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The Pros and Cons of the Lee Deal

The Phillies landed their (other) coveted Cy Young winner.

Cliff Lee, best known for his 2008 season in which he was 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA, earning him the AL Cy Young award. This season, the southpaw has a 3.14 ERA while going deep into many of those games. He is the player Philadelphia needed, and at much less cost than his counterpart Roy Halladay. However, General Manager Ruben Amaro should be praised for his fine work in this deal. Here are the positives associated with this deal:

- The Phillies get their top of rotation starter who eats innings, giving the Phillies bullpen a much needed rest.
- The cost for Lee was considerably less in terms of prospects, as the Phillies viewed Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ, and Dominic Brown, those who were being asked for in exchange for Halladay, as their best young players in the system.
- Lee gives the team much needed financial flexibility, as already the payroll is far past its record high. Lee costs the Phillies nearly half as much as related to Halladay's contract.
- The possibly most interesting fact of this trade: The left-handed dominant line-up of the Phillies will not have to face Lee if he was traded to an NL contender such as the Dodgers.
- Lee is eligible for the free agent market after the 2010 season, which will motivate him to perform well to get his huge contract following that season.
- Lee's use of the breaking ball will change the eye level of hitters and their approach to the plate, as the other Phillies lefties, Happ, Moyer, and Hamels, rely on their change-up for deception.
- Prospects who are traded often do not succeed in the Majors, as their are many question marks with most young talent.

The positives definitely outweigh the negatives of the deal:

- Lee is no Roy Halladay, who is considered possibly the best pitcher in the league.
- The Phillies will now have four left handed starters until Pedro Martinez makes his possible debut.
- Lee is only locked up for one and a half years, which questions the long term future of the Phillies.
- Jason Knapp, only 18, has drawn comparisons to Roy Halladay.

Simply put, the Phillies found a way to get the reigning Cy Young winner on their first place team to make them the favorite to win the NL Pennant for the next two years.


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