Done Deal: Phillies Sign Cliff Lee
Perhaps feeling pressured by the Mets’ rabid activity over the past two weeks (signings of DJ Carrasco, Boof Bonser, and Ronny Paulino; hirings of Dave Hudgens, Jon DeBus, Ken Oberkfell, and Mookie Wilson to coaching staff), the Philadelphia Phillies responded by signing Cliff Lee to a 5-year, $120M contract.
Interesting … so all along, it was NOT about the money, because Lee was offered something in the neighborhood of $150M and 7 years to sign with the Yankees, and around $135-140M to stay in Texas. In the end, Lee was genuinely happy in Philadelphia, and apparently never wanted to leave the city of Brotherly Love to begin with.
What’s more interesting is how the Phillies are able to sign Lee now, but were financially unable to keep both him and Roy Halladay this time last year. I guess they made a boatload of money by selling out all of 2010 and then pre-selling out their 2011 season tickets? Also, they likely will be making a salary-dump deal, and do have a significant amount of cash coming off the books after 2011.
Of course, the Mets were never in the running for Lee, nor any free agent costing more than $2M per year. As we know, the Mets have the heavy liabilities of a brand-new ballpark and a TV network to weigh them down. Additionally, there are those contracts handed out like candy by Omar Minaya over the past 5 years. Just because the Phillies can spend $160M+ on their payroll doesn’t mean the Mets can reach that figure.
So here is the potential Phillies rotation, as of this moment:
1. Roy Halladay
1. Cliff Lee
1. Roy Oswalt
1. Cole Hamels
5. Joe Blanton
As everyone knows, there are only 4 aces in a deck of cards, thank goodness. Otherwise we might see the Phillies acquiring Zack Greinke next. If that “Phearsome Phoursome” can stay healthy and pitch the way we think they can, the Phillies might have the best starting rotation since the 1971 Orioles (but hey, even with all that pitching, the Orioles still didn’t win the World Championship).
Considering that Lee was offered a seven-year deal from the Yankees and either a 6- or 7-year deal from the Rangers, the Phillies’ 5-year contract appears to be a bargain. Yes, it’s a gamble to give five years to a 32-year-old pitcher with chronic back issues, but if Lee can give them two good years and help them to at least one World Series appearance, it’s well worth it. Of course, we won’t know for sure until we see what happens over the next five years.
Hallady appears to be immune from injury, as does Oswalt. Lee and Hamels are somewhat suspect.
I don’t think the Phillies can mail it in, yet. Their offense appears suspect, especially if Utley can’t stay healthy and Rollins remains inconsistent. The Mets have had a workable approach to Ryan Howard, Werth is gone and Ibanez is definitely showing his age.
Teams that can hang in there against the Phillies into the 7th inning with superior bullpens are most likely to succeed against a team with the best rotation in major league baseball.
Oswalt is a notoriously slow starter and catches fire in the second half.
Hamels is streaky
Lee can manage if he has to.
the only reason i think we had worked around howard was by throwing feliciano at him everytime we faced him…and we dont have him anymore…
But Blanton is pretty good, I wish Haap was #5.
Last year, the Philly fans were “oh so sure” that Halladay was going to win 30. Then it was an easy 25. Certainly he was gonna win 20 and the Championship.
It all looks good on paper. But unfortunately, there’s 162 games and then a few good teams who also have a say in the Phiten’s outcome. Makes it all the more sweeter.
It might sound REALLY boring, and it might turn A LOT of fans off completely – but really….what can be done at this point, except to:
– shed bad money/attitudes (Castillo/Perez)
– get a better look at some of the in-house options (Emaus, Turner, Murphy, Evans, Thole, Niese, Gee, etc.)
– look to restock on guys who have big money/bidding wars staring them in the face next winter (let’s face it, another crappy season would have anyone looking to bolt for greener pastures – *cough* Reyes *cough*)
– keep talking throughout the season on big-names that could potential contribute to teams in a pennant race (the Beltran’s and K-Rod’s of the baseball world)
I can’t, in my most impartial of opinions – downplay the significance of the Phils’ latest acquisition. They already had 2 pitchers that I would have given up a ton to acquire (Halladay/Oswalt — these are the types you spend on, Wilpons) — and have now re-acquired the big-game arm that they’ll need, once they inevitably get back to the post-season.
Unless the Phils deal with a rash of injuries to the rotation, then I can’t see how they’re not set for a huge season – 100%, undisputed NL East champs, on paper RIGHT NOW. [Disclaimer: Standard “That’s Baseball, and why we play the games” reservation of rights thrown in. I’m not that blind.]
In the process, it really makes the Mets’ season that much tougher….if not, down the road for the next handful of years.
They should start by doing what they have to this winter. Who cares who they offend in the process? The fanbase is going to be numb soon….may as well scrape off some of the barnacles now.
Hey, the Mets have a new coach!
IT WAS ABOUT THE MONEY, BUT IT WAS ALSO ABOUT WHAT CLIFF LEE WANTED!!!
you idiots make it seem like these players aren’t human and will always choose the highest bidder. shame on all of you who thought just because the yankees have money, that they would get him…
the ONLY CONCERN FOR THE PHILLIES ARE:
plus I would think that the rotation would stack like this:
Blanton/some other schmoe
Matt Cerrone is a tool…his latest post on the phillies signing is retarded and he is super retarded to start comparing the phillies spending money and the mets since the phillies have won a world series and have been to the playoffs as much as the mets have in the last few years…they actually won something…and i’m a mets fan…this is how retarded matt cerrone is that fecken tool.
rotation should be R-L-R-L-X
What else would you like him to say, but essentially — I found it to be a desperate attempt at trying to convince the Met fanbase to be optimistic about 2011 — and that this team somehow has a legit chance at making the playoffs.
Not his fault, but it’s an insult to fans — that he thinks some could be that naïve.
A lot of teams go through dark periods, but The Wilpons have no one to blame but themselves — for the “executives” they’ve hired in the past, coupled with the jokes they’ve targeted and extended on the FA market.
Just glad that we have some baseball people in charge now…..just hope they’re not hindered going forward.
Oh my how lucky is it for Sandy that his Francesa interview wasn’t today?
If that’s the kind of interview we’re gonna give this winter, then just don’t give it. (And I’m not saying it in a spoiled/entitled way) — it’s not what any of us want to hear, RE: the likes of Castillo/Perez.
If either of those 2 make it to regular season action with the Mets — then I’m definitely not going to a game this season.
Mark that down…..especially in a summer that sees me signing my life away.
They most certainly WOULD want Pelf, with the miss on Cliffy and HGHAndy looking like he’s gonna hang ’em up. Or maybe you think they’d rather sign Kevin Millwood and depend on AJ?? The Yanks would definitely listen– why wouldn’t they? How is it that they have “no need for him”?? Groundballs good for Yankee Stadium, I’d give them Pelf before Niese.
Mets need more speed in the outfield, after losing Francoeur.
Trading Pelfrey is not a terrible idea, but the Yankees have Hughes and Joba, so they really have no need for Pelfrey too. And since according to Francesa Hughes is as good as Hamels (gag!) there’s no way they want Pelf.
As for this Lee stuff, I think all Phily fans should come to terms with the following: you may win another ring or two, but in 3-4 years you will have a really old team with a lot of money tied into players that are not guaranteed to be good anymore. I’m sure you are fine with that, but don’t believe you are magically going to fix those problems. That front office has its work cut out for it in the near future. It could end up ugly before it’s all done.