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?