Ken Rosenthal and JP Morosi of FoxSports.com quote a major league general manager as believing that the Rangers are the favorites to land Mariners ace Cliff Lee.
Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik is said to covet Smoak, a switch hitter who is well suited for the Mariners’ home ballpark.
The Rangers’ ongoing sale — through a bankruptcy process — is a significant element in the trade dialogue, sources say. Lee has roughly $4 million left on his contract for this season, which is almost certainly too rich for the Rangers to afford right now. The Mariners can pay the remainder of Lee’s salary to facilitate a deal, but they will ask for better players as a result. Smoak is likely to be one of them.
The Twins and Reds are among the teams believed to be pursuing Lee.