Re: Cliff Lee
I've a different take on many of these things. Whether to deal for Lee will depend on a lot of factors. First, I do think it's likely Leake will hit a wall at around 140 innings even if he's not officially shut down; second, if Volquez comes back, then the real decision will be how much better a Lee makes us than a returned Volquez, assuming he takes over Leake's spot in the rotation (Chapman's also a factor here, but I think a longer shot than Volquez). Third, I think Alonso will be really special and I'd be very reluctant to part with him for the difference between Lee and Volquez. This team is just at the beginning of a window of competititveness opened primarily by the depth of decent starting pitching we have finally amassed (not just the guys in Cinti, also those in AAA and even AA--i.e. Klinker). This window will reach beyond Votto's time with the club. If we can sign Votto fine, but I doubt we'll be able to sign Votto and Bruce--and I think it will be more important to sign Bruce. Alonso is going to be critical to this team's maintaining the offense longer term after we've signed Bruce and Votto's gotten 20 million plus for muliple years in the FA market. I also think we need a relief arm but if Burton's anywhere near ready in several weeks he's likely to be better than what we can get on the market.