Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 14, 2009
BLOG: Busy Signal

Real life intrudes, from time to time, so apologies to regular readers if I'm tied up a few days - I know I'm particularly overdue on the Winter Meetings roundup. Hopefully, I'll be back in the blog saddle again by Wednesday.

Feel free to treat this as an open thread - baseball, politics, whatever. You can even talk about the Giants, but you can't make me listen.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 4:21 PM | Baseball 2009 • | Blog 2006-14 • | Football | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

I understand that you're busy. I was hoping to read your take on "the Roy Halladay to the Phillies" discussion.

Posted by: Mark D at December 14, 2009 4:46 PM

I'm not really phased by the Phils getting Halladay in place of Cliff Lee. I would be far more concerned if they were getting him in addition to Lee. On the other hand, if Halladay goes to the Phillies and Lackey goes to the Sox, the Mets will have to be shopping in the bargain bin for rotation depth.

Posted by: Jerry at December 14, 2009 7:53 PM

Can't understand giving up Lee AND a prospect for Halliday (three years older). What's the point? One less run over a year for $100 MM invested? 34-y.o. Halliday more durable than Lee?
On Lackey, I'm delighted to see him go to Boston. According to the splits on, he can pitch well anyplace, except for Fenway and Yankee Stadium, where he's consistently gotten shelled since 2002.
What the Red Sox needed was hitters and legs, so they're looking at Mike Cameron (he of the penchant for naps in the outfield at Shea) to fill a rocking chair. Just surprised they didn't think of giving Hideki Matsui a shot at shortstop.

Posted by: Richard Deegan at December 14, 2009 8:10 PM

It sounds like Halladay was willing to take below-market (though still very, very big) dollars to pitch for the Phillies, and Lee was not. I'm still not sure it's such a great move for the Phils, though.

Posted by: Jerry at December 14, 2009 8:55 PM

It's not a fabulous deal, but PHI probably had to do it, as lefty-heavy as they are.

Posted by: tsmonk at December 15, 2009 10:57 AM

Lee's asking price jumped due to his stellar post-season performance. Jerry summed it up best: Halladay is willing to work for what is likely to be less than Lee, and they'll get a long-term deal. Whereas with Lee, the Phils have him through this year, then he's a free-agent. In addition to more money, he wants a 4 or 5 year deal, and the Phils won't sign a pitcher for that long. Those conditions practically assure that Lee will not be a Phillie beyond 2010.
Halladay's numbers are a bit better than Lee's. And as tsmonk pointed out, they're already heavy on southpaws in the rotation.
Depending upon what the Phils wind up giving up, this trade looks to be an upgrade. Granted, it will be a "small" upgrade, but still one nonetheless.

Posted by: Mark D at December 15, 2009 11:07 AM

Even though he is slightly older, Halladay is a much safer long term bet. Cliff Lee was barely an average pitcher until his breakout season of 2008. From 2007 to 2008, Lee's HR/9 dropped from 1.6 to 0.5, his BB/9 dropped from 3.3 to 1.4, and his Hits/9 dropped from 10.4 to 8.6. Also, in the beginning of 2009, Lee had some very bad outings and his critical stats all declined, despite moving to the NL for part of the year. If I were the Phillies, I would be worried that Lee could come back to earth.

Halladay, on the other hand, consistently has been one of the best pitchers in the American League. His numbers suggests that he is going to be a solid performer for a few more years.

Posted by: wd at December 15, 2009 11:36 AM

Halladay should carve up the NL; power pitchers from the AL go there and dominate. Plus, he does not have the face the Yanks and Sox, he gets the Mets and Braves instead (no to mention our Washington Natinals).

As for Lackey, his record in Fenway is misleading since he'll no longer be facing the Sox' line-up. His record in NY, however, is a bit troubling.

Posted by: magrooder at December 19, 2009 1:17 PM
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