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Cliff Lee Is Gone: Get Over It! Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Posted by mrgenre in Mariners.
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I’ve been trying to convince myself of this fact for some time now, but I just don’t want to let him go.

The Facts:

  • Lee will command one of the largest pitching contracts in major league history for pitchers.
  • Lee is believed by both sabrematricians (just made that word up) and casual fans to be one of the best pitchers to play the game in the last few decades.
  • If not traded, Lee will bring in two prospects to the M’s at the end of the season (although it may not be 1st round picks)
  • If traded, Lee would command at least one top-tier prospect for 3 months of his services.

If I have to hear one more person call in to Matt Pittman and talk about how we should trade Cliff Lee for a big bat, I’m going to flip out.  It’s not going to happen.  And, even if for some reason someone decided to part with a quality major-league starter with power for 3 months of Cliff Lee, what do you have?  A pitching staff that has lucked out so far.  Has Fister impressed me this season?  Yes.  Does he have the potential to take a 2 spot in a major league rotation?  No.  You’re asking Felix Hernandez to carry this team through the post season?  That’s too much.  Maybe if you get that magic bat, and we win 2/3 of our games from here on out we make the post season.  But then what?  You want Fister, Vargas and Hyphen/Bedard to be the other 3 guys to pull your rotation through a seven game series against a top club?  It can’t be done!

Now, all that said, I very much want to keep Cliff Lee.  But I also understand that if this season is over, and it’s looking that way, that we need to maximize the value we can get out of this player.  Branyan’s acquisition aside, this team needs to set things in place for the future.  We can do that here.  Some team is going to bend over backwards for Cliff Lee.  Some team is going to pull a Bavasi and give us way too much for him.  You want to say no to that?

We gave up Aumont, Gillies and Ramirez for Cliff Lee.  It would have been worth it just to watch him pitch a couple times at Safeco.  Essentially, for us to break even on this trade, we have to get half the value of those three players back.  Not exactly a tough thing to do when rumors are spinning over top level prospects to fill specific holes in our roster.  It’s Christmas, folks!  And Jack Zduriencik is getting all the presents he wants.  You want him to send them back?  It’s like finding a treasure chest buried in your backyard and then calling the previous home owner to see if they wanted it.  Let him sort through these deals!

Now, if he doesn’t get something more worthwhile than a couple of good draft picks, then we’ll hold on to Lee for a while.  Or if Lee does get traded, we’re really in no worse shape to sign him next year (which isn’t very good shape, sadly: it’s just too much money!)

But of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t want him back.  Watching him pitch this year has been reason enough to root for a Mariner squad that has been inconsistent at best.

Go, M’s!

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