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Trade Deadline: Cliff Lee Gets More Remote

If you, unlike your gracious host, are all the way on the veteran starter bandwagon as we prepare for Blake Hawksworth's fourth trip through the rotation, I'd like you to sit down. We've begun to see—unsourced Twitter rumors. Jeff Fletcher reports thusly

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MLB source hears #twins have offered OF Aaron Hicks (1st rnd, 08, 900 minor lg OPS) and top C prospect Wilson Ramos for C.Lee #mariners

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Aaron Hicks is an extremely toolsy outfielder, Wilson Ramos an offensive-minded catcher who's having a rough 2010 but doing it as a 21 year-old in AAA. Shelby Miller is probably a better prospect than either Hicks or Ramos, though with Hicks it's close, but the Cardinals just don't have a number two prospect as exciting as Ramos—their tastes run more toward the role player and the innings eater, at least of late. (Here's SB Nation's John Sickels on the Twins' prospect ranks as against the Cardinals, as of last October.)

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If the Twins really have gotten out in front in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, it works for me; it's like the Cardinals have been fitted for one of those cones that keeps a dog from chewing at its stitches. They've spent all this time building and rebuilding their farm system; to spend a top prospect on an ostensible rental for two seasons in a row would be a major setback.