Although the Phils have been knocked out of the playoffs last Saturday, things have been busy during the last week or so since the 2010 National League Champions San Francisco Giants celebrated their victory at Citizens Bank Park. Saturday night, Sunday and Monday the Phils cleared out their lockers before heading off to their respective homes.
On Monday, General Manager Reuben Amaro, Jr. held a press conference announcing that while he was happy that 2010 was a successful year, the fact that they had failed to get into the World Series, as everyone was expecting, have left a bitter taste in his mouth, and he was planning to make some changes as far as the offense was concerned.
During the week, the Phils bought out J.C. Romero’s contract, paying him $2500,000 for the last year of his contract, while letting go both Greg Dobbs and Jamie Moyer, allowing the three to become free agents, although willing to take Romero back if nobody else comes knocking at his doorstep, with a minor league contract. (Sorry to see you go, guys. Wish you luck.) Paul Hoover have also opted for free agency after being assigned to Lehigh Valley.
The Phils have finally contacted Jayson Werth, via his agent Scott Boras, to see if there was any way that they can keep him here. (I’m not holding my breath. Boras equals large amount of money, and I do not think that the Phils are in that particular neighborhood.)
Placido Polanco will be having surgery to fix up his left elbow at some point today, and should be ready for spring training next year.
Roy Halladay, who plans to give his hurt groin a rest, for now, have been named the National League Clutch Performer of the Year and the Players Choice for NL Outstanding Pitcher.
Phillies land Lee from Tribe
Defending AL Cy Young winner to join world champions
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Oh my god!! Are the Phils now the team to beat??? It sure looks that way to me!!! 🙂
Cliff Lee won the American League Cy Young Award last season. Less than a year later, he’ll join the defending world champions.
The Phillies and Indians reached agreement Wednesday that would send the left-handed Lee, along with outfielder Ben Francisco to Philadelphia for a package of four prospects — Class A right-hander Jason Knapp and Triple-A right-hander Carlos Carrasco, catcher Lou Marson and shortstop Jason Donald.
The deal is pending medical reviews and could be announced later Wednesday.
The Phillies have been searching for starting pitching help for months. Lee is 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA this season. He went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA last season, after spending much of 2007 in the Minor Leagues. And Francisco fills a void for a potent right-handed bat off the bench. Francisco, who played regularly in left field, is hitting .250 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs.
On the other hand, the trade may be a signal that Cleveland — which traded the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner last year, too, in the person of CC Sabathia — is entering a rebuilding period.
Knapp appears to be the key acquisition for the Tribe. He was the Phillies’ second-round pick in last year’s First-Year Player Draft, and he won’t turn 19 until Aug. 31. Listed at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, Knapp has an upper-90s fastball and a large frame. He was starting for Class A Lakewood in the South Atlantic League, where he was 2-7 with a 4.01 ERA in 17 starts, striking out a ******** 111 batters while walking 39 in 85 1/3 innings.
Knapp was recently shut down with right shoulder soreness. He hasn’t pitched since July 11.
It was well-documented that the Indians were seeking impact pitching prospects in advance of Friday’s Trade Deadline, and Carrasco is the other pitching piece of the deal. He had been discussed internally by the Tribe last year, when the club was shopping Sabathia. In the end, the Tribe turned down a package featuring Carrasco and instead shipped Sabathia to the Brewers for a package highlighted by outfielder Matt LaPorta.
But the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Carrasco is now coming aboard. Carrasco, a 22-year-old native of Venezuela, was with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he was 6-9 with a 5.18 ERA in 20 starts. He had struck out 112 with 38 walks in 114 2/3 innings.
Marson is one of the game’s top catching prospects. His acquisition could signal that the Indians are on the brink of another move, possibly involving Victor Martinez.
The 23-year-old Marson has hit .294 with a homer, 13 doubles, 24 RBIs and a .751 OPS in 63 games at Lehigh Valley this season. He appeared in seven games with the Phillies, going 4-for-17 at the plate.
Donald, 24, was batting .236 with a homer, 15 doubles, one triple, 16 RBIs and a .629 OPS in 51 games at Lehigh Valley. He just recently returned to action after surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.
Lee was one of three pieces acquired by Cleveland in the 2002 trade that sent Bartolo Colon to the Expos, and he’s the second of those pieces to be shipped out, joining the Reds’ Brandon Phillips. Grady Sizemore is the lone remaining player from the trade that has defined Mark Shapiro’s tenure as general manager and the rebuilding effort that got the Indians into the postseason in 2007.
Lee, however, wasn’t part of that postseason run. The Indians demoted him to Triple-A that season to get him straightened out after an ineffective, injury-plagued start to the season. And Lee certainly looked straightened out in 2008, when he became the Tribe’s first 20-game winner since Gaylord Perry in 1974. His .880 winning percentage was the second-best in franchise history.
This season, Lee has continued to put up ace-caliber performances, but his supporting cast has let him down. His 7-9 record is no indication of how well he’s pitched, but his 3.14 ERA is. With the trade rumors swirling, Lee has really heated up in the second half. He was 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA in his first three starts after the All-Star break.
The Indians get four of the Phillies’ top prospects. But in what certainly made the deal attractive to the Phillies, they did not have to part with any of the three players the Blue Jays had been seeking for Roy Halladay: left-hander J.A. Happ, right-hander Kyle Drabek and outfielder Dominic Brown. (H/T Phillies.com)
Oh, my. After letting one get away, Roy Halladay, the Phils are able to hook another pitcher, Cliff Lee, and he’s bringing with him a right handed bat, Ben Francisco, to come off of our bench, two of the three parts that the Phils need to cover before the playoffs. And they did it without hurting themselves too badly among their prospects, or J.A. Happ, as it looks like, to me anyway, that Donald needed to be able to play full time elsewhere, thanks to the roadblocks of Jimmy Rollins and Pedro Feliz. As for Marson, I hate to see him go, but I wish both him and Donald luck in the Indians organization. Now, if Reuben can find the extra bullpen help we need, I think this team will be set for the playoffs. If this works out, all I can say is, Roy who? 🙂 I never thought I would be feeling so happy as July ends. 🙂 Whoo HOOOOOO!!!!!!
The Phillies (5-6, 4th) plan to conclude their four-games home stand with the Padres (9-4, 2nd National League West) with a game tonight, weather permitting. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the ageless veteran Jamie Moyer (1-1, 6.55), who is coming off a victory against the Nationals back on April 13, as he pitched six good innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ emotional 9-8 victory, on the day that Harry Kalas died. He will be going for his second straight win, which trying to cut down on the number of runs that he has so far given up this season. The Padres will counter with Kevin Correia (0-1, 4.09), who is coming off a lost to the Mets on April 15, where he went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, as he struck out five, in the Padres’ 7-2 lost. He will be trying for his first win of the year. The Phillies hope to end the four-games series with the Padres at two-wins apiece, before they host the Milwaukee Brewers for a three-games series, starting tomorrow night.
Raul Ibanez, after only two weeks being a member of the Phillies, is presently a hot man. At the moment, he is hitting 17 for 44 in eleven games played, for a .386 batting average, which places him fifth in batting in the National League. Ibanez has scored twelve runs, placing him in a tie for fifth place. His seventeen hits puts him in a tie for sixth place. He is leading the league in both total bases (38) and slugging percentage (.864), while he is also tied for first place in home runs (5), is tied for sixth in triples (1), is tied for eleventh in doubles (4), is tied for thirteenth in RBIs (11), and is tied for nineteenth in stolen bases (1). His On-Base plus Slugging Percentage (OPS) is presently at 1.301, while his On-Base Percentage is at .438. He has also fielded left field rather well, despite yesterday’s miscue, and has also run the bases rather well. Ibanez is, so far, making a real good impression on the city of Philadelphia, as he is making Reuben Amaro, Jr’s free agent signing look golden.
Edit: The Phillies have just announced that their game with the Padres has been rained out. There has been no announcement when the game will be made up. The Phillies’ next game will be played tomorrow night at 7:05 pm Eastern against the Milwaukee Brewers.