January 24, 2014

Post-Tanaka, one pitcher missing in trade rumors

With Masahiro Tanaka now signed, the MLB rumor mill has moved on to not only further free agent dominoes, but the possibility of trades of top pitchers.

We hear plenty about David Price. Some about James Shields. Even a bit about Max Scherzer.

Where's Cliff Lee in the mix?

He's signed for two more years plus an option, so under more control than any of the above three. Generally good health, for another plus. And, a lefty.

All we need now is for Ruben Amaro to finally push the "rebuild" button.

And, here's a "possible."

Sending Uncle Cliffy to the Red Sox.

For whom?

Let's say Will Middlebrooks, Mike Carp, and a minor league pitching prospect and a minor league OF or SS prospect.

That, especially with Jon Lester willing to give Boston a home discount on a contract extension, plus the possibility of rolling over John Lackey's 2015 option into a new contract, gives the Sox a great top of the rotation. And, they can then let both Jake Peavy and Ryan Dempster walk after this year, or trade one of them now. That, in turn, frees up free agent money for 2015.

It also lets Boston address the jam on the left half of the infield by resigning Stephen Drew and going with him and Xander Bogaerts.  And, it certainly lets the Phillies rebuild, and get younger.

If not Boston, I'm sure there are other "possibles." Would the Rangers be interested? It would probably be more prospects and fewer MLB players in a trade from them. The Mariners?

Why don't I think the Phillies would get more?

Lee's 35 this season, for one thing. I noted he's generally been healthy, but, at some point, he's likely to start running out of gas in the tank. 

Second, as runs on pitchers have shown, they're that valuable. So, getting a top minor league prospect, maybe even two, would definitely help for the long term.

Third, Philly is a batters' park. Freeing up his salary lets them focus on restocking on position players in free agency, per the link.

1 comment:

John said...

As a Red Sox fan, I think I could live with that deal, if Drew could be re-upped at a reasonable price. We'd be handing Scott Boras quite a bit of leverage if Ben C. traded Middlebrooks first, though.

Would be a great riposte to the Yankees, though. You got Tanaka? Well, let me introduce you to our new pitcher, Mr. Lee...