The Mariners made some moves in the offseason that lead many to think they were the favorite in the AL West, but nothing could be fiurther from the truth at this point. The find themselves in last place in the AL West, 7 games behind division leading Oakland. I know it may be a bit early to start dumping players, but should they decide to do so, they will have no shortage of teams interested in the services of Cliff Lee. Lee becomes a free agent at the end of the 2010 season, and many believe he is looking to break the bank with his contract demands. That means only one or two teams will be fighting for his services this offseason-the Yankees and the Red Sox.
Should the Mariners look to deal Lee, I think, as a Dodgers fan, he would fit in perfectly in the Dodgers rotation. He will be the ace the Dodgers have been looking for to get them over the hump to get to the World Series. I say this for another reason too. I think Lee would love a chance to pitch against the Phillies in the playoffs to "get back" at them fpr dealing him this offseason. The Phillies are having a tough time hitting lefties this season with their lefty heavy lineup. This assumes the Dodgers are in a position to make a run at the NL West and go far in the playoffs. At this point, they sit two games behind the surprising Padres.
i have said all along that i think the Mariners will bring back more talent in a deal for Lee in July than they gave up to the Phillies this offseason. And, I think the Dodgers have the talent in the minors to get a deal done. I heard a recent interview with Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and he said they would be looking for pitching at the top of the rotation come the trade deadline, and that he is willing to deal prospects to get that pitcher. Plus, the Dodgers were close to acquiring Lee last year before the Phillies traded for him. Colletti could package SS prospect Dee Gordon and any combination of Chris Withrow, Ethan Martin and Aaron Miller for Lee.
ESPNs Buster Olney recently reported that he thinks the Mets should make a play for Lee in the race for the NL East with the Phillies, but I don't think the Mets have enough prospects to beat the Dodgers offer.