FOXSPORTS.com is reporting that the Rangers are the favorites to land Mariners starter Cliff Lee, however, they face major hurdles if they want to pull off arguably the biggest trade of the summer. Lee is having a great year, showing impeccable command and dominating his AL opponents.
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Lee has approximately 4 million dollars left on his contract, but the Rangers cannot afford to take on any payroll until the sale of the franchise is complete. If the Mariners were to take on the remainder of his salary, they could conceivably ask for a blue chip prospect like Justin Smoak.
Smoak is hitting just .208 with 8 home runs with 34 RBIs in 69 games this season, but has tremendous skills and the potential to be an All-Star caliber player. They could also ask for a combination that includes Tanner Scheppers and other young promising prospects.
Scheppers, 23, is 1-0 with a 2.88 ERA in 19 appearances this season, 5 of which are starts. Scheppers was taken by the Pirates in the draft a year before the Rangers selected him in the compensation round. He could become a solid middle of the rotation starter.