Phillies Acquire Cliff Lee (Confirmed)

by Ben Cook on July 29, 2009

Update III:

Ken Rosenthall of FoxSports is now reporting (and others are confirming) that the deal has been made final and does include Knapp, Carasco, Donald, and Marson. The Indians are also apparently including Ben Francisco in the deal as well, presumably in order to convince Philadelphia to include Knapp in the deal.

Several scouts have called Knapp a “Halladay” clone, and consider his upside better than Drabek’s although he will likely take slightly longer to reach the majors.

It’s tough not to like this deal for the Phillies as they’ve acquired a true ace, without giving up Happ, Drabek or Brown.

The big losers in this deal? The Toronto Blue Jays who have just lost all sorts of leverage. Expect the Red Sox to make a hard late push to pry Halladay loose from their division rivals.

Update II:

Gordon Edes and Tim Brown of Yahoo are reporting that the trade is close but not finalized yet. They agree with Ken Rosenthal that Jason Knapp is also included in the deal which would make it a much more believable trade.

Update:

Jeff Blair spoke to an AL scout who was reportedly stunned by the trade report & has a hard time believing the three prospects were enough for the Phils to pry Lee loose.

It certainly would be a major coup for the Phillies to acquire Lee without giving up Happ, Drabek, or Brown although the earlier report by ESPN’s Jayson Stark said the Phils insisted it was possible to get a deal down without involving them.

If the deal is legit I would expect to hear confirmation from other sources soon.

The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired Cleveland Indians ace Cliff Lee according to one minor league source.

The Phillies abruptly scratched AAA starter Carlos Carasco and have reportedly packed Carasco with fellow prospects Marson and Donald for the left handed Lee.

ESPN.com reported earlier that an official with the Indians felt that a trade involving Lee was imminent.

If the reports are accurate (and there’s no reason at this point to doubt them) this would certainly seem to end the Phillies pursuit of Toronto ace Roy Halladay.

We’ll keep you up to date as confirmation and more details roll in.

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