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Old 07-29-09, 03:12 PM
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Skunk Works Skunk Works is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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I like this move even though their not my team
The Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians agreed to a trade that would bring Cliff Lee to the NL East leaders along with outfielder Ben Francisco for four minor leaguers, according to major league sources.

Edge of the Cliff
Cliff Lee is moving to Philadelphia and a ballpark that tends to punish flyball pitchers. Lee has flyball tendencies (54.5 pct of balls in play), but when the ball goes into the air, he keeps it in the park. A look at the pitchers with the lowest flyball to home run percentage for pitchers with a minimum 900 batters faced (2008-09):

Player/Team HR/FB Pct.
Tim Lincecum, SF 3.3
Cliff Lee, CLE 3.4
Jair Jurrjens, ATL 3.8
Ubaldo Jimenez, COL 4.0
Mike Pelfrey, NYM 4.1

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.

The trade is pending physical exams.

The Phillies weren't required to give up pitcher J.A. Happ or the three prospects they balked at trading for Roy Halladay -- outfielders Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor, and pitcher Kyle Drabek.

Asked in Seattle whether he felt the Blue Jays dodged a bullet by the Phillies acquiring Lee instead of Halladay, Toronto manager Cito Gaston noted that some of Philadelphia's top prospects were still available and said with a chuckle, "Yeah, I guess. Who knows? They may come back and get [Halladay], too. That'd be a pretty good staff there, wouldn't it?"

Lee, the 2008 AL Cy Young winner who turns 31 next month, is having another solid season for the Indians, posting a 3.14 ERA while walking just 33 in 152 innings. He will make $8 million in 2010 and then be eligible for free agency.

Lee, who was a guest on ESPN950 in Philadelphia Wednesday morning, was asked if he definitely plans to test free agency.

"That's where every player wants to be, so honestly, the closer I get to that point, the more likelihood I'm going to be testing free agency. But I still have a year and two months 'til then, so we'll see."

Lee would be the sixth Cy Young winner to be traded in the offseason or during the season following his Cy Young win. Last season, 2007 AL Cy Young winner CC Sabathia was traded by the Indians to the Milwaukee Brewers.

MLB Rumor Central
ESPN Insider has the updated buzz from the Major League Baseball rumor mill.

Lee gives the Phillies another top starter to join Cole Hamels. Hamels, who was MVP of the World Series and NLCS last fall, has been inconsistent this season. He's 7-5 with a 4.42 ERA, though he pitched well in a Tuesday night victory over the Diamondbacks.

The Phillies have a comfortable lead in the division -- seven games ahead of second-place Florida going into Wednesday's games. They've sought pitching help since No. 2 starter Brett Myers had hip surgery in June. Forty-six-year-old Jamie Moyer leads the staff with 10 wins, but he has a 5.32 ERA.

Francisco is batting .250 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs. He upgrades Philadelphia's bench, which has lacked a solid, right-handed hitter.

Jayson Stark covers Major League Baseball for Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MLB trade: Cliff Lee traded to Philadelphia Phillies by Cleveland Indians - ESPN
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