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Should the Phillies go for Cliff Lee (again)? Or take a mulligan on 2010?


You saw the game last night.

The Phillies offense is absolutely LIFELESS. Jamie Moyer pitched another great outing for nothing. When Wilson Valdez is the only player who is carrying his offensive weight (which isn't that much to begin with), you've got some problems. You can't beat Ross Ohlendorf? Really? Not exactly the second coming of Dock Ellis here. Sister Sledge isn't going to be singing "We are Family" . Ross Ohlendorf? The Pittsburgh Pirates are like the Phillies from 1985-1992,1994-2000, only WORSE. At least we had 1993!  If this video isn't further proof that the Pirates are STILL living off 1979, I don't know what is.....

Anyhow, back to the current train wreck known as the Phillies. According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com,Cliff Lee photo by Andrea Kohalmi. http://www.andreakohalmi.com/ the Phils appear to be very aggressive in trying to reacquire Cliff Lee. That's all well and good. After all, I think the entire baseball world by now knows the Phillies pulled a major boner by getting rid of him in the first place (no matter WHO in the Phillies organization pulled the trigger on the deal).

Even Bob Costas asked this question to Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard on his MLB Network show. Rollins and Howard were not arguing Costas' point by any means, and there has been talk around the Phillies that the players have quietly stewed about the Lee trade for quite some time, and who could blame them? You unload the ONLY guy to beat the Yankees last fall? Seeing Roy Halladay get rocked by the Bronx Bombers a few weeks back opened up some old wounds from last December, at least for this Phillies lifer. And make no mistake, I'm a big Halladay fan.

There is also talk of the Phils possibly looking to acquire Orioles third baseman Miguel Tejada, and Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Dan Haren. Being that the D'Backs just fired their manager AND general manager this week, they probably aren't looking to rock the boat anymore than they have already. Unless of course, the asking price is to their liking or they are just ready to houseclean.

Which brings us to our next question that I addressed last week: Who in the world can the Phillies give up to get these guys?  And is it really worth it to do so? What will happen to Tejada when Placido Polanco and his multi-year contract comes back from the DL? The minor league system has been depleted after the Joe Blanton, Lee, and Roy Halladay trades. Domonic Brown is the ONLY worthy prospect in that system generating any legitimate buzz. Chances are the Phils can't resign Lee after 2010. If they trade free agent to-be Jayson Werth, they will insert Brown into right field- which SATURATES your dominant left handed-hitting lineup even more. Wow, the Yankees would have a field day AGAIN with these guys in the World Series if the Phils are even lucky enough to make it back there let alone make the playoffs. Moreover, the Phillies' offense and back end of the pen need tweaking more than adding help to the starting rotation. Don't get me wrong, I'll gladly take Lee or Haren, but as you know, playoff games are won and lost sometimes in the bullpen. And right now, Danys Baez pitching in ANY situation scares me to death let alone a playoff game. So do you trade Brown? If you do, you damn well better resign Werth.

Which brings us to our NEXT point? As of Saturday, the Phillies are falling fast in the NL East and now trail the Braves by five games. That's not a tremendous lead and this Phillies squad has come back from worse in recent years. However, that mulligan could be taken as early as next Thursday when the Braves leave Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies' injuries are REALLY starting to mount, and every time you turn around, someone else is dropping. Do you make these moves now and try to salvage the season? And is it even worth it if the Phillies are possibly fighting a losing game for the rest of 2010? If you're the Phillies in their current condition, when do you pull the trigger? DO you pull the trigger? And what will you have left on the big club and-or minor leagues when the smoke clears and the dust settles?

Whether it's good or bad, these questions will be answered shortly, and you may see some fireworks after the fourth of july this year.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@hotmail.com