The Phillies made a major move today acquiring LHP Cliff Lee for four Minor League prospects earlier today. The deal is truly a win-win for Philadelphia. First, they acquire the front line starting pitcher that they have been looking to add to their rotation. Second, they do so without giving up J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek or Dominic Brown.
But if you look even further into the deal, it makes even more financial sense for the Phillies. Cliff Lee is only scheduled to make $9 million next year, which will save the Phils $3 million on next year’s total salary as Lee will no doubt take Brett Myers spot in the rotation. This year has truly become the worse time in his career to get hurt.
Now, you have to look at the prospects that the Phillies gave up in this deal…
RHP Jason Knapp… a strong 19-year old prospect from Central Jersey and maybe the key to this deal from Cleveland’s angle. Hard thrower, but a Single-A pitcher. He may pan out for Cleveland, but he is so far from the Majors and too many things can happen between now and then.
RHP Carlos Carrasco... the #2 prospect in the system, but that is WAY overrated. I had the chance to see him pitch several times. He has the stuff, but he IMPLODES when the going gets tough. In the end, there was no way that Carrasco was going to make the big league club out of Spring Training.
INF Jason Donald and C Lou Marson…two guys that are solid players without any flash. They hit for average, but not for power and with not much speed.
Now, the biggest question for the Phillies is how to fit all of the starting pitchers into the mix.
The locks are Lee, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton. Jamie Moyer leads the team with 10 wins, but he may not even make a post-season start this year because of some of his shaky efforts. Pedro Martinez is going to start at some point for the Phillies, but he is still at least three rehab starts away from that being a factor, Rodrigo Lopez has pitched very well, but figures to be the odd man out and go into the bullpen. And that brings up another factor… Brett Myers.He has gone from Opening Day Starter and bulldog during the playoffs last year to afterthought because of his injury.
You wonder if Myers wasn’t hurt, do the Phillies sign Pedro or acquire Lee???