And after a day of rumor insanity, it's Joel Sherman who provides what might be the end to it all:
i have learned deal done with #Rangers, Smoak and 3 others for Lee and reliever Mark Lowe #Rangers, #Mariners
Nothing is as yet official, but this sounds pretty legitimate. Cliff Lee will give Texas an actual ace, an ace they've been lacking for years and years, as the Rangers stood as the team Lee would likely improve the most. Mark Lowe is currently out with a herniated disc, but throws hard and has shutdown reliever stuff. Justin Smoak was Baseball America's #13 overall prospect before the year, and is a 23 year old switch-hitting first baseman with patience, defense, and developing power.
We're still waiting on the identities of the other three players.