Lee, Francisco for Four Phillies Prospects

lee 01.jpgThe Phillies got their Cy Young winner.

After it appeared the Phillies would land Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay before Friday’s Trade Deadline, the Phillies landed Indians left-hander Cliff Lee. Sources told MLB.com that the Phillies and Indians have reached an agreement that would send Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco to the Phillies for prospects Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Lou Marson.

The agreement is pending a review of medical records.

If it goes well, an announcement could be made later today.

The Phillies improved their rotation and added a much needed right-handed bat for their bench. The Indians get four of the top 10 prospects in Philadelphia’s system, according to Baseball America. The Blue Jays? Well, they appear to have overplayed their hand with less than 48 hours to go before the deadline.

The deal seems attractive to the Phillies for a few reasons:

  • Lee bolsters a rotation that has pitched much better recently. Phillies starters had a 5.27 ERA through July 2, but have a 2.71 ERA since. Lee is the American League’s 2008 Cy Young winner. He is 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA this season, and 3-2 with a 2.37 ERA in his last five starts. He had the eighth-worst run support of any American League pitcher this season. That should not be a problem with the Phillies, who have the best offense in the National League.
  • The Phillies got Lee without giving up the three players the Blue Jays had demanded in a deal for Halladay: Phillies left-hander J.A. Happ, Double-A Reading right-hander Kyle Drabek and Single-A Clearwater outfielder Dominic Brown. Happ is a legitimate National League Rookie of the Year candidate and Drabek and Brown are the organization’s top pitching and player prospects, respectively. The Phillies also didn’t give up outfielder Michael Taylor, who Baseball America considers a Top 25 prospect.
  • Lee has a $9 million club option for next season, while Halladay makes $15.75 million. That $6.75 million difference will impact the Phillies’ offseason, who have a $5 million club option on Pedro Feliz and expect Joe Blanton, who is salary arbitration eligible, to get a raise from the $5.475 million he makes this season.
  • Francisco is hitting .250 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs this season. He is an upgrade over outfielder John Mayberry Jr., who is hitting .189 with four homers and eight RBIs.

Of course, who goes into the bullpen? The Phillies have Lee, Happ, Blanton, Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer and Pedro Martinez on the horizon. It’s a nice problem to have, but somebody is going to have their feelings hurt.

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67 Comments

I like this deal but still want Halladay instead. Drabek better be the real deal now. Big time pressure on that kid if he is the reason why Ruben didn’t pull the trigger for Halladay.

How close to official is this Todd? If the Jays keep strong arming us I think we have to make this deal. We get our RHB and a top pitcher without trading Happ, Drabek, Brown, or Taylor, who would have thought?

You wouldn’t get rid of Bruntlett he is the only bench player that can play ss or second. They would send Mayberry back to Lehigh Valley and Francisco would then be your back up outfielder with Dobbs occasionaly playing the outfield but mostly third.

this would be a good deal I think, we could then maybe dispose of Bruntlett too…

This is really a fantastic deal. And I don’t effing care how many positions Bruntlett can play (he’s average or below-average at all of them), he needs to be cut immediately.

As Wind in his Hair said to Dances with Wolves….GOOD TRADE! And does Francisco send Mayberry down?

Great deal!!! This makes Brunlett what he should be, and was designed to be, a defensive replacement/pinch runner. Mayberry goes to AAA to learn how to hit.

Now for the big question, do we pull the trigger on Halladay with the deal as set up-Happ, Drabek, Taylor? If so we have a rotation of Hamels, Lee, Halladay, Blanton and Moyer with Pedro in the pen.

Kind of empties the Pharm, though. If we don’t do Halladay, we have a rotation of Hamels, Lee, Happ, Blanton and Moyer with Pedro in Pen.

this would be a good deal I think, we could then maybe dispose of Bruntlett too…

That is a steal. Now watch the scaredy cats worry about catching or somethng along those lines.
But JP should be on the phone before this happens lessening his demands, because Halladay’s value goes way down on August 1st.

This is great. Cliff Lee is an excellent pitcher, I don’t care if he is a leftie, rightie, in in the middle-ie. And for what we are giving up, it is fair. I have said all along I would trade Happ OR Drabek but not both. I’d rather trade Happ but could live with Drabek but if the BJs (accurate in so many ways) want to be BJs about it, then fine. We give up what is reasonable and keep what we should. A great deal.

Mayberry will be sent down, we have to keep Bruntlett for IF backup duty

I was also willing to include Knapp as well for Halladay, since he is only Single A I think the risk of him turning around and biting us to minimal. Now the BJs have to deal with Boston most likely if they want to do it and have Halladay pitch against them. Karma is a beyotch.

Just heard the deals done, pending physical for Lee and Francisco

GOOD DEAL. Well done Ruben.

Not bad. Looks like we made out pretty darn good! Now we have a legitimate #2 starter. Also if Halladay ends up staying in Toronto that would be okay w/me. Hate to see him end up in Boston?!? (Would JP be that thick and trade him w/in the division?)

Not bad. Looks like we made out pretty darn good! Now we have a legitimate #2 starter. Also if Halladay ends up staying in Toronto that would be okay w/me. Hate to see him end up in Boston?!? (Would JP be that thick and trade him w/in the division?) Plus a RH bat off the bench. Cool beans!

This is really a fantastic deal. And I don’t effing care how many positions Bruntlett can play (he’s average or below-average at all of them), he needs to be cut immediately.

Lee is a legit #1 my friends, 12-2 against the NL in his career

Lee is a legit #1 my friends

Looks like it’s a done deal. Players taking physicals.

Amaro had a chance to be a King, but I guess he just wants to be a Prince. I will say that, if Halladay was never on the table, I would be ecstatic over this deal so I’ll move on. Go Phillies!!!

On a side note, it looks like our ‘ace’ is back but our closer still isn’t out of the woods.

The next news to break today should be about Ricciardi getting his walking papers. What a terrible GM. If I was a Blue Jays fan I would be burning that park to the ground.

I don’t see any way at all they get Halladay now too. That is crazy.

The bullpen help may come in the form of Pedro because he would be a 6th starter. Plus Myers, if his bullpen sessions go well this week. I think Bastardo would be a good fit there also, but he would need to get some work in the role.
I understand the Phillies were talking to Baltimore about Sherrill, but they were interested in Carrasco.

debindixie: You can’t include Knapp for halladay, he’s an Indian already-traded for Lee. Even Rube can’t trade the same player to two different teams lol.

phan: Pen help is needed for sure. I think Pedro can help and if Myers can get back healthy he’ll be a nice fall-back plan should Lidge continue to falter but even if Lidge rights himself Brett will be great back there. Another name to keep in your head…Scott Mathieson. He’s throwing flames right now and was promoted to AA. I’ve always seen him as closer material but he could shift into the pen for the later innings this year too.

joed21: agree completely. Don’t need Halladay now, just some bullpen help. LET’S GO PHILS!

as an Indians fan I wanted to see what the Phillie fans were saying. And I cannot disagree with many of you who suggest this deal for you was a steal.

This is a perfect example of why the Phillies are the Phillies and we here in Cleveland are exactly what we are… subpar all around.

Good deal for Phils – now, Mayberry & Lopez for Sherill!

as an Indians fan I wanted to see what the Phillie fans were saying. And I cannot disagree with many of you who suggest this deal for you was a steal.

This is a perfect example of why the Phillies are the Phillies and we here in Cleveland are exactly what we are… subpar all around.

Good deal for Phils – now, Mayberry & Lopez for Sherill!

If Rube could land a bullpen arm either before the deadline or via a waiver trade, that would push the Phillies about to the level where they need to be to go deep in the playoffs, I think. Heath Bell and George Sherrill are available, although one wonders what the cost might be.

reminds Zach, Phan and everyone else that bastardo was a reliever in the minors before being made into a starter this year.

We potentially have Pedro, Myers, and bastardo to fill the Pen (sure beats teh kids they called up over the weekend (what, no one noticed that the Phillies called up Kendrick, Steven Register and Walker?)

Yeah Steven Register and Tyler Walker need to be rolled up in a carpet with Eric Bruntlett and dumped into the Schuylkill. Bastardo, when he recovers, might not be a bad idea for a bullpen spot, Escalona is adequate, and Myers would be a great addition.

All…… Something to think about… Lee is scheduled to start Saturday for the Indians, does Charlie bump Moyer? It’s a no-brainer right? Then Hamels Sunday, Monday travel, then Charlie has to decide between Happ and Moyer Tuesday. It’s obvious who I would pick but I bet he’ll go with Moyer.

f_i_j…… yeah we might be alright in the pen, not sure about Bastardo, but Pedro could shine there and Myers could come back.

amseeley… I feel for you Cleveland fans, but you guys did get some solid prospects. Carrasco was our #1 or 2 pitching prospect coming into this year (he’s been awful this season), Marson will be a good ML catcher, capable of hitting for power and average. Donald is very, very good (again some production dropoff this year) but blocked by Utley. And Knapp is young but highly touted. I think the Phils won this deal by a hair, but you have some good players to look forward to watching.

All you Phillies fans seriously need to be quiet..think about how the other side feels, for once! This was not a great deal for the Tribe. Not at all. I honestly wish I had some control over trades, but I dont. ..http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/
-TC

took a peek at the Tribe’s blog site. They are screaming for their GM’s head. I let them kow the real stuff on the prosepcts. Carlos isn’t as bad as his numbers indicate. he had a bad first month and a half Check his stats since then. Donald would be on this team if he wasn’t blocked by Utley and Rollins and Marson is a legit starting C in the show, or a great backup to the Tribes prospect Santana. As for Knapp, he throws 96 mph and leads all the minors in K’s. ’nuff said, we robbed them blind

hey TC – dont feel so bad, as they say in Tribe country, theres always next year, besides look on the bright side you could live in NY and be a Muts(Mets) fan….:-)

Hey, Indians fan here. Just wanted to say this trade sucked for us. We didn’t get Drabek or Brown and the prospects we did get don’t seem all that great. Knapp has already been shut down for the year, Carrasco is junk, and the position prospects both have their paths to the Majors blocked by solid players (Carlos Santana at Catcher, and Asdruble Cabrera at SS). So even though you gave up quite a bit, Indians fans don’t like this trade.

oops, didn’t realize that Cliff Lee could start Friday… I still hope Charlie bumps Moyer out of his spot… Lee Friday, Blanton Saturday, Hamels Sunday!

oops, didn’t realize that Cliff Lee could start Friday… I still hope Charlie bumps Moyer out of his spot… Lee Friday, Blanton Saturday, Hamels Sunday!

hey TC – dont feel so bad, as they say in Tribe country, theres always next year, besides look on the bright side you could live in NY and be a Muts(Mets) fan….:-)

They may have him start Sunday, since they bumped the game to TBS, its kind of a national coverage..

whats with the comments entires constantly doubling up… is it national doubles day

Alig, I agree that the Phillies won here, and that it’s a light package for the Tribe, but Carrasco is not “garbage.” He could easily be a middle of the rotation pitcher. He had a rough start to his minor league season this year but is recovering, and with a little work on his control he’ll be major league capable.

Carrasco has what they call ‘stuff’, with great movement on his fastball, but he has had a hard time adding another pitch and pitching inside, which has held him back. He’s actually pitched better recently. But there is no way to paint this favorably for Indians fans.
I don’t feel sorry for other teams’ fans because they have stupid GM’s. And I include JP Ricciardi and BJ fans in that. If he trades Halladay in the division he better have an armored car to get out of town.

According the Phils website Saturday’s and Sunday’s pitcher for the Phils is “TBD” against Lincecum (Sat.) and Zito (Sun.). They should definitely give Lee the start for Saturday’s game!

I am actually suprised there are not more comments against this deal, when I mentioned Lee as an alternative 9 or 10 days ago, some sounded as though he shouldn’t even be a consideration…. but it’s good that people see it as a good deal, no he’s not Halladay, but speculation is all that says Halladay may have done a better job for us than Lee will….

This is the BEST of both worlds for the Phils- a short term Upgrade and one that does not jeopardize the team’s chances in 2010 and beyond. There is Relatively little difference in pitching ability between Halliday and Lee and getting a Lee takes pressure OFF Drabek to be successful, immediately. A top 4 rotation of Hamels, Lee, Happ and Blanton allows Drabek to ease into the Majors ( in 2010) as he has 4 GOOD starters in front of him. Also increases the Bullpen’s effectiveness as these top 4 guys have proven to go DEEPER into games and keeps the bullpen more well rested. Ruben apparently learned his lessons WELL under Gillick.

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I agree, the blog has been crazy today with double posts, posts that when they show up, are put in order in front of the one you responded to and getting hung up when you hit submit. I moved form one computer to another to see if the problem was on my end.
Todd, beside reporting on trades, could you step into the server room and troubleshoot this issue? LMAO.

Which game for him to pitch will be another tough choice, on the one hand he or Hamels are the obvious choice to go against Lincecum, on the other do you risk him possibly losing his first game in a Philly uniform and risk it getting in his head… it shouldn’t bu never know, so do you give him what should be an easier target of Zito on Sunday… hmmmmm

The question is whether we should make the deal for Halladay as well and wrap this thing up totally. I’d offer the BJays a take it or leave it offer of: Happ, Taylor, Lopez and a class B prospect. With Lee in the rotation, we can afford to let Happ. Imagine a rotation of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton and Moyer. Yes, Cole is suddenly a #3 pitcher and not the ACE. Think of what the rest of the league would do when faced with that rotation and the Phillies offence. It’s not even selling the pharm. Drabek is still around as is Brown.

PS hate the site today. Always throwing me out

My choice for sliding Lee into the rotation would be to send down a bullpen arm, let Lopez take his turn, and slot Lee in as soon as possible, and slide everyone else back a day. That way you end up with Lee in the 2 slot where he belongs:

Wed, 7/29   at D'backs   2 Happ
Thu, 7/30   at Giants    3 Lopez
Fri, 7/31   at Giants    - Lee
Sat, 8/1    at Giants    4 Blanton
Sun, 8/2    at Giants    5 Moyer
Mon, 8/3    day off
Tue, 8/4    Rockies      1 Hamels
Wed, 8/5    Rockies      2 Lee
Thu, 8/6    Rockies      3 Happ...

and you can send Lopez down after his start, or send him to the pen and send down Register or Walker or Kendrick.

jimmymack13- good luck with that one, if any of the writters are even in the same zip code as the server room I think the IT guys would freak…..

Hey f-i-j, maybe Ruben will turn around and offer Lee and Happ for Halladay. The Jays get the reigning Cy Young award winner at a cheaper rate than Halladay, and Happ besides. Hell, throw in Taylor if that’s what it takes. I’m feeling generous.
Hamels cannot pitch against Lincicum on Saturday; that would only be three days rest. I would like to see it though, because that would be a good measuring stick for our ‘ace’. Lee should have no problem doing it.

pp4e, can you just send down Lopez without exposing him to other teams? He’s a veteran pitcher and would likely be taken by somebody, especially after the way he has performed. I’m not sure what their options are with Lopez.

Lopez is out of options Phan. I thought of sending Lee and Lopez for Halladay, but wanted to have fun with thr prospects. Amazing what 5 hours difference makes. Had I posted that idea before the Lee deal I would have gotten at leat 5 responses on each side of the question. Now, only one joking response.

I guess I’m not the only one thinking of the possibility of halladay and Lee on the staff. “Asked in Seattle whether he felt the Blue Jays dodged a bullet by the Phillies acquiring Lee instead of Halladay, Toronto manager Cito Gaston noted that some of Philadelphia’s top prospects were still available and said with a chuckle, “Yeah, I guess. Who knows? They may come back and get [Halladay], too. That’d be a pretty good staff there, wouldn’t it?””
ESPN

I think the fact that we got Lee and retained both Happ and Drabek, Jays would except nothing less from us than including both Happ and Drabek, just because we still have them, they either think they will get a better deal from the Red Sox, who are probably the only other teams with anything real to offer the jays, but reports say the Red Sox haven’t made any attempted offers yet…

phan52, I wasn’t suggesting Hamels pitch Saturday was saying Hamels or Lee should really face Lincecum, it was a comment not a statement….

This deal is almost embarrassing. What does Indian’s management see that Phillies management does not? Or better yet, what does Indian management know that Phillies management does not? Looks like Amaro pulled a real coup if this proceeds to completion. The thing I will always remember is that Julio Franco was the second coming until he was one five players traded for Von Hayes. As soon as that trade was made you would have thought Franco was dog meat according to Phillies management.

From this day forward this transaction will known as the Ruben Amaro, Jr. Full Employment Trade.

If it seems to good to be true, it probably is…….whats happening next?

If you read the Cleveland Plain Dealer comments, no person in Cleveland likes this trade. I guess we made a good one. Think about it though, at some point we will have a pitching numbers problem.

You wanna read a flaming blog comments section, check out the Indians fan responses on their site. If I was Mark Shapiro (Indians GM) , I’d have a intern start my car the rest of the season. Fans may ask Rickey Vaughn to make a comeback and take him outside and beat the sh– out of him.

Okay a couple of things…. rumour has it that Lee will wear #34 and pitch Saturday and francisco will wear #10…
Is the deal really that one sided as we have all initially seen it to be…. the difference between this and what the Phils offered for Halladay, Happ..Knapp and Taylor…Marson, considering the Halladay…Lee difference it really isn’t much different… still for the immediate needs the Phillies probably came out on top….

I wanted Halladay, but I can live with Lee. It’s the equivalent of having your heart set on Jessica Alba, but having to settle for Alyssa Milano. You’ll live.

Ricciardi really over played his hand. He was being totally unreasonable. As good as Halladay is, he’s only signed for a season and 2 months. You can’t expect a ROY candidate AND the other team’s top 2 prospects for a rental player. Time will tell who the winners and losers in this deal are, but Ricciardi looks like the biggest loser of them all. Kudos to Amaro for not being bullied and coming away with a good deal.

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