Outstanding Mariners pitcher Cliff Lee has been traded to the Texas Rangers.

As part of this deal the Texas Rangers will receive Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe and the Mariners will receive Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke, and Matt Lawson.

Cliff Lee was scheduled to start tonight against the New York Yankees but David Pauley will take his place instead.

The Rangers got Lee for a few reasons.

One reason is because they wanted a number one pitcher who can go deep in games and almost guarantee a victory whenever he is on the mound. The Rangers hope he can bring them their first division title in 11 years.

This season Cliff Lee is 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA, and he leads the league in ERA and complete games with five. The Rangers rotation will now be very good with Lee, Colby Lewis, Scott Feldman, Tommy Hunter, and CJ Wilson (with other starters Derek Holland and Rich Harden on the DL).

Their pitching will be very deep and it will be hard to face them if the Rangers make the playoffs along with their outstanding offense in Josh Hamilton, Vlad Guerrero, and Nelson Cruz.

The other player who will join the Texas Rangers is Mark Lowe.

Mark Lowe is currently on the DL and he will miss the entire year with his injury, but he is quite a good pitcher. He was the setup man for the Mariners last year and part of this year and what makes him special is his “stuff.” He has a fastball in the upper 90s and sometimes in the 100s with a slider that many players in the Majors call un-hittable.

Last season he had a 2-7 record with a 3.26 ERA in 80 innings and he also piled up 69 Ks. Lowe could be used as a seventh or eighth inning pitcher, and expect him to do well in the Rangers organization.

The Mariners got quite a bit of good young talent in this deal, too, starting with the highly regarded and talented Justin Smoak.

This season Smoak has not lived up to his hype at all but he is a switch hitting first baseman who is known for having power from both sides of the plate (and he is also known for being a patient hitter).

This season so far he is hitting .209 with 8 home runs and 34 RBI’s in 70 games.

Those numbers do not look very good, but he is only 23 so he has time to get better, and since the Mariners have Russell Branyan this year they do not need to rush him to the majors. Instead, they can give him time to develop in the minors and be a much better hitter when he gets back to the Majors.

Another prospect the mariners got was Blake Beaven.

Beaven was the number one draft pick by the Rangers in 2007 and he has done quite well in double-A. In double-A this year he was 10-5 with a 2.78 ERA in 17 starts and he is about to go up to triple-A so expect to see him maybe this year and definitly next year for the Mariners.

Another pitcher that was chosen by the Mariners was Josh Leuke.

Leuke is a closer who was selected in the 17th round in 2007 and he has done very well in single-A and has done pretty good in double-A, too. In single-A he was 2-1 with 10 saves and a 0.46 ERA in 17 appearances. In double-A he was 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA and two saves.

These double-A stats show that he does not do well with a challenge like moving from an easier league to a more difficult one, so the Mariners might need to give him some time; however, based on his single-A stats he is a good pitcher no matter how long you have to wait for him to come up.

The Final prospect the mariners got in this deal was infielder Matt Lawson.

Lawson is currently in double-A and he has done pretty well there. He was hitting .277 with 16 doubles, seven homers, and 34 RBI in 70 games. He was also selected to play for the Texas League all-star game and he was selected in the 14th round in the 2007 draft.

He looks like a good all around hitter and, in a year or two, he will be in the Majors and we will see if he can produce for the Mariners or not.

The Reds were making a very hard push for Lee but they came up just short because of the offer from the Rangers.

Both teams should be happy because the Rangers finally got a number one pitcher in Lee and the Mariners finally got a power hitting first baseman in Smoak.

This was a great deal which will make Texas good in the present and Seattle a better team in the future.


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