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Mariners Trade Pitcher Cliff Lee to Texas Rangers, New York Post Reports

The Seattle Mariners traded All-Star pitcher Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers, spurning an offer from the New York Yankees, according to the New York Post.

Lee and relief pitcher Mark Lowe were sent to Texas in exchange for first baseman Justin Smoak and three minor- leaguers, the newspaper said on its website without citing its source.

An e-mail seeking comment from Rangers spokesman John Blake wasn’t immediately returned. The Mariners said in a news release that they’ll hold a 3:15 local time news conference about an undisclosed topic.

It would be the second straight year that Lee has been traded, after joining the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies in a trade-deadline exchange with the Cleveland Indians last season.

Lee, a 31-year-old left-hander who will be a free agent after the season, has an 8-3 record in 13 starts and leads the American League with a 2.34 earned run average. He is two years removed from winning the American League Cy Young Award as the league’s best pitcher and helped the Philadelphia Phillies reach the World Series last year.

The Yankees would have sent three prospects -- catcher Jesus Montero, second baseman David Adams and pitcher Zach McAllister -- to Seattle in a trade that the teams were discussing earlier today, the Post said.

The Rangers, who are in bankruptcy, sought approval of a sale in May to a group led by Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. The Major League Baseball team then reversed course and is planning to auction itself.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

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