Here's the latest from the four-time defending National League East champs…
- In an interview today on Philadelphia's WIP Radio, Cliff Lee said that his top priority as a free agent was to join the team with the best chance of winning. After the Phillies, his next choices were the Rangers and the Yankees, in that order. New York was the third choice since, Lee says, "I felt like with what the Red Sox had done and it seems like some of the Yankee guys are getting older, but I liked the Rangers.”
- It seems unlikely that the Phillies could manage to take on Michael Young's salary, but Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News outlines how the Phils could conceivably acquire the Rangers' infielder. Hagen surmises the club can partially pay for Young if they receive some insurance money back from a lengthy Chase Utley injury, and if the Phillies can move Joe Blanton (owed $17MM over the next two seasons) to the Rangers in the trade.
- Both Hagen and MLB.com's Todd Zolecki point out that the Phillies want to avoid having their payroll reach the $178MM threshold that would cost them a luxury tax payment. The Philadelphia payroll currently projects to be in the $165MM-$168MM range. GM Ruben Amaro tells Zolecki that the team believes Utley "will be healthy enough sooner rather than later," but if the team does look outside the organization for help, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes recently looked at some potential second base candidates.
So basically, a reason Lee rejected the yanks because he thought the Red Sox would give him trouble.
Well the Sox do have great numbers off him…
Every team in that division is getting better. The Sox are the best in baseball… The Rays took a step back but their prospects are a season or two away… The Blue Jays are close and the Orioles have taken a step in the right direction… Meanwhile, the AL West is pretty weak and the Phillies have just plowed through the NL besides the Giants last year.
Umm, pretty much every team in the NL East is improving. Well, maybe not the Mets…..but I expect the Braves to challenge the Phillies this year if Utley does miss significant time and I expect the Marlins to stay in the WC hunt. And we all know the Nationals are getting closer.
Unless he joined Boston (didn’t want him) or San Fran (didn’t want him) he couldn’t have joined a better rotation.
Better rotation??? Boston has 2 pitchers. Their 3 through 5 are horrible unless your definition of good is guys who have ERA’s in the mid 4’s to mid 5’s
So one bad year from Beckett,one bad half from Lackey and they are write offs?
honestly your lack of baseball knowledge is nothing short of humorous if anything.
1 bad year? Beckett’s first year with Sox? Lackey has been declining for 2 straight years.
I think there are question marks in that rotation. Beckett hasnt been Beckett the last 2-3 years and has problems staying healthy. Lackey to be honest has never been more than a #3 starter at best, but him pitching in that park is no good. And one that no body thinks about is the effect that pitching 80+ more innings than he ever has in his career is going to have on Clay Bucholz. We have seen it have an effect on young pitchers before.
almost every rotation has question marks, there is no way around that.
Beckett’s 2009 was very very decent so I don’t get where you’re getting your last 2-3
and thats good that Lackey has never been more than a number 3 pitcher because on the sox hes a number 4 pitcher. I dont know many 4 starters who are capable of eating the innings lackey does at a sub 4 era.
One bad year from Burnett, Jeter, Arod and two bad months from Tex haven’t stopped anyone from writing them off. Don’t hear you defending them at all.
It amazes me that ppl here are sooooo into stats but ppl dismiss the ridiculously low BaBIP that Jeter and Arod had last year. Each had BaBIP’s 40 points below their career norms.
Obviously, no one can or should chalk it all up to just bad luck because they are each 35 or older but let’s not expect a complete fall off of a cliff here.
I never like Burnett or a rod so I wouldn’t defend them regardless..
But I’ve defended both meter and teix so I don’t think you can make those claims against me
The Sox are the best team in baseball? They have 2 starting pitchers, a closer who is declining and they replaced 2 good hitters with 2 good hitters. Philly is way better then them
i liek ur analisis
The Phillies have an overrated first baseman, an oft-injured second baseman, a shortstop who has been in decline for years, a third baseman who’s aging, a rookie/bench player in right field, Victorino, who declined last year, in center, and finally Raul Ibanez in left (do I even need to state why that’s bad). The starting pitching staff is great, and the BP is so-so. However, the Phillies are an aging team and they’re going to suffer the same problem the Mets did. Stop hoping for unhealthy players to stay healthy, and stop signing older players to lucrative contracts. In the end, it’s probably going to blow up in your face. I’ll take the sox for now and the next decade.
Overrated first baseman? What are you smoking? Polanco may be aging but he is one of the better hitters in the league out of the 2 hole. And I think you should state why Ibanez in left is bad. Did you not pay attention to baseball last year? He hit for the second best average in the NL from the All Star break on last year. They may have underachieved, but to write them off completely is absurd when you know that they could explode at any second.
Average is a poor judge of a good player. Ibanez was a good player but is old, cannot play left field(-8.4UZR) and had a .793 OPS out of left field which is below average. Howard is a producer but is at the age and body type when his skills will decline. Polanco, well I like Polanco.
You are aware that Phillies offense lies on the shoulders of Ryan Howard…Utley is pretty much done with that knee condition. They have no one to hit 5th or 3rd. Their bullpen isnt anything special. The only advantage the Phillies have over Boston is their starting rotation. You can’t possibly believe that even the Phillies rotation can completely shutdown Boston’s lineup. The two players they added are far better than the two they lost. Beltre used the park to boost his number last year, and that is what Gonzalez will do this year. Look for him to hit 35+ homers .300 average and no doubt over 100 runs and rbis. Youk if healthy will get about 25+ homers .295 100 and 100 as well. Pedrioa, Ortiz, Crawford, Elsbury is back. Who do the phillies have?? Victorino, Ruiz, Old man Polanco, Rollins?? lol terrible lineup. And Boston may have a declining closer but hes only signed for this year and hes still better than Lidge. Also if Pap struggles really badly they can always make Bard or Jenks closer…I fail to see how the Phillies are better…but please go on and explain.
Good pitching will always stop good hitting. Just look at what the Giants did last year. With all that the Phillies still finished with the 2nd most runs scored in the NL last year and that was with Howard and Utley banged up and RTollins missing half a year. Gonzalez is coming off a pretty serious shoulder injury. The Sox have a top heay lineup and thats it and Laptops is not going to pitch to a 2 ERA again. Beckett is shot. Dice K is god awful and Lackey is league average. Phils are a lock to win 100 while the Sox will struggle to win 93
Pitching will usually stop good hitting in a short series – i.e. post season. Have to get there first. Just ask the Padres who faltered at the end, in spite of good pitching last year. You need some offense to get to the finish line. The Giants knew that and picked up some bats at the trade deadline.
Other have pointed it out but the Phillies offense, aside from a year older and injury concerns, is missing Werth and that right hand bat. That alone will hurt the offense since the replacement players don’t come close.
Couple that with 3 aging aces and you’re counting on too many complete games from these same arms. 100 wins? I don’t think so.
The Padres had 1 offensive player and pitching no where near as good as the Phillies. With no lee and a half of year from Oswalt they still won in the high 90’s. The Red Sox Love is similar to the Mac fanboys
Good pitching always stopping good hitting is not at all true. You can’t even compare the Giants to the Phillies because the Giants also had an amazing bullpen. Lidge is no Wilson. Utley and Rollins wont give you much this year…The Sox have the best lineup in baseball in my opinion…not sure what the batting order will be but Elsbury, Pedroia, Youkilis, Gonzalez, Ortiz, Drew, Crawford, Salty, Scutaro is really good. The only guy who is an easy out in that lineup is Salty but he can go either way really. Scutaro had 170+ hits last year with about 90 runs scored. He is pretty good in terms of hitting SS’s. Drew should bounce back and we have Cameron on the bench who is easily the best 4th outfielder in the game(doesnt matter how much he is being paid). Beckett was horrible last year but he was also injured non stop last year. I expect him to have a pretty good year. Idk what you mean by Laptops but I assume you mean Buchholz and I dont see why he cant pitch to a 2era again, hes young and only getting better each year(same with Lester). Dice k is as good a number 5 as any team can wish for. Phillies play in the NL East, Red Sox play in the AL East…big difference. The Phillies wouldnt get 100 wins in the AL East.
It doesn’t matter that Lidge is no Wilson since Lee and Halladay can go complete games at the drop of a hat. The Sox are a top heavy lineup. Whats funny about the Red Sox cult is that everyone coming off an injury filled year or a down year are fgoing to bounce back and everyone who had career years are going to continue at that pace. In the regular season beckett hasn’t been that much different then Burnett in their careers. Its the few small sample post season that sets Beckett apart. Dice K is a 5 inning pitcher who walks the park. Yes I see teams lining up for that. I;m sure Philly would trade Blanton for Dice K. Look at Bucholz’s underlinign numbers. They don’t support a 2 ERA. Balls in play is not repeatable and he doesn’t K enough guys.. The Sox have 1 excellent starter and 1 decent starter. Thats it. You can see him getting a 2 ERA again in the AL East??? Let me knpw the last AL East pitcher to throw back to back years of a 2 ERA in the last 5 years
But Lee and Halladay wont pitch every game this year. The Red Sox players coming off injuries are all around the 30 year old mark, why would you assume they dont heal well? Ok I got involved in that Burnett vs Beckett discussion before and Im not going through that again but the outcome that time came out that Beckett is clearly better than Burnett, not just in the postseason. Bucholz is young and you are saying he is going to decline?? Even if luck played a part in his 2 era last year what makes you think he doesnt keep improving this year? I can see a 2.9-3.2 era for him. Tim Hudson doesnt K enough guy yet his era was good and he had 17 wins. Either way a 3.5 era in the AL East translates to like a 3.0 in the NL East.
We were talking about the post season. Look at career numbers for Burnett and Beckett. They are very similar. I think he is more likely to post a 3.5 ERA then 2. Hudson pitches in th NL not the AL East. Hudson was also very luck last year
What do you mean? Top heavy? They have their best players at the top of the line up, but so does everyone. 1 through 9 they have above average players for their position. They have only one hole in the line up and that is Salty, but he has a very good minor league record and has never really had a chance at a full time job. Any team in the major leagues would trade their line up for the Red Sox.
1)Ellsbury 6.3 WAR
2) Pedroia 17.7 WAR
3) Crawford 26.1 WAR
4) Gonzalez 21.8 WAR
5) Youkilis 25.4 WAR
6) Ortiz 30.7 WAR
7) Drew 46.8 WAR
8) Scutaro 16.3 WAR
9) Saltalamacchia 0.4 WAR
Yeah, that’s a horrible line up.
“Let me knpw the last AL East pitcher to throw back to back years of a 2 ERA in the last 5 years”
Roy Halladay 08-09 so it is possible, isn’t it?
not trying to knock your argument too much, i think the Sox have a very good lineup, but using career WAR there was a little misleading. Andrew Jones has a career 60 WAR, would you feel confident with him as a starting outfielder?
“….but using career WAR there was a little misleading. Andrew Jones has a career 60 WAR, would you feel confident with him as a starting outfielder”?
So the Phillies can’t hit and the Red Sox can’t pitch… in the end, their strengths and weaknesses counter-balance each other. I do like the Red Sox defense a bit better. Really though it’s all a moot point since they won’t fight each other directly until the World Series – and, although they’re rightfully the favorites in each league, one of them will probably put a foot wrong somewhere.
Hey you! Quit being sensible. It has no place here!
I didnt look at it that way. I thought he just meant looking at all of the signings they made, and then looking at the Yankees team, the Red Sox were the more talented team regardless of whether he was on the Yankees or not.
But we all knew Philly was his first choice. He loved it there. His wife loved it there. There is some kind of childrens hospital there that they like for his son, and he also gets to be a part of a rotation of which I think is going to put up the best year as a staff in MLB history.
Because everyone in the world comes to Philly instead of NY for its amazing hospitals. Lee,Sabathia,Hughes with Banuelos and Betances on the way are all collecting social security checks. This guy has more holes in his “reasons” then swiss cheese
His son has cancer… and they were pleased with the childrens hospital that he was able to go to in Philadelphia. I would say that played into it.
Actually, his son is in remission.
chop children’s hospital of philadelphia is one of the best hospitals in the country for children. i don’t think ny has a famous children’s hospital.
St Lukes Childrens Hospital which I believe is in Long Island is really good…had a friend who stayed there a while back.
Um, basically no. That’s not what he said. Try reading his quote again. It’s obvious he is, as kindly as possible, saying the Yanks are getting too old too quickly and the the Red Sox are going to win the division. I don’t think either opinion is disputed by many baseball observers. Meanwhile, though the other teams (besides the Mets) have improved, the Phillies are the obvious choice to win the NL East, especially with him in the rotation.
The idea that he doesn’t want to be in a division with a team because he’s afraid of them is absurd.
LOL. Imagine if Greenberg was CEO of the Red Sox. He’d have a field day with that quote.
LOL-Red Sox fans
Lol fans of the consensus best team in the majors but would be fans of the team even if they sucked like they did in the early 90’s. How dare you enjoy your team!
No the reason he rejected the Yanks is because he wants to win!!
Yep, the Yankees have no history of being a winning organization.
Because winning in the year 1999 means he will win now. And yes, I know they have won since then, and in 2009. I chose just any year because YOUR point misses the main point. He wants to win in the future, not in 2009, 2000, 1999, etc. Just because a team won in the past does not mean it will win the future. The sooner you realize this the better.
and choosing the older team with a worse minor league system is better how for the future???
phillies have a very comparable minor league system, top 10 in the majors. try again
a comparable minor league system to who? and on what planet are they ranked top 10? They have some talent in low a and that is it. Montero,Sanchez,Banuelos,Betances and Brackman are similar to what the Phillies have? Get real
Which is why I said “worse”. Being #9 overall compared to #4 or #5 is still worse. Not to mention most of their good prospects are still in A. Now YOU can try again.
What you’re talking about and what Anthony is talking about are completely different.
Maybe he feels like winning with the Phillies carries a little bit more meaning than winning in New York, where it is expected.
If he wants to win, he should have gone to Pittsburgh
Exactly.. Pittsburgh has several WS Championships in ancient history also.
Lee was right the Phillies have the best chance to win if he joined them. If were discussing these 3 teams that is.
Let’s go YANKEES
I’m not mad you chose the Phillies, Lee, and honestly, I understand your point about the Sox. They have a hell of a team.
But to say they’re getting old when you instead joined a team that has only one position player starter and one starting pitcher under 30 is quite hilarious.
Yeah I dont know where the aging remark came from, because Philly does have age question marks, well not right now, but they will in 4 years or so.
He probably just felt that pitching wins, and when you compare Halladay/Lee/Oswalt/Hamels/Blanton, well that looks a whole lot better than CC/Hughes/Burnette/?/?
“He probably just felt that pitching wins, and when you compare Halladay/Lee/Oswalt/Hamels/Blanton, well that looks a whole lot better than CC/Hughes/Burnette/?/?”
Eh? How can you include Lee in with the Phillies but leave him out of the Yankees rotation? It’s….
Point taken though, just found that odd. And it is pretty hilarious that Lee would use age as a factor into why he didn’t choose the Yankees, considering the Phillies have two starters under the age of 30.
The Phillies have the oldest team in the majors. I can’t post the link but look up ESPN MLB average player age. Something like that. Takes you to the site, sort it by Average Age. And the Phillies are the oldest.
I think the age thing is being blown out of proportion. Were not talking about guys in their mid 30’s, were talking about guys who are 30. The Phillies undoubtedly have a small window, but c’mon now, the affects of age shouldnt start to hamper this team for at least 3 more years.
Oh I agree with you, I’m just saying that I’m not sure if Lee was aware that the PHillies are the oldest team in the majors. Truthfully in baseball, several players can play into their late 30’s, some even their early 40’s. I’ve said it so many times, baseball say “too old” too much, in baseball.
If you’re asking why I bought up the PHillies as the oldest team, it was in regards to Lee’s comments.
No I hear you, my comment was not an attack on you, more general. It just gets a little tired. All the media is talking about is the Phillies age. 30 years old may be old for a NFL running back, be were talking about a low impact sport where people play into their 40’s. I’m pretty sure Halladay is going to pitch until his arm falls off at age 90.
People are taking this too literally. I’m fairly sure Lee didn’t look up the avg age of each team.
Looking at the Phils, their stars are mostly 30-32. They’re all pretty much clumped in that age range.
Looking at the yankees, many of their stars (or presumed stars, Jeter/A-Rod/Posada/Mo) are close to or over 35. Of course they have CC/Teix/Cano, but there’s still a lot of older stars there.
Best laugh all day! The Yankees were third choice because they are old and can’t compete with the Rangers. Too true.
Yes because one best of 7 series shows who is better now and years to come.
Guess the Giants will be favored in 2011 over Philly next year right? Sure the Giants are the team to beat, but I don’t think there’s any denying that the Phillies are the better team.
I would love to see giants philly nlcs. No one is giving the giants a chance. Giants have their WS lineup for the whole year. Pablo looks much better, buster all year, Ross, mad bums all year. Giants can play small ball and Philly can’t.
Somewhat related: Doesn’t Philly need a (temporary) replacement for Dom Brown? Juan Rivera? I’m sure the Jays would help out with the $5MM he is owed for 2011, if something decent came back.
phills got one ben francisco he hits 25 hrs and 85 rbi this year and has a 270 ba so pretty close to werth, except no 17 mil dollar salary , now we need to find one for utley , much more important not many 2nd baseman putting up those numbers so harder to replace imo
Yeah I really think Francisco is going to have a very nice year. If you look at his career, hes only played one full season as a starter, his rookie year in Cleveland. He hit something like .267 and had 15 homers. He was on pace for the same, if not a slightly better, year in 2009 but then he got traded to the Phils in the Lee deal and was on the bench. He can play all 3 outfield positions too. I think he is going to end up a .270 hitter with 20 HR’s.
what do you want for jose bautista
please ? 🙁
yeah i guess we are both dreaming
I have zero problem with Lee feeling that he has a better chance of winning with the Phillies, especially since the AL East is much more competitive than the NL East. (long pause…..) However…..can we PLEASE speak the truth here?
Yanks (4 starters, 9 position players & DH and closer= 30.5
Sox (5 starters, 9 position players & DH and closer= 29.8
Rangers (5 starters, 9 position players & DH and closer (Rhodes or Oliver)= 29.3
Phillies (5 starters, 8 position players and closer)= 32.1
On top of that, the Yanks have and are willing to replace aging stars with whatever is available each winter. AND since 2005 have recommited themselves to developing the farm which might produce the likes of Montero, the B’s, etc, etc over the next couple of years to replace Posada and others.
Average age of our 2000 ws winning team (15 most relevant players) = 31.8
” ” 2004 team that won 101 games ” ” ” = 35.1
” ” ” 2010 WS winning team ” ” ” = 31.5
Yeahhhhh……shaking in our boots. Yanks have always been called “old” yet they’ve missed one playoff appearance since 1996.
As long the Yanks have learned from the legacy contracts and avoid the possible albatross contracts (like Arod’s latest) and keep an eye on developing our own and spending for elite level players to compliment what we don’t have internaly then the Yanks will be fine.
I don’t take what you say personaly Mr. Lee but now I have a growing desire to punch you in the face. This feeling will only be overcome by seeing and beating you in October. Game on!
Might be more out of his fear period of having to face teams in the AL East 18 times each period. Think.. Would you rather face Florida, Washington, Atlanta 18 times each, or Boston, Tampa, Toronto?? EASY CALL it seems. Even Atlanta doesn’t stack up in the AL East and you know Lee realizes it.
Then he should have come out and said that. Figures he comes from Arkansas
or led the country in the greatest economic revival ever , like another man from arkansas did
Atl pretty good ,while they arent the redsox niether is anybody else in that division. Atl might be better than the yankees , take a look they are at least comparable. except they dont hire a guy to hit for the pitcher because they dont want his hands to hurt 🙁
The Yankees offense is way better than that of the Braves. Take out 30 hrs and 100 rbi and 30 SB, which is more than what their 2010 DH’s posted and where still better.
Yanks 201 HRs -30 = 171 > Braves’ 139 HRs
Yanks 859 Runs -100 = 759 > Braves’ 738 Runs
Yanks 103 SB – 30= 73 > Braves’ 63 SB
Starting pitching is the only clear advantage they have, and pitching is signifigant but that’s obviously been the focal point of this offseason.
pitching and defense wins championships , i know thats hackneyed , but braves also added uggla and thats got count for something aswell. i was really trying to say that the braves are comparable to yankees , your offense better their pitching staff better minus rivera of course , and homeruns you play in the smallest field in baseball, so i guess that works both ways bad era and more homeruns , so i give you something there , honestly though i dont think either team is winning Worlds series this year imo
I really am not sure thats what he was getting at. I think he was looking at it like this… who has a better chance to win their division, the Yankees? or the Phillies?
C’mon now, hes a professional competitor, he is not afraid of facing a particular team. Look at what he did to the Yankees in 09, and the Rays and Yankees last year.
You don’t take it personally – but you want to punch him in the face? Maybe spit on his wife too? No wonder he didn’t want to play in New York. As for October, Jeter and the rest of the geezers might as well make their reservations for their favorite golf resort right now, because they don’t have a chance of getting past the Red Sox.
That’s absolutely fine for you to think that. But any person with any sense of history knows that in a 7 game series the lessor team can win. I have no problem with the Yanks being the underdog. I WISH…I HOPE….that the Red Sox team is as confident and ready to count the Yankees out. All the pressure will be on them. I guess the Yanks will just feel lucky to make the playoffs.
I don’t think Lee was thinking average age.
I honestly think he looked at that left side of the infield locked up for some time and he thought of all the groundballs that would make it past the infield.
Then he should look at the avg age of his 2b and SS as well and factor in that one of them may not be there next year. The arguement is silly. To reduce a team down to the age of two players is stupid.
We get it Lee you would be worse in the AL and would prefer to take the easy road to a title thats cool with me. Yanks are fine, they might not be as good as the Sox right now but its the first season in a while their has been much difference between us.
Maybe you didn’t know this, but Lee was in the AL this entire past season….
Lee is only echoing what Cashman is saying.
Oh oh. Mr. Lee, next time you go to Yankee stadium I strongly advise you not to take your wife with you. If they did what they did just for being an opposing ace, imagine what they’ll do now with those comments of you.
You would really prefer Beckett and Lackey to Hamels and Oswalt? I get that Beckett and Lackey are “battle-tested” as such in the AL East, but I would also opine that they both failed miserably. Beckett has had one good year since he came to Boston five years ago, or so. Lackey last year was dreadful. I’ll tell you one thing, some Red Sox games this year will be looooooong with bad, wild pitching for the Sox and long innings on the offensive side as well.
The Cult of the Sox is going to mad at you
I’m not sure if this was a reply to me that went wrong but you’re analysis is off..
the discussion was which team could Lee join to make a stronger rotation than the phils, answer was red sox and san fran
IF lee didn’t join the phils, hamels moves up to #2 and 3,4 is oswalt and blanton.
Now that Lee has join the phils, yes ofcourse they have the best rotation.