Originally reported by Joel Sherman and now confirmed by Ken Rosenthal, the Mariners will send Cliff Lee, Mark Lowe, and cash to the Texas Rangers for first baseman Justin Smoak and three other players. First, please allow me to say, holy shit. I’m not going to bother talking about what we’re giving up, because you’re already aware. Cliff Lee is the best pitcher in baseball, and Mark Lowe is an above average young reliever whose health has become a question mark going forward.
As for what we’re getting, Justin Smoak is really, really good. He’s a switch-hitting first baseman who plays excellent defense and has elite offensive upside. He’s consistently put up eye-popping numbers in the minor leagues, though he’s yet to really put it together at the Major League level. Bottom line: he’s one of the best prospects in the game, and by himself would have been a good return for Cliff Lee. The fact that we’re getting 3 other prospects from one of the best farm systems in baseball is just icing on the cake.
I’ll have more here once there’s more information available.
Edit, 2:10 PM: Looks like the cash amount we’re sending to Texas is $2.5 million
Edit, 2:37 PM: (by Brett) Additional Minor Leaguers are 21-year old RHP Blake Beavan, 25-year old RHP Josh Leuke, 2B/OF Matt Lawson. Beavan is in AAA, the other two are in AA. Beavan was reported to have a 91-96 fastball, and could profile as an MLB starter. Just glancing over Lueke and Lawson, Lueke looks like a high strikeout relief prospect, and Lawson looks like he’s got Utility player upside. Not a bad haul.