Thursday, July 30, 2009

Phillies settle for Lee

The Phillies couldn't work out a long-rumored deal for Roy Halladay, so they settled for Cliff Lee, the second-best pitcher on the trade market. How does the move affect Lee's fantasy fortunes? Could this move mirror last year's deadline deal that sent CC Sabathia to Milwaukee? The Indians traded the reigning Cy Young winner to the National League in that one and it worked out pretty well for CC owners (11-2, 1.65 ERA down the stretch as a Brewer).

It's hard to say Lee will enjoy that kind of dominance, but he should get a boost from facing weaker NL lineups. Lee owns a 3.18 career ERA against the NL, compared to a 4.13 vs. the AL. He does move to a much more hitter-friendly stadium - Citizens Bank Park is in the top 10 in runs and homers allowed per game, while Progressive Field is in the bottom three in runs and dead last in homers surrendered. But also consider Lee is receiving some of the lowest run support in the AL (4.32 runs per nine innings), while three of Philly's starters - Jamie Moyer (6.75), Cole Hamels (6.41) and J.A. Happ (5.35) - rank in the top 20 in the NL in run support. In short, the Phillies' offense is much better than the Indians', which should only help Lee's stats in the next two months. Lee owners should be extremely pleased with this deal.

Photo by The Associated Press

No comments: