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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mariners - Acquired Lee

Seattle Mariners - Acquired P Cliff Lee from the Philadelphia Phillies for P Phillippe Aumont, OF Tyson Gillies, and P Juan Ramirez

One can’t help but be a little disappointed with the package the Phillies get here.  There are some quality players here, but when trading one of the best starters in baseball, with very little concern baggage, you really want to get a player that will cause the GM to lose a little sleep at night.  The Jays didn’t do the best job they could, but Michael Taylor and Kyle Drabek are those types of players (even if the A’s had to get involved and snag one of them).  In this case, there’s nobody like that, here.  Gillies could be a really solid player, but Jack Zduriencik can shrug and say “He was a California Leaguer who was years away and we can beat the Angels right now.”  “Closer prospect with solid stuff but won’t ever give us 200 All-Star innings.”  “A-ball starter who won’t be here for a few years.”

Maybe this is the best that the Phillies could get for Cliff Lee.  But why the rush?  Lee has become one of the best pitchers around and is due $9 million in 2010.  Does anyone really think teams are going to say “If we don’t get a deal by Christmas, we’ll just tell you to bugger off and sign Joel Pineiro?”  Lee’s not an underwater house in downtown Detroit, he’s a pitcher that should be pretty easy to move.  So why move him so quickly if you’re not getting overwhelmed by an offer?  The market isn’t about to be flooded by Cliff Lees and even if the contract was crippling, Philly doesn’t have to pay him for 4 months.

For the Mariners, the lure is obvious.  The Angels look weaker than they have in a while and with the Mariners on the way up, why not go for the throat?  This is an aggressive threat and while I expect at least one of the players given up to be a solid contributor in the long run, Seattle’s assembled a pretty decent team in the short run.  Can we just give Zduriencik the Executive of the Year Award right now?  Turning a franchise around from Buzzie’s Other Idiot Son in 2 years is an amazing feat.  A Felix-Lee 1-2 should scare the rest of the AL’s possible playoff teams.

2010 ZiPS Projections
Player     W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA ERA+
Aumont     4   4 46   0 50.2 47   26   6 31 47 4.62   95
Lee     15   9 33 32 216.0 209   82 19 46 163 3.42 128
Ramirez   6 11 28 26 128.0 142   84 21 71 80 5.91   74    


2010 ZiPS Projections
Player     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG OPS+
Gillies     453 63 121 15 6   5 32 37 98 24 .267 .337 .360   81  


Dan Szymborski Posted: December 19, 2009 at 02:59 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. JoeHova Posted: December 19, 2009 at 05:01 PM (#3417590)
Those seem like pretty good projections for Gillies and Ramirez (especially Gillies), considering that they're in A ball. There will probably be a few starting outfielders next season who won't manage an 81 OPS+.
   2. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: December 19, 2009 at 05:51 PM (#3417647)
Those seem like pretty good projections for Gillies and Ramirez (especially Gillies), considering that they're in A ball. There will probably be a few starting outfielders next season who won't manage an 81 OPS+.

A majority of them will be on the White Sox.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: December 19, 2009 at 08:05 PM (#3417743)
Ladies and gentlemen, batting 4th and playing left field ... Yuniesky Betancourt!!

On this deal, I get the sense that in earlier stages of the negotiation it was a true 3-team trade with the expectation that some prospects would have to go from Seattle to Toronto to make it work. Then as it progressed, it morphed into two separate trades, maybe even without anyone noticing. But even if they did notice, by that time they may have felt it would be bad form to back out.

Other than that, I also don't get it from Philly's perspective. As Dan says, they didn't need to be in a rush. And, really, if coming off of two WS with ticket sales apparently going very well, an owner isn't willing to take a gamble on an additional $8 M investment to try to win the WS ... well, those owners obviously never will.
   4. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 21, 2009 at 11:53 PM (#3419084)
Mariner fans hope this one goes better than the last trade they made for a star left handed starter.
   5. Justin T has a centaur for a mentor Posted: December 22, 2009 at 12:20 AM (#3419101)
What is up with Bedard, anyway? Is he still hurt? Or has his desirability just taken a steep hit? I haven't noticed any mention of teams interested in him.

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