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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

December 16, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Mariners announce they’ve acquired Cliff Lee

The Mariners have scheduled a 1 p.m. conference call on the Lee trade. By the way, longtime Boston writer/columnist Gordon Edes suggests the Red Sox are no longer going to bring in Adrian Beltre. The hot rumor of the day has the Padres and Bosox planning an Adrian Gonzalez deal. Not sure about that one, but no Beltre in Boston could mean he’s headed back here.
Forget the rumor mill for now, the deal has finally been announced, The Mariners have acquired ace pitcher Cliff Lee from the Phillies in exchange for Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez.
Physicals? Not their problem anymore. We’ll try to piece it all together throughout the day.
“We are very excited to have Cliff Lee on-board in the Seattle organization,” Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said in a written release. “It goes without saying what a quality pitcher and competitor he is and what he will mean to our ballclub and organization.
“I also want to congratulate Philadelphia and Toronto on how this whole deal was handled. We gave up three very nice prospects to Philadelphia. I think they will be a nice piece of the Phillies future, and I want to thank Tyson, Phillippe and JC, and let them know we’ll be rooting for them as they progress towards the Majors. It was not an easy decision for us, but we could not pass up the opportunity to add a pitcher a Lee’s ability to our Major League team.”
I’m told the Phillies have a 2 p.m. press conference to announce they’ve acquired Roy Halladay, so whatever today’s holdup was appears to have been resolved.

We’ve said it before, but you’ve got to love this deal if you’re a Mariners fan. No, the three prospects being dealt to the Phillies are hardly garbage or anything.
But when you look at it from a realistic perspective, Aumont and Gillies were blocked at the major league level.
The Mariners have three closer types in their big-league bullpen already — David Aardsma, Mark Lowe and Shawn Kelley — as well as Josh Fields in the minors. That means Aumont, as good as he may become, was redundant in this organization.
As for Gillies, who projects as a speedy center fielder, the Mariners already have this guy named Franklin Gutierrez locked up for years to come.
In the case of Ramirez, he had one of the better arms in the system. His strong fastball-slider combo didn’t strike out as many guys as you’d have liked this past season, even in a hitter-happy place like the California League. You have to wonder if he was ticketed for the bullpen somewhere down the line as well.
But hey, you also have to give something up to get something.
The Mariners just got the lefty version of Felix Hernandez. Or maybe, it’s more fair to call Hernandez the righty version of Lee. Anyhow, the AL West just got a whole lot more interesting.



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