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Monday, December 13, 2010


TTI: I was pointing out the fact that Howard's historic ISO was historic his first season. It's since dropped every single year since then. Even if you take this season out of the factor, his ISO has still dropped significantly from that historic start.

My guess is Howard hits for an ISO in the .260-.280 range this year. I think he'll hit .270-.280 with a .550 SLG or so.

Clout: You don't see a trend in those numbers? Where did they go up?

Otherwise, the movement has all been downward. Just because it was stagnant one year doesn't mean the overall trend hasn't clearly been down. I just don't see how that's arguable.

Where does Blanton go? My guess Tigers, Cubs, Brewers, A's or Nationals.

I assume that a Blanton trade would be strictly contingent on actually signing Lee.

RAJ does it again. This could be epic, especially if Lee choose less money to be with the Pils. he really loves us!!


It's nice to dream. Even if it nets Cliffie more bank from the Yanks.

SI_JonHeyman Jon Heyman
heard lee LOVED philly. but even if they dump blanton and scratch 100 mil together, they are still 50 mil behind #yankees.

Cliffie, don't do this to me. Do not sign with the yanks if you are gonna give the Phils a chance.

It's pretty hard to believe Rube could sign Lee at this point. I'd love for it to happen. But how in the world could that work unless all the offers we've been hearing about from the Yankees and Rangers are incorrect.

The reporters have seemed pretty certain of their numbers, especially those from the Yankees.

Maybe we'll find out that Cliff Lee isn't all about the money. Maybe the thesis that having 100 million guaranteed over five years isn't much different than having 160 million over seven years will be proven correct.

I happen to think it is correct. If it were a choice between a 100,000 dollar job and a 125,000 dollar job, then those 25,000 dollars are a big deal. They make a difference in your lifestyle. But when you're going from 100 million to 160 million, you're not actually making a difference in your lifestyle. And if by chance you are, then you need therapy, not more money.

SI_Jon Heyman
maddux left $5 mil-plus on table taking braves over yankees. might lee have to leave $50 mil if he takes phils over yanks?

Evan Grant
Private jet theory: on Cliff Lee. Plane took off from Love Field this afternoon bound for Little Rock and returned to Love this evening.

Jack: His numbers were identical in 2008 and 2009. That's not downward. In 2010, he was injured.

This is the same logic you used a couple years ago when you predicted his OPS+ would decline each year going forward because it had declined two years in a row.

There is no Lee signing without a Blanton trade.

Bob Klapisch

#Yankees are especially worried about #Phillies' pursuit of Lee. They're worried, period: Lee still hasn't said yes to most $ and years

Irony is an overused word, but there would definitely be a certain irony if, in order to find the money to sign Lee, the Phillies traded away the very same guy whose alleged untradeability last off-season forced them to trade away Lee in the first place.

Michael Barkann
Believe Jim had this 1st LAST WEEK! RT @JSalisburyCSN: Well placed source says Lee decision close and Phils are finalist w Yanks & Rangers.

Jim_Duquette Jim Duquette
Can I borrow the phrase "C'mon man" and apply it to the #Phillies interest in #CLee ? I mean, Really ?

and here is a story just posted on Ranges site:

Yankees and Rangers really nervous about Phillies

You guys all really need to calm down about this. You're getting your hopes up based on something that, let's face it, just isn't going to happen. Stop teasing yourself with Cliff Lee. He's gonna take the money.

I keep hitting refresh to see news that Blanton was traded to clear up $ for Lee, but it hasn't happened. Come on Rube!

Calm down, you ninnies. Lee will be a Yankee in a week and his agent will pat himself on the head for having underwritten MLBTradeRumors for the past 6 months.

Evan Grant
Sources telling me that if Cliff Lee is in North Texas tonight, it is news to them.

That was Elvis.

I'm trying to invent a scenario that makes any kind of sense to how or why Lee signs with Philly.

The best I can do involves some combination of a 50 year deferred payment lifetime contract and the services of his teammates wives for between inning bj's.

Does that mean it's news to the sources that he is there or news to the team that he is there? I would guess the pronoun (it) is referring to the sources but I can't be sure.

I also refuse to believe this because we haven't heard anything from Deep Throat, aka DPatrone's super-insider source. His finger is on the pulse and there's no way a story like this slips past him.


Excellent point, but let's dig deeper here: can we identify a source from the pronouns a reporter uses? Is the source with the team or with Lee?

Let's look at Mr. Grant's phrasing:
"if Cliff Lee is in North Texas tonight"

Does that mean he was in North Texas tonight, to sign his contract, and then went home afterward? Or was he last seen in South Texas or possibly Middle Texas?

Perhaps at a dusty municipal airport, only in the halting glimpses afforded by the fading winter sunlight, Evan Grant saw Cliff Lee boarding an unmarked plane, the boarding door pulled shut by what seemed to be, but surely could not have been—a single green polyester fur hand...

I think it is pretty clear, Yankees have a feeling Lee not going there. So if that is the case Phillies need to beat the Rangers. Here is the logic of Lee going to Phillies:
- tough love, dumped for Halladay brings out Lee's competitive spirit, he wants to be better than Halladay. Head to head on same team is one way.
- Phillies are offering more per year (Rangers at $20 mill/year)
- Phillies have better chance of being in the mix year after year than Rangers (deeper staff, stars who are signed long term)
- Cliff loved it here, wife loved it here, fans miss him.
- Although Phillies have an offer that is fewer years (4 vs 6) than Rangers, with vesting extends to be only a year less.

So assuming Lee doesn't want yankees, we only need to beat Rangers which means we can be competitive there. Rangers team has lost people are talking about trading Michael Young to sign Lee - that could spook Lee. Phillies looking to trade Blanton and have a history of keeping nucleus - they even tried to keep Werth. If it is Rangers or Phillies and Phillies can beat Rangers on a per year salary it could very well be the Phillies.

Please do not bounce the fantasy starting rotation.

Lee will sign, Oswalt to left field, Raul to right.

Jerry Crasnick
The latest on Cliff Lee: The Phillies have made it a three-team race.

Phillies in hunt for Cliff Lee -

Jayson Stark
Surveyed 3 teams to see if Joe Blanton is moveable if #Phillies sign Lee. Consensus was yes, but they'd have to eat half his $17M remaining.

Please do not bounce Reyes' head as it may crash the site.

I bet he stays in Texas, but I have a feeling the Yanks are out of it.

It's pretty hard to believe the Phillies would have to eat half of Joe Blanton's salary to move him, even if they only got a bag of balls back.

I'm not the biggest Blanton fan on the planet, but even I know he's worth about 6 mil per year for two years without thinking twice.

Eat half of his remaining $17M salary? Wow. I hate watching Blanton pitch (much as I did Lieber) but he is a better pitcher than that. Maybe the knocks that Billy Beane and the A's staff had on Blanton (e.g., doesn't work out enough in the offseason, concentration/focus issues on the mound, etc) really are more prevalent than I thought.

Yeah the deal is backloaded a bit is Blanton really that much worse than guys like Lilly who got 3 yrs/$33M this offseason or De La Rosa who got 2 yrs/$21M or Westbrook at 2 yrs/$16.5M?

Guess team view Blanton's value more along the lines of Harang or Garland if that is the case.

Let's take a moment here to let sink in the severe pay cut that Ray Halladay took to come to the Phillies last season. He'd be looking at a HUGE contract right now. For the Phillies to sign Lee to a deal that they wouldn't give to Halladay last year might not sit well with the players.

MG: Lilly, De La Rosa and Westbrook were all better than Blanton last season. In fact, so was Garland. We all like Blanton, but again, keep in mind that posters here inflate the value of all Phillies and underrate the value of everyone else.

If Lee does sign with the Phils (as remote as I do think that actually happening are), I will be really have to shake my head and wonder exactly WTF Amaro's operational and long-term strategy really are because this would be a crazy move on several fronts.

Rube sent a videotape of the Yanks fans singing "The Gangbang Song" to Lee's wife.

cliff lee sounds like a nightmare. by the end of the contract paying 20 million dollars a year for a pitcher in his late 30s? yeesh, no thanks. let the yankees do that stuff. and if they have 20 million a year to spend, why not spend it on a decent hitter? starting pitching is not the problem here.

There is a belief Lee is heading to the Phillies, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network (on Twitter).

With the ninja-like moves they've already made, has anyone considered that Boston might be the "mystery team" and the Phillies role in this might just be a bit of overblown media hype?

Believe me, I'd love to see Lee back in Philly, but it just doesn't make sense.

If Blanton is being shopped, I have to think it's for reasons unrelated to Cliff Lee (signing Magglio or Beltre, trading for Grenkie or Garza, etc). Just about anything would be more likely than Amaro pulling off a return of Cliff Lee.

Halladay started this less is more stuff and Lee is thinking about matching him. Let the competitive juices flow.

I told all you fools Cliff Lee was on the radar, but all you could do is say how there's no shot they'd pursue him. You all need to shut up, really. I said that for weeks on here and got about the same response. Shut it, all of you know it alls.

The Phils have promised another 2 mil a year if Lee is willing to wait until right before the Eagles game to have a press conference.

Family hierarchy

Toby - oldest sister
Heather -middle child
Dpatrone -baby sister

I would find it pretty ballsy from Rube, effectively saying "oops, my b" and working to correct a past mistake. I'd rather have that mindset in management than, say, a gleefully terrible and erratic schlump pulling the levers like Billy King.

As much as I am preventing myself from believing there is any possibility of this happening, people who would be 'scratching their heads' or thinking this would be a bad move is certifiable. Cliches in sports are often overused and fallacious, but one that is absolutely true is that you can never have too much starting pitching. You are talking about a rotation that would carry a team that started a scarecrow in RF to the playoffs.

i got a feeling this is about to happen. ruben is working a miracle. what a week to be a philly sports fan

Heyman now says it looks likely that Phils will win Lee's services. This is bonkers. I'm trying to finish a paper here, I can't be refreshing MLBTraderumors every minute.

Iceman: Good point. But I realized long ago there are posters here who would rather have a bad team than see the Phillies spend too much money.

ZT: In the same boat. I'm studying for a final in psychopathology and nothing in this textbook is as batsh*t crazy as Amaro pulling this off.

I'm really trying to be logical and not get my hopes up, but....

Organize a parade.

At thsi moment, #Yankees have become extremely negative about landing Lee and believing that he is edging toward #Phillies Joel Sherman

As truly fascinating/utterly crazy as it would be to have Lee resign here teams with great historical rotations is far from a guarantee of winning a WS

'54 Indians: Nope. Swept by the NY Giants in the WS.
'64 White Sox: Didn't even make the playoffs.
'66 Dodgers: Nope. Swept in the WS by the O's.
'71 O's: Nope, WS loser to the Pirates 4-3
'72 A's: Yeah beat the Big Red Machine 4-3
'86 Mets: Yeah but it took a minor miracle.
'88 Mets: Nope lost in the NLCS to the Dodgers.
'93 Braves: Nope. We know what happened to them.
'97-98 Braves: Nope, Lost in the NLCS to the Fish and Padres 4-2 both years
'03 A's: Nope. Lost in the ALDS to the Yanks.

Er, in the history of Beerleaguer, if there was ever a need for a new thread, this is it...

Can this really be happening?

As I just told my bro, I did a very long pause after Lee was traded to the Rangers (or wasn't traded to the Yankees) last season. Maybe it makes some sense now, especially when Yanks thought thye had a deal. I realize players without a NTC don't have this power, but any chance he said NFW I'm going there, I won't report, will drag this out, etc....? Crazier things have happened I guess.

"The unidentified third team is only willing to go four or five years, writes George A. King III of the New York Post."

That's makes alot more sense to bolster the Phils as being the 3rd team.

Clout - Once again with the insanity. Nobody would care what the Phillies spent on any player if their budget were unlimited. If they were the Yanks or the Red Sawx, then the sky would actually be the limit.

If the new strategy for the Phillies is to outspend everyone, then I think we're all for it. In the past we were all worried they'd spend all their money of a few top players and surround them with dog food. But if the strategy is to pay as many stars as possible, then bring on the stars and the moon and the entire galaxy. And I think I speak for everyone, including those you made up in your head.

But we'd lose our 1st round pick!!!

Joel Sherman

At thsi moment, #Yankees have become extremely negative about landing Lee and believing that he is edging toward #Phillies

uh, mg, i think we're pretty clear that the Phils are the 3rd team.... that was so 2 hours ago.

BB - Yeah, no Greg Golson or Anthony Hewitt this year. How will we survive without a toolsy non-baseball player to complain about for the next five or so years.

In fact, they'll have the compensatory pick and two second round picks. Not a bad haul in a deep draft, considering they do most of their best picking in the latter rounds anyway.


"being told cliff lee decision unlikely to come tonite but may be as early as tomorrow. #phillies, #mysteryteam less than a minute ago via web"

MG: That's a good point, but I think you need to point out the offenses in those cases as well to be fair. My hunch is that on paper the Phillies everyday line-up is better than the A's from 2003. I think it is probably slightly better than the '93 Braves too.

Not sure after that.

Were Phillippe, Tyson and J.C. were Lee's hand-selected man-servants to do his bidding for the duration of his contract?

Who will be the mystery right fielder?

At thsi moment, #Yankees have become extremely negative about landing Lee and believing that he is edging toward #Phillies

Kev: the ball girls will platoon.

This is just insane. I'm done predicting/analyzing this team ever again. How can you predict what Ruben Amaro is going to do? He literally just wakes up every single morning and says "screw it, I wonder what kind of nuts crap I can pull off today"

It's really kind of amazing. It's like he's playing fantasy baseball. I'm in awe.

aksmith: You only speak for yourself: A bizarre little dweeb who knows very little about baseball.

Will: They will carry his luggage.

Jayson Stark just tweeted that the decision to re-sign Durbin heavily influenced Lee's decision.

Iceman: Haven't heard anything more than what we already have.

I'd like to know where the Phils are cominig up with the dollars though.

aksmith- not to interrupt the pissing match, but clout's right on this one. There are plenty of posters here that get offended if the Phils overpay on someone and will complain about it for weeks and even months.

Hate to sound like a Yankee fan, but guess what? It's not my money. I don't care if Reyes gets 200K more than some other LOOGY. And I certainly don't care if they raise their payroll another 20-25 mil a year for a talent like Lee. But it's the truth that there are posters on BL that complain incessantly about payroll.

I say spend away guys! And I'll enjoy the hell out of the product they're spending their money on.

cliffie could really endear himself to blue collar philadelphia by rejecting new york and the money, in a way that would last long past his baseball career. mayor cliff lee? just kidding. but he could make enough money endorsing local products and working in sports broadcasting to well off-set the yankees deal. and his halo would never tarnish.

So we traded 1 year of Cliff Lee (and now a first-round pick) for Aumont, Gillies and JCR, and then got him back for potentially less than market value for the next few years?

Amaro is pulling off stuff other GMs didn't think possible. A lot of it good, some of it bad, all of it absolutely batshit crazy.

You know what pals, there may be more to this game than numbers.

MLB Network is talking about it now.

Speaking of numbers, Carlos Ruiz could extend the life of his knees another year or two with Lee.

I've always said that we shouldn't presume to know or judge what motivates guys to sign where. If it's money, that's their choice. If it's not, that's their choice too. Whatever Cliff wants to do, it's good by me.

Especially if it means taking less money to sign here.

Amaro is playing a three year game of "Can You Top This" with himself.

Look for him to reacquire Kyle Drabek for Aumont, Gillies and Ben Francisco at the break, then sign Moyer to a five year deal in 2012.

The Buck Brothers are old. They want one more WFC before they go to the big Country Club in the sky.

I was thinking of a speedy centerfielder from Houston and move Vic to right.

I'm feeling like this is going to happen.

Oddly, I would have thought Jayson Werth would have been his top recruiter here.... the word is that they're good friends.

Will: If he pulls off this Lee deal, I will not doubt that. Amaro is effing nuts, but I like his crazy.

I must have a different shade of blue collar, 4 or 5 years at 20 mil or so still doesn't sound blue collar to me.

rauls grandpa: It's a Brooks Brothers Blue (spread) color, on an Oxford Dress shirt. Slim Fit.

No different then top professional welder/ironworker moving from four city jobs in two years and wanting to get paid for their skill.

hell, let's get greinke too. this is almost surreal.

MLB network must've learned their commercial strategy from TNT/TBS playoff broadcasts. Wow, the 1960 WFS courtesy of Der Bingle.

could lee just be using the phillies to see if the yanks and rangers up their offers?

Dukes: that's been his reputation but too many signs are pointing to him being willing to take less to come here. Should your theory be correct, it will be Bobby Bonilla times a million.

Dukes: Yes, in fact I'm leaning towards that conclusion.

You might remember that Sabathia got the Yanks to up their offer by $20 million when word leaked out that he didn't want to play there and might sign for less elsewhere.

I'm sure Lee and his agent remember that.

Lee will go from Philly's Man of the Year to greedy redneck scumbag virtually overnight if this is being done to jack up the offer.

Dukes- I think that's what's happening. We don't live in a world where an athlete leaves ~$50,000,000 on the table because he likes the city and enjoys hunting with a guy on the team.

I will say that if Lee was going to end up with the Yankees, with the supposed contract they offered he'd have been in NY putting on pinstripes by now. I think this is a gimmick to see if Texas will add a 7th year or a few more dollars.

i say we sign lee, then trade him for 3 shitty prospects. That way, we can afford to trade 3 of our 4 best prospects for Greinke, who will agree to sign a 3-year deal because he really wants to leave KC and play for a winner.

I also tend to think that's the most probable interpretation of what's going on. But who knows?

Joelsherman1 Joel Sherman
by phuturephillies
1st exec who pushed #Phillies this afternoon said to me, "Lee has known #Yankees, #Rangers offers for days and is not asking for more (cont)
so he has to be stalling or hearing something some place else from team he likes. He likes Philly."

Heyman is tweeting that Lee might leave up to $70 million on the table to sign with the Phillies. I can't believe that. I mean unless he really hates Texas and NY that much. That's a lot of hate though.

If we sign Lee, does this seal the deal that we can say goodbye to J-roll after this year, especially if he returns to form?

I think he likes the Jersey Shore.

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