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Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Cliff Lee to PhilsPosted by Derek Carty at 5:31pm
Lots of activity today with the MLB trade deadline approaching, the biggest trade taking place between the Phillies and Indians. The Tribe sent SP Cliff Lee and OF Ben Francisco to the Phils for four prospects: SP Jason Knapp, SP Carlos Carrasco, C Lou Marson, and IF Jason Donald.
Lee's value receives a small uptick, moving to the easier National League with a terrific offense in front of him and an improved defense. His home park is less friendly in terms of Ks (-0.8%), HRs (+22.8%), and hits (+1%-ish), but it does reduce walks by 6%. The home runs are what we'd need to worry the most about (that's a huge increase), but the easier league, better defense, and additional wins should help recoup most of that value, if not more.
Francisco's value takes a huge dive. He was an undervalued source of both power and speed but will no longer be playing full-time with OF Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, and Jayson Werth blocking the way in Philly. He can safely be dropped in most mixed leagues for as long as those three are healthy. NL-only leaguers can make a modest bid if you're playing someone like Frank Catalanotto or Drew Macias in your outfield.
As far as the prospects go, Carrasco is the most likely to have 2009 value. Fausto Carmona will likely take Lee's place in the rotation for now, but Carmona kind of sucks and the back end of the rotation is far from stable. SP Jason Westbrook is also working his way back from injury, but there is a chance Carrasco gets the call at some point over the next couple months. Those in deep AL-only leagues might want to stash him. His control has been a problem at times in the past, but he could end up being pretty good immediately.
Although C Victor Martinez is likely to be traded, the Indians have C Kelly Shoppach, so Marson probably won't get called up (plus, he also has super-prospect C Carlos Santana to compete with now). Donald is just coming back from surgery, so it would make sense for the team to keep him in the minors the rest of the year. Knapp is still playing in A-Ball and is at least a year or two away.
With Francisco and Ryan Garko gone, there is a chance Matt LaPorta receives the call soon. He'd be 12-team mixed league worthy (though might make better trade bait than anything else) if he does get recalled, but let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet. This is merely speculation. If he isn't recalled, the Tribe could play Chris Giménez most days. That'd make him AL-only worthy, but not much else. He does have decent power, but that's about it.
Derek Carty, 23, has also been published by NBC's Rotoworld, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, and USA Today. This season, he'll be contributing to FanDuel and will be linking to all of his work at DerekCarty.com. In his three years competing in expert leagues, he has won 2 titles with 4 top three finishes, including a LABR NL title in 2009, making him the youngest person to ever win a major expert league title. Derek is a proud graduate of the MLB Scouting Bureau's Scout Development Program and is a firm believer in the importance of combining stats and scouting. He welcomes questions via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.
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