• July 3, 2022

The Cliff Lee Trade Continues To Haunt The Phillies

When everything is said and done, the infamous Cliff Lee trade will go down as one of the worst trades in the history of the Phillies.

The trade can be broken down into two ugly halves.

The first half comes from the day the deal was made. How could the Phillies turn away a chance to have one of the league’s most dominating starting rotations?

Lee has gone on to dominate the American League with a 7-2 record and a 2.45 ERA. while playing on a team that is offensively challenged. Lee has walked only 5 batters all season, and he just threw another complete game against the Yankees.

The second half of the issue has also been discussed, but now is really starting to come into focus, and that is Ruben Amaro’s failure to acquire quality prospects in return for Lee, thereby impeding the chance for any potential deals this year.

The Phillies have issues with the lineup, caused mainly by injuries, but also maybe a little bit from age. The bench has been better since Gregg Dobbs left, but the fact that he is back is an indicator of how thin the talent available in the minors is.

The Phillies still have issues in the starting rotation with J.A. Happ making little to no progress in his rehab starts. And finally, they still have issues in the bullpen with a lack of reliable options.

What Amaro told the fans after the Lee deal was that it was necessary to restock the farm system. Ok. So where are those prospects? None of the prospects from Seattle have performed well, and they have no trade value at this time. Phillippe Aumont was demoted to single A, after posting an ERA over 7. He’s not faring much better in single A with an ERA above 5. Tyson Gillies is only hitting .236, and J.C. Ramirez, the third player from Seattle, also has a high ERA of 5.54.

The Phillies only attractive prospect is Dominic Brown, who they can’t afford to let go with the future of Jayson Werth in doubt.

The Phillies have put themselves in an impossible position. Because Amaro failed to get strong prospects in return for Lee, the Phillies can’t make a move to improve this year’s team without sacrificing their future.

Even if there a couple of other prospects that some teams may like, the Phillies won’t be able to outbid the competition.  The Cliff Lee trade will haunt Amaro and the Phillies for a long time to come.

Denny Basens

Read Previous

No surgery for Polanco?

Read Next

Vick Makes A Good Decision By Releasing A Statement


  • Phillies lied to us fans about reasons why they traded Lee. It was purely money and nothing else. They preferred Blanton over Lee. They could have not tendered Blanton. I prefer Lee over Halladay because Lee proved himself in playoffs. It is shocking why anyone would give away a pitcher with such post season success. I will never again trust the Phillies.

  • It seems the Phillies chose to cut cost, but I can’t condemn them. After all they won a world series, which no one anticipated only 1 year earlier. In fact, many said they would never win with Charlie Manuel, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell. No team is perfect and no one can stay on top forever.

  • Anyone who didn’t know this was a horrible deal from the beginning was a blind follower of whatever Phillies brass had to say. We are in big trouble this year.

  • I still don’t understand why they gave Howard all that money , he is the strikeout record king in the world series and strikes out when the game is on the line and don’t give me that his batting average is up B.S. , here is C. Lees money that they should have kept and use that money to keep him in the future !! and get rid of that 2 pitch Hamels ,he had his year and thats it for him !! and bluto Blanton and Greg Dobbs ,why are they even on this team !!!

  • The bottom line is that the Phillies need to right the ship for TODAY. In my experience there are too few players that pan out to be what be talent evaluators would like them to be and that 100% of baseball, past natural physical talent, is all about the psychology of the player developed off the field. If Seattle would take Dominic Brown and and one or two prospects for Lee Amaro shouldn’t have to blink before making that decision. The Phillies, as an organization, have been horrible for so long just waiting for players to become something that they never did that it makes no sense to not manage for wins now.

    The Phillies need a good farm system, but more than anything else to get that they have to draft a little better and develop better. The Aumont problem solely falls on the development staff. Aumont had control issues when he was drafted to the Mariners which is why they developed him as a middle relief pitcher apparently and it’s where he did well. If the Phillies wanted a starting pitching prospect they should have looked elsewhere or figured out that a trade wasn’t in the team’s best interests. The Phillies need to bring the guy up to the majors for a short period even if they don’t use him at some point just to get him around high caliber starting pitchers to see how they work on a day to day basis and see what their mentalities are like, especially Halladay and possibly Lee if that trade rumor comes to fruition.

  • all the guy did was almost single-handedly beat the yankees in the world series and he still owns the yankees and we just get rid of him??..nonsensical.

  • Phils have a lot more issues and problems with this 2010 Roster besides not having P Cliff Lee on it..
    He’s been gone for 5 months now (longer than he actually pitched for the Phils),so time to move on and decide what to do about this roster in the here and the now.
    If Werth is unsignable, then trade him to get 2-3 good players in return…If minor-leaguer, Dominic Brown is ready, then bring him up and get him playing everyday…Shane Victorino is tradeable too and has peaked… K Kendrick and D Baez need to go and be replaced by some young arms to gain experience.. They had a good run the last 3 years but the rest of the Division and NL League has caught up with them for all their poor decisions the last 2 off-seasons have caught up to them and now have their hands tied… (Signing LR Ibanez to his big contract was one of them, SIgning Howard
    to his long-term deal was not neccessary at the time right now, extending annd length and $$ for P J Blanton, not keeping C Lee, not aggressively going after top Bullpen Pitchers, not resigining C Ho Park, Not suspending R Madson without pay, for breaking his own foot for kicking a chair in locker room after blowing another save, Not resigning Pedro, letting the bench/role players sit as much as thery do, putting together a bench of Francisco,Gload,Dobbs,Castro…Not re-signing Werth to a long-term deal a year or 2 ago to lock him up instead of the $15-$17 that he will now command on the free-agent market.

  • Ruben “If I have my druthers” Amaro screwed the fans by trading Lee. He not only lied to fans but also got NOTHING in return for Lee who was brilliant in the postseason when it really matters. This fool was riding the wave of championship and benefited from the good work done by Pat Gillick. But then again he may have only followed orders. He has to follow them if he wants to keep his job. I will never again trust Amaro.

Comments are closed.