Yahoo Sports is reporting that Cliff Lee's agent, Dareck Braunecker, does not want to re-sign with Seattle, and wants Cliff to explore free agency in the off-season, likely making him trade bait for the second year in a row. While I'm sure Braunecker will screw up this negotiation for Lee as well, Yahoo's "Duk" asks us to find a convoluted way to bring Cliff Lee back to Philadelphia. Well… it's not convoluted at all.
I know, move on from the whole Cliff Lee thing. I get it. However, our pitching is suspect at best. Sure Halladay is as advertised, and Blanton is showing no ill effects from his oblique injury, but after that there are A LOT of question marks.
What do the following numbers signify? 5.28, 5.70, and 7.61.
No, they are not the magnitudes of the recent earthquakes in Chile, they are the earned run averages of Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer, and Kyle Kendrick.
We are over a month into the season, and none of those guys have give us any reason to think they will be reliable starters in the playoffs.
J.A. Happ, our next best option, is on the DL.
So how do we get Lee back? I tackled the subject in my post on 4/13, "Is Pedro the Answer, Again?" By the way, the answer to that question is "No."
If it looks like we need help come July, and Seattle is struggling… let's send them back their prospects in exchange for one Clifton Phifer Lee. It is doubtful Seattle will be able to resign him, and if they are not in contention it would make sense for both parties involved.
The Phillies have two prospects that Seattle likes (umm because they just traded them to us!) in Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies. It's real simple, give them back their prospects, hell we'll even throw in the corpse of Kyle Kendrick, and we take back Cliff Lee.
I get the whole "move on from Cliff Lee thing", but clearly we are going to need pitching help, and Lee will be the best available pitcher at the trade line, why is it unreasonable to think the Phillies would go after him? Further, we have two prospects that Seattle is high on. Some say making this move would require Ruben Amaro to admit he was wrong. Well, didn't he already do that by trading Drabek? In July, Drabek was untouchable. In December? Gone. I think he's learning on the job that you can't have your cake and eat it too. He's shown that he wants to play with the big boys, and sometimes that means sacrificing young talent and/or admitting mistakes.
I don't know if the scenario is likely, but it's certainly plausible. After all, Amaro is shrewd.