Phillies add Lee ….

While the Mets were fighting with reporters and embarrassing themselves, the Philadelphia Phillies were doing everything they could to wrap up the NL East and possibly their second World Series title.

While there are no guarantees, the Phillies did real good this afternoon by adding AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee along with outfielder Ben Francisco for four minor leaguers.

The sobering news to the Mets and the rest of the NL is the Phillies didn’t have to part with top prospects pitchers J.A. Happ and Kyle Drabek or outfielders Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor, whom the Blue Jays were asking for in exchange for Roy Halladay.

Lee, 31 next month, has a 3.14 ERA with just 33 walks in 152 innings. He will make $8 million in 2010, then be eligible for free agency. Lee said he’ll likely test the FA market, but who is to say if he wins a World Series title or two?

The Indians have now traded the 2008 and 2007 Cy Young Award winners (CC Sabathia).

The deal speaks volumes between the differences of the Phillies and Mets, notably the depth in the minor league system and the aggressiveness of the front offices.

The Phillies were superior before the trade and widened the gap. The Mets will need a monumental offseason just to close it a bit, and from where they stand now that’s not going to happen.

They’ve won four straight and are in contention for the wild card, but there are too many teams ahead of them to leap frog and they don’t have the chips to make much of a wild card run. And, even if they get their injured players back they have a long way to go.

The Mets can’t improve themselves now to make much of a dent. Their opportunity was two months ago when the cracks were starting to show.

This trade should be an awakening to the Mets their window of contention since 2006 is barely a crack if it hasn’t slammed shut and they have a lot of work to do.

21 thoughts on “Phillies add Lee ….

  1. JD: If the Mets had NEVER made the Santana trade, they would have had the depth to make the same trade. Who would you rather have? Lee or Johan?

  2. John,

    I agree with your assessment.

    Also, Omar did not use this past offseason to set up the team for this season or the future. We got a good bullpen and then returned exactly the same team.

    As the rich kids on the block we could have had a better rotation, a better OF and more bench depth.

    We got Fransisco, JJ and Cora.

    That was not enough as everyone can plainly see now.


  3. (2) Dave: There probably would have been enough if Delgado, Reyes, Beltran, and Putz had been healthy. So it’s not quite that plain to see. But I do agree that Omar’s plan was a very short sighted one. His problem is that he identifies one major problem and does nothing to take care of the rest of the issues that the team might have.

  4. At least its not Halliday. Lee will help them but except for last year he hasnt been anything other than an above average pitcher. Not much of an upgrade over Myers if you take the one year out. Hamels is thier ace and his ERA is over 4. I dont see the window being shut. We have Santana, Pelf is still promising. Maine could bounce back. Neise could help too. Add Lackey over the winter and I think we will have a nice rotation.

  5. Steve (1): I am not sure where you are going with that question. Had they not traded for Santana, then yes, they would have had the chips to deal for Lee. Of course, Santana over Lee. The point I was trying to make is that days before the deadline isn’t the time to fix all that is wrong with the Mets. They knew of their holes months ago. Their approach to see what would happen didn’t work. Another point, is the Phillies had a deeper farm system to make the deal and a more aggressive approach. The Mets have a long way to go before they can consider themselves “the team to beat.”-JD

  6. (4) I’m right with you Ray. Look, the Phills certainly did get better today with Lee. But they would have been hands down top seed to win the World Series had they gotten Halladay.

  7. The bullpen was clearly the Achilles heel last season and it has been improved. But, as was written here by me and many of you, is that fixing the bullpen was not the only problem. With essentially the same team brought back, the Mets had to be virtually flawless to win and clearly they are not.-JD

  8. (5) JD: I was referring to your comment about the depth in the minor league organization. If the Mets had never made the Johan trade, then they would have had the same depth as the Phills did to make the Cliff Lee trade.

  9. Ray (4): Maine is being evaluated today in Alabama and there’s reason to believe the news won’t be good. Maine remains a huge question. There’s even wonder if his career might be in question, or if he might be better suited for a relief role.-JD

  10. 5. As much as I hate to defend Minaya, there are hopefull signs in the system. Ike Davis has just been promoted to AA after tearing up A ball and is continuing to hit. Holt and Mejias are hard throwing starters with a lot of promise. Wilmer Flores is progressing. The good talent is Moving up the ranks. Just hope Omar sticks to his record and doesnt give this talent away for a mid season hope. Phils have shown its a buyers market and you can still get help without giving up your best prospects. I hear the Reds are ready to move some pitching. Arroyo and Harang are on the block.

  11. Steve (8): I agree with you, and also that Santana is the preferable choice. The problem now, is there are too many weaknesses that Santana can’t overcome. Even on the days he pitches, the weaknesses come to the forefront.-JD

  12. Ray (10): This is a very precarious time for the Mets. There IS young talent on the lower levels, but will they be patient and let it develop or be forced into a panic move? They have the financial resources to patch some 9f the holes in the FA market until it develops.-JD

  13. Can’t hate on the Phillies for wanting to improve themselves. In fact, I admire what they’ve done. They obviously have the Minor League depth the Mets lack to go out and make a deal as they did, to get Cliff Lee.
    Unlike the Yankees, who merely back up Steinbrenner’s Brinks truck to get who they want, the Phillies gave up some very promising young talent. Who can begrudge the Phillies that?

  14. 12. Talent on the low level. That is such a crap shot. Its hard to tell when they make AA and AAA what they will become.
    I think Steve and Sadecki under estimate just how strong the Phillies have become the last 2 years. Last years they needed a closer and hit the kackpot with Lidge, then in mid season needed a 4 guy and got Blanton. People in NY knocked them but the Phillies only won by 3 games and he was the upgrade to put them over the top since Minaya’s upgrade, or was it downgrade was Alicia.
    Now they lost Meyers and added a 1-2 to go with Hamels, and JA Happ looks like he’s for real. So next Spring they have Hamels, Lee, Meyers, Happ, Blanton and the old fart Moyers and can moce Meyers back to the pen where he wants to be and they still have their # 1 prospect Drabek ready as well for trade or to join the rotation. They suddenly have a pitching staff and they have depth, and we have guys on the low end of the system.

  15. Sadecki: I’d want the yankee or Red Sox Docs to check out Kazmir before I’d bite. His numbers are horrible this year. We might be getting Victor back in a Kazmir jersey.

  16. Happ is having a fine year, but he projects as a middle-of-the-rotation guy — he’s not nearly the prospect that Carrasco is.

    The Phils gave up two of their three best pitching prospects, their best catching prospect (and he’s a very good catching prospect, too) and a shortstop prospect with pop.

    Granted, they got themselves a Cy Young winner, but I’d compare this package with the one the Mets surrendered to get Santana any day of the week.

  17. 18. Sure the Mets made a great deal. The Phillies have built a great pitching staff to go along with great offense. We have Johan and two great chokes. Yeah, we did the best. The Phils gave up a bunch of suspects, just like the Mets did. Every fan unhappy with a trade made by a rival says they gave up too much. Fact is, Phils gave up nothing and improved themselves, something the Mets haven’t done at the trading deadline in Omar’s entire time here.

  18. Knapp is the real suspect in this deal, because he’s down in A ball. The other three — Marson, Carrasco and Donald — are real, ready-for-primetime prospects. And two of them are position players, to boot.

  19. Steve(3)

    The point about this team I think is that in the offseason there were real questions about the OF. Some here questioned both corners.

    Delgado’s health has been a question the past 2 years and both Maine and Ollie were not what you would consider money players.

    For all the faults of the pen a large part of their collapse was the poor starting pitching. How often did the pen have to show up in the 6th inning or earlier?

    My biggest problem with Omar is he is a gambler. He seems to have gambled every year he has been here. In 06 the dice almost worked and got everyone excited. In the past 3 years ( I include this one ), it has blown up in spectacular fashion.

    We have had one of the biggest collapses in major league history. Every year it seems our core players get hurt. In the offseason we had 3 starting pitchers have surgery. One of them we signed after we knew he needed surgery.

    How can you return the same inept pitching rotation when 3/5 of your rotation has questions because of offseason surgery. Omar did not go out and get one solid, reliable starting pitcher who can get you 200 innings and double digit wins. Instead we got coin flip. He who went down to the minors because he was so bad. He who cannot finish half a game. And then there is Maine who may be gone for the season.

    Injuries seems to be the plan of our GM. It is baked into the team. We cannot expect miracles, especially when it is harder to cheat with chemicals.