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July 07, 2010

Sources: Rangers talking to Mariners about Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee continues to be a target of the Texas Rangers, who sources confirmed have had discussions with division-rival Seattle about acquiring the left-hander in a trade.

A baseball source indicated that the Mariners have interest in several prospects and young players who have experience at the big-league level. Seattle has inquired about the availability of, among others, first baseman Chris Davis and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Both of those players are at Triple A Oklahoma City but have been with the Rangers the past three seasons. Seattle also likes right-hander Tanner Scheppers, also at Triple A, and Double A left-hander Martin Perez.

A source, though, indicated that Scheppers and Perez have been deemed untouchable by Rangers officials. Right-hander Alexi Ogando, who tossed a scoreless seventh inning Wednesday, is also on Seattle’s radar, but there is some resistance to include him in a deal.

General manager Jon Daniels declined comment.

The Rangers’ finances could be a major factor that would prevent the acquisition of Lee, though he is owed only have of his $9 million contract this year. Daniels has said that the Rangers have some financial flexibility to pull off a deal before the July 31 trade deadline.

A baseball source said last week that the Rangers would have to be creative to make a deal work, as they were when getting San Francisco to pick up Bengie Molina’s contract in a trade for the veteran catcher.

-- Jeff Wilson

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