Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why getting Cliff Lee is just as good as Halladay, if not better.

What a great day in Phillies baseball. Ruben Amaro Jr. has pulled off an amazing trade for the 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner, Cliff Lee for Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Lou Marson. Also included in the trade is Ben Francisco a much needed righty off the bench. This deal is nothing short of a steal for the Phillies. First, we landed last year's AL Cy Young; second, we landed a right handed bat to come off the bench and we did not have to give up Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ or Dominic Brown.

So Phillies Phans are disappointed that we didn't get Roy Halladay, but there is nothing to be disappointed about. Halladay was the best "available" pitcher during this trade period, but he came at a steep price. For some reason, Lee, who won the AL Cy Young last year, in the same league as Halladay. Halladay last won the Cy Young in 2003, but Halladay has been consistent for the Blue Jays. But, Halladay has been on the DL for shoulder problems in the past and spent time on the DL this past June with a groin strain. Ironically, the Blue Jays were visiting Citizens Bank Park when Halladay was put on the DL. But, that is not enough to keep me from wanting to see Roy Halladay in a Phillies uniform.

But, again the price was too high. As I have mentioned in previous posts, the team is built to win for a long time. Cliff Lee is the caliber pitcher that will get us the wins we need down the stretch and in the Postseason. Plus looking forward, next year's starting rotation could be Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ, and Kyle Drabek. That is a pretty solid rotation, combined with the best 1-7 starting lineup in Major League Baseball. But, enough about the future, our rotation for the rest of the season is solid. Hamels, Lee, Blanton, Happ, Moyer, and possibly Pedro Martinez. We now have insurance should something happen to one of the starting 5. Another thing to consider, is that by keeping Happ, Amaro could deal him or another pitcher in the next day and half for more bullpen help. I don't think this will happen, but it could.

What also could happen, in a perfect world is that Amaro pulls the trigger on the Halladay deal. As a Phan, could you imagine a rotation of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Moyer or Martinez. I know, I know, I am reaching here, but a Phan who has sat through losing season after losing season can dream right?

But in all seriousness, this was an incredible trade for the Phillies. We got the ace we needed for the stretch run, we got another decent bat for the bench and we didn't have to give up our 3 best prospects to do it.

Thank you Ruben. Let's Go Phils!!!

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