What will the Phillies do now? Over the last few days there has been much speculation around Philadelphia that RoyHalladay’s injury will be the beginning of the end for the Phillies. A complete fire sale is expected to occur now that thePhils former Ace seems to be on the shelf for a good portion of the year and the Phillies offense has been inconsistent for the first month. This combination has caused a sense of hysteria around the city.
Of course, whenever there are trade rumors regarding the Phillies one name always is brought up; Cliff Lee. Reality though is that the Phillies may not be able to get much back in return for Lee. Lee is owed too much money and right now for any team to pick up salary and give the Phillies top prospects isa ludicrous idea. Lee signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phillies. He is set to make either $62.5 million or $77.5 million for the remaining two or three years. This is a lot of money for any team to take on for an All Star arm to finish making a run this year with and most likely the Phillies would be required to pay a large chunk of what is left(possibly as much as $30M).
Cliff Lee is comparable to a good looking ex girlfriend for the Phillies fan base. They went back to him after the first breakup but now they want to trade him in for something younger. The problem is that the Phillies will not get anything close to what Lee is worth right now. Even though Lee did not have a large amount of wins last season he still had a sub 3.00 ERA and this year he is one of the only pitchers on the roster pitching to his potential. Getting rid of Lee now could send the Phillies into years of mediocrity.
Lee and Cole Hamels can be the pitching staff’s cornerstones for the foreseeable future until prospects such as Jessie Biddle can be brought up. He holds more value for the team by keeping then he would bring back in return. Also, Lee is a fan favorite and attendance at Citizens Bank Park has been on the decline after the Phillies missed the playoffs last season.
Overall, it is easy to understand why Cliff Lee’s name is always brought up when the Phillies seem to hit a wall but it does not make sense at all to trade away one of the premier lefthanders in baseball for the second time in five years. If the Phillies do it may be the biggest mistake General Manager Ruben Amaro has made since he took over for Hall of Famer Pat Gillick.
By: Chol Souders