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CIMO.

Official: Lee to Phillies

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It's starting to seem like people would rather have an enormous payroll than a winning season.

 

We paid Hafner. We paid Wood. We paid Westbrook. We locked up Carmona and Sizemore. We've had Victor for over a decade.

 

The market for starting pitching is absolutely insane now. We weren't going anywhere last year with CC, and we had no chance to sign him. The Brewers decided to ride him to the end, and how did that turn out? A first round exit and nothing in return.

 

Cleveland is far, far from the only team who can't afford to pay Cy Young winners market value. The Marlins couldn't keep Beckett. The Twins couldn't keep Santana. The A's couldn't keep anyone, but let's just say Dan Haren. The Blue Jays won't be able to keep Halladay.

 

When you look at it realistically, we weren't going anywhere with Cliff. There aren't enough moves we could've made to contend next year, and we don't have the money to re-sign him. Before you blame Dolan, look around the league and blame baseball for the lack of a salary cap.

 

We didn't get fair value for Cliff, but no team is going to give up young, major league ready aces for a rental. Getting two solid position players at premium positions, a front of the rotation starter near the bigs, and one potential horse...well, I'll take it.

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CIMO beat me to it, but I was going to say something similar. Far be it for me to question why anyone decides to stop being a fan, but *this* deal hardly seems like something that would push one over the edge. Maybe so if you think it's writing on the wall (tempted to feel this way myself) and that we're in deep financial trouble and sell-offs have been ordered across the board. But not this deal alone.

 

We were sitting at 42-59 prior to this trade and had given up more runs than any team in the game. Obviously losing Lee isn't going to help those numbers, but we sure as hell weren't going anywhere with him either. That said, I'm dreading the possibilty of sitting here two years from now and trying to feel jazzed about the prospects we got for Sizemore.

 

Beanpot

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This whole thing with the owner sucks, and he should sell the team. I don't get it. Same thing is said about Lerner and the Browns, and if the Cavs had ups and downs, the same would be said for Gilbert. Sure he spends tons of money on the team, but I'd be willing to bet the Cavs are also the most profitable team in Cleveland. Every game is sold out, nationally televised as much, if not more than any other team in the league. When money is flowing in, an owner can afford to spend it... If the Cavs weren't very good, without money coming in, do you think Gilbert is going to take a ton of money out of his other business, and dump it into the Cavs?

 

It doesn't matter who owns the Indians. And frankly, the fact that people want the team sold scares the crap out of me. Every time a team is sold, there is no guarantee that the new ownership group won't at least try to relocate.

 

If you want to give up on the Indians because this is the way it works, I won't try and talk you out of it. God knows there are times I wish I wasn't raised a Cleveland sports fan.

 

But the team has spent a ton of money trying to get to the WS. Every offseason they have tried to plug the holes they found in the previous season (not a strategy I agree with) and they have signed guys to long term contracts, before they were getting close to arbitration or free agency, so that they could hold on to their talent at a price still below fair value on the open FA market. Unfortunately, Westbrook and Hafner's contracts haven't paid off because of injury, and Sizemore promptly took a 20pt dive in BA (still falling) and continues to strike out 150+ a year in the leadoff spot.

 

Some things the team has no control over (injuries after contract extensions). What they do have control over is drafting, scouting, signing, trading, and management from top to bottom. I've never been a fan of Wedge and I think his style doesn't fit what Cleveland needs to be doing. I don't have any faith in him to make the right decisions. He goes from letting guys hit their way out of slumps and work through things on the field, to having a different lineup every night and sticking guys in positions they never have, or should have played. I also have little faith in the MiLB staff. Cleveland takes too long to move guys along. But I'm hesitant to start pointing fingers there because that could very well be a result of what Wedge likes with the Indians. Kids get blocked in AA/AAA because he'd rather platoon older, less talented guys.

 

I could rant forever on baseball, but just in case anyone wants to read my posts, I'll cut it off here :)

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Here's Law's take on the deal:

 

Phillies get Lee, give up few high-end assets

 

For the Phillies, this looks like a steal. In Cliff Lee, they acquire one of the best pitchers in the American League over the past 18 months while retaining their top two prospects and trading four guys who all have serious question marks.

 

Lee has been the best left-hander in the AL and top-three in the league since the start of the 2008 season, although before that he went off the rails and had to be optioned to the minors in July of 2007. Lee's entire game turned around in 2008, as he picked up some velocity, improved his command and began to work more effectively in the lower half of the zone; he's now a four-pitch guy with command and control who works deep into games. (He has shown a large platoon split this year, with right-handed batters gaining more than 250 points of OPS, but it's out of line with his previous seasons and appears to be a fluke.) His contract includes a $9 million option for 2010 that the Phillies will certainly pick up; even if they decided they couldn't afford to keep him, he's extremely tradeable and they'd probably get value close to what they just gave up to acquire him.

 

Ben Francisco is a good right-handed bat off the bench who can fill in all over the outfield, but isn't going to produce enough to play every day in an outfield corner. He's a good depth add for the Phillies' bench, which is weak overall and has no viable right-handed bats to sub for a left-handed hitter late in a game.

 

If there's a problem with the Philly side, it's that they don't need Lee. They came into Wednesday eight games up in the loss column in the National League East standings, with Baseball Prospectus calling them an 83 percent chance to win the division. Lee makes them a better playoff team, but the playoffs are such a crapshoot that any upgrade only makes a team slightly more likely to win any particular series. It's hard to argue with the value proposition, however -- if you can get an underpaid, top-three pitcher in the tougher league without giving up any of your top three prospects, you kind of have to make the trade.

 

Cleveland's return is going to end up leaning very heavily on 19-year-old right-hander Jason Knapp, who is currently on the shelf with shoulder fatigue. Knapp is a low-three quarters slinger with a shoulder-heavy arm action, landing on a stiff front leg and struggling to close his front shoulder. He's been sitting in the mid-90s this spring, but his curveball and changeup remain below average; it's possible he won't ever have an average curve from that arm slot. The arm strength and the results for a 19-year-old in full-season A-ball are both very impressive, so even with the other concerns he has potential, but he's a high-risk/high-reward guy. Cleveland rarely has guys like this in their system because they tend to draft conservatively, and their best homegrown prospect right now, 20-year-old shortstop Lonnie Chisenhall, was a pick where they broke out of their typical draft philosophy.

 

The remaining players headed to Cleveland are inventory. Coming into 2009, Jason Donald, 24, projected as either an average defensive shortstop or above-average second baseman; his bat plays at either position but probably won't at third base, and he performed terribly in Triple-A this year before going down with a torn meniscus in his left knee in June, an injury from which he just returned to Triple-A. If the injured left knee was the true cause of his struggles, then it's a good buy-low move for Cleveland. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco is just 22 and has shown an above-average fastball, but he lacks a plus or even above-average secondary pitch, his command is poor and his on-field makeup has been a major question for two years; he doesn't respond well to adversity between the lines and, according to multiple sources, was so upset about seeing his name in trade talks last year that he pulled himself from a start during warm-ups and may have deliberately pitched poorly to try to hurt his trade value. Catcher Lou Marson, 23, makes a lot of contact and controls the strike zone but his swing path takes the bat down to the ball, resulting in a ton of ground balls and therefore little to no power. With Carlos Santana already the catcher of the future in Cleveland, Marson looks like either a future backup or an asset for the Indians to move somewhere else.

 

At this point it's hard to see any logic for Cleveland to retain Victor Martinez; their chances to contend in 2010 are largely gone because of the dearth of major league-ready starting pitching in the organization, and they're not in a payroll bracket where they're going to go out and buy three-fifths of a playoff rotation. Keeping Martinez, a productive but injury-prone catcher, with Santana and Marson sitting in Triple-A, doesn't make much sense given the front office's evident decision to rebuild.

 

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index...;name=law_keith

 

Beanpot

 

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That said, I'm dreading the possibilty of sitting here two years from now and trying to feel jazzed about the prospects we got for Sizemore.

 

Beanpot

 

I know what you mean, but with Hafner's (and Westbrook's, and Wood's) contract off the books at that point, I really can't imagine they trade Sizemore unless LaPorta, Weglarz and Brantley play well enough to make him expendable.

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My stance is not due to just THIS trade, but look at recent history. What do we have to show for Colon, Thome, Vizquel, Sabathia, Manny? Should I go on? Will I continue to pay the ticket, food, & drink prices of today for a putrid product? HELL NO!

The problem may be with the game itself & I may be wrong. I simply refuse to support the Dolan owned Indians anymore. My viewpoint is mine. I will not push it on anyone else & what is right for me may not be right for others. We are all entitled to our opinions & handling of situations.

Mike

 

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We're not going anywhere this year. Would you rather have a year of Cliff Lee while we're rebuilding and bringing all our young guys up, then see him walk in free agency?

 

I hope your right CIMO.

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My stance is not due to just THIS trade, but look at recent history. What do we have to show for Colon, Thome, Vizquel, Sabathia, Manny? Should I go on? Will I continue to pay the ticket, food, & drink prices of today for a putrid product? HELL NO!

The problem may be with the game itself & I may be wrong. I simply refuse to support the Dolan owned Indians anymore. My viewpoint is mine. I will not push it on anyone else & what is right for me may not be right for others. We are all entitled to our opinions & handling of situations.

Mike

 

Hey, that's your call and you're certainly allowed your opinion. Thought I said as much in my earlier post.

 

Still, it's weird that you led off your "what do we have to show for" comment with Bartolo.

 

Beanpot

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What do we have to show for Colon

 

Grady Sizemore

 

Thome, Vizquel, Manny?

 

Two trips to the World Series

 

Sabathia

 

Don't mean to pile on him, but if he pitched well in the playoffs we could've won a title.

 

 

 

Players come and go. Right now, our roster just isn't very good. We got lucky in 2007 with CC and Fausto clicking on all cylinders and Borowski somehow saving 40+ games, not to mention Westbrook and Byrd carrying us in the playoffs. How many World Series teams have players like Ryan Garko and Jhonny Peralta at the corner infield spots? There are a lot of ways to win, but it's pretty damn hard to do without at least one cornerstone slugger in your lineup. If Hafner stays healthy, maybe he can be that guy. But would you really take him over any of the players like Manny, Longoria, Howard, Utley, A-Rod, Teixiera, or Youkilis?

 

So we don't have a masher. We don't have the team speed to make up for it. Choo has been our best baserunner this year...but doesn't have the guys hitting behind him for it to make a difference. We're weak defensively. We have (well, had) one reliable pitcher.

 

That's not a team where you re-up everyone's contracts and try to fill a hole or two. That's a team you need to completely revamp. There's no identity, no cohesion, but there are a lot of blue chip prospects coming up through the pipeline. I just don't understand how all of that would add up to people wanting to stand pat.

 

(Edit) Just checked the stats...and before someone kills me for it, I admit, it seems like Westbrook and Byrd weren't as good in the playoffs as I remembered. Carry on.

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Grady Sizemore

 

 

 

Two trips to the World Series

 

 

 

Don't mean to pile on him, but if he pitched well in the playoffs we could've won a title.

 

 

 

Players come and go. Right now, our roster just isn't very good. We got lucky in 2007 with CC and Fausto clicking on all cylinders and Borowski somehow saving 40+ games, not to mention Westbrook and Byrd carrying us in the playoffs. How many World Series teams have players like Ryan Garko and Jhonny Peralta at the corner infield spots? There are a lot of ways to win, but it's pretty damn hard to do without at least one cornerstone slugger in your lineup. If Hafner stays healthy, maybe he can be that guy. But would you really take him over any of the players like Manny, Longoria, Howard, Utley, A-Rod, Teixiera, or Youkilis?

 

So we don't have a masher. We don't have the team speed to make up for it. Choo has been our best baserunner this year...but doesn't have the guys hitting behind him for it to make a difference. We're weak defensively. We have (well, had) one reliable pitcher.

 

That's not a team where you re-up everyone's contracts and try to fill a hole or two. That's a team you need to completely revamp. There's no identity, no cohesion, but there are a lot of blue chip prospects coming up through the pipeline. I just don't understand how all of that would add up to people wanting to stand pat.

 

(Edit) Just checked the stats...and before someone kills me for it, I admit, it seems like Westbrook and Byrd weren't as good in the playoffs as I remembered. Carry on.

 

CIMO, you might be the only one in Cleveland happy with the trade.

 

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CIMO, you might be the only one in Cleveland happy with the trade.

 

Technically I'm in Fort Worth, but point taken. ;)

 

That said, I invite anyone to refute any of these points on why the trade should've been made.

 

 

1. The Indians aren't contending this year or next

 

2. The Indians weren't going to re-sign him

 

3. No team is trading a legit, young, major league ready ace-caliber pitcher for a rental. Why do you think the Phillies didn't get Halladay?

 

4. The current roster is full of holes that can't be filled with a couple free agents or trades

 

5. With Rondon, LaPorta, Santana, Brantley, Weglarz, Chisenhall, and a handful of high upside young relievers and the current crop of Huff, Laffey, etc improving, it shows we were already built for the long-term before we started trading players this year.

 

 

 

All of those things, to me, make this a no-brainer. I don't like seeing a Cy Young winner go...but he just wasn't doing anything for us, and we weren't going to re-sign him. It makes no sense to me to hang onto him and waste more great years from a player when the team's not winning anything.

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1) Colon/Sizemore...pretty much a wash.

2) WITH Thome, Manny, & Vizquel...or any two of them & we WIN a World Series.

3) Sabathia's pitching during the season was a big part of us getting to the series.

 

My point was that even with getting Grady, we have lost FAR more than we have gained during the Dolan/Shapiro regime.

The "MO" is clear....we do NOT retain our free agents & we do NOT make major trades that benefit us in any way other than cutting payroll, although how much do we REALLY save by overpaying 4 journeymen rather than fairly paying ONE star? We won't even try to get a solid, experienced Manager. Sorry, but I do not see a commitment to fielding a winning team.

As I stated before, I may be wrong, but these are things I see.

Mike

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Shapiro on the deal:

 

"At the root of this deal was balancing the conviction of our ability to compete in 2010 with the

opportunity to impact the team's construction for years to come," said Cleveland Indians

Executive Vice President & General Manager Mark Shapiro. "Without the sense of confidence

in the team's ultimate competitiveness, we acted aggressively to add players that will impact

the organization in 2010 and beyond."

 

He of course leaves out any mention of money, presumably due to an edict from ownership.

 

Look, I'm not crying about this trade and I'd completely understand if Shapiro/Dolan shoved a balance sheet in front of a monitor while talking about the need to shave payroll. Most of us here are adults and we understand that we're living in a completely different world from the one we lived in 15 years ago. Blame as many people as you want for that reality if it makes you feel better, but it is what it is and no amount of ticket-tearing-up/merchandise-burning/complete-ignoring is going to change it.

 

I'd just like to know if that lack of "sense of confidence in the team's ultimate competitiveness" has more to do with future payroll projections than it does current young talent in the organization. Likely both, but I'd like to hear as much from the FO.

 

Beanpot

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2) WITH Thome, Manny, & Vizquel...or any two of them & we WIN a World Series.

 

Wait, we had all three of these guys for seven years together. Seven. All three of them together. What happened those years?

 

Beanpot

 

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1) Colon/Sizemore...pretty much a wash.

 

Remember back when I said that you're entitled to your opinion? Said it with a smiley face and everything? That still stands.

 

However, how in the hell do you break down the Colon deal to "Colon/Sizemore...pretty much a wash" in the same exact thread that you're stomping on your Wahoo lid and giving up on the team due to the trading of Cliff Lee!?!?

 

There are a ton of metrics out there that place values on trades and that "pretty much a wash" trade is often referred to as being historically good. Even if you don't buy into that kinda stuff, I've yet to come across anyone who considered that deal to be a wash. Lost opportunity with Phillips, sure. Wash given Lee/Sizemore for 800ish innings from Bart? Good God no.

 

Beanpot

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Wait, we had all three of these guys for seven years together. Seven. All three of them together. What happened those years?

 

Beanpot

 

I don't believe I ADDRESSED those years with a different team, did I? Although they were consistent winners & appeared in TWO World Series. I'll address those years now. In the years 1994 through 2000 when they were together, they finished 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, & 2nd. The Indians teams SINCE those 3 were together haven't fared so well...1st, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 4th, 1st, & 3rd.

What I DID address was a playoff appearance with the likes of Peralta, a "non-existent" Hafner, & a plethora of journeymen in left field. Replace 2 of them with Omar & Manny or Thome & things may have been a lot different. This regime believes in quantity over quality. I don't.

 

I rest my case.

Mike

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I don't believe I ADDRESSED those years with a different team, did I? Although they were consistent winners & appeared in TWO World Series. I'll address those years now. In the years 1994 through 2000 when they were together, they finished 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, & 2nd. The Indians teams SINCE those 3 were together haven't fared so well...1st, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 4th, 1st, & 3rd.

What I DID address was a playoff appearance with the likes of Peralta, a "non-existent" Hafner, & a plethora of journeymen in left field. Replace 2 of them with Omar & Manny or Thome & things may have been a lot different. This regime believes in quantity over quality. I don't.

 

I rest my case.

Mike

 

Terrific case. It's in complete conflict with your initial comment that "WITH Thome, Manny, & Vizquel...or any two of them & we WIN a World Series" but it's neat all the same. Impossible to prove, simple to claim. There's not a better combination available to those who seek to prove improvable nonsense.

 

Beanpot

 

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Remember back when I said that you're entitled to your opinion? Said it with a smiley face and everything? That still stands.

 

However, how in the hell do you break down the Colon deal to "Colon/Sizemore...pretty much a wash" in the same exact thread that you're stomping on your Wahoo lid and giving up on the team due to the trading of Cliff Lee!?!?

 

There are a ton of metrics out there that place values on trades and that "pretty much a wash" trade is often referred to as being historically good. Even if you don't buy into that kinda stuff, I've yet to come across anyone who considered that deal to be a wash. Lost opportunity with Phillips, sure. Wash given Lee/Sizemore for 800ish innings from Bart? Good God no.

 

Beanpot

 

the trade of Big Fat Bartolo Colon has turned out to be one of the biggest heists in MLB history. It didn't work out PERFECTLY for the Indians, having burned Phillips' options early and ultimately losing him. But Bartolo Colon shouldn't have even been in the League for the last 4 or 5 years. He had a good half season after the Indians dealt him, and his ONE 21-8 season with LAA a couple of years later.

 

And if I remember correctly, there were a whole lot of PO'd Indians fans then too. No one even knew Lee or Sizemore. Phillips was supposed to be the centerpiece of the deal, and the other two were just supporting players. I am in no way saying this Lee/Francisco trade will turn out the same, but getting basically half of one organizations top 10 prospects for a guy you don't ever need (Francisco) and a guy you can't use and can't keep... I won't complain.

 

I would think that just remembering the Big Fat Bartolo deal, you'd be a little more willing to see what becomes of at least Carrasco and Knapp, before throwing your Indians hat in the fireplace.

 

To me, it's genuinely exciting to see these deals get done. Last June I had come to terms with the fact that the Indians would not see the playoffs again before these guys had to be dealt. I'm ready to see what another surge of young talent can add up to at the major league level.

 

LaPorta, Brantley, Weglarz, Santana, Rondon, Huff, Valbuena, Cabrera, Hodges...

 

What I want to know, is how MeLoan got traded for some garbage old bullpen guy that TB had picked up free of charge after the Nats dumped him.

 

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I'll say Omar was never really Omar in San Francisco, I doubt he'd do anything of impact if he stayed in Cleveland, and Manny signed a historically huge contract before Shapiro even got there. So, to me at least, the only real impact player in that is Thome. But do you really think Thome, even at his peak, would've made that much of a difference after he left?

 

There's only so much one player can do, and very few, if any, are worth what they end up getting paid. Did the Phillies ever make the playoffs with Thome? What did Robbie do after he left Cleveland? CC's only on pace to get 16 wins on a first place team this year. Is that worth 20 something million?

 

Do you think if we kept Sabathia we would've won anything last, this, or next year?

 

Terrible contracts concern me far more than trading players for prospects before they hit free agency. How's Barry Zito's contract looking these days? What about the Mets with their blockbuster deal for Santana? Look at the Yankees for the past 7 or 8 years. Too many bad contracts will completely cripple a team...especially when you're adding bad contracts to a bad team.

 

If we were in contention, I could understand overpaying to keep the core intact, like we did in the 90s. But it goes back to the two main problems...we're not contending and we can't afford to match what the big markets are offering. It's just the facts.

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Remember back when I said that you're entitled to your opinion? Said it with a smiley face and everything? That still stands.

 

However, how in the hell do you break down the Colon deal to "Colon/Sizemore...pretty much a wash" in the same exact thread that you're stomping on your Wahoo lid and giving up on the team due to the trading of Cliff Lee!?!?

 

There are a ton of metrics out there that place values on trades and that "pretty much a wash" trade is often referred to as being historically good. Even if you don't buy into that kinda stuff, I've yet to come across anyone who considered that deal to be a wash. Lost opportunity with Phillips, sure. Wash given Lee/Sizemore for 800ish innings from Bart? Good God no.

 

Beanpot

 

OK, "a wash" was a poor choice of words as Grady is a fine ballplayer (probably a superstar IF they would surround him with more hitters as they did in the 90's). The fact is that they traded Colon (an established, productive pitcher) for an "unknown". You & I both know that many of these "phenoms" don't pan out. Again, I see an "MO" in this. We are letting established producers go for question marks, or in the case of free agency, for nothing, & yes, it has become a pattern. The Lee/Francisco trade for four LARGE question marks just put the lid on it for me. For the quality we gave up, we should have gotten MUCH more....maybe fewer players, but at least ONE bonafide major leaguer.

Mike

 

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LaPorta, Brantley, Weglarz, Santana, Rondon, Huff, Valbuena, Cabrera, Hodges...

 

Chisenhall, Gomez, De La Cruz, Mills, Abreu....and that's before any of the trades we made.

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And if I remember correctly, there were a whole lot of PO'd Indians fans then too. No one even knew Lee or Sizemore. Phillips was supposed to be the centerpiece of the deal, and the other two were just supporting players.

 

Tons. Lots even. We were on another forum at the time and people were *pissed* - I, of course, was the voice of reason. Telling people that Phillips was a terrific get and that maybekinda the other two would turn out ok.

 

Man, I loved me some Brandon Phillips back in the day.

 

Beanpot

 

 

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Just for kicks I figured I'd take a look at the potential roster in the next couple years...thinking of the batting order and looking at the potential.

 

LF - Brantley...(.290 avg, 20+ SBs, 80 R)

CF - Sizemore...(25-30 HR, 25-30 SBs, 80-90 RBI, 100 R)

1B - LaPorta...(.300 avg, 30-35 HR, 100+ RBI)

DH - Weglarz...(.270 avg, 35-40 HR, 100+ RBI)

C - Santana...(.280 avg, 25-30 HR, 80-90 RBI)

RF - Choo...(.300 avg, 20-25 HR, 20 SBs, 80-90 RBI)

3B - Chisenhall...(.280 avg, 20-25 HR, 70-80 RBI)

SS - Cabrera...(.290 avg)

2B - Valbuena...(.280 avg, 15 SBs)

 

With Martinez, Peralta, Donald, and Marson as very nice trade chips.

 

Granted that's best case scenario, but those are realistic expectations given the caliber of players we have coming up, and a hell of a lot better than the best scenario with the roster we broke camp with. Blue chip sluggers in the middle of the order, and players like Brantley and Valbuena actually bringing something dynamic to the lineup.

 

Then you have Rondon with ace caliber stuff, Carrasco as a potential #2, Huff growing into a dependable starter, Laffey a nice piece as a 5th guy to get the ground ball outs. We'll take whatever we can get from Fausto, they're taking their time with him in Columbus for a reason, they want him to come back as a reliable starter. If De La Cruz can recover from his injury, he's another guy with top 3 starter stuff.

 

With a possible 6th-9th inning combo of Sipp-Rafael Perez-Lewis-Chris Perez. All young, all getting better.

 

 

 

It just seems like the worst possible time to stop being a fan. This is what should excite people...not watching Cliff Lee "carry" a 4th place team.

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Here's Law's take on the deal:

 

Phillies get Lee, give up few high-end assets

 

For the Phillies, this looks like a steal. In Cliff Lee, they acquire one of the best pitchers in the American League over the past 18 months while retaining their top two prospects and trading four guys who all have serious question marks.

 

Lee has been the best left-hander in the AL and top-three in the league since the start of the 2008 season, although before that he went off the rails and had to be optioned to the minors in July of 2007. Lee's entire game turned around in 2008, as he picked up some velocity, improved his command and began to work more effectively in the lower half of the zone; he's now a four-pitch guy with command and control who works deep into games. (He has shown a large platoon split this year, with right-handed batters gaining more than 250 points of OPS, but it's out of line with his previous seasons and appears to be a fluke.) His contract includes a $9 million option for 2010 that the Phillies will certainly pick up; even if they decided they couldn't afford to keep him, he's extremely tradeable and they'd probably get value close to what they just gave up to acquire him.

 

Ben Francisco is a good right-handed bat off the bench who can fill in all over the outfield, but isn't going to produce enough to play every day in an outfield corner. He's a good depth add for the Phillies' bench, which is weak overall and has no viable right-handed bats to sub for a left-handed hitter late in a game.

 

If there's a problem with the Philly side, it's that they don't need Lee. They came into Wednesday eight games up in the loss column in the National League East standings, with Baseball Prospectus calling them an 83 percent chance to win the division. Lee makes them a better playoff team, but the playoffs are such a crapshoot that any upgrade only makes a team slightly more likely to win any particular series. It's hard to argue with the value proposition, however -- if you can get an underpaid, top-three pitcher in the tougher league without giving up any of your top three prospects, you kind of have to make the trade.

 

Cleveland's return is going to end up leaning very heavily on 19-year-old right-hander Jason Knapp, who is currently on the shelf with shoulder fatigue. Knapp is a low-three quarters slinger with a shoulder-heavy arm action, landing on a stiff front leg and struggling to close his front shoulder. He's been sitting in the mid-90s this spring, but his curveball and changeup remain below average; it's possible he won't ever have an average curve from that arm slot. The arm strength and the results for a 19-year-old in full-season A-ball are both very impressive, so even with the other concerns he has potential, but he's a high-risk/high-reward guy. Cleveland rarely has guys like this in their system because they tend to draft conservatively, and their best homegrown prospect right now, 20-year-old shortstop Lonnie Chisenhall, was a pick where they broke out of their typical draft philosophy.

 

The remaining players headed to Cleveland are inventory. Coming into 2009, Jason Donald, 24, projected as either an average defensive shortstop or above-average second baseman; his bat plays at either position but probably won't at third base, and he performed terribly in Triple-A this year before going down with a torn meniscus in his left knee in June, an injury from which he just returned to Triple-A. If the injured left knee was the true cause of his struggles, then it's a good buy-low move for Cleveland. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco is just 22 and has shown an above-average fastball, but he lacks a plus or even above-average secondary pitch, his command is poor and his on-field makeup has been a major question for two years; he doesn't respond well to adversity between the lines and, according to multiple sources, was so upset about seeing his name in trade talks last year that he pulled himself from a start during warm-ups and may have deliberately pitched poorly to try to hurt his trade value. Catcher Lou Marson, 23, makes a lot of contact and controls the strike zone but his swing path takes the bat down to the ball, resulting in a ton of ground balls and therefore little to no power. With Carlos Santana already the catcher of the future in Cleveland, Marson looks like either a future backup or an asset for the Indians to move somewhere else.

 

At this point it's hard to see any logic for Cleveland to retain Victor Martinez; their chances to contend in 2010 are largely gone because of the dearth of major league-ready starting pitching in the organization, and they're not in a payroll bracket where they're going to go out and buy three-fifths of a playoff rotation. Keeping Martinez, a productive but injury-prone catcher, with Santana and Marson sitting in Triple-A, doesn't make much sense given the front office's evident decision to rebuild.

 

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index...;name=law_keith

 

Beanpot

 

This article is not really a raving endorsement of the Indians trade. It sounds like we got one high risk/reward guy and roster filler for the rest. Ugh.

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It just seems like the worst possible time to stop being a fan. This is what should excite people...not watching Cliff Lee "carry" a 4th place team.

 

After more thought CIMO, I think you are wrong. Carry the team? This team was one game away from the World Series in 07 and had the best record in the American league after all star break in 08. So you blow up the team? And get prospects that could not pan out? WHAT? The key word here is PROSPECT.

 

This is not about prospects CIMO, it's about money. Your loyalty is admirable, but this was taken too far. I and thousands feel the same, I am done this season and will think about buying ANY tickets next year. I gave my 3 sets of tickets I had left away to my neighbor. I don't care about the money, which is what the Dolan's should be thinking.

 

I see your point and it is a good point. But what the Dolan's did was have the best interests of the Indians (supposedly) in mind. Not the city of Cleveland. This is just plain demoralizing. Sure on paper it's a good trade, but so was moving the Browns to Baltimore. The Dolan's f'ucked up BIG TIME. Sorry dude I am done.

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Technically I'm in Fort Worth, but point taken. ;)

 

Which is probably why you are the only one who thinks this is a good trade. Come to Cleveland and find a job. Go down to the flats and watch the bums fight over some trash. The only thing we had at this point was watching Lee pitch some good baseball. Now we can watch Pavano give up 6 runs and be our #1 starter. Sorry man, there is more to this then stats and prospects, it about what us Clevelanders have left, which at this point is the Browns and Cavs. The Dolan's can kiss my ass. If I still worked at my old job (with Larry Dolan's son) I would of asked him to pass that message on to Larry myself.

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CIMO beat me to it, but I was going to say something similar. Far be it for me to question why anyone decides to stop being a fan, but *this* deal hardly seems like something that would push one over the edge. Maybe so if you think it's writing on the wall (tempted to feel this way myself) and that we're in deep financial trouble and sell-offs have been ordered across the board. But not this deal alone.

 

We were sitting at 42-59 prior to this trade and had given up more runs than any team in the game. Obviously losing Lee isn't going to help those numbers, but we sure as hell weren't going anywhere with him either. That said, I'm dreading the possibilty of sitting here two years from now and trying to feel jazzed about the prospects we got for Sizemore.

 

Beanpot

 

Again, we all pretty much know how it is theoretically supposed to work. But it's translated to little success. It's gotten to the point that the few that panned out from last generation's prospects that we got for veteran trades are now veterans being traded for prospects. PERPETUAL REBUILDING.

 

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Grady Sizemore

 

 

 

Two trips to the World Series

 

 

 

Don't mean to pile on him, but if he pitched well in the playoffs we could've won a title.

 

 

 

Players come and go. Right now, our roster just isn't very good. We got lucky in 2007 with CC and Fausto clicking on all cylinders and Borowski somehow saving 40+ games, not to mention Westbrook and Byrd carrying us in the playoffs. How many World Series teams have players like Ryan Garko and Jhonny Peralta at the corner infield spots? There are a lot of ways to win, but it's pretty damn hard to do without at least one cornerstone slugger in your lineup. If Hafner stays healthy, maybe he can be that guy. But would you really take him over any of the players like Manny, Longoria, Howard, Utley, A-Rod, Teixiera, or Youkilis?

 

So we don't have a masher. We don't have the team speed to make up for it. Choo has been our best baserunner this year...but doesn't have the guys hitting behind him for it to make a difference. We're weak defensively. We have (well, had) one reliable pitcher.

 

That's not a team where you re-up everyone's contracts and try to fill a hole or two. That's a team you need to completely revamp. There's no identity, no cohesion, but there are a lot of blue chip prospects coming up through the pipeline. I just don't understand how all of that would add up to people wanting to stand pat.

 

(Edit) Just checked the stats...and before someone kills me for it, I admit, it seems like Westbrook and Byrd weren't as good in the playoffs as I remembered. Carry on.

 

So how long are you going to give Shapiro and Dolan? As I said, Perpetual rebuilding. It's not working.

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