The AL West-leadingÂ Texas Rangers just got a lot better.
They can thank their division rivals for the boost.
The Seattle Mariners traded left-handed ace Cliff Lee to the Rangers Friday evening, giving Texas the stud pitcher they've been looking to acquire for years. The Rangers also acquired relief pitcher Mark Lowe from Seattle. In return, the Mariners get first baseman Justin Smoak, minor league pitchers Blake Beavan andÂ Josh Lueke and minor league second baseman Matthew Lawson.
ESPN.com first reported the tradeÂ after Lee sent a text message to Amy K. Nelson of ESPN The Magazine.
"Just heard from [Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik]," Lee said in the text message. "It's official. From last [place] to first."
Through most of the day, sources were saying that the Mariners and the New York Yankees were finallizing a deal for Lee where the Yankees would send highly touted catching prospect Jesus Montero and second baseman David AdamsÂ to Seattle. However, according to the ESPN report, talks broke down this afternoon due to Seattle's concern about Adams' health. Adams is currently nursing a sprained ankle.
That is when Texas swooped in and made their pitch.
Lee is having a Cy Young Award-worthy season. He has a record of 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA and 89 strikeouts. Lee's pitched four complete games in his last six starts and hasn't gone less than seven innings in a start since May 21 against the San Diego Padres.