Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lee to Philadelphia?! This Just In: Yawn

Off the ledge, fellas. The Mets weren't going to win the World Series in 2011 anyway. They probably weren't even planning on making a playoff run. The fact that the Phillies now have one of the - if not the best - rotation of all time, does not matter.

Lee/Halladay/Oswalt/Hamels. Who would have thought that Roy Oswalt would be the third or fourth best pitcher in any starting rotation? Anyway, it has happened, and it is, to say the least, awe-inspiring.

Here are fangraphs projections for that rotation (by the fans):

Lee: 230.0 innings, 2.96 FIP
Halladay: 238.0 innings, 3.05 FIP
Oswalt: 221.0 innings, 3.48 FIP
Hamels: 204.0 innings, 3.67 FIP

They are all projected to strike out at least 7.17 batters per nine innings. They are all projected to be awesome, and score 5354.1 awesome points.

That brings me back to my original point -- who cares?

Here are a set of statistics that are actually relevant to Mets fans. The Phillies payroll commitments for 2012:

Howard - $20M, 32 years old
Halladay - $20M, 35 years old
Lee - $20M (approx.), 33 years old
Utley - $16M, 33 years old
Hamels - Arbitration 4, raise from $9.5M (likely $12M)
Blanton - $10.5M
Victorino - $9.5M --- Total: 108 million on seven players

This, while Oswalt, Ibanez, Rollins, and Lidge are all free agents. They're gone. Keep in mind, as well, that Lee is not as great as he was made out to be. How many casual fans would name Cliff Lee as the best pitcher in baseball right now? Thanks to one great season and some historic playoff performances, I bet a lot of fans would say so. He's even top-of-mind for me, and I keep up with stats and awards. Lee was SEVENTH in the AL Cy Young voting this year. He had a higher ERA than Trevor Cahill. He's had three truly excellent seasons, but in his career has only 102 wins. He's got a bad back. He was banished to the minors as recently as 2007. He's already 32.

I could go on, but I don't care to. Congratulations to the Phillies on winning the 2011 National League East. There were about four teams more likely than the Mets to win the East this year anyway. The Phillies going from 105 to 110 wins doesn't make a difference.

Stay on target, Sandy. We'll enjoy looking down at the Phillies for the next ten years. As for you fans, enjoy watching what is potentially a historically good rotation. It'll be cool to tell your kids about. And when they ask how the Mets were that year, just tell 'em they were getting ready for the Wright-Reyes-Niese dynasty to begin.

EDIT: 2:51pm, Tuesday
The Captain's Blog did an *incredible* comparison of the Yankees projected offer to Lee compared with the Phillies offer in terms of present-value. Highly recommended read.

As an aside, what an offseason for the Yankees, eh? The Red Sox get Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, the Phillies get Cliff Lee, and the Yankees... well... look terrible in the Jeter negotiations before resigning him to a bloated contract.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud at the term "Reyes-Wright-Niese" dynasty. The Phillies have one of the best farm systems in baseball. And who cares if they lose overrated hitters Rollins and Ibanez?

And the Mets will be lucky to win 90 games in any of the next three years.