In a big move before the All-Star break, Texas traded for southpaw Cliff Lee and right-hander Mark Lowe, sending first baseman Justin Smoak, pitcher Blake Beavan and two other players to Seattle. Lee, despite having the middle name of Phifer, is still having a ridiculous season (2.34 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 89-6 K-BB ratio in 103 2/3 IP) and strengthens the Rangers' already solid rotation.
Most importantly, Lee will not be on the mound when Seattle resumes its four-game series with the Yankees tonight.
Smoak was the Rangers' No. 1 draft choice (11th overall) in the 2008 draft, which has already seen Brian Matusz, Gordon Beckham, Ike Davis, Buster Posey and Pedro Alvarez reach the big leagues. Smoak was hitting .209/.316/.353 with eight home runs in 275 plate appearances for Texas, while Beavan, the No. 17 overall pick in the '07 draft, was 10-5 with a 2.78 ERA for AA Frisco and had just been called up to AAA Oklahoma City Tuesday.
Also, Lee will not be pitching for Seattle tonight against the Yankees.