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Cliff Lee Headed to Philly

I love the headline from Deadspin: Cliff Lee wins the Roy Halladay Sweepstakes. The Indians accepted the same prospects the Blue Jays rejected for Roy Halladay, the the Phillies get probably the next best thing to getting the good Doc himself.

The Big Leaguer

Using Sky's handy-dandy trade value calculator, here's what we get for Cliff Lee's trade value:


According to Cot's Contracts, Lee is making $5.75 million this season, $8 million the following season. Two wins for the rest of the season sounds about right. As for next season, maybe 5.5 is high but he was worth 7.3 WAR last season and is well on his way to being worth 6 WAR this season.

Bottom line: You won't find many bargains better than Cliff Lee.

The Prospects: The Tribe get a solid surplus of prospects in return, RHPs Jason Knapp and Carlos Carrasco, C Lou Marson and "SS" Jason Donald. Before we delve into the prospects, here for the zillionth time is Victor Wang's surplus values for prospects all nicely charted out. I think it bears repetition. (Explained more here.)

Top 10 hitting prospects $32.5M
Top 11-25 hitters $22.3
Top 26-50 hitters $20.8
Top 51-75 hitters $12.6
Top 76-100 hitters $11.1
Top 10 pitching prospects $14.2
Top 11-25 pitchers $14.2
Top 26-50 pitchers $14.2
Top 51-75 pitchers $10.8
Top 76-100 pitchers $8.7
Grade B pitchers (as graded by Sickels)
Grade B hitters $4.9
Grade C pitchers 22 or younger $1.9
Grade C pitchers 23 or older $1.3
Grade C hitters 22 or younger $0.62
Grade C hitters 23 or older $0.45


  • Knapp was given a B grade by John Sickels headed into the season, but has vaulted himself into BA's Mid-Season Top 50. He's just 18 year old and his ceiling is high, but he's far from reaching it. He throws in the mid to high nineties and oozes projection. He's currently on the DL with shoulder fatigue, but that was seen as more of a precautionary measure to keep innings off his arm. Let's just call his surplus value $11M. 
  • Lou Marson is currently in Triple-A, putting up his typical .295/.384/.367 line. He doesn't have a lot of power but takes his walks and hits for average. Marson is a top 51-75 hitter, worth $12.6M.
  • Jason Donald is listed as a shortstop, but Total Zone had him at -19 at the position last year. He's 25 and hasn't been hitting this season, but last year he posted a .305/.388/.501 line. He was a top 100 prospect last year, but let's drop him to a B grade range due to his recent struggles and lack of position. $5M. 
  • Carlos Carrasco also was in the 51-75 range, worth $10.8M. He's had somewhat of an up and down year, but he's only 22 and has a 4.01 FIP in Triple-A.  He has a 91-94 MPH fastball and a nice change-up, but lacks some polish and is still searching for a breaking pitch. He's switched from throwing a curve to a slider this year. 

It's hard not to like this deal from a Philly fan's perspective, because they didn't have to part with Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown or Michael Taylor, their best prospects. Yep, their farm system was that loaded. The Phillies just basically punched their ticket to October (if it wasn't already) and made their team stronger for next year. Oh, and they get a half decent 4th OF in Ben Francisco. The Indians get four solid prospects with decent upside -- no sky high ceiling players other than possibly Knapp who is years away --but players who have the potential to be solid to above average regulars.

So now what does J.P. Ricciardi do?