Suppose it was only a matter of time, really -- the New York Yankees have apparently emerged as the front-runners to land Mariners pitcher Cliff Lee, and now stand "on the brink" of trading for the 2008 Cy Young award winner, this according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik have been in constant contact over the last week, but it was only last night that the Seattle GM told Yankee officials he wanted to move quickly, possibly before the All-Star break. [...]
But the Yanks were definitely making the strongest move last night, coming from seeming disinterest into the clear front-runner -- and last night it seemed they were all but certain to obtain the 31-year-old lefty.
To make this move happen, the Yankees are reportedly ready to include one of their top prospects, Jesus Montero, the man who is supposed to be Jorge Posada's replacement (a move that Yankees fans are seemingly okay with).
Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman has confirmed the mutual interest, saying, "The discussions appear serious, and one source said it's 'quite possible'' a deal will be consummated," while ESPN's Buster Olney is quick to point that no deal is yet in place, and in fact, the Yankees' interest could cause the others teams involved -- Twins, Rangers, Reds, Rays -- to up their offer.
An interesting note in all of this is that Lee is scheduled to start against the Yankees Friday night as they continue a four-game series with the Mariners. If the trade is finalized on Friday, New York would likely not start Lee against Seattle, and Sherman reports there may even already be a "gentleman's agreement" to not start him at all against his former team in the weekend series.