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Monday, December 21, 2009

For Phillies Fans Who Don't Like the Trade

Please read Baseball Prospectus.

Yes, Cliff Lee had a great post-season for the Phillies. Terrific. Clutch. Cool.

Yes, he pitched well since he was acquired (although there was a three- or four-game stretch when his ERA for that stretch was over 7, and perhaps as high as 9).

It's hard to say anything bad about Cliff Lee at all. Which is rare for a Philadelphia fan, because the average Philadelphia-area fan isn't known for being positive.

That said, Roy Halladay is a better pitcher. His career numbers bear that out. He's done a great job in the AL East for a team that pretty much has no chance of making the playoffs, and he's pitched well against the Yankees and Red Sox. He's won almost twice as many games as he's lost. Review the numbers, read last year's entry in Baseball Prospectus's annual guide, and then tell yourself it's okay to both like Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay.

Of course, the "recency" factor can cloud someone's view of anyone. And recency suggests that Cliff Lee is perhaps the best pitcher in baseball not named Tim Lincecum. But that recency isn't right, and if you review both Lee's and Halladay's bodies of work, with all due respect to a guy who showed up very big, Halladay's the better of the two. By how much? Only their future performance will tell us. It's okay to miss Cliff Lee -- he did a great job. He's a terrific pitcher.

But the Phillies got a great one in Roy Halladay.

And for 4 or 5 more years, too.

Which you weren't going to get out of Cliff Lee, because he's determined to get a C.C. Sabathia-like contract when he tests free agency after the 2010 season.

Give Ruben Amaro some credit, and give Roy Halladay a chance.

Both are terrific.


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