ARLINGTON -- There is a growing feeling that the Rangers have a serious chance of obtaining left-hander Cliff Lee in a trade with the Mariners. That feeling is shared by those inside the Rangers clubhouse.
"Everybody is excited about it," pitcher C.J. Wilson said. "If we can improve, we're taking a good team and getting better. Obviously, his track record speaks for itself, and his experience speaks for itself."
General manager Jon Daniels has made it a top priority and there are ongoing talks taking place between the Rangers and the Mariners. Nothing is imminent and there are many teams who have expressed interest in Lee, who is 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 13 starts this season.
"There are 29 other teams that would love to have Lee," third baseman Michael Young said. "He's one of the best left-handers in the game. Let's leave it at that. Who wouldn't want him? Let's just let the front office do their job. I've faced the guy a lot, he's a great pitcher and a great competitor. Let's just leave it at that."
The Mariners are expected to ask for a significant package in return, but one of the reasons why the Rangers are considered serious bidders is they have a deep farm system. The Mariners are looking for a big bat and the Rangers have either Justin Smoak or Chris Davis. Obviously, they would like to keep Smoak and trade Davis. The Rangers are also deep in pitching in the Minor Leagues.
"I just know they are looking," manager Ron Washington said. "We'll just have to wait and see if we'll be able to do anything."
Asked if starting pitching is high on the priority list, Washington said, "Improving the club is high on my wish list. That's one area. Right now, I'm trying to keep the focus on what we have going right here and now. We're three weeks away from [the Trade Deadline], my mind hasn't ventured that far yet. But we certainly want to improve the club if we can."