Phillies have trade done for Cliff Lee

This deal, according to Andy Martino is agreed to pending physicals, which seem like a formality.

The deal, as reported here by Ken Rosenthal, is Cliff Lee and OF Ben Francisco for Jason Knapp, Jason Donald, Carlos Carrasco and Lou Marson.

For Indians fans who find my site via google, here are some links for you to find info on the prospects you’re getting.

Carlos Carrasco
Jason Knapp
Jason Donald
Lou Marson

You can also find weekly updates on these guys by checking the Lehigh Valley (AAA) reports here. Check below the fold for my take on this deal

First, what the Phillies are getting. Cliff Lee, the 2008 Cy Young winner, bounced back from a rough patch in 2007. Always a good prospect, he has excellent control and is very durable. He’s incredibly consistent from start to start and is a very reliable number #1B guy to slot in with Cole Hamels. He makes only $5.75M this year, and has a team option worth $9M next year which will almost certainly be exercised. He’s 30, turns 31 next month, and is in the prime of his career. Is he Roy Halladay? Not quite, but he’s really not far off. They’re both under control in 2010, and Lee is much cheaper.

Ben Francisco addresses the need for a legit RH bat on the bench. He’s only 27, and hasn’t really emerged as the starting OF he was projected to be, but he still hits lefties well (.845 OPS this year, .810 for his career), and he’s still got some room to grow. Francisco has only 920 PA’s in the majors, and he’s not going to get a chance to play every day here, but he has some potential. Francisco will have less than 3 years of service time after this season and won’t be a Super 2, so he’ll be very cheap.

Now, onto what the Phillies gave up.

In my preseason Top 30, I had them ranked as follows; Carrasco (#1), Marson (#2), Donald (#4), and Knapp (#14). These rankings have obviously changed. The Phillies Top 3 right now is Drabek, Brown and Taylor in some order, depending on your preference, and Knapp may or may not have moved ahead of Carrasco. So, looking at this from just a really broad level, the Phillies did not trade any of their top 3 prospects, but they did give up 4 guys who still figured to be in the Top 8 or 10. For those who just found the site and aren’t familiar with the system, here’s a very brief synopsis before you dig into those links above

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Has been on the Phillies prospect lists seemingly forever, but is still only 22. Has had mixed results at AAA this year, has a good arm, above average fastball, but his secondary pitches are still lacking polish. Throws a changeup with lots of late fade and a 12-6 curveball, but has recently started working on a slider. Biggest knock on him is his mental approach on the mound.

Jason Donald, SS/3B – Had a big season last year in AA, 15 HR power or so, but a line drive swing with lots of doubles, and showed the ability to work the count and take a walk. His range is fringy at best at SS, could maybe play 2B, but had spent some time at 3B because of a need in Philly and being blocked by Rollins and Utley up the middle.

Lou Marson, C – Young catcher, had a big breakthrough offensively in AA last year. Has maybe the best plate discipline in the system, draws tons of walks despite not having much power. Looks like an 8-10 HR a year guy but a line drive swing produces lots of doubles.

Jason Knapp, RHP – Made as big a jump as anyone in the system this year. Huge arm, already sits in the 93-94 range, can hit 97, and could add even more velocity in the future. Very projectable frame, secondary pitches need work, which is the case for most 18 year olds in full season ball. He’s on the DL with “shoulder fatigue”, but consensus seems to be just a precaution to keep some innings off his arm at a young age.

So, now you know who is involved. My thoughts? This is a clear win for the Phillies. They pick up a top of the rotation starter signed to a very affordable deal both this year and next, and also pick up the RH bat for the bench they’d been searching for. They were able to protect their three best prospects in the deal as well. This type of trade is the reason that you don’t trade guys like Jason Donald for middle relievers, because if you accumulate enough 2nd tier prospects, you can package those guys together for a bigger deal. The Phillies did lose 4 good prospects, 4 guys with a chance to be big league regulars, but they added a Cy Young winner to their pitching staff, plus an OF under club control for 4 more years. This trade really couldn’t have been drawn up any better from the Phillies side.

This trade is a big big win for Ruben Amaro. You have to give him credit for not blinking when JP Ricciardi postured over Halladay. I’m excited.

Update: Jim Callis said it perfectly in his chat

What makes Drabek worth not getting Halladay?

Jim Callis (2:37 PM) Drabek’s fastball and curveball give him the potential to be a frontline starter. But it’s not like it was a done deal if they included Drabek. Look at it as the Phillies had an option of a) Lee, Drabek, Happ, Brown/Taylor or b) Halladay, Carrasco, Marson, Donald. I’d do just what the Phillies did.

213 thoughts on “Phillies have trade done for Cliff Lee

  1. good job ruben and congrats. you displayed very good patience and saved Taylor, Happ, Drabek, and Brown. You didnt mortgage the future for now. We gave up good prospects but with the depth in the system, the organization can sustain it. However now, Taylor is the closest elite prospect to being called up. They lost 3 guys who were the most major league ready

  2. I like the fact that they didnt give up the top talent for him but I think Cliff Lee is overated he does have a 3.14 era but opponents are hitting a healthy .278 against him this year including .303 against righties, a little troubling for me

  3. Amen! To not trade Happ, Drabek, Brown or Taylor, and to get a stud like Lee in return, plus a backup outfielder in Francisco, is a big coup for Ruben. If he did what so many demanded–Halladay for Drabek, Happ, Brown, et al–the same people would be cursing Amaro in 2 years. How the hell did they get Francisco included in the deal???

  4. Agree completely with your take here. Sure, it’d have been nice to add Halladay, but this was too good a deal to pass up. Adding a reigning Cy Young winner (whose option is only $8 million next year, by the way, with a $1 million buyout) while keeping Drabek, Brown, and Taylor, is a coup.

    The Indians are getting a potential top of the rotation starter in Knapp, and they’re buying low on Carrasco and Donald, but I’m still a bit surprised they pulled the trigger for this package. And why do they need Marson when they have Carlos Santana? Not an awful deal for them, but I think the Phils clearly came out ahead here.

  5. Awesome job by Rube, I obviously would prefer Halladay but this package is great for the Phils.

  6. Riccardi is the big loser here no matter what else happens he gets less for Halladay then he should have gotten

  7. Raul and now this. Ruben is doing awesome. I wonder, in keeping Taylor will he trade Werth in the offseason or package Taylor for something?

  8. Agree it is a great deal for the Phillies.

    Only minor concern is that Donald/Marson were the only ML ready injury protection the team has at those positions. But again, that is a very MINOR concern when compared to what Lee/Francisco add to the ML roster.

    Welcome back to AAA ball Mr. Mayberry and take advantage of getting some regular at-bats again..

  9. ESPN chat

    Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Phillies acquired Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco for Knapp, Donald, Marson, and Carasco. Thoughts on this deal?

    Jim Callis (2:09 PM)

    Stunned, frankly. From everything we’ve read about the Phillies, it seems the four pieces they value the most right now are in some order, Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown, J.A. Happ and Michael Taylor. The Indians didn’t get any of them. They got one high-upside guy (Knapp), and he’s in low Class A and has some shoulder fatigue. The rest of the guys are solid regulars at best–they’re not stars. Lee is very affordable for next season, and the AL Central is a very winnable division. I don’t like this trade at all for the Indians. From the Phillies’ standpoint, this is a great deal, to hold on to the young guys you want and get a frontline starter. I’d rather have Halladay than Lee, but I’d rather give up this package for Lee than meet J.P. Ricciardi’s reported demands for Halladay.

  10. Someone in Cleveland really liked Knapp. He had his 14K game against Lake County. This seems like a really good deal. We’ve kept Taylor, Drabek and Brown. lol. I guess we can replace Knapp now with Travor May.

  11. This trade proves that the Phils farm system is finally where it needs to be. We traded for a Cy young winner without giving up our top prospects.

    This trades makes me wonder about the future of the Phillies OF. Taylor and Brown are still here. Brown in LF, Victorino in Center and Taylor in RF in 2011? Phuture Phils…whats your take on the future of the Phils OF.

  12. Freakin’ awesome, man. To get that quality and still keep our top 3 plus Happ. Hard to believe, Harry!

    Our chances just went up for this year AND the next 10 years.

  13. I think that this is very much a win for the Phillies. But its not a loss for the Indians either — they receive 4 very good players that most would agree project to the majors. But even if one of the minors guys becomes a stud, you still make this trade. Agreed w/ PP, you couldn’t have asked for a better scenario — Toronto is going to be kicking themselves for not negotiating in better faith.

  14. Awesome all the way around.

    I wonder how the Phils system will be ranked now at the end of the season?

  15. Give the front office credit – this was a job well done. We gave up a great prospect in Jason Knapp, but its necessary to get someone like Lee.

    My only regret is that we never had an opportunity to see Carlos Carrasco pitch in a Phillies uniform for one game.

  16. Great Deal, and a good job by Ruben, We gave up some good pieces in this deal partically Knapp and Marson but in order to get quality you have to give up something. BTW STUFF YOU JPR. I hope you enjoy your Halladay

  17. I absolutely love this deal. We kept our top 3 and kept Happ and got the top of the rotation guy we needed. Ruben did a great job of not over-spending to get Halladay.

  18. set: I agree. I think Marson and Donald could surprise people and be solid regulars with one or two all-star trips in the future in career years. Both have that potential, not perennial all-starts like Brown or Taylor, but 1 or 2–yeah. Carrasco seems to be an underachiever though. I am sure Phils see something not there in his makeup or they would not have let him go. Maybe a #3 starter at best, a bit like Padilla. Knapp has a long way to go, but could be the piece that evens the trade for the Injuns.

  19. “Adding a reigning Cy Young winner (whose option is only $8 million next year, by the way, with a $1 million buyout) while keeping Drabek, Brown, and Taylor, is a coup.”

    The option for 2010 got bumped up to 9 million because he won the Cy Young last year. It’s documented at Cot’s.

  20. Great job by Ruben et al.(I’m sure he had a little help from Pat). Not only do they get the reigning AL Cy Young winner but he’s not a rental, he’s signed cheaply for next year(they can use the extra money to sign Blanton in arb) and they still have Happ and Drabek for the 2010 rotation to go with Lee, Hamels, Blanton. Awesome job. I’m excited by this move and will be there next week against Colorado or Florida for Lee’s first home start

  21. Just so everyone knows Lee leads the league in Quality Starts an Innings pitched. Sounds like exactly what we need.

  22. I love the deal. But as the Tribe are my favorite AL team, I hope our former prospects make it work for both clubs.

    Marson is the one guy I really wish we could have kept, and as others have noted I’m not sure why Shapiro wanted him with Santana on the way and VMart/Shoppach already arguably the best catcher tandem around.

    Maybe Travis D’Arnaud’s progress over the last month-plus was enough to convince the front office that he’d come on fast enough to render Marson expendable, because it’s clear that Ruiz is what he is: a solid defender who really can’t hit.

    As for the other two triple-A guys, good on Shapiro for buying low, but I share Callis’s surprise that he couldn’t have gotten at least one of our stud OFs.

    Fantastic dealing by Amaro.

  23. Adding this in. The Indians are 25th in baseball in defensive efficiency, the Phillies are 11th. While Lee isn’t the groundball guy Halladay is, having a great defense behind him, plus moving to the non-DH league, should bump his numbers up even more.

    I seriously can’t believe this deal happened. I was going to put a poll in the post to get opinions, but I really don’t know how any sane person can dislike this deal for the Phillies.

  24. Don’t worry about what hitters hit off of Lee. That will be much lower in the NL with the pitchers hitting.

  25. Apparently the Jays rejected the same offer plus Happ for Halladay when the Indians deal was done and Ruben wanted to try one last time.

    Ruben has done some great work!

  26. Unbelievable deal by Amaro, especially when you consider the Francisco “throw in”. He’s still young and talented enough to blossom into a big-time major league outfielder on a club now stacked with them. At very least gives us power and speed off the bench–Mayberry only hits dongs. Donald was blocked big-time, especially when you consider how Feliz has played this year. Love Sweet Lou but D’Arnoud has more upside. Corrasco gives me Gio Gonzalez jitters. Was he ever gonna put it together? Biggest loss probably Knapp as far as projectable superstar ability. Fortunately Phils have other big arms on the farm and keep the untouchable trifecta of Drabek-Brown-Taylor AND Happ who even when guys figure him out the 2nd time around still a great 4 or 5 in the rotation when Moyer becomes pitching coach next year. Buy yourself a martooni Ruben!!

  27. Great job by Ruben and thanks too Pat Gillick for advising Ruben throughout these discussions.

    now, if we could get another good arm or two for the bullpen, we should be good.

  28. If the Sox get Halliday we may see him in the Series. I have not seen much of Lee but hope for the best. Hopefully we get D’arnaud on the fast track—watching Bako for the next couple years will be painful. Obviously we will pick up Pete Happy’s option with no thirdbaseman in sight and Bruntlett appears to have kept his job through no “fault” of his own.

  29. I’d like to see them maybe test D’Arnaud with a callup to Clearwater now. I know he’s age-appropriate for Lakewood, but since he’s now the clear cut top catching prospect in the system, maybe it’s time to fast track him.

    It is a must to target some infielders in next years draft.

  30. So does Drabek get called up to Lehigh Valley now?

    Amazing deal, I’m very impressed with Amaro. Aced his first big test!

  31. Amazing. Now they can announce the signings of Hudson, Colvin, the catcher, and Stewart!

    Special thanks to Pat Gillick coming here and changing the culture of this organization! Now a perenial contender with a great pharm!

  32. p.s. Riccardi will be pimping hot dogs out of a truck in AA come October. What an awful, uncreative overplay of a good hand.

  33. Time to pay some overslot money to pick up Susac for catching depth to replace Marson. my understanding is Susac’s strength is defense and a great arm. Colvin and Inch become important signings as well

  34. does anyone else notice that this BARELY DENTS our minor league system?

    top 3 is still AMAZING
    1. Drabek
    2. Brown
    3. Taylor

    Then alot of quality guys…

    4. Happ (i’m still including him)
    5. D’Arnaud – glad we kept him over Marson
    6. Savery
    7. Stutes
    8. Worley
    9. May
    10. Bastardo? Cisco? Sampson? Flande? Valle? Kennelly? Susdorf? Sampson? E Garcia? H Garcia? Collier? Valle? De Fratus?

    MUCH to discuss 🙂

  35. It’s not that I don’t like the deal, I just like Doc Halladay a lot more than Cliff Lee and think he added more value. I’m not interested in theoretical futures of prospects when we are on the precipice of re-peat or three-peat … my enthusiasm at this deal is tempered due to the fact that I knew we had a real shot at acquiring Doc Halladay, a guy who coud have been the stud pitcher anchoring this staff for the next 4-5 years… hope Clff Lee shows the Cy Young form of last year as a Phillies…

  36. This is just my opinion, but it seems to me the phillies didn’t thinks that much of lou and Donald, lou not up with the team, instead they go with bako who is terrible, was it is lack of power, which neither guy up now has or his potential as a defensive catcher, and donald they just never gave him a chance, instead its brunlett who is terrible, hopefully they now send down Mayberry who can’t play.

  37. Danno I believe that Savery is nothing special but you forgot Gose who could be something special,

  38. Let’s hope Halliday stays put in toronto at least until next year. Don’t want to see him in a Sox uniform in October.

  39. Anonymous your making a huge leap of faith that either Halladay or Lee will be around for 4-5 years. Both are FA’s after 2010 and both will probably test the FA waters.

    I was a big fan of getting Halladay too but for what they gave up, the Phillies did very well in getting Lee.

  40. to the guy who said Halladay would have been our anchor for 4-5 years – Halladay will NOT extend his contract past next year, he has said that multiple times – he wants to test the market and go for a Sabathia type deal.

    Lee, on the other hand, has said he would be open to an extension with the team that trades for him – in other words, US 🙂

  41. Gose was definitely supposed to be in my top 8 – have no clue why i left him out, was just going through too many good names i guess!

  42. Anonymous:
    “I’m not interested in theoretical futures of prospects…”

    Then what the heck are you doing on this site?

  43. Anonymous –
    “…my enthusiasm at this deal is tempered due to the fact that I knew we had a real shot at acquiring Doc Halladay,…”

    The question with the whack job they have for a GM, do you think we really had a shot?

  44. aha, thanks 3up – oh well, i’ll take 9 Mil for an AL Cy Young winner coming over to the NL, hah.

  45. Lee’s 2010 option is $9MM because he won the Cy Young which bumps his salary by an extra $1MM.

  46. High Fives all around for this deal. It’s a weird feeling knowing that the team can trade four quality prospects without depleting the system.

    Great job by the Phils!

    – Jeff

  47. Jim Calis:

    “rather have Halladay than Lee, but I’d rather give up this package for Lee than meet J.P. Ricciardi’s reported demands for Halladay.”

    That’s what it comes down to. On balance, I agree. Of course, if the Phillies run into Halladay the next two years in the world series, they might not.

  48. Anonymous, I agree(and most people do) that Doc is a better pitcher than Lee(the current AL Cy Young BTW), but where are you getting 4-5 years from? Doc’s a free agent circa 2011. He’ll be 34-35 and want BIG LONG-TERM MONEY at that point. Wouldn’t you rather take a chance on Lee who is slightly less dominant, but cheaper, also FAR from guaranteed to be a Phillie come ’11, but still hang onto our best prospects? We have bolstered our biggest area of need with 2nd best option WHILE simultaneously hanging onto the very best pieces of our future.

  49. Looking at the ripple effects, with Taylor coming through the system and Francisco around for 4 yrs, how expendable is Mayberry Jr?

  50. We should all meet at McFaddens to celebrate! Maybe we can get Rube to go, I’d like to buy that man a drink.

  51. This is another reason why they need to sign all the late “I want $$$$ HS kids” Just take a second look at them and throw and extra 100/200K at them and get it done… Stock pile the good prospects and you have the power to do what you want at the deadlines.

  52. I’m not going to celebrate until the deal actually goes through, but if it does…welcome the Phils back to the World Series not only this year but for years to come.

  53. IMO and DO NOT take this the wrong way, I love me some Werth but does this make him available. Hes a 5 tool guy minus the avg. Great base paths guy, huge power, rocket arm, superb D but we have Francisco and Taylor do we wait till hes a FA or do we let him go this summer for a tasty treat??

  54. Guys, think about it. We just got another Ace without giving up any of our BA top 25 prospects!!!

    Howard is talking about not getting Halladay and that being a mistake, but at the end of the day, is the big team a BETTER team? We didn’t give up Happ and we added a star. The team is BETTER!

  55. So where’s that leave Pedro Martinez if he is deemed ready for prime time? Could we be looking at a rotation of:


    (L,R,L,R,L not 1,2,3,4,5)

  56. This deal is really good because to me it gives us a shot at keeping Hamel or Howard past 2011, because Drabek will fill blanton spot, and no moyer , and taylor takes werth spot cheaper and brown takes Ibanez so some young talent to help keep one or both of those guys,

  57. When your team wants to win and contend then trading one of its best hitters should not be an option. If we are worried about Taylor, hey, platoon him with the aging Raul. Werth can still help this team and I would rather get draft picks if he doesn’t want to sign long term. Sometimes I do not understand the Werth *hate*. 20+ already? Type A!

    We always think the grass is greener, but it isn’t always. You got a hot girl, don’t go try trading her in!

  58. I’m salvating at the chance of having a Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Drabek rotation next season…. with basically the same offense we have right now. Disgusting!

  59. Great deal. And the throw in of Francisco is just gravy. It’ll be nice to have a good righty option off the bench. Plus I’d much rather see him being the defensive replacement for Ibanez than Mayberry.

    Good luck to Marson, Donald, Carrasco, and Knapp!

  60. I”m not sure how much of a factor this was but I think Scott Boras is Halladay’s agent . Not sure who Cliff Lee’s agent is Negotiating an extension for Halladay would have been excruciating if not part of the trade (and it wouldn’t have been) Gillick’s not fond of more than three year contracts for thirtysomething pitchers and i personally don’t blame him .

  61. My old man just made an interesting point: the Phillies actually didn’t give up any of the players involved in the proposed Halladay deal. And now they’ve got four lefthanded starters–so they could feel a lot better about saying goodbye to Happ. Is it possible the Phillies could make be making an offer to Ricciardi today along the lines of Happ + Brown + someone else who might be acceptable now that Ricciardi knows that his leverage is basically zero and his job is on the line? Now that would be interesting. Of course, it would also mean adding like $20 million in payroll for next year…

  62. Solid 4-man rotation:


    Three guys vying for #5:
    -Moyer (elder statesman, high salary, no other role?
    -Martinez (health? can he pitch from pen)
    -Lopez (might be the best performer of the three on average, from now till October, given Pedro health risks and Jamie’s inconsistency)

    Still have Carpenter, Kendrick and Frabek in the wings.


    OUTSTANDING problem to have!

  63. I think the phillies gave up more or at least equal for the Blanton trade last year. I just hope we do not jinx it by loving the trade as we all seem to. Last year most of us were devastated by the trade and look how well it work out. GO PHILLIES!!!

  64. Of course it’s silly to talk about trading Werth this summer – not happening and it shouldn’t.

    It is also very unlikely that he gets traded over the winter, but I wouldn’t totally rule out trading him for the right deal – leveraging our (arguable) OF surplus. But what would we be looking for in exchange? Werth is too much to give up for a non-closing reliever, and we won’t need a starting pitcher. The only position players that we could reasonably expect to upgrade would be catcher or third baseman, and in both cases the talent pool is thin enough that getting a significant upgrade would be tough (not to mention possible salary issues).

  65. FWIW I like Martinez out of the pen. He was a 90-pitch starter the last few years, even when healthy. He also has some experience out of the pen, even if it is in the playoffs or Latin American leagues. This might be just the right thing to save his arm. With all the lefties in the rotation, he might make a good 2 IP option a couple times a week in the middle innings.

  66. One problem (not an insifnificant one):

    There will be expectations to go far and perform well in playoffs. Anything short of getting into the WS or going to game 7 in a well-played NL Championship series will not do. And if we get into WS, we will be expected by everyone to do really well against Sox or whomever.

    Just saying this could be a factor. However, I think it will be outweighed by the excitemtn of the team in getting a stud pitcher and increased confidence as a team. Also the character of the team, led by Utley, Lee, Rollins, Vic, etc.

    So 2 things to watch for: complacency and extra pressure.

  67. PP I know hes not going anywhere NOW and god knows I dont want him to leave at all… But with such OF depth do you think they will add to his contract or try to go cheaper with Taylor, Francisco, and Brown!! Werth wont be the cheapy next year he is this year ALTHOUGH he will be cheap compared to his production and IMO hes going to get better!!

  68. I wonder if the phils would consider trading Ibanez over the winter. He is basically at the apex of his value and makes considerably more than Werth. I know he is an instant fan favorite but is pretty old to sustain his current numbers for the remainder of his contract. Maybe he wins a WS here and then we get some prospects for him?

  69. “it gives us a shot at keeping Hamel or Howard past 2011”

    Hamels isn’t FA eligible till 2013. Howard is IMO probably gone after 2011 regardless, but I could be wrong.

  70. Here’s an idea, now that there is no Donald to move Utley to first does Taylor/Werth/Mayberry/Fransisco take 1B after Howard departs?

  71. Only a couple of years ago the common theme EVERY off season was “this team needs a true ace…not a 2, not a 1.5, but a true ace”…now we have two players that can be considered in the conversation of aces.

    How things change so darn quickly. Best lineup and now a great 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation.

  72. “Could we get anything for Rodrigo Lopez? He showed a lot in the past month.”

    He is probably more valuable to us than to anyone we might trade him to considering the alternative would be submitting him to waivers and any trade partner would know that. I think he sticks as a righty longman out of the pen until Durbin on Condrey returns from the DL

  73. Can we not start a “let’s trade Howard-Werth-Ibanez” thread please? Today is a good day.

  74. “Can we not start a “let’s trade Howard-Werth-Ibanez” thread please? Today is a good day.”

    We need something to debate considering that this trade was so good there isn’t a single dissenting opinion on the whole message board.

  75. Andrew, your Old Man’s only a little crazy. As Ricciardi considers his future selling hot dogs and Ruben gets used to the CATBIRD SEAT, the price for Halladay may well come down. Dude is leveraged out. Happ-Taylor-Brown or even a more palatable combo for Halladay. Chances extremely low but not unthinkable. You must have an ORGANIZATIONAL PHILOSOPHY and understand VALUE if you wanna hoist trophies in pro sports. Are you rebuilding for the future and got the stomach for some 50 win seasons with a chance at young, controllable stars and pennants for years and years? Or are you selling out and buying top guys for the trophy NOW. Phillies are doing the unthinkable–BOTH.

  76. This is awsome! The Jays overplayed their hand and now either give him up for a small amount or keep him and look totally foolish.
    Amaro still has chips to play either now or this winter. Don’t underestimate the fact he also filled their biggest need off of the bench with Francisco. That is huge! Geez, we have Pedro and maybe Myers on the way with six guys already who are pitching well. For the first time ever, the Phightins are blessed with a plethora of pitching. Someone please come to Lidge’s rescue. I love the guy for what he did last year, but his location is just awful.

  77. just a little recap, phils pick up this season:

    1. reigning cy young winner.

    2. 2 cy young winning pitchers.

    3. 2 pitchers with 4 cy young trophies between them.

    doesn’t that sound wonderful?

    pedro ain’t the pitcher he was, but he has heart and knows how to pitch. he understands he might be a reliever and accepts it. add in myers in the pen and smile:)

  78. The AFKAMB no 1 is asking for trades on our current roster NOW or EVER but rather trying to get debates on how the OF surplus will play out…. I honestly cant see where that is a problem.. I want Werth locked up FOREVER but we have stud OFs in Taylor and Brown… We have Howard till he walks or if we trade him. Just asking what ppl think.

  79. Love the deal, would have rather had halladay but would like to congratulate rube and the brass for stealing lee from clev. Sucks losing knapp but oh well we got a cy young winner. Next thing i want to see is colvin and susac signed and icing would be stewart. great deal!!! Now we can stop talking trade and talk prospects again.

  80. I am waiting for John from Philly to check in on this. I look forward to his thoughts. Where are you John?

  81. In response to PH PH’s comment that you would have to be “insane” not to like this deal. There are a whole lot of nuts posting over at This is a great deal and makes our Phil’s the top contender in the NL.

    Also I think you have to make Cole or Cliff your #3 so we can go LRL.

  82. One would have to think the guys in the clubhouse will be fired up by this deal. If Pedro makes it back, he would provide balance to the rotation. In a mix of 7 guys, only the strong survive. Whoever is pitching best out of Happ, Moyer, and Pedro, stays in the rotation come playoff time. I cannot believe we still have Taylor, Drabek, Happ and Brown and got a top 5 pitcher in the AL. Knapp has a shot to be a big time pitcher, but Carrasco lacks moxie; Marson has zero power, and Donald has reviews all over the place. How about the fact that we gave up 4 of our top guys in the minors and still have better players down there! To say that about the Phillies farm system is amazing! It is a fabulous time to be a Phillies fan. How quickly this thing has come together is remarkable.


    Sorry for the all caps, but it’s freakin’ unbeleivable.

  84. Ruben is the Great Compromiser. Lee is half way between doing nothing and Halladay. It worked last year and just might work again this year. Lee is in the great tradition of Moyer, Lohse, and Blanton as mid season rotation pick ups. Did the Phillies need another fly ball lefthander rather than a ground ball righty in the rotation? But it kept everyone happy in the organizaiton. Giles is happly to save a few millions, Monty is happy the Farm is still intact, Moyer is the 5th starter and can be left off this post seasons roster after a forgettable post season last year, Pedro is an option to close and the people who sell the potted plants along the left field wall at CBP will still be busy repairing and replanting from incoming pop flies.

  85. UNBELIEVABLE! I was prepared to lose 2 of them for Halladay. We get Lee, who is a great pitcher, and don’t give up any of them. JP, how do you like your eggs?? They will be plastered all over your face if the Red Sox don’t cave.

  86. Their pitching styles aren’t really all that similar so having them back to back won’t really be much of a factor. If they are good enough pitchers they will get the job done.

  87. Hey Ricky,
    How many Cy Youngs do Moyer, Blanton and Lohse have?? Don’t quit your day job if you are comparing them to Cliff Lee. I cannot believe you are making that comparison. This guy was 23-4 last year! Hamels is a fly ball pitcher too, but was World Series MVP.

  88. I love this deal and am thrilled that Toronto turned down the last offer for Halladay. I really have no interest in paying $6 mill more to have Halladay than we will be paying to have Lee, Francisco, and Happ. Big props to Amaro, who is shaping up as a top young GM.

  89. Lee is not halfway from Halladay to zero. Lee is 90% of Halladay. And hes done it with a terrible team defensively behind him.

    Don’t undersell Cliff Lee. He’s legit.

  90. @ Rickey Branch, you consider this to be a move in the mold of Blantom, Moyer and Lohse?

  91. Cliff Lee is legit. If Hamels pitches like he did last night the rest of the season, this will be one of the best 1-2 punch tandoms next to Lincecum and Cain if not better.

  92. Easy CJ, just got back from snorkeling and was a little off in my facts. You get my point Einstein.

  93. Now that the Jays have less options & Halladay may have less value (definately less value after this season), their best trade partner may be Boston… but … they really don’t want to trade within the Division!

    The ultimate coup would be for Amaro to go back to Toronto and offer Happ, Blanton, Myers & Brown (with maybe a couple of lesser prospects) to the Jays for Haladay.

    The money difference is minimal, he would get 2 of the 3 players that he wanted and he would pick up multiple draft picks when Blanton & Myers become free-agents.

  94. How about going to Baltimore and trying to get Sherrill? We still have pieces and need help in the pen.

  95. interesting quote from chuck lamar about CC

    “We like Carlos right now better than any time last year,” Lamar said. “I know that may seem funny because of his results last year, but some of that was self-induced by us. There were some things he needed to do to become a good Major League pitcher, [like] start to learn to throw more inside. We introduced a slider to him. He’s gone through some growing pains. We could have called him to the Majors several times this year, but we thought it would impede his development.”

  96. PP Fan,
    I saw the same, but the thing that sticks out to me is that once he gets into a jam he cannot seem to get out of it. Look at Happ for instance, he seems to get out of jams frequently.

  97. Does this mean Halladay is off the table? We still have enough to make that deal and possibly pick up a utility infielder to replace Bruntlett. Does anyone think this possible?

  98. I just did some quick searching…it appears Francisco has one option year left. His contract was purchased in Nov 06 and he was optioned in 2007 and 2008.

  99. yes, Airborneranger, he is off the table. this isn’t fantasy baseball:
    1. we would have to pay for hallady somehow
    2. we couldn’t possibly get him without giving up the guys we didn’t want to give up in the first place. the key to our counter proposal was carrasco.

    Jeltz – i agree with you. that concerns me the most as well. but my take away from that quote is that often we look at stats and forget that these guys use the minors to work on things. to develop certain skills. that the big league teams don’t really care about stats in the minors as much as they care about how they are getting those stats.

  100. I wouldn’t call Lee a Fly ball pitcher. His GB/FB rate is 1.21. That’s much lower than Halladay’s 1.97 but superior to any other starter on the Phillies.

    Also his BABIP is 20 points above his career average @ .321.

  101. Wow! We get last year’s AL Cy Young award winner and keep intact what could be the best outfield in Phillies history. ( From left to right- Taylor, Gose and Brown)
    Not to mention an ace in waiting in Drabek.
    More later when I stop hyperventilating.

  102. If this move and the Ibanez and Martinez signings are indicative of the moves that Amaro is going to be making for the team, we have an awful lot to look forward to over the next 10-15 years.

    Other than the WS run last year, this is, by far, the most excited I’ve ever been about the Phillies. It really doesn’t get much better than this.

  103. And, by the way, I told you the BJs were going to overplay their hand. In many cases the distance between being a genius and a fool is ever so slight – J.P. Ricciardi has been on the fool’s end of that equation too many times to keep his job. If he had gotten Happ, Taylor, Carrasco and Donald – he would have gotten an immediate capable starter, a solid middle-infielders, another good starter down the road and a stud outfield prospect. It wasn’t the King’s Ransom he wanted, but it was a very good trade for him and a very difficult to swallow trade for the Phils. I’m glad he turned down the deal, because I was not crazy about it, but, in the long run, he missed out in a big, big way.

  104. i think that it was said above, but saving the extra $6 mil of Lee over Halladay should free up enough money to sign Colvin, susac and stewart.

  105. The Phils need to keep the pedal to the metal with their outstanding prospects – get them signed and keep the pipeline fresh with talent. I want this glorious run to go on, and on, and on.

    Gosh, this is the best. This is what it must be like to be a Patriots or Lakers fan. I can’t get enough.

  106. Keep them coming! So far, this year’s draft looks like it needs help after the haul brought in last year. Geez, if we could ever mix in a few infield prospects………

  107. This is going to sound crazy and I know that people will dissagree, but in keeping with my feelings that Knapp will be better then Drabek, I wonder if a deal of Drabek, marson and donald would have gotten it done? I would rather have Carrasco and Knapp then only Drabek. Either way though I really like this trade.

  108. Interesting to note Wasn’t David Huff , Indians pitcher a phillie draftee a few years ago , maybe when Worley was drafted for the first time. It hints that the Phillies scouts do a good job unearthing the talent but the front office needs to sign them to turn them into assets.The last couple years they have been flexing some muscle and signing above slot. Let’s hope that trend continues.

  109. RUBE – You done your daddy proud. When I posted last week begging that we not trade Drabek, Happ or Taylor some guy on here said it was the dumbest post ever…… glad to see that our GM agreed with me.

    In the end how they all perform over the next years will tell whether this trade made sense. We got nothing for Bobby Bru, nothing for Rolen and nothing for Shill ….hopefully this trade and the coming TWO WS runs will make up for all that…….

  110. A terrific deal by Ruben JR and one he couldn’t pass up.

    All you need to know can be found on the Cleveland Plain Dealer and various fan blogs. This was a great trade by the Phils to get a #1 guy who is reasonably priced next year, all for prospects that were basically blocked and had been stumbling this year. Eventually when we need a closer to replace Lidge, we’ll wish we still had Knapp. And when Ruiz grounds into yet another GIDP we will want Marson. But, that is a small price to pay to get Lee. The real kicker for me is that they threw in Francisco… I guess they’re clearing room and salary to call up LaPorta for an extended stay.

  111. Great deal You all know I am a Marson/Donald fan but it sure beats the other deal. The one equalizer is changing leagues
    Would Halladay do that better than Lee,who knows.

    Ruben has moves to make
    Go back for Martinez once his value is established
    Trade with Pittsburg say KK, Mayberry or Carpenter for Doumitt or even Jaramillo back.
    Just get a catcher and utility guy and we are set.
    Taylor can work in with Raul next year and Brown eventually replacing Werth while he has value. I think by the third year Raul will be back in the American League with the Phillies making a valuable trade.

    Ruben it all works so well.

    Stark said on espn radio he thinks Happ goes to relief.

  112. So in this what have you done for me lately world. Whats next, do they get back of he bullpen reliever? How about an infielder to replace 125 Brunlett?

  113. As a twins fan, I’m happy to see Lee out of the AL. He did really well against Mauer and Morneau. Good low risk trade for the Phils. If everything works out, Knapp and Carrasco max out at no better than the equivalent of Cliff Lee and Marson and Donald are no more than solid starters on a playoff team.

  114. The one thing Happ has showed is that he is tough in tough situations. I would not even rule out closing. Or Pedro starting
    and Happ backing him up. If he goes to the pen I see it as a star pitcher
    runners on .187
    scoring position .120
    scoring position 2 out .076
    base loaded .091
    one tough pitcher

  115. Dumbest comment i’ve read in this thread:

    Bergeraj Says:
    July 29, 2009 at 2:45 pm
    Here’s an idea, now that there is no Donald to move Utley to first does Taylor/Werth/Mayberry/Fransisco take 1B after Howard departs?

    I can’t believe that i have to keep saying this, but last year utley was THE BEST defensive second baseman in ALL OF BASEBALL!!!!!!!!!
    donald does not have his range, his hands, his head, or his rugged good looks (no homo). he doesn have a decent arm, but Utley is one of the best defenders in the league.
    Also, werth has better than average range in right with a really good arm. not a first baseman, the worst that will happen to him is to get moved to left field when he turns 35.

    About the tade-

    I love it, but I am going to miss following Knapp, who was my favorite pitcher in out system after drabek.

  116. Well the Blue Jays still need the salary relief. Wells and Rois are draining them dry because no one is willing to take them. We have extra pitching at the major league level. A deal starting with Happ and Brown adding KK, Durbin, Worley for Halladay and Scrutro. We still have some farm left.

  117. Somebody asked for some sane, legitimate criticism of this deal? Well, I have some critical points.

    Cliff Lee is an awful hitter, just 2-32. I sure hope we aren’t ever in a position of relying on Lee to drive in a key run because the guy can’t hit a lick.

  118. Happ is NOT competing for the #5 slot. He is our #4 starter. Moyer, Martinez and Lopez are competing for #5. Right now, Happ is one of the top, if not THE top, #4 guy in the league.

    Best initial solution: prepare both of them for 3-5 IP in the next few outings. Put Lopez in pen as a long man for other starts.

  119. Jake You are kidding. right lol
    He will get more practice here.

    Since Ruben won the pissing contest, I cant see him saving
    “ricki ricardo” buns from the fire.

    Btw Stark also said that Jays ownership was deeply included
    in the trade talks and taking control from the baseball people.
    He noted the fact that Boston may want to trade and Riccaridi
    is from that area.

  120. Dubee implied that Happ is going to the BP.

    Neither Moyer or Pedro are suited for relief is what he said.

  121. Why is happ going to the bullpen, that would be a terrible idea. Happ has been a reliable starter. Why would we take out reliability and a guy who has proven and deserved the right to pitch to make room for bums like pedro, moyer (who is one of my favorite phillies), and lopez. Lets trade lopez for a bag of high quality balls, might be able to get that deal done with someone. Any ideas who’d be interested?

  122. Just saying if they are still instrested in moving Halladay, we probably need to at least be a factor. I wouldn’t worry to much about what it’s going to cost because right now the Phillies with the type of team they are fielding are selling out wherever they go and merchandising is at it’s peek. There’s money for just about any move.

  123. I think they have a 1% interest in Halladay at this point, and its dropping by the minute. The Lee deal was made because of the price, not only in the prospects, but in that hes much cheaper than Halladay next year. The Phillies are already pushing $120M in payroll and while a big chunk comes off the books next year in Eaton, Thome, Jenkins and others, they have contract escalators in Hamels, Werth, Utley and others, plus all the arbitration raises.

    As for the rotation, its not something to even worry about now. Happ’s pitched well in relief before, if thats the role he has to fill, he’ll do it. If Moyer gets bombed in his next 3 starts, I’m sure they’ll figure out what to do. Pedro has already said that he’s ok pitching out of the pen if need be, and Myers might also be back sometime in September, which gives them another late inning option.

    Having too many pitchers is a great problem to have. Lets not worry about that, or trading Werth/Ibanez/Utley whoever in the winter. Its the end of July, we have a nice lead in the division to look at, and now two stud starters at the top of the rotation. Just enjoy it.

  124. I would love to see them package happ, brown or taylor kendrick and worley for Halladay and see if they will bite now.

  125. Yes, joking.

    One option is a six-man rotation. Another is to tell Hamels he has a “tired arm” and shut him down for a couple weeks. I wouldn’t mind having a fresh Hamels in October.

  126. six man rotation wouldnt be a bad idea actually, it would keep the important arms fresh for october. Not a bad point Jake.

  127. Well said PP..cmon stop with the Halladay stuff already…we made a fantasic trade, lets not become “yankee fans” and now want halladay too…Loved this trade, and considering pitt somehow got tim alderson for freddie sanchez Ruben REALLY did well in getting lee without giving up one of the big three

  128. The giants with adding two bats with that pitching staff, will be tough. But we now can at least match there two starters with two good starters , better chance.

  129. Worst case for Happ is he’s definitely a starter next year. he’s already got 1 ring, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind solidfiying the pen for another run at a WS knowing for a fact we’re not looking for a new starter in the off-season and will have spots open for him. So far he has seemed like the ultimate team player.

  130. Who does Lee and Martinez replace in the rotation? I like the idea of trying to get upgrades for back up catching and utility infielder. Do Lopez, Durbin, Mayberry have any value? Could we package them with people like Q. Berry or Susdorf?

  131. I say there be a Daily Discussion tomorrow titled ‘Back to Business as Usual’.

    Moyer isn’t $uited for the bullpen and much like CHoP I’m sure Pedro was promised at least the chance to start. I’m sure if he bombs J.A. will Happily slide back into the rotation.

  132. So….
    Lee = 2 draft picks if he leaves. Francisco is here for 4 yrs.
    ’10 Rotation could be:


    I believe Kendrick is out of options after this yr.

  133. I think Werth will be traded this offseason to the Giants for prospects with either with Bumgarner or Posey as the main chip.

  134. Could also see the Werth going to the Diamondbacks with Jarrod Parker as the main chip back.

  135. Ya, I kinda get the feeling that Werth will be traded this offseason. Due to our logjam of outfielders in our system, plus Werth looks like an attractive cheaper 5 tool outfielder.

  136. 113, I doubt KK ever starts a game for the Phillies. By the time spring rolls around you’re looking at Drabek, Bastardo, Carpenter, maybe Myers, and Flande completing for the 5th spot. Sounds good to me.

  137. got this from a cleveland paper, the guy just casually mentions it at the very end of the article:

    “The Indians could have gotten outfielder Dominic Brown or Michael Taylor in the deal, but at the expense of Marson or Knapp. The Indians wanted Knapp and feel they have enough corner outfielders.”

    WOW. Did they really take Marson over those guys? They have so many corner outfielders that they dont need Taylor? They also already have Santana at C. Its too late for shapiro to change his mind right?

  138. I don’t think that’s true. I could see it true if it were in place of Marson & Knapp but not just one.

    The Phils really shouldn’t have much if any interest in Halladay, but I wouldn’t mind seeing them f around try to drive up his value if other NL teams are going for him.

  139. Flande has no shot at the 5 spot in the rotation, he’ll need at least a year in AAA. Stutes would probably be ahead of him when it comes to competing for that spot – but I imagine he’ll prob end up in the bullpen eventually.

  140. I agree that the trade for Lee appears to be a good deal for the Fightin’s. However, I will be frustrated if the Phillies refusal to give in to the Blue Jays’ excessive demands causes Toronto to lower their asking price and do a deal with the Dodgers.

  141. I don’t want to beat it to death but, great job Ruben. I do NOT want see Happ taken out of the rotation. It should be Jamie or Pedro in the pen. A rotation of 4 lefties is odd but doesn’t bother me much. On a humorous note… on the subject of Flande, my son asked him for his autograph at Gulf Coast last year after a great pitching performance, he took the ball and wrote “FLADNE” in block letters (yes, it was spelled incorrectly). We looked up his current autograph on e-bay and it looks like a normal script one. Anyway, not sure if he was making a joke or is not too bright–sure pitched well last outing though.

  142. PP,
    What dominoes will fall in the system to replace the guys who left? Will Drabek be moved up? I see Savery has gotten rocked the last two times out, so I guess he is staying put. Is the Garcia kid at Lakewood a prospect? He seems to be having a good season with Gose at the top of the lineup.

  143. great trade but please stop with the wild nonsense. martinez will still stink, happ is a starter, werth will not and should not be tradred, HOWARD WILL BE A PHILLLIE HIS ENTIRE CAREER, the phillies were better than the dodgers before the deal. i understand the enthusiasm but the worst thing this team could do is change chemistry and approach. lee is a very good starting pitcher on a defending ws champion. he,ll help. hamels is still the ace, blanton 2, lee 3 happ 4 moyer 5. to make lee the number 1 would be to make him an interloper, which i,m sure is the last thing he wants. dont make this guy god. this is a team of equal parts thats why they beat tampa bay. they didnt buy the hype.

  144. Doesn’t really matter at this point if Lee is the Phillies #1, #2, #3, etc. He will fall into the rotation in Lopez’s spot, at least until the playoffs.

    Once the season starts, the whole who’s the #1 starter doesn’t mean anything.

  145. Do you think Ruben would appreciate a few “golden you know whats” Would he take as the honor it is.
    Cisco is back. Let the shuffle begin.

    BTW they hit like they went to the beach all day. Petit???

  146. I feel bad for the real fans in lehigh They just were getting a chance to see a younger prospect laiden team than, bam gone,
    Oh well i hope they like world series parades

  147. bobbygee
    Ruben Sr. was smooth as glass. A pleasure to watch in the field. He and Tony Taylor were such gentlemen that no one except the worse could say anything racial about them. In that regard both men broke barriers long established with the Phils. They sould have a day or city honors soon.

  148. PP should start a new thread, in which we talk about what else we need to do before the trade deadline. What is there to talk about today?

  149. Combining last year and this one, the top five pitchers in terms of ERA+.

    Tim Lincecum: 29-8, 2.49 ERA, 174 ERA+
    Cliff Lee: 29-12, 2.78 ERA, 160 ERA+
    Danny Haren: 26-14, 2.87 ERA, 159 ERA+
    Roy Halladay: 31-15, 2.74 ERA, 156 ERA+
    Johan Santana: 27-15, 2.74 ERA, 153 ERA+

    It’s hard to believe that small a difference in ERA is the difference between the two prospect packages the Phils had to choose from.

  150. Interesting to see how a fly ball, pitch to contact guy like Lee does, with his 4.59 ERA and a .303 batting average, against right handed hitters at the Bank. Remember former pitching coach Joe Kerrigan saying that he measured the power alley to left to be only 342 ft. there before Monty raised the left field wall to 10 ft. and moved the wall back 5 ft. a few years back.

  151. Here is my question, if reports are true, Charlie and Gillick wanted to make the Drabek, Brown, Happ deal, Ruben and scouting staff didn’t. What happens if they don’t win and lee is not the pitcher we think, or If lee is dominate and they win. Does Gillick get less say? or does he slowly go away and let ruben take over without him over his shoulder?

  152. i dont think this trade has any impact on gillicks say in the organization. amaro obviously thought highly enough of gillick to keep him as an advisor. i think hes there just to provide some experience ruben had none as a gm

  153. Who knows if those reports are true. I don’t doubt that Manual was willing to trade almost anyone to get Halladay since his major concern is the day-to-day performance of the big club.

    Riccardi or someone from the Jays organization may be the source for that story about Gillick in an attempt to put added pressure on Amaro to agree.

    The trade deadline in Baseball is like the NFL draft, no one involved tells the truth and teams will happily use an eager media to put out false information to throw off the competition…

  154. what happens if lopez pitches 1 more game after tonight before pedro is ready and throws a shutout and a 1 run game, both wins? can we justify sending him down and losing him? cn we get a b prospect for him if he was 5-0 with an era around 2.5? would we get more after a win tonight and before the deadline? should pedro and happ then go to the BP if he’s not traded?

  155. marky mark,
    I have a hard time believing we could get a b prospect for him. He would be a 4 or 5 for virtually all teams. Plus hes benefited from a great phillies defense and a powerful and explosive offense. I think the best we could get is a kyle kendrick clone, maybe.

  156. Back to prospects…a little bit. I had Knapp, Carrasco, and Marson as #4, 5, 6 with Donald at 10/11. Who replaces the top three as #4, 5, 6 in the system?

    May, Bastardo, Gose, and d’Arnaud are probably the next four on my list. What do you guys think the top 10 looks like now?

  157. This would have been easy if the trade happened 3 weeks ago as flande, savery, worley and stutes would have all been in the new top 10
    just missed are hewitt, santana, shreve, cosart, dugan, way and colvin(wishful)

  158. From the looks of it ,we would of had to up Happ + to get Victor Martinez. He will help Boston. Too bad it isn’t us..

  159. I was ready for Lee the pitcher,but Lee the hitter! He doubled his carreer hits and it didn’t look accidental. But to tell the truth the way he pounced off the mound after that slow roller was really impressive and showed that he is a true athlete.

    Ruben was probably smiling in his sleep.

  160. Just one start, but how can you be any more dominant than Lee was last night for 6 IP?

    LOVE the way he handled himself. We have no one with his mound demeanor. Hamels acts confident, but it is sometimes the put-on posturing of the young pitcher–. Lee is pure stud confidence and when you add the speed and pace at which he pitchers, he is an amzing intimidator. That will rub off on the rest of the staff.

    First time seeing him and LOVE him.

    Unbelieveable we got him.

    And I hope Marson and Donald tear up the American League for the next 10 years. Good guys both. I believe in the Donald of the last 3 years versus this year.

  161. Ha. I wasn’t a detractor within a minute of it happening. Great trade. Pulling off getting a Cy Young winner without giving up any of your top 3 prospects was an amazing deal.

  162. I wasn’t a detractor at all; I was thrilled. But since we’re evaluating, I decided to scan the box scores over the last few weeks in Columbus:

    Marson appears to have gone on a bit of a streak, nice to see from him and I think he’s one of the ones we’ll be missing in the immediate future though Ruiz and Bako have been holding their own this year as far as I’m concerned.

    Carrasco has done very well his past 2 starts, throwing 10ks in one of the games.

    Donald appears to have been struggling. When he actually gets in the game, he has struggled at the plate, but honestly he hasn’t had too many appearances as of late. Is he hurt again??

    Didn’t look up Knapp, and its late so I won’t tonight, but this guy might be special so he’s our longterm potential sore spot.

    Would I endorse this trade again?? In a heartbeat. Even without the 20/20 hindsight.

  163. I was down there tonight. Lee was pitching like he was illegally parked in the players lot. CG, 0ER, 2H, 11K, 103 or so pitches. We were out of the stadium by 930ish, on the train by 945. I have NEVER been out of a major league baseball game that early in my life.

    I think he was worth it. He is the ace of the staff right now. The perfect guy that will allow Hamels to take pressure off of himself and worry about reclaiming his form. The perfect guy for JA Happ basically to mimic. I always saw traces of Andy Pettitite in JA Happ (he even looks like him sort of), but I think Cliff Lee is the same kind of pitcher as Happ, almost exactly the same. Happ could really learn a lot from Lee, as could Hamels.

    Starting pitching in the major leagues is ALL about commanding the fastball because those hitters just will not swing at breaking pitches and out pitches if you cant pump the fastball in there. Lee is one of the very best in the business at moving his fastball around. Happ is coming along and has become a fastball command pitcher. Hamels is similar too when he is on his game.

    Do I think it was worth it? We gave up some good prospects, but it was definitely worth it. If he continues this way Id look into some kind of contract extension if he will go for that.

  164. I had not had much of an opportunity to see Lee with the Tribe but he is fun to watch as a Phillie!! I am a big fan of Marson but this trade was perfect for the Phils.

  165. Is it me or does Carrasco remind anyone of Carmona in his bouts with effectiveness?

    Still Carrasco has been good since leaving the Phills farm.

  166. Happ got a Pettitte comp a couple weeks ago in a chat with either Neyer or Callis (maybe Goldstein?), but high praise for sure.

  167. Looking back through the comments, this is the winner


    Somebody asked for some sane, legitimate criticism of this deal? Well, I have some critical points.

    Cliff Lee is an awful hitter, just 2-32. I sure hope we aren’t ever in a position of relying on Lee to drive in a key run because the guy can’t hit a lick.

  168. since noone has mentioned it i ll pat myself on the back . i recall last year calling happ a petitte lookalike. as usual i was there, any weeknight game section 103, and geoff i must say with all due respect, i think your saying happ is similar to lee? i could,nt disagree more. lee has absolute control of 3 to 4 pitches which is amazing. i was a doulbter but no more. as far as emulating lee the guy to do it should be hamels. maybe i,ll see you down there geoff. section 103. on the railing. weeknights.

  169. Since I don’t watch AL games (not enough time), I had no idea just how polished and complete of pitcher Lee really is. I did not watch the entire game last night, but what I saw was as much of a virtuo performance as anything I’ve ever seen from any pitcher. He put four or five effective pitches where he wanted, whenever he wanted. He refused to throw balls. He worked quickly, he had the batters hitting his pitches.

    We thought Hamels was an ace? Well, he has times when he pitches like an ace and I still believe that the sky is the limit for him, but Lee has truly pitched like an ace. An ace pitches great and deep into the game almost every time.

    The addition of Lee gives the Phillies a great chance to repeat or “threepeat.” It’s not a pipe dream. The team is fabulous and they just keep on closing the holes. Next hole to fix – closer. I hope Lidge can work things out, but don’t think for a minute that they won’t temporarily demote him if Myers turns out to be a healthy replacement. We’re trying to win a championship folks, we can’t spend too much time worrying about offending a guy with a 7 ERA.

  170. Also, I agree that Happ is not exactly like Lee. Right now, the only pitch that Happ throws consistently for strikes is a fastball, and it’s a hell of a fastball that he throws everywhere, including up in the zone where it is basically unhittable. Happ and Hamels could develop into something resembling Lee, but they are not in that league yet. Lee is incredible.

  171. Happ still has a long way to go to get to Lee. My point is that you start with fastball command and then build from that. Lee does have complete command of most of his pitches – or at least the ones hes going to use heavily that night – because he has 5 or so pitches but most starters go with the 3 that are working best that night – as I personally saw last night.

    Happ is still in his first full season. He can be the same type of pitcher Lee is, because he is, that doesnt mean he is as good as Lee, because he is obviously not on that level at this stage of his development. He is still the same type of fastball-command pitcher though. If Hamels had Lee’s command this season he would not be under this type of criticism.

    Happs PRIMARY weapon, like Lee’s is, is to move his fastball around the zone and locate it for strikes. Lee has WAY better secondary and tertiary pitches though. Happ sometimes has his alternate pitches working well, but then sometimes hes like 90+% fastball.

    The main reasoning behind me mentioning that though is to say that because Happ is a raw, younger model of Lee’s generalized style, that Happ should really learn and listen and try to take some thigns away from what Lee brings to the table to improve his game.

    Hamels is in his own world, always has been, thoguh he does occasionally acknowledge that hell ask Moyer for advice.

  172. The main similarity I see, is that both Lee and Happ earn a lot of strikeouts with their fastball. I dont mean setting them up with the fastball. But the actual third strike is a fastball a lot of the time with these guys. The hitter isnt expecting them to run it back over the plate and they do.

    Though, in that regard, Lee is still miles ahead. Does anyone else see that? That those guys get a lot of called 3rd strikes and 3rd strikes with the fastball – more so than pitchers liek Hamels or Blanton?

  173. sorry. which I hated at the time, cardenas was sent back to triple a and is hitting 427 over his last ten games, Spencer is player of the week, and you know what outman did before getting hurt, all said Blanton has turned into a really solid in my opinion two so the trade worked for both teams, so far ,Lee is unbelivable maybe we should wait until he is around the national league twice but so far, who cares what the prospect do , aces are hard to find. We hopefully can lock him up long term and have four good starters who are all young,

  174. the reason i mention hamels and not happ is basically their physical and style appearance. happ at his best will be completely different than lee. whereas hamels at his best with a slider or curve will greatly resemble lee. hamels and lee both depend on a great changeup. perhaps one day very soon hamels will regain his confidance. last night i saw lee strike out more than half the batters with changeups. it a great problem. now if drabek can be what they say he is without the attitude we,ll have a hell a va staff for a long time.

  175. When you are in the postseason an ace is worth his weight in gold because they get a disproportionately greater opportunity to pitch and effect outcomes in October than they do during the regular season (out of the Phils’ 14 postseason games last October, how many did Hamels start . . . something like 5? – it’s unbelievable how much he changed those series). The Phillies needed an ace. They got one and from everything I’ve seen, he’s worth all they gave up and more.

  176. A comp I like to make for JA Happ is Randy Wolf. It may not be as exciting as saying Cliff Lee, but Wolfy has been a good pitcher in his career outside of some injury troubles. Both have similar fastballs that they can get swing-throughs with because of a deceptive delivery, and ultimately I think Happ will be closer to a number 3 starter than a number 1.

    But so far the Lee trade is working out really well, obviously. I was extremely happy when it was made because I felt like having Lee, Happ and Drabek is much better than having Halliday and Knapp. I’m surely not changing that opinion at this time.

  177. A couple of thoughts. I like Randy Wolf a lot, but I actually think that Happ has a better upside. Happ throws faster (and definitely more “Schwimlocity” as he hides the ball a little better and has a release point that is closer to the plate), has better movement, has a better pitch plane and also better command of his fastball than Wolf does. Wolf’s advantages are experience (Happ will get that in time) and a very nice secondary offering (a looping curve ball). But, yeah, I see Happ as becoming a legit. number 3 on a championship level team. In short, a hell of a player.

    On the Blanton trade, to me, with the possible future exception of Cardenas (we could use another capable middle infielder), it was a fantastic trade because it brought us a WS (without Blanton, I don’t think we win, and might not have even made the playoffs), and even if the players traded turn out to be very good, they did not have a ready place on the team. I mean, really, even if he was healthy, would we have needed Outman on this staff? Likewise, even if Spencer continues to thrive, does anyone here place him above Werth, Victorino, Ibanez, Taylor or Brown? He was a perfect trade chess piece – something very valuable to someone else, but a mere redundancy for the team making the trade.

  178. Just one other side commentary. It’s not directly relevant to minor league baseball, but it is relavant to being a fan of the organization.

    I don’t know if any else experiences this, but when I’m watching the big league team these days and following guys like Michael Taylor, Dom Brown, Kyle Drabek and others in the minors, I find myself wondering if this is all really happening. If what’s going on now isn’t baseball heaven for Phillies fans, it’s damned close.

  179. catch for the 1st time in my life i EXPECT the phillies to be in the playoffs everyear. in the 80,s i saw it coming to an end, with this organization i dont. in 5 years when people mention great franchises it wont only be the yankees and red sox.

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