One night last week on my drive home, I was listening to Peter Gammons on the XM 175 MLB channel and he was talking about possible destinations for Mariners starter Cliff Lee. He mentioned that Mariners GM Jack Zdurencik wants a big bat and a lefty starting pitcher in return for Lee. Yesterday, Buster Olney tweeted something similar:
SEA continues to look for big bat potential in a Lee deal, and 2 guys fit the description:Justin Smoak of TEX and Yonder Alonso of the Reds.
As old friend Peter Gammons notes, Alonso(former No. 1 pick,.713 OPS in minors)is blocked in the CIN organization by MVP cand. Joey Votto.
Gammons mentioned that Zdurencik might entertain an offer that included Reds first base prospect Yonder Alonso and lefty starting pitcher Travis Wood. Alonso has stuggled at the plate for most of the season, but has been hitting well lately. In his last 10 games he is hitting .319-.319-.468 with a HR and 8 RBIs. The .319 OBP is uncharacteristic for Alonso as he is known for a solid eye at the plate. At AAA this season, he is hitting just .251-.288-.372 with 4 HRs and 28 RBIs. He has a 39-10 K/BB rate. For the season, he is hitting .256-.324-.383 with 7 HRs , 41 RBIs, and a 55-29 K/BB rate.
Lefty Travis Wood made his major league debut on Thursday holding the Cubs to 2 runs on 2 hits, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts in 7 innings. At AAA Louisville, he 5-6 with a 3.12 ERA, a 1.082 WHIP, and a 97-23 K/BB rate in 98 innings of work.
Should the Reds land Cliff Lee, I think they would be considered the favorites to win the NL Central, and possibly to make the World Series. Lee is a proven starting pitcher who has great success in the playoffs and World Series. Zdurencik can just sit back and wait for teams to call with offers, waiting for the best deal.
Is this offer enough for the Mariners to give up Cliff Lee?
From Olney's Sunday morning blog:
Remember this, too -- when Zduriencik worked with the Brewers, he drafted infielder Brett Lawrie for Milwaukee, a pick that appears to have paid off. Lawrie has accumulated 37 extra-base hits and 22 stolen bases for Class AA Huntsville and if Zduriencik ever got into a serious discussion with another club that had more pitching prospects than hitting prospects, he could try to coax the Brewers -- an organization that needs high-end pitching -- into a conversation about a three-way trade.
For example: If Yonder Alonso wasn't exactly what Zduriencik was looking for as he was discussing a possible Lee deal with Cincinnati, he could ask the Reds to move some of their excellent young pitching to the Brewers -- and the Brewers could move Lawrie to Seattle. It's one of a number of possible combinations Zduriencik might consider in the weeks ahead.
Interesting. I know one UBA league owner who would not like this deal at all.