Cliff Lee was traded this afternoon for the following package:
Triple-A right-hander Carlos Carrasco, Class A righty Jason Knapp, catcher Lou Marson — the likely heir apparent to Victor Martinez — and shortstop Jason Donald will be sent to Cleveland.
Philadelphia has 3 top 25 type prospects (Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown, Michael Taylor) and one prospect pitching incredibly well in the majors (J.A. Happ), and gave up none in the deal for Lee and Ben Francisco. An equivalent package from the Yankees might be Austin Jackson, Austin Romine, Zach McCallister, and Dellin Betances. While Cliff Lee is not Roy Halladay’s equal, he is a front of the rotation starter signed cheaply through next season. What does this tell us about him?
It confirms what I have been saying for a while, and what Steve illustrated in this column:
So in concluding, the framework of a deal seems to include one top flight minor leaguer, surrounded by filler of various levels of floors and ceilings. Including more than that can contribute to getting you fired, just ask Bill Bavasi. A GM will do well if he brings back a good everyday player for a top flight pitcher, as many of the GM’s trading these pitchers failed to do so.
Media members like Jim Callis, Peter Abraham, and Michael Kay have been advocating packages that include two of Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and Jesus Montero. These packages never include two players of that caliber (top 10 prospect types), and often do not have even one, as the Lee trade illustrates. Giving up two of those players would be a travesty. Thankfully, Brian Cashman is not that stupid.
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