07/09/2010 6:36 PM ET
Rangers acquire LHP Cliff Lee, RHP Mark Lowe, and cash considerations from Seattle in exchange for 1B Justin Smoak and three Minor League players
1B Chris Davis recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City for tonight's game
Arlington, Texas -- The Texas Rangers announced this afternoon that the club has acquired left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee (#33), right-handed pitcher Mark Lowe (#49), and cash considerations from Seattle in exchange for first baseman Justin Smoak, and minor league players Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke, and Matt Lawson. To take Smoak's place on the active roster for tonight's game, the club has recalled first baseman Chris Davis from Oklahoma City (AAA).
Lee was scheduled to start tonight in Seattle against the Yankees. He last pitched on Sunday at Detroit, winning and tossing at least 8.0 innings for a 4th consecutive start. Lee was selected to the A.L. All-Star roster on Sunday via player voting, his 2nd career nod, as he also started the 2008 Midsummer Classic at Yankee Stadium (2.0 IP, 0 R).
The Rangers will make a roster move to add Lee to the 25-man roster when he joins the club.
The 31-year-old left-hander has gone 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA (27 ER/103.2 IP) in 13 games/starts for Seattle this season. His 2.34 ERA is the lowest figure in the American League. He also leads the A.L. with 5 complete games this season, 2nd-most in the majors. Lee recently posted complete games in 3 consecutive starts June 18-23-29, the first pitcher to accomplish that feat since C.C. Sabathia in 2008 with Milwaukee. He has held opposing batters to a .231 (92-398) average this season, 12th-best in the A.L.
Lee has recorded 89 strikeouts this season against just 6 walks, an average of 14.83 strikeouts per walk. That figure would be a major league record for qualifying pitchers in the modern era (beginning 1900), as no other pitcher has ever averaged better than 11.00 strikeouts per walk for a full campaign. Lee went 38.0 consecutive innings and 144 straight batters faced without issuing a walk from June 2-29, the longest such streak in Mariners history.
The Arkansas native won the 2008 American League Cy Young Award with Cleveland after going 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 31 starts. He would become just the 4th pitcher to appear for Texas after having won the award, joining Gaylord Perry, Ferguson Jenkins, and Sparky Lyle.
Lee went a combined 14-13 with a 3.22 ERA in 34 games/starts for Cleveland and Philadelphia last season, tossing a career-high 231.2 innings. He then went 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA (7 ER/40.1 IP) in 5 postseason starts for Philadelphia, including 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA in his 2 starts against the Yankees in the World Series. Lee had each of the Phillies' 2 wins in last year's World Series.
In his career, Lee has gone 98-55 with a 3.84 ERA (555 ER/1300.1 IP) in 207 games/203 starts with Cleveland (2002-09), Philadelphia (2009), and Seattle (2010). Since the beginning of the 2008 season, Lee has gone 44-19 with a 2.79 ERA (173 ER/558.2 IP), the 5th-lowest ERA among all major league pitchers in that span behind only Chris Carpenter (2.62), Tim Lincecum (2.67), Adam Wainwright (2.68), and Roy Halladay (2.68). His ERA is the lowest among any left-hander over that span. Lee's 44 wins beginning with the 2008 season are the 3rd-most in the majors behind only Sabathia (47) and Halladay (47).
He opened this season on the disabled list March 26-April 29 with a right lower abdominal strain suffered during spring training. Lee also had surgery on his left foot on Feb. 5 to remove a loose body and returned to baseball activities in early March.
Lowe, 27, is currently on the 15-day disabled list. He has gone 1-3 with a 3.48 ERA (4 ER/10.1 IP) in 11 relief appearances for Seattle this season. He has been on the disabled list since May 3 with lower back inflammation and had microdiscectomy surgery on his back on June 15. Last year, Lowe had a 3.26 ERA (29 ER/80.0 IP) in 75 relief outings, establishing career highs in innings, games, and strikeouts (55).
Davis will be in his second stint with the Rangers this season. He was the club's Opening Day first baseman, batting .188 (9-48) in 15 games/12 starts for Texas before he was optioned to Oklahoma City (AAA). At Triple-A, Davis has hit .354 (93-263) with 10 home runs and 56 RBI in 67 games. He has a .403 on-base percentage and a .555 slugging mark with the RedHawks. Over his last 6 games, Davis has batted .500 (16-32) with 2 home runs and 11 RBI to raise his season average from .333.
Smoak has batted .209 with 8 homers and 34 RBI in 70 games for Texas this season, his first major league action. The club's first round selection (11th overall) in the 2008 June draft, he has a team-high 66 starts at first base for the Rangers in 2010. His contract was purchased from Oklahoma City (AAA) on April 23 after batting .300 (15-50) in 15 games in the Pacific Coast League.
Beavan, 21, has spent the entire season at Double-A Frisco, going 10-5 with a 2.78 ERA (34 ER/110.0 IP) in 17 games/starts. He was recently promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City after his last start for Frisco on Monday, but had yet to appear for the RedHawks. Beavan was selected out of Irving High School in the first round (17th overall) of the 2007 June draft.
Lueke, 25, began the season at Low-A Hickory and went 2-1 with 10 saves and a 0.46 ERA (1 ER/19.2 IP) in 17 relief outings before a promotion to Double-A Frisco in late May. He has gone 1-1 with 2 saves and a 3.86 ERA (8 ER/18.2 IP) in 15 relief appearances for Frisco in his first Double-A action. Lueke was originally selected in the 16th round of the 2007 June draft.
Lawson, 24, has spent the entire season at Double-A Frisco, batting .277 (81-292) with 16 doubles, 7 homers and 34 RBI in 76 games for the RoughRiders. He was recently named to the 2010 Texas League All-Star team. Lawson was originally selected by Texas in the 14th round of the 2007 June draft.
With the addition of Lee and Lowe, and the loss of Smoak, the Rangers now have a full 40-man roster.