Can We Move On From The Cliff Lee Sniping Yet?

Pitcher Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers throws against the Baltimore Orioles on July 10 2010 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Texas.

It seems the folks in Texas have heard enough of what they perceive as 'whining' continuing to come from New York after the New York Yankees lost out to the Texas Rangers in their effort to acquire Cliff Lee.

It's bordering on comical the way the reporting is coming out of New York on this deal. Either Yankee officials are ultra-sensitive. Or those covering the Yankees are. This post obviously tells the Yankees side of the story, but might not Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik have his own version of the details on how the trade went down, a side that isn't being depicted here.

Based on the sparse details of the talks that officials who were involved are letting out, the Rangers were told at one time that Seattle was "leaning in other direction," but never that it had reached an agreement with another team. The Rangers were re-contacted by Seattle early Friday afternoon after the Mariners expressed concerns about prospect David Adams' ankle. It was then the Rangers finally agreed to put Smoak into the deal and the trade moved along quickly.

Did Seattle shop what it had in hand? Supposed that depends on your definition. I would venture to say that every time a club make what it feels is a fair offer and doesn't end up with the player in question, it could feel used. If the Yankees really are upset over the way this shook out, I'd say their front office needs to toughen up. The Yankees have a huge competitive advantage over other teams in terms of an unlimited payroll. Other GMs have to use whatever tools they have at their disposal to try and even the playing field.

That was posted in response to a piece this morning by Joel Sherman.

The Yanks believe Seattle’s late-stated concerns about David Adams’ ankle were subterfuge designed to stall and give Texas time to change its mind. And the Yanks feel that ruse was unethical. They were told by Seattle late Thursday night that if Adams were included then the sides had a completed trade pending the OK on physicals. On Friday morning, when the Yanks agreed to substitute pitcher Adam Warren for Adams, they were told again that this was a completed deal.

Yankee officials feel that it is not ethical to keep shopping a deal once there is a verbal agreement and physicals are exchanged; and – in general – executives I spoke to said that once physicals are exchanged it is time to put a moratorium on all other conversations with other clubs. The Yanks feel that it is proper to say something like "we need to get back to one more team before we can agree to this deal in principle." But not agree and still shop the deal elsewhere.

My reaction? Enough already, children. The Mariners behaved like brats, that's not the Rangers' fault. Let's everybody just move on already. Oh, and wait for the Yankees to get even with Seattle, which they eventually will.

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