Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Reds and Mariners have exchanged names "in preliminary fashion" toward a Cliff Lee deal.
That's a pretty big step. The Reds are hoping to shore up their starting rotation in an effort to maintain their surprising lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central. The Mariners, meanwhile, are thought to like Reds corner infield prospects Juan Francisco and Yonder Alonso. Lee has posted a 2.34 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP and an 89/6 K/BB ratio in 13 starts this season.