By signing top free agent Cliff Lee, the Phillies leave the cupboard bare.
"And for those who lost the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, we’ve got a nice consolation prize: Johnny, tell 'em what they’ve won!"
Once you’ve finished rolling on the floor with laughter, put Joe Blanton in perspective. What’s the rush? As Jim Salisbury reminds us (via Twitter), the Phillies don’t have to start paying him until Opening Day. The Phillies have made their move, the blockbuster we’ve come to expect. And now it’s time to fall back on their other modus operandi: patience. The Phillies may be fine in right field. Or they might not. But one thing is certain: the Phillies will out-pitch everyone, with or without Blanton.
So as the Yankees, Rangers and others fight over tablescraps like Wang, Pavano and Millwood, like zombies tearing through a severed appendage, think of Blanton as a nice, fat hamhock you dangle over a pack of wild dogs. Trade Blanton now and settle for a second-rate option for RF like Carlos Quentin? Or sit back and do what you do best: wait.
Forget offense; Phillies will be favored: “Phils 2010 offense scored the fewest runs since the '02 season but had the best record in MLB and a franchise high in wins since '93. There are good reasons to expect better things from the offense next year – putting the loss of Werth to the side. Check out the final stats from the NLCS some time. Playoff post mortes are usually a waste of time, but I wouldn't argue that the result of that series followed from some strategic advantage on the Giants side. The Phils have, as it stands today, built a team that is better than the 2010 version. This rotation makes the Phils favored in any series. You could always run into a post-season hero like Cody Ross (or hopefully a more skilled version like Chase Utley or Reggie Jackson) to screw things up either way. But you can't plan for someone like that.” - sophist
New York fallout: “It's hard to say just what the best part of all this is, but Lee spurning New York for Philadelphia for less years/$$ is right up there. Having the excuse to dump Blanton would be right behind.” - RSB