Friday, June 11, 2010

Yankees don't need Cliff Lee right now

Cliff Lee is a true ace and if the New York Yankees can get him at the right price before baseball’s trade deadline, more power to them. But they don't need him right now.

The rumors about Lee are getting louder and louder these days, with the Seattle Mariners falling out of the American League West race and the Tampa Bay Rays stubbornly holding on to first place in the AL East. But unlike previous years, the Yankees are not in desperate need of starting pitching. They are only two games out of first place, even with the rash of injuries that haunted them in May. Their starting pitching staff, except for CC Sabathia, is pitching pretty well these days and the big guy will probably turn it around any day now. The Bronx Bombers are still having trouble scoring runs, but Lee can't help them there.

Lee will be the biggest free-agent pitching prize in baseball this offseason and the Yankees could pursue him then, especially if Andy Pettitte follows through on his annual threats to retire. Sabathia is a former teammate of Lee and loves the guy so he could help try to recruit him in the offseason.

That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees land Lee this summer. They have the resources to sign him to a long-term extension and should always be in the conversation. But now that Curtis Granderson and Javier Vazquez are playing much better, there is no pressure on Brian Cashman to make up for offseason moves that looked like they would be real duds.

Going after Lee right now seems like overkill. But let’s check back in the offseason.

Thanks to aturkus via Wikipedia for the photo.

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