It is very clear that Cliff Lee is on the way out of Seattle. The Mariners are having a pretty terrible season and Cliff Lee is going to be a free agent after this season. The Mets want Cliff Lee. It's that simple.
But's it's not that simple. If the Mets were to trade for Cliff Lee it would require at least one of their best prospects. It would also require Josh Thole, as the Mariners are looking for a catcher in any trade. Not only because the Mets would be losing Josh Thole, but for other reasons too, I would not make a trade for Clifton Phifer Lee.
Making a trade for Cliff Lee would mean renting him for less than half a season. He has already said he wants to be a free agent, so he wouldn't negotiate a deal with any team. The only hope for the Mets would be seeing him enjoy playing here and considering their offer over others when he hits the market. The only reason for the Mets to be satisfied with half a season of Cliff Lee would be with a World Series title.
The Mets would be trading not only their catcher of the future, but it's also likely the Mariners would want Wilmer Flores, and they could even ask for Jenrry Mejia or another pitcher. The Mets farm system has been criticized for years already, and trading the high points for a rental player would not be helpful. They simply cannot afford to lose players that will help not only next year but in seasons even after that.
A team like the Twins are in better shape to acquire Cliff Lee. They have the prospects it takes to trade for him, but they also have enough to have a future for their own team.
If the Mets want Cliff Lee so badly they should wait until he's a free agents and pay him. They'll have him at the same time as they would ave all the prospects they would have to give up to rent him.
Let's Go Mets!