Realizing that the price for Roy Halladay was far too high, Ruben Amaro went out and got Cliff Lee today. In the process, he also got the Tribe's starting left fielder, Ben Francisco. The cost was four minor leaguers: catcher Roy Marson, pitcher Carlos Carasco, infielder Jason Donald, and pitcher Jason Knapp.
Marson will be a good major league catcher. He did well during his brief call-up earlier this season. Carasco nearly made the team coming out of training camp, but the Phils' brass decided he needed more seasoning in the minors. Donald will be a decent player, but he's coming off an injury and would have been stuck behind Chase Utley for the foreseeable future. Knapp is a rookie league fireballer with a very long way to go before he's ready to pitch in the majors. I'm guessing that Marson and Carasco will stick with the Indians, and Donald will end up here in Columbus.
In return, Amaro got last year's American League Cy Young Award winner, and a right handed outfielder with good pop in his bat and 13 stolen bases. That means that young John Mayberry can go back to the Iron Pigs, where he can some steady playing time and continue to progress toward being an everyday player in the majors.
"Obviously the Phillies are the defending world champions, they're a good team and they're in first place," said Lee this afternoon. "Honestly, it's an honor and I look at it as a good thing. If other teams are wanting me and are willing to trade some of their key players and future players for me, it's a compliment."
The Phightin's now have four southpaws in their starting rotation: Lee, Hamels, J.A. Happ, and the ancient Jamie Moyer. That's got to be scary for a lot of teams, and Lee is the kind of pitcher who can be an ace. His 7-9 record this year does not reflect his effectiveness; the Indians are awful and don't score runs behind him. He could easily regain the type of effectiveness that brought him a 22-3 record last year.
And, on top of it all, it looks like Brett Myers may be ready to return to the active roster in August, and Pedro Martinez will soon be ready, too. I'm guessing that it's goodbye to the likes of Rodrigo Lopez (who, in fairness, did a perfectly acceptable job in his three starts with the Phillies).
Bravo, Ruben Amaro. Well played. Pat Gillick must be very proud of you today.