Clifford, the Big Red Phillie

Today the Phillies received Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco for Carlos Carrasco, Jason Knapp, Jason Donald, and Lou Marson. In other words, the Phils stole from the Indians and have a made a convincing case that they are the team to beat in the National League.

Lee is one of the better pitchers in all of baseball, and his presence in the rotation along with Cole Hamels makes for a tough team to beat come October. To get him, they didn’t need to give up their best pitching prospect in Kyle Drabek. They didn’t need to give up their best hitting prospect in Dominic Brown. They didn’t even need to give up Major League pitcher J.A. Happ. Lee instantly upgrades the Phillies and his option for 2010 is just $9 million. With Rollins, Howard, and Utley all getting older, the Phillies window for more World Series titles is now and this trade allows them to be favorites this season and next season. They made the right move going for Lee, and they didn’t sell the farm.

Hell, if the Phillies want to be awarded another title this instant, they can still send Happ, Drabek, and Brown to Toronto for Halladay and have three Cy Young caliber pitchers on their staff. Not to mention they have an MVP candidate in Chase Utley.

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