Although he may not be available just yet, Mariners starting pitcher Cliff Lee is already drawing considerable interest on the open market. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal that while he is not willing to "raise the white flag," he said the next couple of weeks will likely determine the fate of Cliff Lee.
"Right now, he’s part of this club. Who knows what’s going to happen here? We have two more in St. Louis, then we’re home against Cincinnati and the Cubs, with Cliff and Felix (Hernandez) pitching twice."
Lee is 4-3 so far this season with a 2.88 ERA and 60 strike outs to just 4 walks. He will be a free agent at the end of this season and is expected to land a big contract.
The Mariners would be smart to move him if they fall any farther out of contention. Several teams would make plays for Lee in hopes of bettering themselves within the division. I could see this happening in the NL West between the Dodgers and Padres.
The Mariners could collect the two draft picks, giving them a chance at three first round picks in 2011. It is definitely something to consider, but the prospects they could receive in a trade may help them sooner.