The Mariners are scouting the Yankees’ organization thoroughly. They had two scouts recently in Charleston (Single-A). Last night they had two scouts watching Trenton play Reading, one of whom was former Yankees minor league coach Bill Masse. They are slated to have at least one scout check on SWB shortly.According to King, "a person familiar with Seattle’s thought process if they deal with the Yankees" said the Mariners would "want one of the catchers and (Eduardo) Nunez,’’ for Lee.
The immediate need for the Yankees is a bat but if the Mariners are going to shop Lee the Yankees will be interested because he will be a free agent after the season. Of course, he is making $9 million this season so even if the deal is made at the July 31 deadline the Yankees would have to pay him $3 million.
If they were to give up Romine or Montero, the Yankees would need assurances that Lee would sign an extension and not become a free agent.
As for adding a bat, the Yankees have scouts following the Astros in the event that club holds a fire sale and wants to move first baseman Lance Berkman, who would be a DH for the Yankees.
There are obstacles to adding Berkman, or any other high-priced bat like the White Sox’s Paul Konerko, because of the money owed. Berkman is making $14.5 million this year and Konerko $12 million. Berkman has a complete no-trade clause; Konerko a limited no-trade.
I actually don't think the Yankees will be in on Lee, at least not until the winter when the sign him as a free agent. Until then, I think the Yankees are pretty content with their rotation. Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes have been two of the best starters in the league. A.J. Burnett has been good, and while CC Sabathia has struggled I'm sure nobody in the organization is too worried about him. On top of that Javier Vazquez is throwing the ball a lot better these days.
As far as pitching goes, I think the Yankees should be focusing on a reliever to help sure up this bullpen. To me that's the only major flaw in this team.
Regarding Berkman and Konerko, the Yankees could land either if they want to take on a decent amount, though I'm not sure they want to do that right now. However, if they get to a point where a big bat will get them over the hump, their minds would change quickly.