Rabble Rousing! New York Post Thinks Phillies Should Trade Cliff Lee to Yankees

Oh, the New York Post– society’s rabble rouser. 

While we enjoy the tabloidy nature of NY’s third newspaper (pot, kettle), sometimes they can go trolling a bit too hard trying to create a story where there is none.

And such was the job done today by columnist Joel Sherman, who hypothtisiziseidseided that the Phillies trading Cliff Lee to the Yankees would make sense:

The Phils are in a tough spot. They are in the midst of the best stretch in team history (five straight division titles, two pennants, one title). They want to honor that run and the full houses they get each game at Citizens Bank Park by continuing to go for it. But to get there they have had to strip their farm system while elevating the age of their major league roster. They need a mechanism to get younger while still contending.

They could contend without Lee if Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Halladay get healthy/productive (remember, they won it all in 2008 with just one unquestioned ace in Hamels). And they can’t win even with Lee if that trio does not rediscover close to their peak form. But either way the Phillies would be best served with an injection of talented youth that Lee could bring in a trade.

His expense might scare away some teams, and he has been on the disabled list in each of the last two seasons for abdominal/oblique injuries. But he is 33, not 38. He’s proven he can thrive in both leagues, a tough market and the playoffs.


None of his points are even close to wrong and, honestly, I agree with everything he wrote. But this is the way trade rumors get started. It goes from this would be a good move to hey, are the Phillies trading Lee to the Yankees? to the Yankees are about to get Lee… all because a columnist was having a slow day…


Actually, yeah, let’s talk about this.

The fact that we’re here – seriously entertaining the notion of trading Lee – is a bit sad. When Lee signed with the Phillies in 2010, my initial reaction – if even for just a split second – was oh my God, where are they getting this money? That was quickly replaced by fuck yes! and me almost breaking my ankle jumping up from my computer (really).

And, after that, we all celebrated the deal for the next 10 months until Lee blew a 4-0 lead to the Cardinals.

image from mobilwi.typepad.com

Every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction, some dude once said. And that’s often the case when sports teams experience an embarrassment of riches. The tide quickly shifts from fortune to misfortune. The Phillies had two, maybe three years to make the pitching thing work. But Roy Oswalt quickly becoming old, injuries to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay, and Ruben Amaro’s inability to assemble a balanced baseball team have put the Phillies in an unfortunate position earlier than they expected: Their window is dangerously close to slamming shut, the master plan seems to be ruined after Year 1, and huge contracts to Lee and Howard likely mean that they can’t re-sign Cole Hamels.

So here we are, talking about trading Lee, who, just over a year ago, was to go down as the most beloved athlete in the city’s history. The sad part is almost none of this is his fault. Sure, he’s hocked up a few leads, but he’s mostly pitched well, often streaming excellence for four or five starts at a time. He makes a lot of money, though (less than he would have made elsewhere…), and it would probably make sense for the Phillies to free up that money to sign Hamels, a pitcher who is five years younger and just now entering the point of his career that saw a guy like Lee win a Cy Young and dominate two postseasons.

Of course, if the Phillies weren’t 900 games out of first right now, we wouldn’t care about those things. 

Your thoughts?


33 Responses

  1. “talking about trading Lee, who, just over a year ago, was to go down as the most beloved athlete in the city’s history”
    Most beloved in the city’s history? Seriously? Are you that dumb?

  2. Maybe most beloved by the hack blogger that wrote this…I think in order to quote unquote piss excellence, you would need to be able to hold a lead…

  3. 4-0 lead. NLDS. Enough said.
    I love how its never his fault when he blows a lead. With a 3 run lead against Toronto, he dicked around with Bautista, who was leading off the inning, and walked him. Hey Cliff, he can’t hit a 3-run HR with nobody on base. Go after him.
    That, my friends, is not “excellence.”

  4. I’ll trade Lee for Cano.. Anything less, not interested. Considering the Yanks won’t do that, trade Shane for a prospect, call up Dom Brown and re-sign Cole. Period

  5. Window is closed. Trade him and get younger and get some talent in the farm system. We dont need 3 aces to win a world series.
    Trade Lee, sign Hamels, get some prospects…

  6. What is most frustrating about this year is not the offense (which is currently 2nd in the NL in runs per game) but the piss poor play in general. Horrible baserunning and fielding have been a HUGE issue for the Phillies this year. It’s mind blowing to think this team won 102 games last year with very similar inury issues, and now they are 6 games under .500.
    I have tried to remain positivie throughout the season but at this point I have to believe this is a lost year for the Phils. Howard and Utley are not going to make up a 9 game difference in the standings or even 5 games in the WC with the way this team plays.
    At this point I think everyone on the roster should be available. Offer Cole a 6ry/$140mil and if he turns it down make him available too. They need to reload, and since the Phillies won in ’08 most of baseball has been locking up their young talent WAY before FA hits so the FA market has been very weak for the most part. If it takes trading Hamles, Pence and Lee to bring in legit youth and taking a step back for a year or two so be it.
    We have enjoyed a VERY successful run but they cannot continue down this same path.

  7. Lee has a partial non-trade clause in his deal so there’s a good chance he’d have to approve most of trades the Phils would make. I’m tired of hearing all this “oh trade _______ to resign Cole”. This is baseball. THERE IS NO SALARY CAP. The luxury tax should have no effect on the Phillies spending especially when they’re a stone’s throw away from recieving a multi-billion dollar tv deal.
    I’m not saying I’m against trading say Shane for a prospect or for some late inning relief, but there’s no reason to go trading a guy like Lee and not resigning Hamels because “money is tight”…that’s just the Phils lying to the fans.

  8. I’d love for the Phillies to get their hands on some prospects, the Yankees do have an abundance of young talent. If we could get C Gary Sanchez, 3B Dante Bichette Jr, and something else, we’d be golden.. tis time to consider rebuilding.

  9. @Mike – Completely 100% agree. The phillies print money down there, they can afford anyone. Even Montgomery said that a few months ago
    They do not need to rebuild either. Hi payroll teams like the phillies build teams via free agency (much like the BoSox,Yanks,Angels). sure home grown talent is there as well and the these types of teams are good at keeping the ones that really help (utley, howard, hamels, jeter, cano) etc. Do you think the yanks or sox have good farm teams? THEY DO NOT. the reason is because they trade the prospects for proven players and the good ones they keep.

  10. @Jerry…couldn’t agree more.
    Schmidt, Clarke, Cunningham, Barkley, Wilt, and I could go on and on for about six hours.
    This isn’t a knock on Cliff Lee but he has to do a lot more to be the most beloved athlete all-time in Philly.
    Kyle, I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

  11. geez people overreact so much. This year sucks and will most likely be a lost year. That doesnt mean blow the whole thing up. This happens to teams ALL THE TIME. You have down years, and when we look back at the past, such as 1979 when the Phils missed the playoffs in the midst of a good run, they won in all the next year!
    If we come back with a healthy team with a core of Howard, Pence, Lee, Halladay, and Papelbon, this team will be good. We re-tool and add some pieces here and there, but remember sometimes a front office can only do so much. The Cardinals had far less talent than us last year and the Giants did the year before, yet they got it done. At some point it is up to the players to just play, and in baseball you probably just need a lot of luck with that. This year sucks, but we should be back. Trading away any of our great players that can help us for years to come is just foolish.

  12. TR – Yanks have a very good farm. Gary Sanchez, Banuelos, Mason Williams, Bichette, Campos, Phelps, etc.

  13. Hamels is overrated as shit … trade him now and Victorino and Thome / Pierre if you can.
    but I do agree with whoever said they can afford all 3 pitchers. I just think you can get better by trading Hamels

  14. brett gardner & a minor leaguer should get it done to bring Cliff to my Yankees

  15. While I’d like to say trade Cliff Lee right now, what will they do if they deal Lee…then don’t sign Hamels because he gets offered more money in free agency?…
    It really pains me to say this…but I think they have to trade Hamels if he refuses to sign before the deadline. They could get a kings ransom in return, and free up even more money to add pieces next year. They’d still have Doc, Cliff, Vance, KK and whatever 5 guy they throw out there for another year…
    I don’t know. None of it really makes sense because it shouldn’t have to happen like this. RAJ really fucked this team up by trading Lee the first time. Where the fuck is Phillipe Aumont??

  16. OH BOY! Let’s get us some of those Yankees prospects that Buster Olney and ESPN overrate to no end! Yippie!

  17. Sad state of affairs at CBP. I didn’t think this was going to happen for two or three more years.
    Hamels – for some young (current age < 30), good mofos Victorino - his head is up his ass Thome - actually just put him out to pasture, can't get anything for him Pence - trade him to Washington, they need a right fielder JRoll - someone could use a slow leadoff hitter that can't get on base Actually, just blow up the whole old shitty team. This team thinks it's more important to have stupid fucking charity events than winning baseball games. Pussies

  18. The Phillies stink and my Yankees are playing lights out.
    Damn it feels good to be a Yankees fan.
    And as far as trading for Cliff Lee is concerned,we don’t want no parts of that loser,he fits in perfectly in your rotten city.

  19. Anyone remember what happened to the Flyers this year? I’d say to not blow up the team this year. A lot of injuries have held this team back, and I say give them a chance to see what they do after the All Star Break. If they don’t get it done, see what happens in free agency and the beginning of next year. If they’re still god-awful (as far as an error nearly every god-damned inning and being unable to win extra inning games and being unable to hold leads) then it will have been a long enough time to truly consider some moves. Not everything has to be knee-jerk reactions, and I find it very hard to believe that Cliff won’t find his stride sometime this year.

  20. @Rangers fan – Why the hell are you reading a Philly sports blog? No one cares what you have to say.

  21. To trade or not to trade, that could be the question. But, I think that it’s not the individual players and/or injuries that are the problem, it’s the lack of teamwork and hardwork. Looks like the Phils need to get back to basics and work on fundamentals. They need a leader to emerge to spark some life back into the team. They already look defeated on the field…where are you Fightin’ Phils? Stop the blame game and get to work!

  22. rangers fan is one of those guys ewho can’t stand philly because got picked on at a philly sporting event. Oh btw, Yankees fans wanted cliff lee bad and are still very butthurt over the ordeal. Hence the salty comments towards cliff lee.

  23. Anyone who thought at least one — if not all — of these “aces” wouldn’t go through a down period or injury in their time here is delusional. This fanbase is so freakin spoiled. What happens if Hamels keeps pitching the way he has been the past few games? Will he also then be seen as crap like Lee apparently is now? Those screaming for Lee to be traded should remember that everyone wanted Cole traded after the ’09 season too. Careful what you wish for. I say give all three pitchers a break. The pressure to be perfect has got to be enormous and I’m not sure how motivated you can be when you feel like it’s either be perfect or be crucified. This just may not be the Phills year or the second half of the season could end up as fun and exciting as 2008. I’m not ready to see them blow it all up that’s for sure.

  24. If they do give Hamels what he wants how long will it take for the bitching to start? Lee was so beloved, then so mourned, then beloved again but here we are barely a year and a half into his contract and even Kyle is ready to pack his bags. Hamels’ first injury or bad stretch like he’s having now and all hell will break loose in this fickle fan base. It took me almost 50 years to realize it but we really do suck.

  25. I love Lee. But we need Hammels at almost any cost. It hurts to say that and I would hate to see him go but. Hammels is the future and the now.

  26. Another worrying Huckabee view is his belief that more prisons should be privatized. There is a clear correlation between more privatized prisons and more prisoners that can be seen over the last 30 years. The United States already has more prisoners than any other country in the western world. The last thing we need is for there to be a monetary incentive to put people in prison.

  27. Let me take you Philly fan’s back to Nov 1st 2009 – Whats that I see Pedro Feliz Hits a HUGE game tying Home Run of Joba in the bottom of the 8th inning to tie up the game. Philly and its Fans are going nuts all the momentum in on Philly’s side this game is all but done now and a Phillies Victory to tie up the series. Top of the 9th Yankees 2 quick outs, now whats this I see Johnny Damon puts together a all tie great battle against lidge fouls off about 84 pitchess and finally hits a single, then he Steals 2nd then on a Epic Epic fail goes to 3rd on a Epic Fail by Ruiz. Poor Lidge he is now all flustered walks Tex. and when pitching to A-Rod can’t thorw his slider becasue Damon is on 3rd. He makes a mistake HUGE mistake down the middle of the plate to A-Rod a fastball that A-Rod smacks for a double and a World Series Game winning RBI !!!!!
    Man I love thinking back to that night and A-Rods Hit and just watching the life being sucked out of the city of Philly of A-Rods Bat !!! Its was Epic becasue you were to high on yourselfs are that point coming of Feliz’s Home Run but it all went to shit in the hands of Brad Lidge in the top of the 9th, against the man you people hated the most on the Yankees A-Rod !!!! HA HA I fucking love it
    PSS – Go shove Cliff Lee up your ASS ! Brian Cashman and Yankee Fans say Fuck Cliff Lee, The man had his chance to play in pinstripes and for the best Team in front of the best fans of all time and he took his services to that shit hole they call philly.

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