankees. I know they’re the predictable choice, given how much money they have to spend, but they are already so loaded with pitching, adding Lee would be a minimal gain, and there’s no way they’re going to unload the prospects needed to get Lee in return. I hate the yankees as much as the next guy, but stop worrying about them getting Lee – its not going to happen. Boston, too, has a lot of front line pitchers, so they’re unlikely to bring Lee in a trade. When you’re looking at potential teams that would take on Lee, you have to look at teams in serious contention, and who only have a couple of good pitchers. Those teams are in short supply (for obvious reasons), but one team stands out – Minnesota.

    Minnesota makes the most sense, and I have to think they’re the ones that have the most to offer AND gain from a Lee signing. They’re short on pitching, are in contention, and have the depth in the minors to make this trade worthwhile.

    Cliff, if today was the last time you pitch for us, thank you for giving us something to root for in an otherwise disaster of a season. How many other guys would be able to go out and perform the way he did knowing (a) the season was lost and (b) he would likely be elsewhere in a month? I’m guessing not many, and this professionalism is so sorely lacking in sports.

  6. NorthofWrigleyField on July 4th, 2010 2:32 pm

    Re: Traded All-Stars.

    It’s happened before. Jeff Shaw was the Red’s lone representative in 1998. (classic can’t pick anyone else off a lousy team let’s pick their closer, though he was pretty good at the time.) The Dodgers traded for him before the game. He showed up in a Dodgers uniform. They got Bret Boone in as a replacement for another player due to injury. He didn’t get into the game. Not sure whether it’s standard or required though.

  7. NorthofWrigleyField on July 4th, 2010 3:03 pm

    I know it isn’t reality. It’s not how baseball works, and we can argue circles around each other over whether it should be that way or not. But, it’s such a sick feeling to “have to” accept the Mariners trading Cliff Lee. Even after the failures of this year, I still have a lot of faith in and respect for the talents of Jack Zduriencik… but that’s just to get the team back to even. The Mariners will not get better by trading Cliff Lee. No team gets better by trading Cliff Lee. There just aren’t enough Cliff Lees on the planet. The Mariners have him, and shouldn’t be so eager to just let him go for question marks. And, why? Because of money? I’m not even a Mariners fan, but I just can’t stomach that he’ll pitch next year in a Yankees uniform instead of here in Seattle. It sickens me to “have to” accept this grand example of how their system is horribly flawed.

  8. scott19 on July 4th, 2010 3:32 pm

    I think we should all signoff every post with “Goddammit Rojo” from now on, until we have a real catcher. Apropo.

    Or, as an alternative, we could just borrow a line from the late, great Jim Morrison:

    Mr. Ro-Jo falling!!! 😮

  9. SonOfZavaras on July 4th, 2010 3:46 pm

    I have a prediction about Cliff Lee.

    And that prediction is: he’ll never wear pinstripes in his major league career.

    I don’t see the Yankees paying a premium price for him now, I don’t see them messing with one of the better rotations around, and spending beaucoup bucks on Lee when their offense has some holes they’ll need to address next year.

    Personally, I think he’s going to be a Texas Ranger. In 2011? Hope we’re in the running, but I have no idea who wins that rodeo.

    The only thing I hope is that he’s not traded before the All-Star Game and we see him pitch in the All-Star Game with a Mariners jersey on.

  10. SonOfZavaras on July 4th, 2010 3:51 pm

    …Or to put it another way, I’m not so sure the Rangers can afford not to acquire Lee.

    We’re talking about an org that probably will win their division, and need the cash infusion and momentum of a deep playoff run as much as any team in the big leagues.

    The Rangers may have to operate as if there is no tomorrow, no next year….go ahead and correct me if I’m off-base, but to me…they can’t afford to squander this opportunity.

    And I think they’re the ones who pull the trigger on a Cliff Lee trade.

  11. jeffcor13 on July 4th, 2010 4:11 pm

    Yeah, Cliff Lee is ne’er going to be a Yankee, it just doesn’t make sense. What does make sense is the Yanks acting like they are interested in order to drive up the price.
    Yanks need speed, offense, a fast outfielder that can hit and catch. Cliff Lee? No. David DeJesus is going to be a Yankee, soon.
    Lee will be a Red or a Ranger, and maybe possibly a Twin, but I dont think Wilson Ramos has the trade value right now.

  12. Westside guy on July 4th, 2010 4:13 pm

    I know a lot of people on here don’t like Baker, but I loved this line from today’s game discussion…

    “Here’s all you need to know about Cliff Lee: He has 11 strikeouts and one walk — and it hurts his strikeouts-to-walks ratio.”

  13. SonOfZavaras on July 4th, 2010 5:00 pm

    If ever I’ve wondered what it’s like to have, say, a 1969 Fastback Mustang in my garage that I absolutely HAVE to sell…well, trading Cliff Lee feels like that.

    I know it’s the best thing, it could be well argued we can’t afford not to deal him…but man, my heart’s not in it.

  14. groundzero55 on July 4th, 2010 5:02 pm

    Sheesh guys. Branyan is a nice story, but he’s not any kind of long-term answer at 1B or even DH. And Lee isn’t going to the Yankees…and why would we want to trade him there? They don’t have any prospects we need more than the ones the Twins could offer us.
    Speaking of which, I’m seeing his value getting high enough that we should be not only getting prospects, but Major League talent for him. As in, one regular that can be immediately plugged in the lineup, plus at LEAST two good prospects on the major league fast track.

  15. GoldenGutz on July 4th, 2010 5:27 pm

    Atleast we are in the position where we don’t have to trade Lee. If we want to we can keep him and take the picks. Right now Jack Z should be feeling like a kid In a candy shop. He should just sit back and let the calls come to him. I mean we aren’t talking about just a pitcher to get you into the playoffs. We are talking about Cliff Freaking Lee. Not only does he get you into the playoffs but he puts you on his back and carries you to the WS. I mean the guy can give you 7 wins in the postseason. And he nets you 2 picks if he doesn’t come back. Your talking about a guy that can take you to the Fall Classic or you can watch it from home. You choose.

  16. MrZDevotee on July 4th, 2010 6:11 pm

    I threw Ramos in there because he’s actually the one that makes the most sense to me… They’d have to throw something else in, but it would be worth doing (he’s not Montero, but he’s a top catching prospect, blocked by Mauer– so he’s “on the block” so to speak). And it just feels like the Twins match up best for what we want to do (if my dream acquisition of Montero doesn’t materialize).

    The problem for the Rangers, if they DON’T give up Smoak, is that I don’t think they can make it happen. They’re not in a position to take on salary– period. They have no owners to speak of. So they need to trade equal value, in a pretty big package– and I don’t see Chris Davis being wanted by us, as he’s basically Russell Branyan, with inconsistency taking the place of Branyan’s frailty.

    They’re in the opposite position as the M’s– they can afford to give up offense to gain pitching. Running Chris Davis out there instead of Smoak isn’t a big ding, if they get Lee for the playoffs.

    (My long shot trade thought, if we’re actually ready to throw in the towel for this year, is Jose Lopez and Cliff Lee– straight up for Chase Utley… See, that makes getting Jesus Montero not seem so outrageous… *laugh*)

  17. scott19 on July 4th, 2010 7:06 pm

    SOZ –

    Some great points there on where the Rangers might stand in the Cliff Lee “sweepstakes.” I’ve been thinking the same thing for a while now, so let me just dovetail a few observations in here on this:

    1) Even though they may have more money to spend on team-building than the GDP’s of several developing nations combined, I try not to buy into the theory that the Yankees just “automatically” wind up with a player because he’s “available.” In fact, there’ve been a number of instances over the years of huge-money free agency where the Yanks have either: A) not gotten a franchise-type player they were pursuing because he didn’t want to be there in the first place; or B) they wound up moving a player they signed because it turned out the “Big Apple” wasn’t quite for him — whether due to media pressure or “not fitting in” with the vibe of the city or organization or whatever (a couple of instances which come to mind were Eddie Whitson back in the mid-80’s and Kenny Rogers back in the mid-90’s — the latter of which lives somewhere in the DFW metroplex and seemed to keep gravitating towards there for much of his career because he seemed to be both comfortable and successful in that particular market).

    2) Speaking of which…”home” often proves to be a powerful recruiting incentive for a player. Lee’s hometown in Arkansas is only a few hours up I-30 from DFW…and there’s little doubt that, if he winds up eventually signing there long-term, he’ll be giving out plenty of game tickets to family and friends to come watch him pitch. Granted, the “home” angle hasn’t always led to instant success (I’m thinking of Doug Drabek’s not-so-great stint with the Astros back in the 90’s) — and, of course, it’s impossible to measure as a tangible element — yet, still, it seems to work out for the positive quite often (thinking John Olerud circa 2000-03 here).

    3) Cliff Lee is such a competitor, I hardly think any kind of conditions would phase him. Even pitching in the 95+ degree heat of Texas — as was the case in his June 7 CG at Arlington. If Rangers Club President Nolan Ryan was there that night (as he often is for many of their home games), he had to be impressed by that effort — especially given the fact that Ryan has been working hard with the team’s pitching staff to try to break the “five-and-dive” stigma which has been plaguing them (as well as some other organizations) in recent years. As we knew before, and have had the privilege of seeing up close this season, Lee possesses the presence of both an ace-quality pitcher and a champion — something which that organization has lacked for a long time now.

    4) The Rangers right now seem to be at a “crossroads” of sorts as a franchise. Just as we, as M’s fans, have had to suffer through the tsunamic backwash of the Bavasi years and his absolutely wretched moves, Ranger “nation” (which I’m certain, despite football’s status as a “religion” in Texas, still exists) has had to deal with the stupidity of Tom Hicks’ ego and his rather warped thinking that he could somehow make A-Rod “happy” by throwing copious gobs of currency at him — which, sadly, has sunk the Rangers to a far greater depth than the Mariners are currently at as an organization. If they are, somehow, able to get out from under the sea of red which they appear to be drowning in at the moment — i.e. if Ryan is able to put the ownership group together which he is purported to be — they have the potential to be a force in this division for at least the next several years. If you had a chance at getting a guy like Cliff Lee — who has the potential of anchoring your pitching staff for years to come — why wouldn’t you?

    Ergo, the bottom line is:

    Do I want to see Cliff Lee traded to a divisional rival? No.

    Do I look forward to seeing Cliff Lee kick our ass in a Rangers uniform for the next five years? No.

    Do I want to see the Rangers win the World Series before the Mariners do? HELL NO!!!

    Do I believe in reality? Yes (or at least I try to).

    Would I like to see future Felix/Lee matchups? Well, to be honest, I’d rather see them as the best 1-2 punch in baseball…but, I’ll defer to what is “reality” here.* (*Not to mention that, if we’re dogging each other for the divisional title at some future point, it could be kind of fun — not to mention, probably a guaranteed sell-out in either park!).

    That being said (and, perhaps wishful thinking at that, but…) Lee for Smoak!

    Make it happen if you can, Jack!

  18. johnfree63 on July 4th, 2010 7:10 pm

    Im surprised we dont have a Pineda Watch Game Thread going tonight. He is through 3 innings, 4 strikeouts, no walks and 22 of his 28 pitches have been strikes.

  19. GoldenGutz on July 4th, 2010 7:35 pm

    Shhh!!! Don’t jinx it!!!!

  20. Breadbaker on July 4th, 2010 7:39 pm

    Jon Miller on WFB, “I’m surprised he didn’t make the All-Star Team.”

  21. scott19 on July 4th, 2010 7:49 pm

    Jon Miller on WFB, “I’m surprised he didn’t make the All-Star Team.”

    Oh, come on! He’s had all of 80 plate appearances and is batting .247 with a .688 OPS…

    As much as I like Jon Miller, I think he’s been vacationing up in the “wilds” of Mendocino County a little too much! 🙂

  22. Westside guy on July 4th, 2010 9:09 pm

    Jon Miller on WFB, “I’m surprised he didn’t make the All-Star Team.”

    WFB? WTF!

  23. Breadbaker on July 4th, 2010 9:15 pm

    In semi-fairness to Miller, they were riffing on Omar Infante making the team. WFB was being singled out because he can “play” seven positions.

  24. scott19 on July 5th, 2010 12:38 am

    In semi-fairness to Miller, they were riffing on Omar Infante making the team. WFB was being singled out because he can “play” seven positions.

    Yeah, I figured there was probably something up with that.

    Though, of course, that leads me to another question…namely, why the hell is Omar Infante on the AS Team?

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