Cliff Lee has struck out 76 batters this season and walked four.
In a related note, he's also the single most attractive property on the market right now. Everybody's betting on the Twins -- and wouldn't they look better in October with him in the No. 1 slot? -- but let's not count out the Mets. Mark Hale:
- The Mets are willing to trade for Cliff Lee without requiring a negotiating window to sign him to an extension, a source with knowledge of the team's thinking told The Post.
Lee simply would be a rental, and should he leave as a free agent after the year, the Mets would get compensatory draft picks for him.
The Mets also would be unlikely to trade either Ike Davis, Jenrry Mejia or Jonathon Niese in a deal for Lee, the source said. If they hold fast to that, then Mejia isn't auditioning for teams as he heads to Double-A Binghamton to be a starting pitcher.
Without those three in a deal, the Mets potentially could offer Seattle a package built around such prospects as Ruben Tejada, Fernando Martinez, 18-year-old shortstop Wilmer Flores, 20-year-old righty Jeurys Familia, and Triple-A catcher Josh Thole.
Flores went into last night hitting .278 with seven homers and 44 RBIs in low A-ball. Familia is in high A-ball and is the lone Met named to this year's Futures Game. Thole is hitting .278 with two homers and 17 RBIs.
Seattle reportedly is interested in acquiring a catcher in any potential deal.
Surely Jack Zduriencik knows better than to let his interest in acquiring a catcher outweigh all other considerations. Sure, the Twins' Wilson Ramos is probably the better catching prospect. And, yes, the Mariners do have prospects in the pipeline for virtually every other position of need (first base, shortstop, and third base), with young right-hander Michael Pineda rocketing toward the majors.
Essentially, the Mariners are in a fantastic position, or as fantastic as possible considering their record and their (last) place in the standings. They have the pitcher everybody wants, and enough talent in the organization to trade for more talent rather than address specific positional needs. Then it really starts getting fun for the general manager.