Reigning AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee will now be joining the reigning 2008 World Series Champions.
The Philadelphia Phillies acquired Lee along with outfielder Ben Francisco for four top prospects: pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp, catcher Lou Marson, and shortstop Jason Donald.
This looks like a win-win situation for both clubs:
Indians – They get two major league-ready players in Carrasco and Marson, who, if the several thousand rumors I’m hearing are true, will be the future replacement for Victor martinez. Knapp, who is currently nursing a sore shoulder, is considered by many to have more potential than Kyle Drabeck, the highly touted Phillies prospect who was linked to a possible trade (that you may have heard about) with Toronto Blue Jays’ Roy Halladay.
Phillies – They get their sure-fire ace without having to give up J.A. Happ, Drabek, Michael Taylor, and Dominic Brown, all of whom the Jays were going after but the Phils were reluctant to give up. In addition, they get a right-hand hitting outfielder in Francisco to come off the bench, and will be a nice upgrade from John Mayberry Jr. who is currently only hitting .189. This season has seen the Phils’ bench not producing as well as it did last season, especially on the right side of the plate.
The Phillies now have a really “nice problem”… six starters. When Pedro Martinez comes in to the mix, they will have a rotation of Lee, Cole Hamels, Happ, Jamie Moyer, and Joe Blanton. Four of the them lefties.
It doesn’t end here.
Pitcher Brett Myers’ recovery from hip surgery is going a lot better than expected. Once thought as a season-ending injury, Myers’ trip to the DL may only be temporary for 2009. Apparently Myers and the Phillies are now eyeing a return to mid-to-late August. If this were to occur, he may return to the bullpen, a role he thrived in during the 2007 season. This could be a huge positive for the Phillies bullpen. Three relievers are currently on the DL (Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, and J.C. Romero). They will all most likely be back by the time Myers may return, but, unlike last season, the bullpen has been much more inconsistent. Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge are not showing that “lights out” quality that flattened all their opponents in 2009 (I smell a curse with MLB Network’s “The Pen”). Myers would add even more fire power and energize an already tight-knit group.
With all of this, the Phils may not be done. They are rumored to be looking for another piece to their bullpen before the trade deadline.
With these new pieces in place, the Phillies are most-definitely poised to make another serious run in October.
About the Author
Written by Bryan Sargent
Bryan Sargent is a lifelong Phillies fan, currently residing in the least hospitable city for such a person as himself, New York City. This coming January he will be attending Phillies Phantasy Camp in Clearwater, FL. He is currently documenting the entire process on his blog (http://www.bryansargent.com). You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @BTSargent.