The Bittersweet Blockbusters

Posted by Corey Seidman, Tue, December 15, 2009 07:21 PM | Comments: 191
Acquisitions, Analysis, Posts

It’s all about perception.

You can view the trades made by Ruben Amaro in a positive or negative manner, just don’t combine them when you do so. They are two completely different deals that will, unfortunately, be linked together forever. And it’s all because of prospects, not money. Don’t believe anyone who says this was just about money.

The deal Amaro put together in order to acquire Halladay was nothing short of brilliant. He sent Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, and Travis D’Arnaud to the Blue Jays in exchange for Halladay and $6 million (40% of his 2010 salary.)

Immediately after acquiring Halladay, Amaro locked him up to a three-year contract worth approximately $60M. The contract, which runs through 2013, also contains a vesting option for 2014 that will automatically trigger if Halladay pitches a certain amount of innings throughout the course of the pact.

If you have the chance to acquire, and subsequently lock up one of the top-three pitchers in baseball for a price below market value, you do it.

Sure, Drabek may turn out to be a stud and D’Arnaud could be the future for the Blue Jays behind the plate. Taylor, a rapidly emerging outfield prospect, may be ready to contribute in April of next year. But it won’t be for Toronto – Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos quickly shipped him off to Oakland for Brett Wallace, the top prospect in the Athletics’ organization. All of these men may turn out to be very good major leaguers, or they might not.

Halladay, on the other hand, is a proven ace. He has been the best pitcher in the superior league for years, despite playing in the toughest division in baseball. This was a brilliant move.

But if Amaro received an A+ on the Halladay trade, he gets an F- on the Cliff Lee deal.Yes, an F-. If a score of 50 nets you an F on an exam, this was a 12.

Lee was sent to Seattle in exchange for Phillippe Aumont (the Mariners top pitching prospect,) Tyson Gillies (an impressive, toolsy outfielder,) and Juan Ramirez (a “high-ceiling” pitcher with mediocre minor-league numbers.)

I spent most of Monday night believing the Lee deal wouldn’t go through, if for no other reason than it was a ridiculous trade from the Phillies standpoint. Dave Cameron of USS Mariner also spent most of Monday in disbelief, claiming that the “package is just so light as to not be realistic.”

It is too light. Even if the Phillies felt that Lee was looking for CC Sabathia-type numbers and that he wouldn’t be back after 2010, this was not enough of a return for a dominant lefty coming off of a Cy Young award in 2008, a brilliant 2009 season, and, arguably, the best postseason any pitcher has ever had in the history of a 130 year-old sport. Yes, Lee will probably leave Seattle next Fall, but this wasn’t enough for a year of his services.

Amaro stole Lee from the Indians in July, and got robbed with his eyes open in December.

Greed is Good

“Experts” are telling you that having Halladay and Lee in the same rotation was never realistic. They are saying that it never could have worked and that anyone who is asking “what if?” is being greedy. They’re wrong. If you’re sitting in your home or your office or your car and imagining a Phillies rotation headed by Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels, you have every right to feel upset, confused, and incomplete about what transpired.

The idea of Halladay and Lee together was, by no means, unrealistic. Prior to these trades, Amaro spent a week trying to move Joe Blanton and his soon-to-be $7M salary. He couldn’t find a deal that made sense, so he didn’t pull the trigger. No team was offering the prospect(s) that Amaro was looking for.

Why would they? Blanton is, at best, a number three starter, and he’ll be a free agent after the 2010 season. If you were running a team, would you give up one of your top-five prospects for a pitcher who is going to go 13-10 with a 4.15 ERA? How about your seventh best prospect? How about your twelfth best prospect?

This wasn’t unrealistic because this wasn’t about money. If it were about money, Blanton would have (and definitely SHOULD have) been traded for whatever the Phillies could get. If they traded Blanton for a Double-A infielder who hit .213 last year, so be it. The salaries of Blanton and Lee will be so similar in 2010 that it doesn’t matter who the Phillies received for Kentucky Joe. If it meant the difference between having Blanton or Cliff Lee, the prospect who Blanton would be traded for is arbitrary.

This was about prospects.

Amaro wanted to replenish his farm system by making up for the losses of Drabek, Taylor, and D’Arnaud. Did he do that with Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez? That won’t be clear for another five years, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say probably not. Minor-leaguers are fickle in that they can underperform one year and overperform the next, but I’m sitting here looking at the numbers compiled by Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez over the course of their short careers, and I don’t see it.

So, if this all about prospects, my question is, why not trade for BETTER PROSPECTS?! Amaro didn’t have to trade Lee at all, but if he felt that he had to, he certainly could have called every other GM not named Jack Zduriencik. Maybe he did make those calls, maybe he didn’t. But wouldn’t the Angels, desperate after losing John Lackey that same day, and Chone Figgins weeks earlier to their biggest competitor, be willing to make a deal for Lee? Honestly, who wouldn’t be interested in Cliff Lee? I absolutely, positively refuse to believe that Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez were the best that Amaro could have gotten for Lee. This defies logic.

The real question now becomes, do you care about 2010, or do you care about 2015? It’s a complicated question, because in 2015, Ryan Howard might not be here. Chase Utley will be 37 years old. Jimmy Rollins will be sitting next to Karl Ravech on Baseball Tonight. The Phillies are going to need guys like Aumont, Gillies, Ramirez, and others to live up to their potential in order for this organization to remain competitive.

But don’t you worry about 2015 in 2012 or 2013, when it’s closer than five years away? Don’t you “go-for-broke” in 2010, when this nucleus is still intact, in its prime, and somewhat affordable?

This is why it’s all about perception. And this is why we are justified in feeling like the team we love just squandered an opportunity it might never again see.

Avatar of Corey Seidman

About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

  • Posts: 0 Adam B.

    As a Seattle Mariners fan I have mixed emotions…

    Obviously (and this isn’t meant as a rub-in) I’m ecstactic and over-joyed at the jaw-dropping one-sidedness of this trade, but on the other hand, as a Mariner fan through the Bavasi era, I know full well the “hole in your stomuch” feeling you get from being on the arse end of a major deal.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is; Phillies fans, you have my sympathy, but not my remorse.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    My good friend moved to Seattle in 01 and has become a fan of the M’s and has suffered.
    No disrespect to Mariners fans but, the addition of Lee is not going to do much for the Mariners this year and likely next year he will be gone.
    I think if Lee decides the money is good enough in Seattle, his career will fade there and he will never again smell the high voltage of a WS championship.
    His agent has said that the Lee contingent was never approached by the Phils organization about playing here and that Lee “hoped to be able to finish his career in Philadelphia…”
    I don’t buy it.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Nice article, but overly pessismistic. After the last 120 years, maybe that is built into the psyche of all Phils fans.
    I don’t see how the Halladay trade could have been better. Drabek wasn’t in the mix last year because Bavasi wouldn’t allow a 24 hr window to negotiate an extension with Doc. They also wanted Brown over Taylor.
    I agree that there was no rush to get rid of Lee. I would rather have kept him and given away Blanton in a salary dump. If still no takers, we would have been better off shopping Lee a little more, getting a 3rd or short prospect.
    Only time will tell if the Lee deal was a good one, but overall, I think Ruben is being creative and giving it effort. The stadium is sold out, the Phils don’t have the big network revenue of the Yanks or Red Sox, so they have to stay on budget. The payroll is still in going to be in the top 5, and they are the NL favorites going into the season. While Atlanta has improved, every other team is either staying the same or getting worse. We got a little bit better this off-season. It’s good to be a Phils fan right now.

  • Posts: 0 Keith E

    Spending an extra 9 mil for this year alone would not have broken the bank. We never know what next year will hold for us, injury, discontent, death. WTF take a shot! It’s only one year that the stars are aligned like they were. We have some good players up for free agency next year and there is no guarantee that any or all of them stay. We could easily be next year’s LA Angels! 9 mil for Lee. That’s Eaton money!
    @RAJ: You should have kept Lee.
    And furthermore, why was beer an extra $1 at the WFS last year?
    Come on, think real big.
    GO PHILS!!!

  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    The mariners were a solid team last year and with their now 1 2 punch they will be contending for the playoffs. so whoever said the M’s arnt going to compete with Lee…youre wrong.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    bfo – in every category except for the BP the Phils have improved a lot.
    Ruben said the BP is next, lets see if there is anything left.

    I’m ready –

    With the Eagles just about to clinch their division and perhaps a first round home field advantage, all the talk is about the Phillies.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    The M’s have added Figgins and now Lee. It still won’t be happening in Seattle.
    Their HR slugger was Branyan – who got injured and did not play the last 2 months of the season, he wound up with 31 hrs in 116 games and is after all, Russell Branyan. His career batting average is .234, he played in 116 games last year, the most he has played in his entire career (since 1998).
    Next in the power department was (2nd baseman) Jose Lopez who had decent numbers 25/96/272 average.
    Beltre, who has been quite the disappointment since his 04 monster (juiced?) season with the Dodgers hit 8 hrs.
    King Felix and Lee will make quite the formidable 1-2 punch but there is little to nothing after that. If Bedard could play for at least 3/4 of a season that would help but he spends quite a bit of time on the DL. But, he is after all Erik Bedard – always a lot of promise.
    The M’s have to compete with the Angels and the Rangers. Good luck.
    They will become a better team with Figgins and Lee aboard but it is not enough.

  • Posts: 0 Dhall

    Trading Lee for crap will go down as one of the biggest blunders in the history of this organization. The Mariners farm system is ranked in the bottom 3rd in baseball. If someone gives you the best entree from Earl’s Truck Stop, does that mean it’s good? Lee’s value was never any higher than it is now. He dominated the best lineup in baseball in front of the entire world. Great teams find a way to keep both pitchers. Boston just added Lackey to go with Beckett and Lester. They didn’t sign Lackey and then dump Beckett. What a joke.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Sorry for chiming in so late. Been rather busy lately. First off, great write up Corey. Really enjoyed it. I think it certainly was a great avenue to get people talking.

    Here is my take on this, and it is just an opinion so take it at that.

    I like the Halladay deal. I don’t love it. But I like it. I think Halladay will add some obvious stability over the next few years. I think he is the perfect pitcher, skill set wise for this ball park and he has the right frame of mind to pitch in Philly. His numbers against the Yankees alone make him legit, nevermind everything else he has done in arguably the best offensive division in baseball. In theory Halladay should save our bullpen to a degree as he will pitch deeper into games than what we might be accustomed to. All positives. And clearly 4 years of Halladay is better than 1 year of Lee.

    But then I look at the flip side. I personally didn’t think Lee would be with this team going into the season anyway because I just couldn’t see the Phillies going into the season with a rotation that consisted of 4 left handers in what is predominantly a right handed hitting league. So honestly I was not totally shocked to see him go. I do think the prospects we got for him are legit, I think Aumont is our future closer and I am ok with that. The Phillies had to trade Lee. Not because of salary, though I think it played a part in the decision. I think salary is used as an easy scapegoat. Especially when you consider what Moyer is going to make in what can only be described as a “Caught up in the moment” contract, and what Blanton will make in arbitration. But honestly, 7.5 mil for Blanton, is not bad at all. In the grand scheme, that is probably a discount. Not nearly the discount that Lee was at 9 mil but still, it’s not awful.

    No, Lee was clearly traded away because Amaro wanted prospects, he didn’t want his minor league system to resemble a homeless person’s refrigerator. He needed prospects so that he has the option of making trades down the road without having to sacrifice guys already on his roster. That is clearly what Amaro is thinking. Is it totally wrong? No. Is it totally right? No.

    Like Corey said, had they just let Lee walk, they would get 2 first rounders, who should be ready when the Phillies will need them. 2015 or so. Assuming the Earth is still around. It could all just blow up in our faces and then none of this will matter but thats a whole other topic.

    Halladay-Lee-Hamels is really a pipe dream. Not a totally unobtainable pipe dream mind you, but it was never really within reach.

    I am sure Amaro would have loved to have traded Blanton for prospects, I am sure he tried, I know he tried. But he saw the value he was getting for Lee was far greater than what he was being offered for Blanton. It would have been amazing for the Phillies to have arguably the best 3 headed monster in baseball history, might have even won them the World Series. But we will never know. And for anyone out there that thinks this season is a failure if we don’t get to the Series and insists that its because we don’t have Cliff Lee, then please take off your fan goggles and check yourself into reality. Just the task of making it to the Series 3 times in a row is astronomically slim, let alone winning it. Sure it can be done, anything can but nothing is a guarantee. Just ask the Met’s.

    I just hope Seattle can resign Lee and he does not end up anywhere in the NYY/LA or Boston area. Seattle has the money. I don’t think most people realize this but Seattle has the 2nd biggest baseball market in the majors. Behind only NY. Reason being, their games are shown in China, Japan, parts of Canada and some of the surrounding states. Look at a map, there are not exactly a whole lot of teams located close to them. They have a huge market both geographically and monetarily. This is not the first time they are spending their money, I just hope for their sake it works this time. I will also add in that although I am a devoted Phillies fan, I also have a rooting interest in the Mariners as well. Since the early 90′s, when Seattle actually became a good squad I started following them and have ever since. Certainly I don’t lose sleep over them like I do the Phillies, nor will I name my first born son after anyone on the Mariners past and present like I will with the Phillies but I do care to a degree. So I do have some knowledge on the Mariners prospects and I do think we are making out just fine.

  • Posts: 0 JBP

    the poster is exactly right. the phillies had a chance to send out the best rotation in team history for the 2010 season. a rotation that most likely would have brought another division title and probably another nl title. instead, amaro got nervous about baseball america writing an article saying that the phillies went from the 4th best minor league system to the 25th. like the poster states, if money was the issue, trade blanton for a C or D prospect. there’s $7M. figure out something for the remaining $2M. then, in 2011 when lee goes to the yankees or red sox, you sign a low double-digit salary pitcher.

    before you ask, yes, i’m completely fine with PERHAPS sacrificing our future for knowing FOR SURE you’ve given your team–a PROVEN WINNER–it’s best possible chance to bring the world series trophy back to philly.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    The Angels just lost Vlad, Figgins and Lackey, pretty sure they are not going to be nearly as good as they were last year.

    Rangers lost Millwood, and although he is no Ace, he was a big reason they were as good as they were pitching wise.

    Don’t be shocked if the Mariners make a serious run at Jason Bay now.

  • Posts: 0 Matt M

    I think people are overrating the fact that having Lee and Hallady would lead to a championship. Take a look at other great rotations since the 3-round format started in 1995:

    Braves with Glavine, Smoltz and Maddux- 1 WS championship in 9 trips to the playoffs together.

    Yankees with Clemens, Mussina, Pettitte-0 WS championships in 4 trips to the playoffs together.

    Diamondbacks with Schilling and Johnson- 1 WS in 2 trips to the playoffs together.

    A’s with Mulder, Zito, Hudson- 0 WS championships 0 playoff series wins in 4 trips to the playoffs together.

    So having a dominant rotation even for one year doesn’t assure the Phillies of anything once the playoffs start.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I agree Matt. Though having Lee-Hamels-Halladay certainly increases the chances of success, it guarantee’s nothing.

  • Posts: 0 JBP

    @ Matt M.

    well, yes, but NOTHING assures success in the playoffs. the point is, if you can do it, give yourself the best shot to succeed. and the phillies could have done it: if they wanted to risk depleting their farm system.

    i would be singing a different tune if this was a “get us over the hump” move. by that i mean if we were coming up just short of making the playoffs or getting to the playoffs and not having success. i’m not a fan of risking the future for making a move that maybe gives the big club a better shot of success in the playoffs. the first step is to prove that the core has what it takes and then you can get aggressive with moving your prospects. well, as we all know, the core is rock solid.

  • Posts: 0 keng

    heres my theory – what went down had something to do with gillick – and amaro’s relationship with gillick and the whole toronto organziation – my guess is gillick, ex-gm of all 3 orgs, was the grand orchestrator of all this – he came to amaro and said hey heres a way to make the phils better and the mariners better and even help toronto get what they want – and if all the pieces were inextricably entwined and had to go together, he was probably right – this is a trade we do even giving up the minor league talent we did bc we landed for 5 years one of the best 3 pitchers in the game – but when the trade shifted and there was no longer any cross swapping, the mariners were no longer sending critical components to the blue jays, no longer any triangulation, than it, unfortunately for amaro, opened up the big second guess question that otherwise wouldnt have been a part of this – why trade lee for 3 not unbelievable prospects??? – especially when not trading him would have made u a world series favorite??? – and u might even have figured out how to keep him after this year if u had all that amount of success ???- but amaro had to keep going all the way with this even when that traingulation went away or he would have hung the orchestrator of the deal, his friend and mentor, and the mariners out to dry!!!! – and thats what i think went on behind the scenes and explains this otherwise stupid deal – atleast the lee part – so amaro just had to suck it up and take this one for gillick!! – and thats life in the big leagues!! – the great irony will be seattle winning the whole thing this year with lee on the hill!!!!!!! – by the way, i agree, that was the best entry piece ive ever read on here – it really distilled clearly and beautifully this whole confusing mess – and it made it easy to understand why one can feel so good and so bad at the same time – 2 trades ultimately – 1 good – 1 terrible!!

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Just can’t believe how much bad press there is against this deal. Guys like Keith Law just make me sick in their unwavering opinions on some teams, he never has ANYTHING good to say about anything the Phillies do and as much as I think he’s good at assessing individual players he never sees the big picture and boy was he right about the Mets and Rays being the teams to watch last year…

  • Posts: 0 keng

    actually – having written what i just wrote – i want to add that this whole trade depresses me – i think holiday may be a little better – but we did great with lee – so who knows – and i think we may have given away 1 or 2 great players that could have really helped us over the next 10 years and depleted our farm system – these mariners guys were not even the top picks in a farm system that is rated one of the worst in baseball – so we’ll see but……..

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    ^big picture says the Phils could afford to make this deal. As good as Drabek and Taylor are viewed Brown is meant to be our prized prospect, we have to believe the Phillies have enough material on the Seattle prospects to have a plan for them and we still have a plethora of prospects particularly outfielders and pitchers at various levels of the farm.

    There’s so much being said against Aumont here but these were the exact things being said about Drabek prior to TJ surgery and people stopped talking about him after that surgery until he was so far back on the radar you couldn’t ignore him and even then until last year EVERYONE viewed him in the same way Aumont is viewed now as a back-end reliever. I don’t know Aumont past remember how loved he was when he was drafted and yes he isn’t as good as Drabek but who’s to say he won’t ascend to the same level as Drabek? Who’s to say Ramirez won’t reach that level as well or instead or maybe a couple of guys we’ve barely heard of recently signed of drafted will be the new gems of the farm. When you look at what we have in the minors the Phillies are producing an almost unparalleled amount of prospects capable of reaching the majors in the next 1-3 years and by that time every teams farm will look nothing like the farm they have then.

    I’m not meaning to criticize those who think this isn’t a good deal for the Phils, I’m just saying break it down and look at the big picture. Look at the team right now and what is realistic, look at the farm compared to other teams in the division NL and the majors. Look at how good Halladay actually is because when this team isn’t winning NL pennants (and sooner or later it will happen) I don’t know about you but I want him as the centrepeice that keeps this team as close to the top as baseball law will allow.

    3 division titles, 2 NL titles, back to back World Series appearances and a World Championship, this front office is doing something right…

  • Posts: 0 Matt M

    JBP-I agree in a perfect world I would have loved it if they were able to Cliff Lee. But that post was a response to people who act like it’s a foregone conclusion that they aren’t going back to the World Series because they traded Lee. And honestly they aren’t going anywhere if they don’t fix the bullpen and if trading Lee allows them to make that upgrade I’m fine with this trade.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    We have to dispel this idea that Lee is about as good as Halladay. As good as Lee was in the post-season so was Hamels the year before, Andy Pettitte is considered to be one of the best post-season pitchers of all time but overall few people think he’s going to be a hall of famer.

    Cliff Lee is considered right now to be a borderline top 15 pitcher, with one Cy Young and one more year to back it up in a contract year seeking top 3 money at the postion and not guaranteed to yield a first round compensation pick (he could have signed with a bottom 15 team and remember the Jays only got 3rd round compensation plus supplementary pick for Burnett).

    Roy Halladay is considered to be the best pitcher of the past decade and he’s by no means old or a serious injury threat. He’s a Cy Young winner who has finished near the top of Cy Young voting in I believe half of his seasons in the majors pitching in the toughest division in baseball on a bad team. He is a top 5 pitcher which is a hell of an upgrade over a top 15 pitcher because those top 5+ are in a different class to the guys who are elite but aren’t in that top bracket. Roy Halladay will be here for a minimum of 4 years with an option for a 5th year.

    Most of us are cross over sports fans so I’ll put it in these terms, would you rather have Peyton Manning for possibly the rest of his career or Matt Schaub in a contract year seeking top 3 money? The rest of the factors trust the front ofice can adapt and overcome IF there are major negatives otherwise you might as well throw out ALL your 2007-09 memorabilia in which go on spread the hate to your hearts content, just don’t believe your views are objective.

  • Posts: 0 Jason

    Couple things to think about. First we all loved the way Lee pitched in the WS. But we also loved the way Cole pitched in 2008. No way to know if Lee will be a cy young type pitcher or the guy who was in the minors in 2007 (maybee it was 2006) or some where in the middle. Also they may have asked around about Lee and the M’s gave us the best offer. Now Rube might hold off a lttle bit to see if anyone else offers a nicer deal if not he takes the M’s deal. Last of all the M’s could be playing chicken with us and put a deadline on the present offer

  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    Has anyone come to the notion that the Lee deal is not final and has not been confirmed as final.

    Halladay has been in Philly took a Physical, talk extension and has passed and said to have reached an agreement, making that deal almost complete.

    The Lee deal is seperate, Cliff has not been to Seattle, he has not actually been in contact about this at all, other than the media. I find that part of this so fascinating. I am not saying Lee is going to stay, but maybe RAJ is fielding other offers here. He easily could get the Angels in the bidding as well.

    Rumor is that Doc will be announced today, but the Lee deal I think is still a little raw and will take a couple days

  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    NJ all I have to say to your last paragraph is what???? How is that anything like what this is. You said you could either have arguably the greatest quarterback of all time or some scrub for one year. That is nthing like this. If it was a straight up trade Lee for Halladay. Awesome thats great. But we couldve had both.

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    we didn’t get fleeced in the lee deal, plain and simple. we should have gotten a little more (a mlb reliever, or another prospect) but thats about it. rube gets an A for the halladay deal (getting the top pitcher in baseball, extending him to a below market deal with an option, not losing anyone on the mlb roster) and gets maybe a C for the lee deal, b/c he should have gotten a little more.

    the jays guys aren’t junk, they are way better than what we gave to the indians. i’m not going to puss around because we should have gotten a little more for lee. it sucks, but the doc will make things feel better.

  • Posts: 0 derekcarstairs

    Great Post!

    According to Lee’s agent, the Phillies and he spoke very little about a Lee extension. Lee supposedly was amenable to an extension, just not when he was still with the Indians. If this is true, did the Phillies drop the ball on the entire deal? I would have had some serious talks with Lee’s agent beginning immediately after the World Series. By the time of the Winter Meetings, we would have known definitively if it was possible to extend Lee.

    I believe that Halladay is a potential Hall of Famer and that Lee is merely excellent. That said, if I could extend Lee for three years with one or two additional option years, I would have kept Lee and our own prospects.

    The quality of the Ms prospects we’re getting does not seem that high. Aumont, for example, a minor leaguer with very few innings, is already in the bullpen. I don’t think that top relievers move to the bullpen so early in their careers. Baseball America rates our minor league system near the top and the Ms near the bottom. If we had to deal Lee, we should have shopped him to a team with stronger prospects.

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    anyone think that lees agent is just saving face to make lee look like not a bad guy?

    lee was in a contract year, and has already publicly said he wants to test free agency. as an agent, if you don’t come out and say you are interested in sitting down and discussing an extension, and your player doesn’t have a NTC, then you cannot say that the rug was pulled from you when he is traded.

    its like the girl who is indifferent to you, then you move on with your life, and she’s amazed and bewildered by it. i’m not saying lee is a bad guy, but i think a lot of this backlash is that people liked lee and started feeling comfortable seeing him in philly. yes, we should have gotten more, but not a ton more. the gap between lee for one year and halladay for 4-5 years is ridiculously large. to expect the same return is ridiculous.

  • Posts: 0 Pat

    Well said, agree with everything you said 100%! Love RoyBoy, but would loved to have lee for one year. Way Way to much is being put into these prospects. More recently, phils prospects have done well, but in the past, anyone remember Pat Combs, Jeff Jackson, Tyler Green, Ron Jones, etc, etc….I know this is a different era, but the lee trade doesn’t make sense!

  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    I agree with Jeff. Lee has not been reported as taking a physical yet as far as I know. Are the Mariners going to take him with blind faith or are discusions still being held? I really hope Amaro can swoop in and make an F into an A.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Nj –

    There is no question that Halladay is an upgrade over Lee. He is quite possibly the best pitcher in baseball and a certified horse. When I think of him and how he pitches I think of Jim Palmer a little. The problem everyone is having is WHY we are trading Lee for these prospects right now. Where’s the fire? Personally, I thinks it sucks that you can’t have both Lee and Halladay. Its not my money but I’m sure the ownership has plenty of it. When we are all dead and buried what does it matter that a bunch of billionaires gave Ruben an extra 10m for this year to keep Cliff when our kids can live with a World Series. No guarantee I understand. But, lets get past that point the Phils are being excessively cheap.

    There is the matter of prospects. I understand not wanting to gut the farm system. And I don’t think the prospects we’re getting are crap. But what is the harm in waiting a bit to see what teams come out of the woodwork when some pitcher goes down in spring training for a contending team and desparation sets in. Because it happens EVERY year. And then get better prospects from that team. Another option would be to let Lee AND Blanton (assuming the Phils lose control of him after ’10) walk and take 3 but probably 4 first round picks???? We have the guys in our system to reload in the next two years (Gose, Brown, Galvis) if need be so we can afford to let players enter the minor league system in ’11 as opposed to needing guys at AAA that can come in this year. Plus we get to draft better players.

    That said, I love Halladay. But Ruben will one day understand there is no “great blueprint”. You do what you can when you can do it. Sometimes when something so profoundly awesome is right there for the taking you gotta take it and worry about other shit later. Keeping Lee is no better example of this notion. You have a team that can literally be the greatest this city has ever known in any sport. I think its worth whatever risk Ruben is having a problem coming to terms with.

    The Dipsy

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Sorry about the double Dipsy.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Lee had/has little to no trade value, because him and his agent had already said they wanted to test the Free Agent market and/or seek a C.C. Sabathia type deal

    So we couldn’t have gotten Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain for Cliff Lee

    we couldn’t have gotten Clay Bucholz for Cliff Lee … etc

    We flipped him, managed to get some prospects back in return… Baseball is a business.. and thank god we have the Ownership group that we do.. They spend more than other teams, in bigger markets.. but they also spend wisely

    someone said they wanted this franchise sold to COMCAST ??? Why so Ed Snider can get his hands on it, and overpay aging Free Agents?

    I looked into the Michael Taylor for Brett Wallace deal.. and basically it wouldn’t have worked out for the Phillies to trade him straight-up, becuase WALLACE is seen as an above-average hitter.. and well below average defensive player

    He plays 3b and 1b .. but is viewed by Toronto to be a 1b/DH

  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Totally missed the point on this – simply put you are wrong.

    The Lee trade was about money AND prospects. Obviously Amaro was facing a hard cap on payroll. You can argue about this, you can dream about this but Amaro has a boss and the numbers were fixed.

    So, he has to move payroll. He tried with Blanton but nobody bites. IF he waits, everyone will know he HAS to move Lee at which point the prospects offered will be even lower than what he has received. He cut the deal with Seattle before they knew about Halladay. Maybe they guessed but they could not be sure. If he tries and stop it now he will get even less.

    I am not sure why everyone thinks the prospects are too light. We got 1.5 years potential for Lee for 4 “B” prospects. Now he is only good for 1 year and we get 3 “B” prospects. What makes everyone so sure that Lee is worth more when we have two transacitons within two months that says this is what he is worth?

    Of course, you want more but I don’t think you understand how MLB currently values prospects. These are guys you can have for a few years at min salary. That is worth millions!

    Ask Toronto how they did by waiting on Halliday? They got 3 prospects and had to fork over $6 million and only if we get Halliday for 4 years.

    Amaro struck when he had to, because someone capped money available and because he knew, unlike most of you, that when everyone knows you are selling the price goes down.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    It’s going to take probably 3 years to see the real outcome of this deal

    In that time, there is a good chance we add our 3rd World Series trophy

    Travis D’Arnaud has seen his numbers drop at each level the past two seasons:

    Williamsport (NY-PENN LEAGUE): he hit .309, with a .371 On-Base% in 48 games in 2008

    He then moved up to Lakewood (LOW CLASS A minors) to play the final 16 games in 2008.
    He hit .297, with a .357 On-Base%

    Last year, in a full season at Lakewood he hit .255, with a .319 On-Base% … he did manage to hit 13 HRs

    and he’s only 20 years old, he’ll be 21 in February…

    With another Cather, Sebastian Valle, in the farm system… the phillies could afford to move D’Arnaud.. and have plans to keep Carlos Ruiz for the next 3+ years

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    COMCAST? Don’t be stupid. How many championships have they won?

    From Jayson Stark for you ungrateful basages: “Finally, this trade is a statement about how far the losingest franchise in professional sports has come. Nine years ago, Curt Schilling couldn’t wait to force his way out of this town. Now Philadelphia is a place where a Cy Young winner seems to burst through the door every 15 minutes. This makes three of them GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has acquired just in the last five months (Lee, Halladay and Pedro Martinez). Who’d have thunk it?”

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    IF Aumont clearly has the stuff to be the future closer, then this deal will be totally worth it….whether or not Cliff Lee earns 5 more Cy Youngs or gets Seattle a WS…

    We really DON’T know good or bad Kyle Drabek will be…personally, I would have loved to have seen him play here…..but he’s not…and that’s it….

    We have Roy Halladay under our control for at least the next 4 years….at BELOW MARKET VALUE….

    Seriously…..who on this blog can really complain about that….???….

    And who can really complain about what Ruben has done so far this offseason to better the WHOLE team..??…

    –UPGRADE at 3B…and 7th spot in the order
    –UPGRADE at utility IF
    –UPGRADE at PH/reserve OF
    –UPGRADE at backup catcher
    –and…..UPGRADE at #1 starting pitcher

    Seriously…..are you guys really THAT upset at the way we sit right now???

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Cliff Lee and Pedro Feliz


    Roy Halladay and Placido Polanco

    … Thank you Ruben Amaro for making our team SO MUCH BETTER!!!

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    THere are way too many posts..


    Who does/doesn’t like this deal?

    I don’t LOVE it the way I did with Cliff Lee (because we basically stole Lee from Cleveland).. but i do “really like” the deal because Halladay is a monster!

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    If Aumont has the durability he could be converted to starter, beacuse a bunch of the MLBN people said he resembles Derek Lowe, but as a reliever he is dynamite when fully healthy.

    Aumont’s hard hard sinker is the key to him being a starter, if he can handle the workload, that sinker and his nasty breaking pitches will carry him the rest of the way.

    But you now what? Good for Seattle too though, they are going for it this year. I like their GM. Taylor was not going to play here because hes ready now, which is too soon for us. I love how Beane slipped in there and pried him away from Toronto. Thats such a Billy Beane move. He was definitely tapping the phonelines here or something.

    I love it for us the MOST though, because we got ROY HALLADAY and locked him for 3 additional years MINIMUM.

    Thats why they traded Drabek, because with Roy here they really dont need Drabek to come up this year or next year.

    Maybe they will need someone to replace Blanton after this year, but Happ 3 of those 5 spots with the Doc, Hamels, and Happ are LOCKED DOWN for several years to come. They still need some kind of cheap 5th starter, which they may be able to afford. Otherwise, they have a few guys who MAY get a shot at the rotation this year or next year if a hole really opens up due to injuiry. Stutes (maybe), Kendrick (less maybe), Carpenter (less than maybe).

    Im nto even opposed to running Moyer out there for the first 2 months of the season at this point because we have ROY HALLADAY. And for me, thats a big change.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    exactly Chuck. They have upgraded at EVERY position where they have made a change this offseason so far.

    Yet everyone is complaining. Brown can come up in 2011 and replace someone if need be. But other than that this is a WIN NOW team.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    good point jeff of NoVa.

    now if it is true i can say this:
    other than giving Moyer 3 yrs, RAJ has done an admirable job. To have done such a Jeckyll and Hyde move at this point means either
    a) unbeknowst to anyone RAJ is bi-polar and decided he negotiates better sans meds.
    b) this is just the phantom 5 ownership group showing it’s true colors. I gave them the benefit of the doubt for not restocking the BP with at least one middle reliever last year down the stretch to the post season. I thought, baby steps…that mid-season Lee deal might have disrupted their pacemakers a bit….but 9 mil for a year for Lee is a no brainer if you already got ‘em esp. when the Sox aquired Lackey. Any owner…wait let me rephrase that 5 seriously rich owners, who cares about winning would have bit the bullet. Don’t you think other GM’s caught up to the fact that the Phillies ownership hasn’t changed….when you have a chance to win 2 consecutive WS, become part of baseball history along with the Big Red Machine, but hamstring your GM from improving your MASH unit of a BP…. I’m not saying that we lost because of the BP per se, in fact until the WS it performed well beyond it’s expectations but to put a lame ass mid season cap because you have to stay on budget….a couple extra million leveraged against what could be a huge windfall…little risk for alot of reward. Only the phantom five would pull such crap. Don’t be fooled by the recent pay roll increases and assumed the phantom 5 has changed. They are still operating with the same midset and treating the team like a static commodity which can only be done, ironically by the likes of the Yanks and Sox. That is they are only paying more for what they know works which is fine assuming you can replenish the labor without a loss in productivity. Can we? Don’t really know esp. when no one gets to see the books. in article about this issue in the daily post, Paul Hagen writes,
    “The suspicion will always be that the Phillies could afford to push the payroll even higher. Maybe they can. Without access to the books, none of us will ever really know for sure.”
    Aside from this quote the article essentially chastized fans for not understanding baseball economics. Maybe this was true before the internet and fanatsy baseball. This quote however was interesting and made his critisms of the fan base look more like a way to hide his real disdain for the phantom 5. Maybe not…As i’ve only been back for 2 years and don’t read alot of Daily News to know what gives with this reporter. Bottom line is other GMs can read between the lines and know you don’t mirco manage with a team as capable as this one unless you’ve got orders from your out of touch, paranoid ownership.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Still happy. Love my Halladay X-mas present. Last rant applies to Lee deal.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Do some of you really think the FO didnt look at whether it was possible to Keep Cliff Lee this and traded Lee purely to save $2m they just couldn’t muster up after trading Joe Blanton? Or that somehow this a conspiracy or RAJ just dropping the ball?

    Has the last 5 years of work by the Gillick/Amaro front office left you with so little faith the team their fielding isn’t going to go as far as it possibly can? Have the NY Yankees not taught you you can’t be blood thirsty fans EXPECTING to win a championship and adding star after star just sees the some of your other guys drop off and leave you pretty much where you would have been in the first place give or take… Did all those big buck players beat the Phillies this year or was it mostly some of the ‘other’ guys or the ones who’d be forgotten about like Hideki Matsui that really won them the series?

    Do you really think Ruben didn’t go upstairs and ask for the extra money to keep Lee. There’s a mountain of things going on in the background we don’t know about and talking about one deal in such plain terms as to think there aren’t is just naive.

    Those of you who without a shadow of a doubt think we could have kept Lee for this year if your not happy go hold a protest outside CBP or to an extent get on board!

    Some of you are just sounding like Pirates fans, you might enjoy being a fan of theirs where you can bitch and moan at the front office who haven’t earned some trust.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    I like the Halladay move, good for now and the next 3 years.

    The Lee deal if complete at its current standing, I hate it. Not because we need Lee but those 3 prospects vs a #1 draft pick and supplemental pick is not too far from even.

    I do not believe in the salary dump crap cause of Blanton’s salary.

    This was definitely to fill the farm and I am not sure they replenished it with enough quality for what they give up.

    And of course I have to deal with it whether I like it or not cause I am a die hard Phillies fan

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    FOX SPORTS said that Billy Beane has been in on Michael Taylor

    ever since the Phillies called about trading for Matt Holliday last year, because they didn’t know if Raul Ibanez would be able to come back strong after his injury!!

    today was the first I had heard that

  • Posts: 0 bob

    Some of you are going to completely forget about this deal after Halladay mows down the side in the opener in April.

    Unbelieveable the flip-flop since July.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Again remember with the compensation it not a guarantee of a 1st round pick plus the supplementary pick. The Jays were expecting 1st rounded compensation for Burnett before the Yanks went on a spending spree making it a 3rd AND this year their expected 1st rounder for Scutaro will apparently be at best a 2nd after the BoSox signed Lackey.

    What we got for Lee wasn’t a great deal but it wasn’t a terrible deal when you look at what a fair amount of ‘stars’ have been traded for prior to or inside their final year.

    I’d much rather see the front office take a teams two best pitching prospects, a promising outfield than haggle with limited suitors trying not to shoot themselves in the foot and come up empty? Were we really expecting Lee to get a Kershaw from a team like the Dodgers or the Angels top pitching prospect when they weren’t willing to trade them for Halladay?

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I love having Halladay on our team now… but I HATE this deal because we didn’t get enough prospects for Cliff Lee.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    I just find it hard to believe that a package of Mariners or Angels prospects + Taylor couldn’t get the deal done. Something like Saunders, Reckling and Taylor.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    I guess I whoudl ask is Drabek and D’arnaud better than Aumont, Ramirez and Gillies?

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    WAYYYYY better…

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