It appears the Phillies are going to land Roy Halladay. However, in an unbeLEEvable twist, it is said that Cliff Lee will be shipped to the Seattle Mariners as part of a 3-team deal. Shock and awe have overcome me….Cliff Lee???
Really??? Our ACE miracle pick-up of 2009 traded away? A few acronyms come to mind here; mainly OMG and WTF.
Ok, so apparently Lee is dead-set on testing the free agent market after 2010 and Halladay is agreeable to a multi-year deal; plus, Halladay really wants to come to Philly. The Phillies are looking to keep the core of this team intact for at least 2 more years and I suppose, with Lee not being a possibility past 1 year, they feel he is disposable. But we would be basically trading and ace for an ace instead of keeping TWO aces. Ugh.
Halladay may be a slightly better pitcher than Lee, but he has also pitched nearly twice as many innings as Lee at almost the same age. Halladay is 1 year and 3 months older and has pitched 2046.2 innings; Lee has pitched 1196.2 innings.
Also take into consideration that Lee was amazing in the playoffs and is super steady mentally. He may be one of the calmest players under pressure anyone has ever seen. Halladay on the other hand was rattled in July and August over the trade rumors and it affected his performance. This does not mean Lee is better than Halladay; clearly the numbers show otherwise. However, Lee has advantages that Halladay does not. The innings pitched and Halladay’s age (he will be 33 in May) are causes for concern in signing a long-term deal.
If there is any way possible to keep both pitchers, it should be done. The Phillies with both Lee and Halladay may be unstoppable. In fact, for only 2-3 million more, the Phils could trade Joe Blanton instead of Lee. Why would they NOT do this? But the money is the big issue, as it usually is; even a mere couple million apparently is too much for them to handle. I can tell you this; teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, a few of MLB’s richest teams, would not have to make such a decision. They would keep both players without question. And that is what makes this idea hard to swallow.
Not that the Phillies are poor; they ranked 7th in payroll for 2009. But a lot of money is tied up in big name players like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. The window for this group of players to score another World Championship is probably about two years. With that being the case, I would like to see the Phillies throw everything and the kitchen sink at this 2010 team. But the kitchen sink is Lee, and it looks like he will be gone.
Do not get me wrong, I will be thrilled to have Halladay. But the price does seem a bit steep, which puts a damper on the celebration. And now what about the bullpen? Is there money left to fix that gaping hole? That is the other thought that worries me. It will not matter how good the rotation is if the pen blows games, like they did a lot in 2009. That solution or lack thereof is yet to be determined.
And on top of all this, it is also rumored that the Phillies top pitching prospect, Kyle Drabek, will be sent to the Jays. This is the player the Jays have been asking for since last July. So tell me, WHY exactly would the Phillies wait until we LOSE the World Series to give up Drabek when we could have had Halladay in July had they traded him then?? This makes me very, very, very angry. Of course, we do not know the details of the deal yet, but usually, where there is smoke, there is fire.
And so we all wait with bated breath for the decision to come down from above…
Photo by Jenn