TORONTO -- TORONTO — According to a major league baseball source, the Red Sox and Mariners had talks involving pitcher Cliff Lee, but the negotiations have never gone beyond the preliminary stage. Friday afternoon there were multiple reports stating that the Rangers had traded for Lee and reliever Mark Lowe for top first baseman prospect Justin Smoak and three minor-leaguers.


TORONTO -- The Red Sox will have J.D. Drew, whose struggles against lefties have been highlighted by a .195 average in games started by southpaws this season, will be in the linuep and play right fight field against Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero. The 25-year-old has strung together a nice season thus far despite a modest record of 6-5. Romero has a 3.39 ERA with 106 strikeouts in 114 innings thus far but is coming off the worst start of his season, a 2 2/3 inning disaster in which he allowed eight earned runs to the Yankees in a loss. The Sox counter with Jon Lester. 

Lou Merloni of weighed in with his thoughts on the rumored trade that would send Mariners left-hander Cliff Lee to the Bronx. While Merloni notes that the Red Sox would still have the league's best left-hander in Jon Lester, Lee (a former teammate of Merloni in Cleveland) would bolster the Yankees rotation and make the Sox' challenge to get back into the race that much more difficult. Check out Merloni's piece at the Full Count blog.

New York Post baseball writer Joel Sherman joined the Dale & Holley show Friday morning to talk about the potential Cliff Lee trade. Sherman's story early Friday morning indicated that the Yankees are close to acquiring the standout left-hander from the Mariners.


"All sources continue to tell me what people were telling me last night: It's on the brink of occurring," Sherman said.


The baseball world understood that the Red Sox took a big right-handed college pitcher who would prove challenging to sign.

According to multiple reports, the framework of a deal that would have sent Cliff Lee from the Mariners to the Yankees is falling apart.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees are "all but certain" to land starter Cliff Lee from the Mariners after talks between the clubs progressed on Thursday night.

LOWELL -- Jed Lowrie, in the second game of his rehab assignment with the Lowell Spinners following a four-month period recovering from mononucleosis, went 1-for-2 with a walk and looked comfortable while playing shortstop. It was the first game in which Lowrie had played in the field during his rehab assignment.


Right-hander Anthony Ranaudo, whom the Sox selected with a supplemental first-round draft pick (No. 39 overall), threw six innings of no-hit ball for the Brewster Whitecaps on Thursday. Ranaudo permitted four walks while striking out six. 


Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis checked in with The Big Show on Thursday afternoon to discuss the health of his injured right ankle ("a lot better") and the fans' campaign to elect him to the All-Star squad in voting on that ends at 4 p.m.