San Francisco Giants: The Case To Trade For Cliff Lee

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# 1Instant Remedy For Injured Vogelsong

This might be the one factor that pushes the front office to make a real push for the soon-to-be 35-year old lefty.  With Ryan Vogelsong out at least a month and a half, the team could sure use some quality starting pitching insurance after most likely going with a few spot starters to fill the void during his absence.

It wouldn’t be easy getting him, but who knows how Vogelsong will be once he does come back to the rotation.  Having Cliff Lee on the staff, even just for the rest of the reason, would give the team a boost and increase their chances for success if October baseball was reached.

# 2 – Another Ace Is Rarely Bad

May 17, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee (33) delivers to the plate during the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

You would be hard pressed to find a Giants fan that would not openly welcome Cliff Lee into the fold of elite starting pitching the Giants boast.  With the rotation still struggling to find their footing, his presence alone could whip the staff into shape; that is, assuming, the rotation are still experiencing trouble at all leading up to the trade dead-line.  Just think about it:

Matt CainMadison BumgarnerCLIFF LEETim LincecumBarry ZitoRyan Vogelsong.  Obviously his addition would mean the short-end for one of the starters (Vogelsong would probably draw that stick), but how nasty does that rotation look with Lee in there?  Mix-and-match it any way you like; that would be the hands down best rotation in baseball if the trade somehow happened.

A lifetime record of 129-80 with an ERA of 3.56 – not to mention his 4-0 record at AT&T Park – puts him up top with the best starting pitchers of today.  His addition to the staff would be immense for many reasons, so I am all on board the Cliff Lee train.

# 3 – Lee Expected To Be Dealt

Though it doesn’t seem like it – what, with the Phillies recently coming to AT&T and taking care of business – Philadelphia has experienced more than their fair share of setbacks so far this season:

Roy Halladay, Lee’s co-ace, has just undergone successful surgery on his labrum and rotator cuff this past Wednesday, and is not expected to return until late July at the earliest.  Cole Hamels and John Lannan are both working through injury (Lannan won‘t return to the rotation until mid-June) and are a combined 1-8 this season, despite their quality starts.

1st baseman Ryan Howard will receive an MRI on Tuesday.  And, as most expected, catcher Carlos Ruiz has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, and will most likely miss three to four weeks due to an MRI confirmed grade-two hamstring strain.

What does this have to do with Cliff Lee?  Well, these are all setbacks for the Phillies, but could potentially serve as some of the areas Philadelphia will target when going into trade talks, and his name has been floated around as a possible trade piece.  So even though the team is slowly inching closer to the 1st place Atlanta Braves, most don’t see Philadelphia as a playoff contender this season; Halladay and Hamels have not pitched to their ability, they’ve been plagued by injuries, and the offense is very shaky.

The front office could acknowledge that they will most likely stay out of contention down the stretch if they don’t pick it up, and decide to deal Lee.  Carlos Zambrano has recently signed a minor league deal with the club, and they do have others who can fill in.  Kyle Kendrick has been on par with Lee almost all season, and the Phillies still have Jonathan Pettibone (who has been a surprise going 3-0) and recently called-up Tyler Cloyd.  With the signing of “Big Z” and the starters they do have, it almost seems as though the club is preparing for Lee to be dealt after all.

If that were the case, San Francisco could be a prime landing spot for Lee.  After all, why wouldn’t he want to be on a contending team?  No the trade wouldn’t be his choice, but the Phillies are very likely to do it.

# 4 – Proven Winners

Of course, many teams have their versions of what the Giants have, and some will be willing to give up some big pieces in return for much needed pitching.  So what actually puts them above the competition?  The fact that they are a proven club that WINS.  With the other purported top landing spots for Lee being in Boston and Texas, San Francisco holds an edge over the two and has the track record to prove it.

# 5- Familiar Faces

It most likely will not come down to this, but with former teammate Hunter Pence now a huge part of the Giants, his presence might sway Lee towards coming to San Francisco over other destinations.

Now for the cons…