Lee to the Phillies but They Still Have Holes

December 14, 2010 at 8:45 am Leave a comment

Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee is now a Philadelphia Phillies. He left $28M on the table from the Yankees but took a higher average annually salary to play for the Phillies. The final deal according to Jon Heyman is 5 years and $120M.  This should give the Phillies the best rotation of the millenium but they still have major holes to fill.

Remember, the Phillies still have major holes to fill offensively and defensively.  They are very left-handed and have no bench.  If one of Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, or Ryan Howard gets injured they will be left with Wilson Valdez and Ross Gload.  They have no depth in the outfield and a statue of Raul Ibanez in left.  They still need a lefty in the bullpen and they need to free up some payroll and no one is running hard to acquire Joe Blanton right now.

The Phillies are far from perfect.  Are they NL favorites?  Maybe.  Do I think they are beatable.  You bet.  If the wisdom of Tony LaRussa does not get in the way of the Cardinals (any more than it already has) they could take the Phillies in a short series.  But, for now, the Phillies look to be the team that Vegas will change the odds on most.

Here are a few Cliff Lee links of bloggers that do a much better job than myself:

According to Dave Cameron, the Phillies now have a rotation that rivals any of the Atlanta Braves best they put on the mound in the 90s and possibly the best ever.

Beyond the Boxscore has a beautiful graph showing the growth of Lee as a pitcher and notes his major increase on inducing groundballs. This is a must see!

Rob Neyer says the Phillies, practically speaking, just reassumed the title of best team in the NL.

Keith Law (for ESPN Insiders only) wonders why the Phillies didn’t just keep Lee all along. He notes that the 3 prospects they recieved in the trade are will give them “next to no return” and that they lost their 1st round pick by signing Lee when all it came down to was money. If they would have signed him instead of trading him they would have had a better shot at beating the Giants in the playoffs in 2010 and they would keep thier 1st round pick for the upcoming June draft.

River Ave Blues writes what the Lee signing means to the Yankees.

Joe Pawlikowski gives a rundown of the possible trade options the Yankees could go after to help the rotation.

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