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UPDATE (12:51 a.m.) --- Ok, I'm done for the night... oh, who am I kidding. A solid source confirms that most of what the latest reports on the workings of the deal are true, including the Mariners giving up three players -- Aumont, Gillies and right-hander Juan (J.C.) Ramirez. Who is J.C. Ramirez? Well he's a native of Nicaragua, who posted an 8-10 record for Class A High Desert this past season. At 6-3, 225, he's a big presence on the mound and had solid strikeout numbers 111 Ks in 142 1/3 innings of work. He is rated by Baseball America as the fifth best prospect in the organization and probably in the top three in overall pitching prospects.
Still, three low level prospects none who've gone above AA for a Cy Young award winner? That's not a tough decision to make.
UPDATE ( 9:36 p.m.) -- in a series of Tweets, Fox's Ken Rosenthal reports this scenario --- Jays give up $6 million and Halladay to the Phillies, who trade to Lee to the Mariners. In return, the Jays get OF Michael Taylor, RHP Kyle Drabek and most likely C Travis D'Arnaud. The Phils would get RHP Phillippe Aumont, OF Tyson Gillies and another player.I now have head ache and may be blind in my left eye.
UPDATE (7:46 p.m.) -- ESPN's Jayson Stark is reporting that the Mariners would only give up Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies and both would go to the Phillies for Lee. The Phillies would give up either Kyle Drabek or J.A. Happ along with catching prospect Travis D'Arnaud and outfielder Michael Taylor to the Blue Jays for Halladay. If that's the final deal, the Mariners must make that deal. Both Aumont and Gillies are largely untested. With only Aumont appearing in 15 games at AA, while Gillies played at High A last season.
There is a rumor circulating around the twitter-sphere -- I can't believe I just typed that - that the Mariners are part of monster three-way trade that would sendRoy Halladay
from the Jays to the Phillies,Cliff Lee
from the Phillies to the Mariners, while the Mariners would have to give up some prospects.
UPDATE: It looks as though one of the prospects being considered is former first-rounder Phillippe Aumont. Others names included fellow Canadians Michael Saunders and Tyson Gillies. The Jays have serious catching issues. They have prospect JP Arencibia, but they could look at adding Adam Moore as insurance.
UPDATE 3:23 p.m.: Jayson Stark is saying that it's Aumont. Heyman is also saying possibly Saunders as well.
UPDATE 3:26 p.m.: Halladay is tweeting that deal isn't done yet.
Fox's Ken Rosenthal and JP Morosi had this report.
And the Philly Inquirer is reporting that Halladay and his agent are in Philly presumably to negotiate a long-term deal, something Halladay is demanding before being traded.
SI's Jon Heyman first tweeted that the Mariners were definitely the third team, he later re-tweeted that he had a quick twitter finger and is trying to confirm it.
Cliff Lee is a Cy Young winner and a proven pitcher in the American League. However, part of the reason the Phillies are willing to deal him is his reluctance to sign an extension at a what was perceived as a discount.
Lee will make $9 million which is a steal, but if he hits the free agent market, he could be looking for more than the $85 million that John Lackey is reportedly getting from the Red Sox this year.
But then again, the Mariners could flip Lee at the trade deadline for some pieces as well, if they can't sign him to an extension.