As Cliff Lee is about to be traded again…

With rumors swirling that Cliff Lee is about to be traded again, I’m sure the discussion of that trade, in comparison to the trade the Phillies made with the Mariners in December, will find its way into every discussion on this site. So I’m going to cut that off at the pass right here. I’ve already discussed the trade here before, in great detail, but it seems there are still a number of misconceptions about the deal, and a lot of yelling and shouting that seems, to me at least, to be very misguided. Find out why I feel that way below.

I’m going to make this as concise as possible, and use bullet points for clarity. Hopefully this helps to crystallize a number of the issues that people still seem to have with this deal.

* The Phillies believed, rightly or wrongly, that there was no way for them to keep Cliff Lee beyond 2010. Both sides in any discussion, whether it be over Cliff Lee or any other player, have a motive to make themselves look right. Ruben Amaro indicated that the feedback he got from Lee’s camp indicated that he wanted to test the open market, and on the open market he would have gotten 4, 5 and 6 year offers, whereas the Phillies will only give out 3 year deals (plus options) to pitchers. Lee’s camp said there was never much discussion and they didn’t feel like there was zero chance of him re-signing in Philly. No one knows which side is right. That’s true of almost every single trade/signing rumor. You believe what you want to believe. If you’re a regular here, you know I’ve been critical of some of the decisions Amaro has made (the Ibanez signing, the Polanco signing, lack of spending in the draft), but its tough to be critical of something where you don’t have complete information. On the Lee negotiations (or lack thereof), we don’t have complete information, just rumor being spread by people with an agenda on both sides.

* Once the Phillies determined they couldn’t afford Lee in the long term, they decided that it would be better to sign Blanton to a multi year deal, because he would sign for less money and be controlled for a longer period. Blanton’s 2009 was one of his best pro seasons, and was the work of a solid #3 starter, which is what he was asked to be. He was very durable, and he was striking out more players. Had he replicated his 2009 season in 2010, he’d outperform his contract. Of course Blanton got hurt, missed the first part of 2010, and has had a very fluky HR to Flyball ratio this year, and he’s also been somewhat mismanaged by Charlie Manuel and allowed to stay in games when his stuff has diminished. But Blanton at 3/24M is far more manageable than giving Cliff Lee a 6 year deal, especially when you consider that Blanton and Lee had very similar xFIP’s last year. xFIP, for those who don’t know, evaluates a pitcher based on his peripherals and produces an “expected ERA”, in essence. You can look up their numbers at fangraphs.

* So the Phillies then decided that it would be prudent to trade Cliff Lee for prospects, because they were going to trade 3 very good prospects to Toronto for Roy Halladay, a pitcher they knew they could sign for 3 years at a dollar value they felt comfortable with. Now, if you are Ruben Amaro, in the abstract you want to get the best possible return for a player when you trade him. However, you want to avoid trading the player to a team you will be directly competing with, ie, the Braves, Mets, Dodgers, Rockies, Reds, Cardinals, or Padres. By eliminating the 15 other NL teams, you eliminate half of your suitors. If one of those teams were to blow you away, then you listen, but really, what would the reaction have been had Amaro traded Lee to the Braves, or to the Mets? People would have been absolutely furious. On the other side, what if Amaro had traded Lee to the Yankees, just 6 weeks after the Yankees beat the Phillies in the World Series? Rube says that he doesn’t listen to the press and the fans when making a move, but he seemed to be listening in this case.

* The only other plausible explanation is that the Phillies ownership/Dave Montgomery told Amaro he had to trade Lee as soon as he acquired Halladay, because he didn’t want fans thinking that both guys would be on the same pitching staff. If this happened, then Amaro wouldn’t have been able to shop Lee around on the open market, because again it would have created negative fanbase reactions. So, presumably the Phillies went to a team they were deeply familiar with, the Mariners, and gave them a list of guys they really liked. The Phillies have Seattle connections in the front office, and with Pat Gillick, so obviously there was a familiarity there. And this again comes back to the rumors. We have no idea what other teams were offering for a one year rental of Cliff Lee. We have no idea if Rube talked to the Rangers, the Red Sox, the Rays, the Twins, or anyone else. And anything you hear otherwise is just rumor mongering, as I doubt anyone will go on record. There is a rumor that the Yankees inquired, and were willing to trade Jesus Montero plus other prospects for Lee in December, but again, the fan backlash would have been immense, and it would have taken real balls to do that deal at the time, even if your mantra is to “maximize value”.

* So now you have the three players acquired for Cliff Lee, in Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and JC Ramirez. All three of these guys were immediately shackled with unfair expectations before even taking the field. Lots of scouts and people dissecting the trade felt Aumont was the centerpiece, noting his big arm strength. I was more enamored with Tyson Gillies (and still am), and Keith Law ranked JC Ramirez as the #2 prospect in the Phillies system. Lots of different media outlets liked the players in the deal with different degrees of enthusiasm. Some immediately said the return wasn’t enough, before the players even got a chance to contribute. Then, of course, all three guys get off to fairly quiet starts. Aumont struggles and is demoted, Gillies has missed a large chunk of the season through injury, and Ramirez has simply been average at A+, and then below average after his promotion to AA. Meanwhile, Lee has a predictably good 2 months with the Mariners, and is now getting traded again. Which brings me to…

* The most important point. You have to stop judging things like this in real time, and with incomplete information. We have no idea what was offered to the Phillies for Cliff Lee in December. We have no idea what other real offers were on the table for Lee now. I don’t really love Jesus Montero the way places like Baseball America do. I see him as a 1B who will hit for average and show average power. He doesn’t scream superstar to me. The rumored offer of Aaron Hicks and Wilson Ramos, the Twins two top prospects, has been denied. The Justin Smoak from Texas thing sounds like just a wild rumor. The reality is, teams weren’t going to mortgage their future for a 3 month rental now, and with the thoughts that Lee was always destined for the Yankees anyway, I don’t think teams were going to pay through the nose for him last winter.

* In reality, you can’t even evaluate the Lee to Seattle deal for another 3-5 years, and even then it may be premature. Lee might end up being “worth” $20M this year, maybe more, but he would not have impacted the Phillies bottom line for the 162 game regular season. The only place he could have impacted the bottom line would have been helping to win extra playoff games, and the playoffs are not a guarantee, even if he had re-signed. But the 3 players the Phillies got back could provide a lot more than $20M of future value in their 18 pre-free agency years. Maybe all 3 will flame out and it will end up being a bad deal. But you don’t know that now, and the bashing of all 3 of them is really over the top and ill informed, to be completely honest. All 3 players are/were young for their 2010 opening day assignments, and all three have decently high ceilings. If Aumont and Ramirez become just above average relief pitchers, they will provide $20M in value, combined, over their 12 pre-free agency years. If Gillies becomes at least an average every day CF in the majors, he’ll provide over $20M in value alone. At the same time, you can’t say that the Phillies “won” the original Cliff Lee deal with Cleveland by concluding those prospects are worthless and are busts. All 4 of those guys might come good, or all 4 might wash out. You have to wait. Just like you have to wait to determine the worth of the 3 guys we received from Seattle.

* But really, what it comes down to is simple; you just need to move on. Baseball is a funny game, and no matter how much you think you know, or have things figured out, something always surprises you. Without the Joe Blanton trade 2 years ago, there’s a good chance we don’t win the World Series. Without the pickup of Tad Iguchi in 2007 when Utley got hurt, there’s a great chance we never catch the Mets and break our playoff drought. There will be moves made by lots of teams that will sway their chances of making the playoffs, either this year or setting up their team for years down the road. If you make a snap judgment, the return on the Lee deal with Seattle doesn’t look good, or doesn’t look as good as what they might get from the Yankees. But evaluating trades in that manner misses the big picture, and is often done in a sloppy, half hearted manner. I think we need to wait and see what happens, and more importantly, just focus on the players we have, not deals that were made 6 months ago. Who cares about Cliff Lee? Its not like he was Philly born and bred and then run out of town. He was a mercenary brought in to help us win the World Series. It didn’t work, he moved on, and now he’s been traded again, like a true mercenary. I don’t wish him any harm, and I’m glad for what he provided the team last year. But the 2010 team has their own problems, and there is no guarantee that Lee would be the cure for what ails this team now. So just move on, be done with it, support the guys we have, and don’t worry about trying to dissect rumors filled with conjecture and incomplete information.

115 thoughts on “As Cliff Lee is about to be traded again…

  1. Agree with about 95% of this, and I’ve made some of those points before. But the Blanton contract didn’t sit that well with me even at the time, and if you feel that way, there is IMO a compelling “win now” case that Blanton should have been non-tendered and Lee not traded. That IMO is the strongest argument that the deal was a mistake.

    Strongest argument, that is, aside from the argument that management was short sighted in failing to agree to take on the extra salary for one year (i.e., sign Blanton for three years AND keep Lee this year). But you can’t blame Amaro for that one.

  2. All fair points, and I agree that we shouldn’t rush to judgment on anything.

    That being said, even if we assume Amaro needed to move Lee in December, I don’t think it’s at all unfair to question if he got the best return. I questioned that at the time, and when word came out in June that the Yankees had offered Montero, I questioned it again. I like Gillies, Aumont and Ramirez just fine, but if Amaro had demonstrated even a modicum of patience, I find it very hard to believe there wasn’t a better deal out there (and I’m not alone in this belief; plenty knowledgeable writers and analysts have stated the same). Alternatively, if you’re right that ownership insisted Amaro deal Lee immediately, then I still blame both: (A) ownership for being so short-sighted; and (B) Amaro for not having the stones to maximize his return by taking the deal with the Yankees.

  3. Cliff Lee will be remembered more in Philly for his trade from here than the time spent here. Through no fault of his own he didn’t win the World Series for us last year.

    It does bother me, though, when I hear Ruben Amaro Jr. say that he’s always looking for pitching and we had one of the best under contract for this year and traded him.
    He should have been satisfied with the likely draft pick compensation if we didn’t sign him to a long-term deal.

    If he likes pitching so much he should make a play for Lee in the off-season and let Werth walk if the payroll restrictions
    are still in place. I would make that “trade” in a heartbeat.

  4. Blanton is getting overpaid for what looks like a career year in 2009. Barring that, we could have had 5 picks in the 1st round of the 2011 draft had we simply gone with Lee…offer both Lee and Werth arb, take the 4 comp picks and rebuild that way instead of with Gillies, Aumont, and Ramirez.

    I agree on moving on but it was a poor trade overall.

  5. Everything I’ve ever wanted to say to everyone who’s ever talked to me about it. A stellar post, James.

  6. I couldn’t disagree more with most of this. I can’t wait to refer back to a number of the gems in here down the road.

    My favorite, “It’s tough to be critical of something when you don’t have complete information.” Please give me an example of when anyone ever has complete information? I’ll keep this one in mind the next time you put together a top 30 prospect list of guys who you’ve only seen play a handful of times. LMAO

  7. We all do need to move on – of course that’s true.

    That having been said, while I greatly respect your analytical position in this matter, I very much disagree with your conclusions. The point is, regardless of whether this was Ruben’s fault or was a decision foisted upon him by upper management, the Phillies made a very serious error in trading Cliff Lee because it caused them to sacrifice an extremely unusual opportunity to have two Cy Young winning pitchers (and a righty and lefty, mind you), plus a former WS MVP, in a starting staff on a team that was projected to have a world class offense, all of which was well within their financial means. It hasn’t a darned thing to do with whether they got reasonable value in return – viewed objectively, the players they got could, in the long run, be worth the objective value of a Cliff Lee – I take that as a given. It has to do with a commitment to winning a championship while staying within a budget. This is what drives the fans crazy. This what gives us all a collective aneurysm. This is why it is difficult to “move on.”

    Of course, a championship is never guaranteed, but we’ve only won two of them in well over a century of baseball, and it’s very difficult to assemble players with the ability to win and, time and again, we see that dominant starting pitching is, by far, the best way to win the WS. Having watched Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay for half a year, it becomes pretty darned clear to me that having BOTH of these players on the same team at the same time gave us the best chance to win that elusive championship. And it was all seemingly within our grasp.

    People are not going to get over this quickly unless, somehow, a miracle is pulled this year or we win another championship in the next year or two. This was a monumental gaffe and, as fans who care, we have the right to not get over it easily.

  8. Let’s call a spade a spade here, We are trading Werth b/c of a fractured relationship between he and the 2bman. That locker room and their offense went down the tubes the second the rfer had more than wandering eyes. However, if we get Vasquez and something else of value, we are ok. Dom Brown can pick up the slack for the philandering Werth. We won’t win a world series, but could rebound and make the playoffs.

  9. I understand your point, and it still cant ever understand, what in the world the Owners and Amaro were thinking. We lost the series because are starters didnt match up to yankees, with lee for one year we have a great chance to go back. thats been my point. Win while you have the chance. And still the worst case is you dont win and lee leaves and you get two first round choice, who could stink , be great or mediocre, is it any different then what we took for lee? I just feel betrayed by the owners, maybe I am the only one who feels like this, but we deserved more from this ownership group for the fans support and loyalty, that’s what is making me so mad.

  10. Great read. A few things. I think these offers really never happened. It may have been the M’s trying to up the price.

    Montero has regressed and failed to show improvement defensively. Hes 20 and has been rushed.

    Oswalt is much more valuble than Lee, as hes not a rental and the stros will eat some of the contract for the right price.

    I am also enamored with Gillies and believe he was the center piece of the deal. I think his ceiling is extremely high and will develop power to go with his speed. If he Its a shame hes not healthy. I do not understand why hes falling on everyones boards. He is still a top 5 prospect in the organization.

  11. What’s this about a Werth/Utley rift? I’ve never heard that. What’s the basis for that rumor?

  12. Monty,

    Context is everything. In terms of incomplete information, PP is talking about the Lee negotiations and alternative trade offers. There is a WORLD of difference between uninformed (and frankly moronic) speculations about THOSE issues and informed and intelligent rankings of prospects.

    As an aside, it’s THOSE kind of lousy arguments that make me want to defend a deal that I wasn’t crazy about at the time.

  13. Mrs. Utley is filing for divorce. Apparently, there are some in-house issues that have developed recently; right around the time Chase and Jayson stopped hitting, on the field that is.

  14. catch, theres an unproven rumor floating around that werth had himself some free time with the beautiful mrs. Utley. That, i believe is what they were eluding to.

  15. That is the only thing I’ve ever heard that would make the Werth trade rumors make a little sense. If anything like that is or was going on, you have to move one of the players or risk a complete meltdown of team chemistry, and they’re not going to move “Mr. Phillie,” nor should they.

  16. Let’s say, hypothetically, the Phillies had traded Lee for Montero etc. instead.

    If Montero can’t stick at catcher, and he probably can’t, the Phillies would have been in the unenviable position of having a high level prospect everyone knows they have to trade. It’s much harder to get a good return on a guy when everyone knows you’re over a barrel.

  17. Larry – I understand the context. I just feel that most of what goes on here involves incomplete information so what makes the Cliff Lee discussions any different? I also find it ironic that the post is critical of others for bashing the Cliff Lee trade without complete information…and then he goes on to defend it with incomplete information himself.

    Another gem, “In reality, you can’t even evaluate the Lee to Seattle deal for another 3-5 years, and even then it may be premature.” This coming from a guy who has evaluated many trades on here over the past two years. Talk about hypocritical.

    And as for your example, I think a much better analogy is, “reasonably nformed discussion of the Cliff Lee trade & informed and intelligent ranking of prospects.”

    This is good discussion, though. I’ll say that. I think we need more critical analysis on these boards not less. Just my opinion. It’s nothing personal.

  18. ****the Phillies would have been in the unenviable position of having a high level prospect everyone knows they have to trade. It’s much harder to get a good return on a guy when everyone knows you’re over a barrel.****

    Well, theoretically, they might not have extended Howard for the next half-century and they could have turned him into a 1B having him take over by his Age 22 season.

  19. Wait is this utley divorce true or just messing around, is werth involved. this would be a good soap opera if true.

  20. Truth of the matter is that having Cliff Lee on this team wouldn’t be making much difference anyway. I assume we can agree that Cliff Lee would be taking Kyle Kendrick’s spot in the rotation.

    If you look at the 14 starts Kendrick’s had since Lee returned from the DL on April 30th and was available to pitch (Lee’s had 13 starts) the Phillies are 9-5 in those games. So at best, the Phillies could be 5 games better assuming the Phillies were 14-0 Lee’s starts (highly unlikely).

    As a basis for comparison, The Phillies are 6-7 in Roy Halladay’s 13 starts since April 30th.

    Now before you jump on the comparison, I’m in no way stating that Kyle Kendrick is better than Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay or anyone else. The point is that those who are trying to claim that the Phillies would be cruising to another WS trip with Cliff Lee in the rotation need to look at the reality of of Phillies biggest issues in 2010.

    They are not scoring enough runs and need to get better OFFENSIVELY..

  21. I don’t mean to be a killjoy, but can we please try to keep the repeating of totally unsubstantiated internet rumors to a minimum? (And by completely unsubstantiated, I read the original post on some random website I’d never heard of before, and it was attributed to some anonymous “guy I know with access to the clubhouse.) I think Will Bunch had a pretty good take on it:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Sports_wife_affairs_–_the_2010_version_of_the_KFC_rat.html

  22. andrew… if you read my post, i already said it was an unproven rumor. I was just telling catch what they were refering to.

  23. I’m staying away from this going forward. It’s out there – the truth will play out in the press and on the team.

  24. What I don’t get is the furor over the Phillies having a salary cap number that they don’t want to go over. $140M is a lot of cash. We are what, top 7 in baseball for salaries? What’s an extra $5M, $10M? Why don’t you guys ask yourself that when making a major purchase like a car or a house? If it’s an extra $15K for a finished basement, why doesn’t everybody do it? It would make the house better right? Extra $3K for moonroof, leather seats for the car? Sure, why not?

  25. because it isn’t my money, so I want to spend it. When it is mine, I actually think about what I’m going to do with it. Somebody else’s money should just be spent the way I think best.

    As I said before, and 3up alluded to here, Lee wouldn’t help this team. They’d still be in third place, unless of course he could figure out a way to make the opposition score negative runs every game.

  26. I like this article overall, but this line – “and now he’s been traded again, like a true mercenary” – makes no sense to me. How on earth does being traded make one a mercenary?

  27. Monty,

    Still think you are missing the point in two ways. Firstly, when we don’t have information, what should be our default assumption? For many on this site, the default assumption is that Amaro and the ownership are stupid, venal or both, and thus people assume the worst. I think that’s misguided, especially for a team that has a WS win and two WS appearances in the past 2 years. It’s that POV that really annoys me, and it is on display in many (not all by any means) of the criticisms of the Lee deal.

    Secondly, to the extent that PP DOES engage in some speculations of his own (which are in any event only in response to silly speculations by some people), his speculations are at least grounded in reality and logic – and avoid forming definite conclusions where the evidence doesn’t warant it. For example, the Lee contract negotiations: part of the problem here is that the narrative of what we might call the anti-Amaro faction is not merely relying upon “rumors,” but basically ignoring what evidence DOES exist, and drawing illogical inferences from the facts. Parsing the public statements of the parties, it’s clear to any objective person that Lee wasn’t going to sign for a discount, and wasn’t going to sign for less than 4 years. Yet you have people who argue that the fact that he said that he wanted to play for the Phillies somehow proves that he would have signed for a Halladay like contract. Makes no sense at all.

    There are reasonable arguments that can be made against the Lee deal. But the people who base their opposition to the deal upon the fantasy that Lee could have been signed for Halladay numbers, or upon speculations about who else the Phillies could have gotten for him, just aren’t worth listening to.

  28. Agree with your assessment of the rationale, but I disagree with RA’s decision to make the Lee trade. The #1 reason is our not having Lee for 2010. That is enough for me, but when you couple that with our apparent failure to get fair value in return, we reach even greater depths of disappointment. It is not just a regular season issue, it is a post season dream of coupling Lee and Halladay. Now we have to sit back and watch Lee go to the Yankees? UGGH! I guarantee Ruben thought he was being smart by sending Lee to Seattle and thought it likely that they would either never see Lee again this year or if they did, it would mean Seattle beat the Yankees. We now not only have deleted Lee from our roster, but he has been added to the team that we lost to last year. By the way, the only two games we won in the World Series were pitched by… Lee. Who is confident that The Phillies win a Halladay vs. Lee matchup even if we make the WS? Who can honestly say that they do not believe Rube is regretting his decision to trade Lee?

  29. Guru that argument makes no sense. The team has a made a ton of money the last three years, and have over 550 million in assets from the purchase price. and to ask them for one year to spend 9 million for lee and not sign blanton for 8million isnt a reach. We all know lee wouldn’t take three years. That’s not the point, the point is where is the phillies loyalty to us. Remember 10,000 losses. only 2 championship for one of the orgininal francise. A chance to have a team go to the world series three times in a row. things that don’t happen to philadelphia teams. If you as you stated wouldnt spend the money then you dont derserve to own this team. This was a short one term contract. simple as that for a better chance to win. plain and simple. And the effects of the lee deal runs in the clubhouse if you listen to some of the chatter from rollins and other, they question the committment from the phillies. after the trade.

  30. Larry – we don’t have complete information, but we have information. Your question about what we should do without information is irrelevant. Here is what we know. We had Cliff Lee under contract for one year @ $9MM. His market value on a one year deal would be what, $20MM conservatively? So we were getting $11MM of “value” if we just kept him. Plus we would have received draft pick compensation of some sort if he left. So what did we do? We traded him. Do we receive $20MM of value for him? We most certainly did not. In fact, I think it is clear to most reasonable people that we did not receive anywhere close to $9MM of value for him. True, we won’t know the answer until we see what value that Aumont, Gillies and Ramirez generate down the road. But if you probability adjust their future value and then discount it back to right now, we are grossly under water. It’s a terrible trade, probably the worst of the this past offseasoon.

    So if you acknowledge that it was a bad trade (a leap for some people to make, but not for me). The only defense is that Ruben “had” to make the trade. Why did he have to make the trade? There are several possible reasons.

    1) Salary concerns – the fact that he didn’t have enough salary to resign Lee is a result of his own poor decision making. The Ibanez signing was terrible and looks more so everyday. Who were we bidding against? What does anyone think he would sign for if a free agent today? How about Moyer? His market value is well below the $9MM he is making this year and the $8MM he made the year before. Why did we resign him to a two year deal? Who were we bidding against? I agree with you about Blanton…why did we tender him? And even worse, why did we resign him for three years at $8MM per year? Who were we bidding against? I also wonder – how many pitchers have averaged 200 innings pitched over seven consecutive years and not subsequently broken down over the next three? We would have been much better off signing Brett Myers on a one year deal for $3.1MM which is what he got from the Astros. He’s had a much better year than Blanton pitching in an equivalent park.

    2) Had to rebuild the farm – if this was the objective, than Lee should have been traded for the best prospects available. The guys we got back were not sufficient. Seattle is getting much better players for only half a year of Lee. We got less for a full year of Lee.

    3) Lee wanted too many years to resign – again, if you had to trade him, we should have maximized value. The three year maximum contract thing is a trojan horse. It isn’t the length of the extension that matters. It is the number of years you are at risk committed to a player. The minute Roy Halladay signed his three year extension, the Phillies were exposed to four years of Roy Halladay risk (this year plus the next three once the extension kicks in). What’s the difference between that and signing Lee to a four year contract after this season had expired? Of course we don’t know that Lee would have signed for four years…the market will offer him at least one, maybe two more. But the Phillies statement about not going longer than three years for a pitcher is disingenuous at best as evidenced by the Roy Halladay extension. I also feel that whether or not he resigned was irrelevant. They should have maximized their chances to win this year without diluting the farm further. I’ll go even further…as I’ve said many, many times, they should have made the Halladay trade last July and had both pitchers for the playoffs last year. What would that have cost us? Probably an extra $8MM. We could have then shipped out Blanton and saved about $3MM. So $5MM for a chance to match-up with the Yankees rotation in the World Series. That’s just plain cheap.

    To sum it all up, there are lots of well thought out, rational reasons to disagree with the Halladay trade and Ruben’s decisions at GM. I’m actually waiting to hear of some that support the thesis that Ruben has done a good job.

  31. OMG Please stop talking about Cliff Lee’s salary. That has nothing to do with why he was traded.

  32. A couple people have mentioned this, but I feel it bears repeating. If we keep Lee and his $9 million this year, we not only get one of the best pitchers in baseball, but we’d get a first round and a supplemental first round pick when he walks. Between Lee and Werth we’d likely have 5 picks between the first and supplemental first. You can’t tell me that wouldn’t be worth more than Gillies, Aumont, and Ramirez and whatever they are shopping Werth for right now. As much as I want Domonic Brown up, I’d rather have the 2 picks than any crap Amaro would get for Werth now.

  33. Id honestly try and get a closer and a stop gap 3rd baseman and try and right the ship.

    Iwamura and Dotel have to be on the market.

  34. Way to cut off discontent PP. This thing has a life of its own.

    Nepp stated my only point a fair comparison has to include
    comp picks. Amen from me.

    It’s just hard knowing you could of had the apple pie AND the ice cream. Let me thing is Doc the apple pie or the ice cream. sigh

  35. Monty,

    I don’t mean this in a nasty way, but you’ve joined my list of people it just isn’t worth arguing with, and this will be the last time I respond to you. I’ve seen literally thousands of posts and comments on this site “support[ing] the thesis that Ruben has done a good job.” I don’t necessarily expect you to AGREE with those posts & comments, but to state with a straight face that you are still “waiting to hear” reasons to support said thesis is pretty clear evidence that you don’t even read – or at least don’t process – comments and posts that contain such reasons.

    As to the specifics of your post … well, as I said, I really don’t see the point of any kind of detailed response, given your approach to evidence & logic. I even agree with some of it, while at the same time seeing some of the rest as exhibiting an almost rabid anti-Amaro bias.*

    Of course there are bad moves and good moves – even the best GM doesn’t bat 1.000. But one of the more laughable things about people like yourself is the failure to acknowledge the fact that he got Lee in the first place for a package that was far from overwelmning and was arguably worse than the package that we received in return. Not to mention other good moves (the Victorino and Ruiz contracts were well done; the Halladay deal itself (trade and contract) was IMO a good deal, and certainly not an obvious mistake unless you are one of the misguided people who think that Taylor is the next Dave Winfield and Drabek likely to be a #1 starting pitcher. And there were other good or at least defensible moves as well.

    *One example of comments by you that are not merely wrong but are impossible to even take seriously: “Lee should have been traded for the best prospects available” – I’ll say it agin, NO ONE KNOWS WHAT OTHER DEALS WERE ON THE TABLE AT THE TIME. It’s one thing to say that the package we got was insufficient (and even there, there IS such a thing as good faith disagreements about the value of the prospects that we DID get); it’s quite another to state as a fact (as you do) that we didn’t get the best package possible. We just don’t know.

    Another: “signing Lee to a four year contract after this season had expired”? Umm, trying hard to obey PP’s injunction about not making things personal, but come on, if the Phillies didn’t sign him during or before the season, there is zero chance they could have signed him after the season. Zero. The Phillies will never win a pure bidding war with the Yankeees (and they would be crazy to outbid the Yankees given the disparate financial situations of the two clubs).

    Okay, more of a subtantive response than I intended (I know it won’t have any effect on YOUR fixed opinion), but that’s the last.

  36. Lee to the Yanks is off… Tex is getting him for Smoak plus others…

    Sea got a preseason top 10 prospect for Lee.

  37. While I understand there are a number of differences in terms of situation, timing and teams out there for a Lee trade; I’m still interested to see what the Mariner’s get for Cliff Lee, and how those prospects turn out. I’m also interested to see how the 3 we received turned out. Frankly, I want to know how this new organization is doing on talent evaluation.

    We never do have perfect information making any decision. I see no reason why you can’t do some comparison and gather as much information as you can to see if we can draw conclusions about Amaro’s crew’s capabilities.

  38. According to Rosenthal, the deal is for Smoak, RHP Bevan, RHP Luecke, IF Lawson. Any info on the guys other than Smoak? Off to google them.

  39. We don’t know what else was available. But we certainly know what we got…which isn’t much. And we also know from multiple sources that the Yankees were willing to part with Jesus Montero, a consensus top 10 prospect in minor league baseball for 1/2 of Cliff Lee at $9MM per year. Don’t you think it is reasonable to assume that a full year of Cliff Lee is worth more than 1/2 of year Lee once you factor in the fact that he is making below market value? Why did the trade have to be simultaneous with the Halladay trade? Why not wait for a better offer? You don’t pay these guys in the offseason so it doesn’t cost you anything to wait (financially at least).

    The Lee trade was a good trade. The Halladay trade, as I said was made six months too late. We could have offered the same package and had him last July. Why did we wait?

    Are you seriously giving Ruben credit for signing Victorino and Ruiz to contracts that do not extend beyond their arbitration period? Those guys had no options other than to take a one year deal via arbitration. They had no leverage. Credit the CBA for those deals, not Ruben.

    As for not making this personal, I’m all with you. By all accounts Ruben is a good guy. I hope he lives a long healthy life. But to say he has done a good job because he made a good trade is not sufficient. The fact that I showed up for work on time today is not going to get me paid or promoted at the end of the year. An evaluation needs to take in to accound the entire body of work. And I have yet to see anyone provide sufficient evidence, taking in to account his entire body of work, that Ruben has done a good job.

    One of the more laughable things about people like yourself is that you can’t distinquish between people who can’t be convinced and people who just haven’t yet been convinced. I wouldn’t get so worked up about this stuff.

  40. 1. You’re an idiot.
    2. This didn’t make any sense because the prospects we got sucked.
    3. If he left for free agency we would have gotten extra draft picks.
    4. Joe Blanton sucks.
    5. You’re an idiot.

  41. The other 3 prospects are not all that impressive, highest ranking I believe was 17th on Rangers before the season. Bevan stock might have risen with a solid H/9 and ERA, but his K/9 is not impressive.

  42. Guess the keys are Smoak and Bevan. Bevan is a 6’7″ 250 pound righthander. 21 years old at AAA.

    Luecke is a 25 year old reliever at AA and Lawson is a 24 year old 2nd baseman and AA.

  43. Pre-season Beavan is Texas #17 prospect per BA. Really big guy at 6′-7″ and 250#. Doing really well in AA at age 21. I’d certainly take him over Aumont. WHIP of 1.02, but only about 5.5K/9 IP
    Can’t fine Luecke at all
    Lawson is 6′-0″, 195#, age 24, an .804 OPS in AA at 2B

  44. Smoak is good. Bevan is young, but jb is right about the K/9.

    Mariners don’t get Smoak without throwing in cash. Think I prefer the 3 guys the Phils got compared to the Rangers 3, but good job getting Smoak.

  45. Why do people automatically think that two unknown picks, plus a year of Lee, are better than the three picks we got? Personally, I would have kept Lee for the one year but that ship sailed long ago. To say that two unknown picks are better than the three players we have, that is very optimistic thinking and probably not true. I still think all three have lots of talent and from there, we’ll see.

  46. Beavan is on AAA reserve list, but only pitched at AA. Recently promoted?

    Allentown – Looks like it’s “Lueke” actually. At AA. Reliever.

  47. Not to beat a dead horse, and this is my first and last comment about Lee on this site, but put me in the camp of i would rather have shopped Lee in the preseason, possible creating bidding that would have improved our return in the trade, and if no great deal came then keep him for a year and take the extra picks. I guess my only real problem was how fast Lee got traded. It seems so simple, but who among us really know what went on in the Phils front office? Thats just how i felt then and now, but in 2-3 years if those peices we got from Seattle turn out to be big peices i will eat my words.

  48. It would have been bad PR to shop Lee after getting Halladay. No doubt they could have got more waiting, but that is one aspect I sort of understand. And I hated the deal.

    Overall, the deal is done and I’ve moved on. Not ready to declare Gillies and Aumont failures. They are still young and talented.

  49. I can’t buy the PR argument, I think if you told Phils fans after we got Halladay that the front office would try to shop Lee for a few top prospects since he could not be resigned after the Halladay extension, or kept for one year fans would have been supportive. I think in general Phils fans are gun shy about trades of big names since every time the Phils traded our big guns for prospects they turned out to be horrible trades. Schilling for Daal, padilla, Lee, and some other guy. Rolen for polanco and bud smith, Abreau (although a good salary dump) for trash. Thome for guys who were traded back for dead arm garcia. sorry if i am jaded by phils trades for prospects.

  50. PP: I know you are tired of the Lee talk and want all of us to ” just move on ” but as you can see from all these posts most people feel Amaro did a poor job with the Lee trade .
    We are not stupid to believe they could have had both Halladay and Lee in 2011 @ 20M + each , but for 9M we could have had them both for 2010. and that’s the bottom line that many fans will never forget.
    Also Amaro explanation that they needed to replenish the farm system as the reason to trade Lee was garbage . No one believed that when the trade was made or believe it today .
    As far as how the Lee negotiations transpired none of us know what went down . Lees agent said on radio they were made an offer and they never had a chance to respond.

  51. I said I hated the deal. And I only “sort of understand”… I hate the PR part, but that’s the way it is.

    I don’t know. To me it’s like…What’s worse? To be kicked in the nuts or to know you will be kicked in the nuts eventually? Most would prefer getting it over with.

    This is why I’m not a writer.

  52. Here are my problems with the Lee trade

    1 – teams that are favored to win their league aren’t supposed to be trading key players to restock their farm system

    2 – the timing of the trade. I find it hard to believe that a team like anaheim wouldn’t have offered a better package than what the phils ultimately received from seattle. anaheim lost lackey to free agency and failed to sign a notable rotation replacement (joel piniero was a booby prize). If amaro would have taken the seattle offer to anaheim and told them to beat it, you have to think they would have.

    As mentioned I don’t know all of the details, but it almost seemed like amaro went into panic mode and took the first offer he received for lee.

    3 – what seattle received from texas. the phils failed to land even one top tier prospect

    I have been trying to ‘move on’ for 7 months now (or however long it’s been). It’s not that easy. Anyone that thinks Lee wouldn’t help the phils is kidding themselves. Olney posted something in his blog this week about the projected effect a Lee trade would have on the potential Lee suitors. It was believed that if the phils acquired them, their projected win total in the 2nd half of the season would increase by 3 wins

    but I digress. need to move on, but it’s not that easy

  53. PP, I don’t mean any disrespect so I hope you don’t take this question the wrong way. I’m curious though…you say you’re not high on montero. how many times have you seen him live? what is your reasoning for not liking him as much as others?

    I don’t go to minor league games so I’ve never seen him live. And I’m not a scout (nor do I pretend to be). I do read quite a bit of minor league analysis though and most scouts/analysts think he will thrive offensively in the majors (albeit probably not as a catcher). I have to go by what I read and reserve my personal judgements until guys reach the majors (or to a lesser degree, spring training). Just curious to see why you disagree with the majority of the experts.

    thanks…

  54. I’m done with Lee talk. This deal will be discussed forever. The bad thing is I don’t have much faith in Amaro now. Going forward I’m scared of him screwing this team up more.

    Gillick made some bad moves, but ultimately I trusted him. I’m thankful for Halladay, but idk about Ruben. Hopefully he proves me wrong for doubting him.

  55. “3 – what seattle received from texas. the phils failed to land even one top tier prospect”

    Smoak was preseason 22, Aumont was 29. Gillies was 50. Just because they did not start out well, doesn’t mean they were not or are not still good prospects.

    The Phillies scouts might be wrong, but I’ll take their opinion over anyone here.

  56. Gillies was picking it up after an awful April and then got hurt. How can you write him off already?

    Aumont probably should have been converted back to a starter at Clearwater to start with.

    Not sure how either can be declared busts already. I don’t know enough about Ramirez to have an opinion.

  57. Overall good post PP. Despite my initial reluctance, I did want to throw my opinion into the fray.
    My main issue with trading away Lee this past winter is that Amaro has stated over and over that he can never have enough pitching.
    An staff ace is extremely difficult to find. When you find one you do not trade him unless you have to. All the other roster pieces are easier to obtain.
    Therefore I would have expected Amaro to find ANY other way to meet the requirements he had set after getting Halladay (prospects, salary, good faith agreements, untouchables, short last names?).
    Just my opinion, but I would have traded Victorino since his arbitration salary might have been ~$7M and I think he could have landed an Aumont type prospect (a high level AA starter projected to push for the majors in 2011, i.e. replace Drabek). Not sure that was possible but it would replenish a key depth need and relieved a reasonably high salary.

  58. Wow, Smoak would’ve been a fantastic return for Lee. I remember before we traded Lee, Texas offered Smoak and Feliz for Josh Johnson…I asked it then, and I’ll ask it again, why the **** did we not go running to them with Lee?? We would be able to let go of Howard after his contract was up, wouldn’t have to give him that 20 million dollar a year extension. Or on the other hand, we’d have an incredible arm to take over the closer position for the year in Feliz…possibly even an ace in a couple years.
    /rant

    Hindsight is fun!

  59. Love the site but your analysis is foolish. Will go down as one of the worst trades in Phillies history.

  60. Although the M’s got some awesome prospects, there ‘s no guarantee they’re going pan either.

  61. Monty,

    As I said, gonna stop the back and forth over subjective stuff, it”s pointles with you, but you made a couple out and out factual mistatements (which justhighlight your lack of objectivity).

    Victorino’s contract bought out a year of free agency. In the case of Ruiz, the club has a cheap option on his first FA year – even better from the team’s perspective.

    And what makes you think the team could have gotten Halladay for the same price during the season last year? In fact the contrary is almost certainly true. They likely would have had to give up Brown.

  62. Lets also not forget that another player in Lowe and Cash were part of this trade. Its not Lee for the 4 players. Just like when we got Lee it wasn’t 4 players for Lee, it was for players for Lee AND FRANSICO

  63. You guys do realize two things, right:

    1. Smoak plays first base (least value of any position)

    2. Smoak is batting .209 in 235 ABs this year?

    Yes, the guy was hyped in the minors and a high draft choice, but please, lets stop acting like he is some great get. Read some of the Ranger message boards. They aren’t crying over the loss of a under-performing 1B.

  64. I don’t believe the Mariners front office is top drawer . Just look where they are(after great preseason praise). Therefore I doubt they made the best trade. What hurts is they outsmarted the Phils and Ruben. In other words a dumb and dumber situation. This from a guy who praised Ruben last season.

  65. PP, great insight. Unfortunately, you will never convince Phils fans that they need to remain patient. That is something that is non existent in Philly. Just allow them to beat a dead horse. I am surprised there are no discussions talking about Mitch Williams’ pitch to Joe Carter in 93. It’s over! Cliff Lee is not in a Philly uniform. If Aumont, Gillies or JC pan out, terrific! If they don’t, we still have Brown, Cosart, Singleton, Colvin etc. to keep our interests peaked. Talking about Cliff Lee is like talking about the girl that you dumped 7 months ago and now want back because she was an ace(you know what I mean). You screwed up and now have to take your medicine.

    Right now the Phils need some changes. Hopefully they make the right moves. Regardless of what changes are made, not everyone will be satisfied.

  66. Agree that Justin Smoak is overrated. The guy hit 17 hrs in 600 MINOR league at-bats. He would appear to be a darling of the money-ballers in that he takes a lot of walks and put up a good .OBP but he doesn’t provide the necessary power at 1b.

  67. “Love the site but your analysis is foolish. Will go down as one of the worst trades in Phillies history.”

    That’s fine, but please, add something more than “your analysis is foolish”. No need to write an essay, but give something, anything, to explain.

  68. “I don’t believe the Mariners front office is top drawer”

    Well let’s see … Lee has been traded 3 times in the past year. Each time for a package that seemed underwelming to most observers. Three lousy front offices? (Keeping in mind that 2 of those 3 also pulled off deals that were percieved to be good to acquire him in the first place.) Or maybe, just maybe, for whatever reason, the market for him wasn’t as great as most people thought it should have been.

  69. Ever since it happened and people started screaming their heads off, I’ve had my own private theory about the Halladay and Lee trades. There’s no way at all for me to prove it, but it makes logical sense to me:

    Given the thorough depletion of the Phils’ farm systems (at least the upper levels) that would have been the result and their highly probable inability to re-sign Cliff Lee after 2010, the message that would have been sent to Roy Halladay was “We’re betting everything on 2010, and after that we have no idea what we’re going to do to compete.” And in that case, given his no-trade clause in Toronto… Halladay isn’t so interested in coming to Philly anymore. He could have had that same gamble in Toronto just fine.

    So I’ve never been 100% convinced that having both Halladay and Lee in the Phils’ rotation was a realistic option to begin with. And if the choice is Lee for one year or Halladay (and a theoretically replenished farm system) for several, I’m fine with the latter choice thankyewverymuch.

    We fans can 20/20 hindsight our undies into a twist all we like, but I’m with pp – I’m behind the guys we have, at all the levels. (Especially after what the Phils pulled off tonight!)

  70. None of the analysis or reasons for doing what they did, matters in this case. The bottom line was that they could have had a real shot at winning another series with a 1-2 punch of Halladay and Lee, and one of the best 1-2 punches in the HISTORY of baseball. If Lee walks after that, so what! We still get two high draft picks. That’s is all that matters. Ruben Amaro is an idiot and should have never gotten the job as GM.

  71. If the Lee trade was motivated by PR, then obviously the Phils were not thinking about which trade made the most baseball sense.

    The teams that would have been interested in a one-year rental of Lee are the teams that thought they had a shot at the 2010 playoffs. If the Phils eliminated from consideration all of the NL teams with a playoff shot as well as the Yanks (and maybe the Bosox), then obviously the Phils were not thinking about which trade would improve the team the most in a baseball sense.

    It is reasonable to assume that, had the Phillies waited until January, February or March, they would have had more offers to choose from than they had in December. Even if, in the end, the M’s offer turned out to be the best available, the Phils’ rush to make the trade was not the approach that made the most baseball sense (Since, at the time of the trade, the M’s farm was rated near the bottom, I’m inclined to think the Phils could have done better elsewhere.).

  72. And I can’t believe that trash about Utley/Werth is growing, because someone made a joke blog about it.

  73. Baseball players have women falling all over them. Why would a guy get envolved with another teammates wife. Sounds like bull

  74. When you get down to the only one who could of and should of prevented the trade was Doc. If he refused to sign unless they kept Lee one year,all this crap would of been prevented.
    And he was the 600 lb gorilla who came here to win.

    Which brings me to the point when did they tell Doc .

  75. I’ve never been thrilled about the Lee trade. However, let’s give PP his due on his analysis–there are known knowns (Lee), known unknowns (the prospects’ performance to date) and unknown unknowns (how those prospects develop). Apologies to Donald Rumsfeld there. Actually, you know what, no one in the world owes Rumsfeld an apology for anything. But I digress… Until we know about those unknown unknowns, we’ll never know how these trades worked out, whether they were “wins” or “losses”. I will say that, all the breast beating aside, we did end up on the much better end of this trade than Seattle did on the short term: we are within striking distance of the Wild Card, they are trading their #1 starter within the division. Look, I’m not saying they didn’t get maximum return, or this year hasn’t been a massive frustration–but seriously people, selling off your top talent for prospects is a sign of defeat, not victory. Now, don’t get my started on last winter’s decision-making, I’m just saying, the Seattle juggernaut many foresaw has not come to pass.

  76. Stated above: Beavan equivalent to Phillippe Aumont. Why, because he is also around 6’7 250? Don’t evaluate players by height and weight, leave that to the internet “NFL Draft experts” evaluating the Offensive Linemen they never seen either. Beavan’s strikeout total equates to about 1/2 strikeout per inning, and that suggests “soft tossing big guy” to me. He sounds more like the equivalent of Andrew Carpenter if somebody came down from on high to squeeze his gut in until he popped up a few inches in height. I prefer Aumont.

    Smoak is simply someone who has been highly rated by BA but is simply a 1B candidate , who has yet to excel in the MLB. The stats of the 2nd pitcher seem somewhat promising. And they got a 24 year old AA 2B, neither of whom were rated by BA.
    Big Deal.

    I also take issue with the notion that Lee (or Werth for that matter) departing will automatically have brought 2 “high” draft picks. If a player signs with, say, the Yankees, as has been speculated, they might sign , say, 4 or 5 more highly rated players, making the haul for their loss a 5th round pick and the “sandwich round” will be down the list also, maybe pick # 50.
    Big Deal.

  77. Steve,
    I had heard the rumor 3 weeks ago and contacted a media type who confirmed the pending divorce. They were not sure about the Werth part of the plot, only that 26 got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Heard Werth’s part took place as a result. Don’t know about the blog or any of that stuff. What I do know is the timing of all of this coincides with both of them falling off the earth offensively and the team all of the sudden playing with little cohesiveness. It did seem a little odd that two guys who were on fire were suddenly catastrophically bad, especially Chase. Make your own judgements, but I know something happened that is leading to divorce.

  78. Marfis
    No one is calling Seattle smart.

    Better deals were there or would be there.

  79. Marfis –
    No, the comparison between Beavan and Aumont is not just based upon size. There is the little matter of Beavan pitching very well in AA, while Aumont did not. You may denigrate Beavan as a soft tosser, but I can tell you that most of Aumont’s fastballs at Reading did not break 90, that he looked completely awkward on the mound, has as many BB as Ks and was demoted for his own sanity. The two of them are within days of the same age. If you look at K/9 the difference between Beavan and Aumont is about 1.00 in Aumont’s favor. But balancing that against all the extra hits and walks that Aumont dished out, I have to say edge Beavan at this point. A WHIP of 1.02 in the Texas league is darn good.

  80. @charlie hustle … what we “media types” tend do to with news is publish, post or broadcast it, not “confirm” it for anonymous message board posters who call or email us. Your claim would have a lot more credibility if you could point us to a story by a legitimate news organization. If you can’t, I’m going to guess that either (a) you’re not being truthful or (b) your media insider is someone like, say, Sally Star or the guy who writes the bridge column for the Inquirer.

  81. Marfis isnt the compenstation for a a type a between first and second round, top fifty is good isnt it???

  82. Just reading keith law on the trade. Don’t know a thing about smoak but law said could be future superstar , wow, The thing about law is he wasn’t high on Taylor and that stumped me,but he might be right based on what Taylor is doing at triplea

  83. Cat Stoker,
    you are entitled to your opinion. I am just clarifying where I heard it.

  84. We all thought RAJ traded Lee away too quickly. It screamed of a PR move more than anything. Most GM’s give minor leaguers away to get top players who can lead to a parade. We did the opposite. Most people wanted to go “all in” this year and see what happened later. However, if the Phils upper management insisted they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) keep Cliff Lee, it was RAJ’s responsibility to get the best offer. I’m thinking if other GM’s, managers and reporters were polled, the answer would be the Phillies in NO WAY got the best possible return for Lee b/c they rushed the process. IMO, they couldn’t possibly have gotten the best deal if you just look at the positions they got in return. They got 2 A ball pitchers (we’re strong in A and AA in pitching) and a speedy, singles hitting CF (we’ve got 2 or 3 of them already in the minors). If we had received a catcher, a 3B and SS in return, I think everyone would have been more comfortable. Especially if one of them were a power hitting right handed bat.

    After the trade, I felt the Phils still could (and would) win the division. I thought they still had a good chance to go far in the playoffs. But the bottom line is this. In order to win it all (and even beat a team that is better than yours) you need 2 Aces on your staff. Halliday and Lee are exactly that. Shilling & Johnson beat a superior Yankee team in 2001. Without Lee on our team, we only have 1 ace (and a queen).

    I know some people are sick and tired of discussing the Lee trade. I get that. But there’s only 2 ways it can be made all better. One is to win the WS this year. The other is to have either Aumont or Ramirez win a Cy Young award or Gillies win an MVP. I’m not so sure any of those things is going to happen. And until one of those things happen, we’re going to talk about what a mistake the Lee trade was. Heck, some folks are still talking about Ferguson Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg. And rightfully so.

    I’ll be pulling for the Phils until the last out. I always do. I know anything can happen but I wouldn’t bet my house on them winning with the current starting staff.

  85. We can say whatever we want, but all I really care about is the Phillies org learn from this. Patience is a virtue most of the time in baseball. Reuben doesn’t have any. There are a lot of what ifs possible in the past, but right now this is where we are at.

  86. I find the “short” or was it “brief” explanation why this deal was OK not at all convincing. I do think teh only excuse and the likely situation was that Rube was told to trade him lest Phillies fans would feel they aer inNew York or Boston where teams gootu of their way to improve the team even if they just won the WS.
    Would it have been good for baseball if the Yanks or teh Sox landed Lee. Sure maybe the other owners would get it thathis is a busienss not soem family pet. The Ynaks and teh Sox haveincreased in value as a result of theri spending.

    I don’t pretend tounderstnad everything but if its clear that owning the baseball network is lucrative than why not build one–who is stopping the Phils? Its not particualrly expensive to buy a few cameras. Certainl teh announcers (given the qwuality) shouldn’t be so difficult to retain or replace.
    I simply don’t get it. Lee could have spent the year here between him and halladay we could have nailed a title. If he splits we get 1st round picks. That’s not so shabby. Instead we ar epaying the Lee money to Blanton? Now that is brilliant.

  87. Foolish = dramtically hurting your chances to win a world series and bad prospects in return. In fact, ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweets that one scouting director rated Philadelphia’s haul for Lee as “last by a long shot” compared to what Seattle and Cleveland both got for the pitcher within the last year.”

  88. Look, I hated (and still hate) the Cliff Lee trade as much as anyone, but we won’t know for several years how the players we got from Seattle are going to turn out. Our haul from Seattle could easily end up being better than what we gave Cleveland – it’s too early to tell.

  89. One major concern on Smoak is his ability to hit LHP. He struggled with it in the minors and was terrible in the first couple months this year in the Majors. If he doesn’t figure that out, he could literally be a platoon type guy or he’ll have to figure out how to destroy RHP to make up for such a split (see Ryan Howard).

  90. Just reading about cory hart might be on the trade market, would love to have him come here. wonder what it would take to get him, think victorino, singleton, happ or cosart get it done or too little.

  91. Too much. Hart’s production this season is way out of line with his career norms, and I don’t trust that he keeps it up.

  92. Whoever the Brewers GM is would erect a statue to RAJ if he offered all of that for Corey freaking Hart, haha.

  93. Singleton or Cosart for Corey friggin Hart? That is genius, but the moves by the front office are stupid.

  94. Believe it or not, that anonymous post is not me.
    Also, since we’re offering Cosart and Singleton for Corey Hart, why not offer Gose for Jeff Francoure.

  95. Hart to me look
    like a nice piece for us, just guessing on the amount of compentstation, but as usually mike77 comes in with a another he knows it all remark. what a dork. Can’t voice your opinion on here anymore with mike77 thinking he knows it all. Alan gave his opinion without a stupid remark like you mike77 only a damm opinion.

  96. From Rumors

    # dent Chuck Armstrong and CEO Howard Lincoln weren’t aware of the full extent of pitcher Josh Lueke’s 2008 trouble with the law, reports Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. Lueke went to Seattle as part of the Lee trade.

    I stated that the Mariners were dopes. Let me do it again.

  97. Mikemike did you mean all of those guys or any oneof them? If all it’s way too much. I wouldn’t even trade shane for him staight up even though he is a righty having a good season. Shane is a better all around player.

  98. Yeah, Josh Leuke, read Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times report. Leuke was originally charged with rape and sodomy , but plead no contest to a charge of Unlawful Imprisonment with Violence against a woman he met in a bar. He was sentenced to 40 days which he had already served by the time of his no contest plea. Seattle Front Office says they were not aware of it.

    Hard core criminal justice system response to Crimes Against Women, due to Women’s Movement’s long campaign to raise awareness, and press for stricter laws on this issue, shades of Rothliesberger in a backwoods Georgia bar.

    Seattle’s haul is looking dimmer and dimmer as , believe it or not, some might consider this player a chancy long term investment. Could this tarnish the genius image of Jack Zedorkevitch , or whatever his name is.

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