Home > Uncategorized > This Day In Baseball: Mariners Win, Angels Lose (Again), Phillies Go Somewhat Lateral

This Day In Baseball: Mariners Win, Angels Lose (Again), Phillies Go Somewhat Lateral

Dec. 14 displayed another reason why baseball is just so much damn fun. Money, prospects, All-Stars flying all over the place — and meanwhile, it’s freaking cold outside. There really isn’t an offseason in baseball. It’s just a five-month period during which a bunch of GMs get together and play National Pastime Monopoly.

Everybody loves a three-way

This Halladay-Lee deal isn’t quite done at the time of this typing (VERY early Tuesday morning. This day is going to be a lost cause), but it’s going to be finalized. The names of the prospects may change though.

From the Phillies’ point of view, they pick up a 32-year-old Cy Young Award winner at the expense of a 31-year-old Cy Young Award winner who has thrown about 850 fewer innings. If the Phillies have to thrown in Kyle Drabek or J.A. Happ, this isn’t a deal that is in their favor much. Halladay is a small upgrade over Lee, but unless Cole Hamels can pitch more like his 2008 self next season, I don’t think this team is going to be better than last season. Although, I guess that was still pretty good.

But look at the Mariners! While everyone is consumed with what this trade means for Philadelphia and Halladay, I think this deal really favors Seattle. Sure, the Mariners aren’t going to be able to hold onto Lee for more than one year, especially considering how much money he wants as a free agent at the end of 2010. But for one year, it could be magical.

Just imagine: Lee and Felix Hernandez in the same rotation for 65 starts per season. Now this means that Erik Bedard is all but gone and there is a Double-A pitching staff slotted behind those two. But don’t stress the negatives. With King Felix and Lee at the top of the rotation to go with Ichiro and Chone Figgins at the top of the lineup, the Mariners could be extremely dangerous in an up-for-grabs division IF they can get some bats.

They let Adrian Beltre go (to bring an end to one of the underrated horrible contracts of the decade), and assuming they can’t re-sign Russell Branyan, the Mariners are left with Jose Lopez and Franklin Gutierrez as their top run producers. They will shut down offenses. They will definitely get on base. I just feel like this team is one or two decent bats away from being the favorite to win the AL West.

Lackey to reign for Red Sox instead of serve for Angels

One of the top reasons why the Mariners can contend in the West now is because the Angels are spending yet another offseason not spending much of their money. This is nothing new for the Angels and it should continue to frustrate their fans. This doesn’t help much. But I’ll write about that in a different post.

John Lackey will be ready to befuddle the Yankees with his offspeed stuff more often in 2010

Anyway, this is a fine, fine deal for the Red Sox. Everyone has been comparing his contract to the one that A.J. Burnett signed last winter with the Yankees. Both are five-year deals. Burnett signed for $82.5 million while Lackey will probably get a tad more than that. What a Boston bargain. Lackey is clearly the better, more consistent. Burnett has better stuff, but he just loses his head for weeks at a time.

Back in 2003, I had Lackey on my fantasy team. One night, my dad was at a bar across the street from Angel Stadium. It just so happened that Lackey, surrounded by a few pretty ladies, was also at that bar. So, with some liquid courage egging him on, my dad went over to Lackey and somehow started up a conversation with him. My dad told him that he was on my fantasy squad, which led to me getting a call from John Lackey. A bit in shock, I can only remember myself telling him “John, strikeouts up, runs down!”

Lackey’s next start was at Boston and uhhhh … yeah. Apparently, he’s improved his listening skills since ’03. Lackey has a career 5.75 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP at Fenway Park, but put those stats in perspective. He has allowed just six earned runs in his last 23.2 innings pitched in Boston since the start of 2008. He almost no-hit the Red Sox in Boston a couple of years ago and dominated them in Anaheim this postseason. Plus, this means that Lackey could face the Yankees 4-5 times each year for the next five seasons. He has pitched pretty well against them in his career lately and for some reason, the Yankees can’t resist chasing his curveballs and change-ups in the dirt.

Still, I think Jon Lester is the best pitcher on that staff. He, Lackey and Beckett make up a tremendous trio. And don’t forget about Clay Buchholz and maybe Daisuke Matsuzaka. But the Red Sox MUST find a quality outfield bat to put into their lineup. That order is like a rich man’s Mariners. Other than Victor Martinez, Kevin Youkilis and a declining David Ortiz, there isn’t much pop here. Jason Bay is likely on the way out, so … Mike Cameron is in?

Try again.

I don’t think they will get Matt Holliday, but what else is left? Jermaine Dye? Ugh.

Kate-Rod, no more

A good number of people thought that there was some kind of correlation between Alex Rodriguez’s success last season and his relationship with Kate Hudson. Well, if you were expecting A-Rod to win the MVP in 2010 with Kate beside him — and at times on top of him — you may want to reconsider.

O … M … G.

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