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Are the Yankees about to land Cliff Lee?

7:45 am

A quick glance around Twitter to see what the early risers have to contribute to this latest speculation.

Joel Sherman thinks so.

In this morning's edition of the New York post, you'll be able to read all about it in print.  But in the meantime, you can check out his two online articles here and here.

I'll let Sherman's own quotes do the talking:

Late last night I learned that the Yankees were closing in on acquiring Cliff Lee. I was able to get this story into the final edition of the Post. The deal was not completed yet, but the Yankees were on the goal line and merely had to push into the end zone to finalize matters.

It was going to take an overwhelming offer from elsewhere or a last-second change of heart by the Yanks or the Mariners to scuttle a deal that would turn the Yanks from favorites to repeat as champs to overwhelming favorites.

The Yanks also were obviously worried about being in a highly competitive division with the Red Sox and Rays, and Lee is the kind of player who can separate them. Having Sabathia and Lee – one-time Indians teammates – as a 1-2 punch atop the rotation turn the Yanks into even stronger favorites to repeat as champions.

I hear that the Yanks told the Mariners relatively early in the process that they would consider moving Jesus Montero, but that Seattle did not get back to them for a while. That led the Yanks to believe that the process was moving slowly and that, perhaps, Seattle was going to be able to pry a better deal from elsewhere.

In an odd twist, if this trade goes down today, Cliff Lee will still take the hill tonight in Seattle.  He'll just be wearing a new uniform.