Catching prospect Jesus Montero was destined to take over behind the dish at Yankee Stadium following Jorge Posada's eventual retirement.
But Brian Cashman would apparently rather see lefty Cliff Lee in pinstripes instead of Montero, the organization's top prospect, as the Yankees and Mariners were close to swapping the backstop in a package deal for Lee on Thursday night, according to the New York Post.
Cashman and Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik have been in engaged in a lot of contact over the last week. On Thursday however, the M's GM told Yankee officials he wanted to move as quickly as possible, possibly even before the All-Star break.
The 31-year-old southpaw ace is 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA and has 89 strikeouts to just six walks. He is scheduled to pitch against Phil Hughes and the Yankees Friday night in Seattle.
Montero is batting just .253 with six homers and 34 RBIs this season at Triple-A.