Lee blindsided by tradeby Eric Schwartz
Phillies fans weren’t the only ones shocked that the team traded Cliff Lee.
Lee was also blindsided by the move.
In a telephone interview with a member of the Associated Press, Lee said he thought he would end his career in a Phillies uniform.
“At first, I didn’t believe it. I thought we were working out an extension with the Phillies,” Lee said. “I thought I’d be spending the rest of my career there. … I was under the impression they wanted to keep me there for a long time. In my mind, it was going to happen.”
Lee went on to say that he in his agent were prepared to present a counter offer to the Phillies initial extension offer that was sent out last week.
Instead Lee was sent packing.
Even with the acquisition of Roy Halladay callers and hosts have bashed Ruben Amaro on talk radio for not rolling the dice financially and keeping both aces.
Amaro has repeatedly said that the team could not afford to give away seven of their top prospects over the last six months and not bring back any in return. There is a hole in that theory though. Had the Phillies kept Lee for a season and then let him walk in the offseason they would have received two first round picks for losing a top free agent. That means the team would have had a full year of Halladay and Lee together and been able to refuel their farm system soon after.
I’m not buying the money issues either. If the extra nine million was really too much to take on then there could be other ways to cut some salary. Joe Blanton will make around $7 million this year and the team surely could have traded him in a salary dump off type move.
It’s hard to criticize a GM who just brought the best pitcher in baseball to town, but when he had a chance to have a second ace on his staff and balked on the move, it oddly enough becomes just.