Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Phillies Acquire Cy Young Winner Cliff Lee

So I guess the Philadelphia Phillies are out of the Roy Halladay sweepstakes.

This is because the pitching starved Phillies have acquired 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee as well as outfielder Ben Francisco from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for minor league pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp, shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson.

Last year, Lee went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA to win the AL Cy Young for the Tribe. Lee got off to a slow start in 2009. He went 7-9 with the Indians in '09 but had a very respectable ERA of 3.14.
The highlight of Lee's season occurred last month when he took a no-hitter into the 8th inning against the St. Louis Cardinals (a game I saw on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball). Lee pitched a complete game three hit shutout.

Lee's presence in the starting rotation will be a welcome addition when you consider that the starter with the lowest ERA on the Phillies staff is Joe Blanton at 4.11. It is really amazing the Phillies are leading the NL East by seven games over the Florida Marlins. But they will need quality starting pitching down the stretch and Lee can fill that bill quite nicely.

I also like the addition of Francisco. He should compliment the great outfield of Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth. He'll be valuable down the stretch off the bench as a fourth outfielder.

As for the Tribe, the only player with any big league experience amongst them is Marson. He'll see some playing time especially if the Indians should trade Victor Martinez. The Indians are looking to 2010 and beyond. The key player for the Tribe is Carrasco. He has struggled with the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs (I kid you not) in 2009 with a 6-9 record and a 5.18 ERA. But he has struck out 112 batters in 114 and two thirds innings pitched. That's basically a strikeout an inning. Although Carrasco is presently a starter I wouldn't be surprised if he is converted into a reliever. I don't think Kerry Wood is viable as the Indians closer in the long term.

So where does that leave Roy Halladay? In Toronto? If the Red Sox are interested in him the Yankees will be interested as well. But don't count out the Angels and Rangers either. The trade deadline is 4 p.m. on Friday.

1 comment:

Anderson said...

Well, the Phillies are the reigning World Series champions. Their offense is certainly carrying the weight of the team right now. And, unfortunately for the Marlins, their pitching isn't responding as they had hoped.

I don't know that the Cliff Lee trade helps the Phillies all that much, though they did not give up anything the Blue Jays were asking for Halladay, so they could still technically do it... and it would be scary if they did.

As I mentioned in the other baseball post, their lead might be too much for the Marlins to catch up to, especially with how poorly they have played them this year. But now with Sanchez in SF, I think their only shot is through the division. I do not see the Phillies repeating, though. I think an NL West team will win the pennant.