Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Trading Aces

The Phillies, Blue Jays and on a lesser scale the Mariners are in the final stages of making a huge trade. Most likely the biggest move of the Hot Stove season. The Phils are getting Toronto ace Roy Halladay and a few prospects while giving up their own ace Cliff Lee and a few top level prospects of their own. The Mariners are getting Lee and sending prospects out.

The question is whether Philly will get any better. Lee was a stud for the Phillies after he came over from Cleveland in a mid-season trade and was dynamite in the playoffs. He was the only Phillies pitcher to defeat the Yankees in the World Series. Halladay has better overall numbers, but he has never pitched in the playoffs and I wonder if he could have the same success.

The deal does make economic sense. Lee has stated that he wants C.C. money for his next contract. Halladay is taking a discount to go to Philly. This is one of those trades that we're going to have to see how it plays out. Only the numbers and the success of their new teams during the season will tell us how this shakes out.

While the Mariners have made some moves that look like they want to compete in the AL West, I can't help but think that they will flip Cliff Lee at the trade deadline for a boatload of prospects. They are currently working to keep their own star pitcher Felix Hernandez and I don't see anyway they can afford both.

On another note, the Red Sox pickup free agent pitcher John Lackey. I don't understand why the Angels wouldn't come up with the money for him. He has been their best pitcher for a while now and they lost in the ALCS last year. They can't get any better by losing him. The Red Sox have now added another great arm to go with Josh Beckett and John Lester. The Yankees proved last season that you can go with a three man rotation and win the World Series and it looks like the Sox took note. This means that the American League, and more importantly the Rays in the AL East, (the Jays have no shot after losing their best two pitchers the last two years and the Orioles are a few seasons away) have their work cut out for them if they want to make the World Series.

I know the season is long and there are more moves to be made, but what teams do you think set themselves up to make the postseason and ultimately make the World Series?


paul said...

Halladay will be great in the National League. The dude has been nothing short of a stud for the last five years itching in the toughest division in baseball. Now he is going down to the J.V. league and will be even more lights out.

I think the Rays still have a shot in the A.L. east. They finally got a closer in Soriano from Atlanta and the Sox are not going to be as good as they look on paper. The Sox may have the best rotation in the history of baseball but they just signed Mike Cameron to play left for them because they dont want to pay Jason bay the extra 5 million he deserves. Cameron is a nice little player but he is no J. Bay. Get ready because the Sox are about to make history by loosing the most 1-0 games in the history of the sport. Doesnt matter how good your pitching is if you cant score runs. The Sox only have two big bats, Ortiz and V-Mart, and Ortiz is not what he use to be when he was on the roids.

Steve said...

You know whose staff may end up being the best? The M's. That's an absolutely NASTY 1-2 punch with Cliff & King Felix. What I don't understand is why the Phillies can't just add Halladay without trading Cliff. That would basically book their ticket for the World Series again. I know about the money, but they should be able to work something out.

Paul, are you kidding me with the Sawx rotation being "the best rotation in the history of baseball"? That's crazy. I don't know where to begin in disputing that.

paul said...

How can you not look at that rotation and say that is the best ever. Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Dice-K, Buchholz, and Wakefeild to fill in when needed. It is entirely possible that all five starters end up with 15 or more wins as long as they get run support.

Nate said...

I don't think its the bet ever either. Let them go out and prove something. And like I said before, you can win a Series with three guys.

Steve said...

Are you freaking kidding me?!?!? The best rotation ever?!?!? I wouldn't put that rotation anywhere near the top 20 of all time. Dice-K had nearly a 6 ERA last year! Beckett is clearly well past his prime. Lackey hasn't thrown 170+ innings or had more than 12 wins in the past two seasons. I like Lester but he has been coming up short in big games for several years. You can't have a great rotation without an ace, and I don't believe the Red Sox have one. Here are some GREAT rotations that could be considered "best ever".

1998 Atlanta Braves
Greg Maddux (18-9, 2.22), Tom Glavine (20-6, 2.47), Denny Neagle (16-11, 3.55), Kevin Millwood (17-8, 4.08), John Smoltz (17-3, 2.90)

1971 Baltimore Orioles
Mike Cueller (20-9, 3.08), Pat Dobson (20-8, 2.90), Jim Palmer (20-9, 2.68), Dave McNally (21-5, 2.68)

1986 New York Mets
Ron Darling (15-6, 2.81), Dwight Gooden (17-6, 2.84), Sid Fernandez (16-6, 3.52), Bob Ojeda (18-5, 2.57), Rick Aguilera (10-7, 3.88)

1993 Atlanta Braves
Greg Maddux (20-10, 2.36), Tom Glavine (22-6, 3.20), Steve Avery (18-6, 2.94), John Smoltz (15-11, 3.62)

1966 Los Angeles Dodgers
Sandy Koufax (27-9, 1.73), Don Drysdale (13-16, 3.42), Claude Osteen (17-14, 2.85), Don Sutton (12-12, 2.99)

I could list at least 10 more that are MUCH better than what Boston has to offer.

paul said...

Alright I have been put in my place, those are great rotations. But dont say the Sox dont have an ace because they have three. Beckett, Lester, and Lackey would be considered an ace on any team out there.

Steve said...

I hate to keep the argument alive, but none of those three are aces. Just because there are 30 teams doesn't mean there are 30 aces. There are only a handful of aces in the league. It's just like in the NFL. Not many teams have a #1 WR (Bucs, Dolphins, Jets, Redskins...etc) and some have two (Cardinals). Here are the "aces" in MLB (let me know if you think I miss any):

CC Sabathia
Roy Halladay
Zack Greinke
Cliff Lee
Johan Santana
Chris Carpenter
Adam Wainwright
Dan Haren
Tim Lincecum
Brandon Webb

That's it. There is a second tier of guys who are solid, but not aces. I'm not going to name all of them but here are a few:

Clayton Kershaw
Yovani Gallardo
John Lester
Roy Oswalt
John Lackey
Josh Beckett

Nate said...

I think you guys have handled this one

paul said...

That doesnt make sense. Every team has an ace just like every NFL team has a #1 reciver. The Bucs have Bryant, just because hes not that good doesnt mean he isnt their #1 wide reciver. And in the same respect every MLB team has an ace pitcher. Just so happens the Sox have three guys who could fit into the category.

paul said...

By the way this has really help me get through the work day. I have done nothing all day so thank you both.

Steve said...

I disagree 100%. Every NFL team has a #1 WR on the depth chart, but not every team has a "#1" WR. There are only a handful in the league just like there are only a handful of "aces". ESPN did a segment on the NFL part of this about 2 years ago. It was saying that there are only about 10 "#1" WRs in the League.

Anonymous said...

So Mohammad Mossaquoi is a #1 receiver?? What a steal in the second round for the Browns. Maybe they are smarter than we all thought. A #1 receiver in the second? Really?

I look forward to Justin Gage asking for Randy Moss money from the Titans this off-season.