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MLB Trade Rumors: Cliff Lee Traded To The Phillies

Work has prevented me from posting this until today, but I have to post something on the biggest trade of the season so far. The Phillies traded single-A pitcher Jason Knapp, AAA pitcher Carlos Carrasco, AAA catcher Lou Marson and AAA SS-2B Jason Donald to the Indians for Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco.

I think the Phillies won this deal as they didn't have to trade any of their top 4 prospects- AA pitcher Kyle Drabek, single-A outfielder Dominic Brown, major league starter J.A. Happ or AAA outfielder Michael Taylor. So the Phillies get a year and two, possibly three, months of Cliff Lee, and a 4th outfielder in Ben Francisco for 4 average prospects, although Knapp could be special as he is only 18 years old.

I do wonder though what Cleveland is going to do with catcher Lou Marson though. He was assigned to AAA Columbus, but why ask for a catching prospect when you have the best catching prospect in the minors in AA-Carlos Santana. No, not THAT Carlos Santana. Santana came to the Indians in the trade with the Dodgers for Casey Blake last year.

I assume Marson could get called up to the majors should catcher Victor Martinez get traded by Friday at 4pm. But we all know there will be a thousand rumors on where he will be traded to between now and then.

Barring a trade of Roy Halladay to the NL, the Phillies become the NL favorite to go to the World Series as their rotation will be tough to beat. Their rotation, headed by Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer and J.A. Happ, is lefty heavy, but is solid. I do think the Phillies need some bullpen help with the way closer Brad Lidge has struggled this year though.