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Thread: Cliff Lee

  1. #1
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    Cliff Lee

    I posted this on another thread, but thought it was worthy of its own topic.

    The Mariners are floundering 9 games under .500. Of course it is still early, so nothing will most likely happen for another month, but this is a situation to monitor:

    Cliff Lee has publicly stated he wants to test FA this offseason. The M's have some of the best starting pitching in baseball, but are losing because their offense is abysmal, and there seems to be no help on the horizon from the farm. At 1B, they have Casey Kotchman who is currently under the Mendoza line. Assuming the M's do not drastically improve over the next month, Cliff Lee should be on the trading block, and they could use a Yonder Alonso.

    Yonder Alonso for Cliff Lee would be the Reds equivalent of the Matt LaPorta for CC Sabathia deal. Mike Leake will presumably be shut down for the stretch run (much like Yovani Gallardo was after his injury), and the Reds will need a go-to ace if they are to make noise in the postseason. While he does make a lot of money, waiting until June or July to pull the trigger will leave the Reds on the hook for only a fraction of that cost, with no commitment beyond this season. While they can try to make a noble attempt to re-sign him, more than likely he will leave for a huge payday and the Reds can take Type A compensation on him, meaning they get a first round pick and a sandwich selection.

    Alonso's stock is quickly rising with his hot start in Louisville, but there is clearly no room for him on the big league team. If the Reds draft a signability guy who is close to the majors in LF (Michael Choice, Bryce Brentz, or Gary Brown have all been mentioned), there will be no use for Alonso at any point in the future other than as a trade chip. Plus drafting a cheaper college guy would (in theory) allow the Reds to save some money for next year, where they could have as many as 3 first round selections and 2 sandwich picks (depending on what happens with Arthur Rhodes.) This is a situation worth monitoring if I'm Walt Jocketty.
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  3. #2
    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Cliff Lee will clearly be the #1 pitcher available at the deadline this year. I think it is pretty obvious that the M's are going to basically host a bidding auction for Lee's services, so it will probably take more than just Alonso. Obviously, I'd be all for Cliff Lee, but I just don't see it happening.

  4. #3
    Mr.Redlegs is my homeboy Eric_the_Red's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    I like your thinking. Lee is exactly what this team needs - a pitcher with ace stuff. Makes a huge difference in the post-season.

    I'd want to be able to talk to him about a contract though. Not crazy about trading Alonzo for 1/2 season of a pitcher, or about 20 starts. Doesn't mean I still wouldn't do it though, especially if the Reds would get compensation if Lee departed.

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    Re: Cliff Lee

    I mean, if everyone said when we drafted Alonso that he could be our LaPorta, wouldn't this be the perfect opportunity for him to do exactly that?

    I'd even add another player if that's what it took. Maybe a guy like Heisey or Dickerson, especially if they end up signing Felix Perez.
    Go BLUE!!!

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    Re: Cliff Lee

    absolutamente

    the Reds appear to be a good match for the Ms

    but Seattle is going to have many suitors for Lee, and they are likely going be able to get a more elite prospect than Alonso -- the Reds best bet is if Seattle is looking for multiple players, not just 1 elite guy
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  7. #6
    Member 11larkin11's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    I don't see why we have to shut down Leake at the end of the year. If we have to (which I am skepticle on), why not do it in the middle of the summer when Chapman comes up/Volquez returns, and then see how they perform, and bring Leake back in August/September/October and decide who has deserved the starting gig and who would help in the pen.
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  8. #7
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    I agree with the points already made -- I don't foresee Leake being shut down if he's healthy and effective. Counting his AFL innings, he can probably go 180-190 this year without setting off Verducci Effect alarms, to the extent anyone would still care in the heat of a September pennant race. Skip him a turn or three in the rotation throughout the season and he should be fine.

    As for Lee, if I ran the Mariners I'd certainly wait until July and take bids from all comers. The Reds could win that if they're willing to dig deep enough into the farm system. But I'm not so certain that it's a pitcher the Reds will need most. I mean, if the pitching isn't solid (or better than solid, like it's been the last two weeks) for the next two months, are we even in position to be buyers at the deadline? The biggest missing piece might be an outfielder or a shortstop.
    Not all who wander are lost

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    Kmac5 KoryMac5's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    The toughest issue I have with trading for Lee is that he does not want to talk extension with teams. That was one of the reasons the Phillies sent him to Seattle was his reluctance to talk about signing a contract. Lee wants to see what he is worth on the open market. Not against trading Alonso or any prospect, I just think the Reds should target someone a little younger who we can control for 2 years or so.
    If you have a losing record at Reds games, please stop going.

  10. #9
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Are the Mariners still expecting Bedard back in late June/July? That's a formidable rotation if so, but they need some offense. Nobody has stepped into Branyan's shoes from last year. If I'm the M's, I'm calling Jermaine Dye's agent to see how he feels about playing some 1B or DH. The IF is awful offensively. When Josh "don't call me Jack" Wilson leads the IF with a .317 OBP, well bad doesn't even start to describe it.

    But, If I'm running the M's, I'd throw a little money at the lineup 1st. Convincing Dye to be a 1B/DH would be my first step.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  11. #10
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Buster Yankee said on Mike and Mike this morning that the Reds are unlikely to add on much payroll at the trading deadline this season. I don't know how factual that is, just what he said. I could argue for and against that Buster said.

    As for Cliff Lee I don't exactly know where I fall on that one. He will be the big trade deadline target for all contending teams, I just don't know if the Reds will commit even more of their resources for pitching help. The Reds have both Volquez and Chapman who may be ready by the trade deadline to fill a SP role if someone falters, or to help in the pen. I don't really know where Lee would fit into the mix, especially if you are giving up your best minor league hitter, as well as someone who plays in a spot where the Reds are of need.

    The areas where I think the Reds will, or at least need to, make a move in are Relief Pitcher, Bench Bat, LF Bat.

    RP - I like the setup team of Masset and Rhodes. I just don't like so much the RH options before that. Fisher and Ondrusek are ok and Burton isn't a huge question mark. I can see the Reds improving that area of their team.

    B - The Reds need to so something about their bench. While the Cards go out and acquire Felipe Lopez to play their utility infielder the Reds get Cairo. I think the Reds need to find a better option than Cairo to be a utility/spot starter. I also think they need a more reliable player than Lance Nix on the bench. Nix hasn't done anything bad this season, just has been unavailable to player for a handful of games that has hurt the team.

    LF - I just don't see a position anywhere else on the diamond that makes sense to upgrade. Your not going to upgrade at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or RF. C has been a position of relative strength for this Reds team and CF looks like Stubbs job for the foreseeable future. So that really leaves LF and SS as a position to upgrade offensively. I just don't see the Reds making a move to replace Cabrera at SS. I think they like what he brings to the table, both on the field, as well as in the clubhouse. While I like Gomes, and he is scorching hot right now, I think overall LF production can be improved. Can Alonso be that guy? Its an interesting question and one the Reds will need to weigh. Is the value of an available trade candidate greater than what Alonso can bring to LF? After seeing what Scott Rolen has done to the Reds since his arrival I am less and less favorable of holding onto prospects, but Alonso in LF has really caught my interest.

  12. #11
    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Buster Yankee said on Mike and Mike this morning that the Reds are unlikely to add on much payroll at the trading deadline this season. I don't know how factual that is, just what he said. I could argue for and against that Buster said.

    As for Cliff Lee I don't exactly know where I fall on that one. He will be the big trade deadline target for all contending teams, I just don't know if the Reds will commit even more of their resources for pitching help. The Reds have both Volquez and Chapman who may be ready by the trade deadline to fill a SP role if someone falters, or to help in the pen. I don't really know where Lee would fit into the mix, especially if you are giving up your best minor league hitter, as well as someone who plays in a spot where the Reds are of need.

    The areas where I think the Reds will, or at least need to, make a move in are Relief Pitcher, Bench Bat, LF Bat.

    RP - I like the setup team of Masset and Rhodes. I just don't like so much the RH options before that. Fisher and Ondrusek are ok and Burton isn't a huge question mark. I can see the Reds improving that area of their team.

    B - The Reds need to so something about their bench. While the Cards go out and acquire Felipe Lopez to play their utility infielder the Reds get Cairo. I think the Reds need to find a better option than Cairo to be a utility/spot starter. I also think they need a more reliable player than Lance Nix on the bench. Nix hasn't done anything bad this season, just has been unavailable to player for a handful of games that has hurt the team.

    LF - I just don't see a position anywhere else on the diamond that makes sense to upgrade. Your not going to upgrade at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or RF. C has been a position of relative strength for this Reds team and CF looks like Stubbs job for the foreseeable future. So that really leaves LF and SS as a position to upgrade offensively. I just don't see the Reds making a move to replace Cabrera at SS. I think they like what he brings to the table, both on the field, as well as in the clubhouse. While I like Gomes, and he is scorching hot right now, I think overall LF production can be improved. Can Alonso be that guy? Its an interesting question and one the Reds will need to weigh. Is the value of an available trade candidate greater than what Alonso can bring to LF? After seeing what Scott Rolen has done to the Reds since his arrival I am less and less favorable of holding onto prospects, but Alonso in LF has really caught my interest.
    fantastic post!

    Johnny Gomes recent en fuego streak has made us forget he is Johnny Gomes. Nice guy to play LF/DH vs a LHP. Good bench bat. Not an everyday player. Whether the team goes out to get another guy to share LF with Johnny depends on how Alonso looks in AAA both with the glove & with the bat.

    FeLo was a nice pickup for the Cards. cheap. plays 2B/3B well. can hit his weight. this type of player would be what i would look for if i was Walt. we risk Phillips & Rolen wearing down over the summer & i don't think anyone in AAA is ready. where have you gone Todd Frazier?

    i personally wouldn't trade for a pen arm unless it came cheap. why? lots of guys in AAA plus Volquez coming back.
    .

  13. #12
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    LF - I just don't see a position anywhere else on the diamond that makes sense to upgrade. Your not going to upgrade at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or RF. C has been a position of relative strength for this Reds team and CF looks like Stubbs job for the foreseeable future. So that really leaves LF and SS as a position to upgrade offensively. I just don't see the Reds making a move to replace Cabrera at SS. I think they like what he brings to the table, both on the field, as well as in the clubhouse. While I like Gomes, and he is scorching hot right now, I think overall LF production can be improved. Can Alonso be that guy? Its an interesting question and one the Reds will need to weigh. Is the value of an available trade candidate greater than what Alonso can bring to LF? After seeing what Scott Rolen has done to the Reds since his arrival I am less and less favorable of holding onto prospects, but Alonso in LF has really caught my interest.
    Alonso in LF? Think about it...wouldn't Alonso's ceiling for 2010 be basically what Gomes has provided over that past year plus?

  14. #13
    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    It's only worth getting Lee if the Reds are securely in contention at the trade deadline. He will be a two month rental, and an expensive one at that. If Philly didn't think they could sign him after this year, there's no way the Reds could.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    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.

  16. #15
    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    The only way I want Alonso in left is if he's platooning with Gomes. That could be a productive LF, but that's assuming that Alonso comes right up and hits ML pitching, which of course is something you should never assume.

    Gomes catches a lot of heat for not being an everyday player, but the same was said of Jorge Cantu for quite some time, and that guy has been a rock for the Marlins. I give Gomes the job in left until he flat-out loses it.


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