Talking Points: Dealing Lee

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Here’s the reason Cliff Lee did not end up a Yankee in 2010, when Lee was with the Mariners and the team was entertaining trade offers: Jesus Montero.

Seattle wanted New York catching prospect Montero, 21, and Yankees GM Brian Cashman refused to include him in a deal for Lee.

Montero struggled mightly in the early months at Triple-A this year. But he finished with 18 homers and was promoted when rosters expanded on Sept. 1.

Montero’s numbers through Tuesday are .333 with three homers and six RBI in 34 at-bats.

With Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Russell Martin dealing with injuries, Montero is getting plenty of at-bats at DH. He was DH Wednesday night against Seattle.

If the Yankees clinch with any time to spare, Montero could play regularly as Joe Girardi rests his regulars.

And talk about riches, the Yankees have Austin Romine, a catching prospect who is as highly regarded at Montero.

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Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love, who played his high school ball in Lake Oswego, has nothing but good words to say about new coach Rick Adelman.

He said Adelman will factor favorably into Minnesota’s efforts to sign him to a contract extension.

“When I talked about the prospect of me re-signing, I always said one of the things we’d have to have is a great coach,” Love said. “If it’s true, we’ve got a great coach.”

Love has known Adelman since he was in junior high.

He played high school basketball with Adelman’s son, Patrick.

Adelmen coached the Trail Blazers to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992.

“Looking back to high school, I always asked myself, ‘What does Rick think I need to improve?’ I kept asking him for advice whenever I had the chance to talk to Rick. I always thought it’d be very interesting and intriguing to play under such a well-respected coach, who I know well, who has been there and done that.”