The Philadelphia Phillies acquire Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco from the Indians

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 30 July 2009 at 5:55 pm

The Phillies have acquired 30-year old lefty starting pitcher Cliff Lee and 27-year old righty swinging outfielder Ben Francisco from the Indians for 22-year old righty starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco, 24-year old righty swinging 2B/3B Jason Donald, 23-year old righty swinging catcher Lou Marson and 18-year old righty starting pitcher Jason Knapp. The Phillies want to repeat as World Champions and getting Lee was a solid move in that direction. He has pitched in 22 games (all starts) for the Indians this season and he is 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Lee has now pitched in 182 games (178 starts) in his major league career and he is 83-48 with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Lee won the Cy Young Award in the American League last season and he could have a huge second half for the Phillies this season as he will have increased run support. Ben Francisco has played in 89 games for the Indians this season and he is 77 for 308 (.250 avg, .758 OPS) with 48 runs scored, 10 homers, 33 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. In his three year major league career, Francisco has played in 235 games in which he is 213 for 817 (.261 avg, .768 OPS) with 123 runs scored, 28 homers, 99 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. Francisco will likely be the #4 outfielder for the Phillies as he can handle all three spots on defense.

Lee and Francisco didn’t come cheap for the Phillies. Carlos Carrasco was the #2 rated prospect in the Phillies’ minor league system heading into the 2009 season according to Baseball America. Carrasco has started 20 games in AAA-ball this season and he is 6-9 with a 5.18 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. The Indians will likely give him a look next month in the starting rotation. Lou Marson was the #3 rated prospect in the Phillies’ minor league system heading into this season according to Baseball America. Marson played in 7 games this season for the Phillies and he was 4 for 17 (.235 avg, .644 OPS) with 3 runs scored, He has also played in 63 games in AAA-ball this season in which he is 62 for 211 (.294 avg, .752 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 1 homers, 24 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Marson should get a lot of playing time for the Indians if they do indeed trade Victor Martinez tomorrow. Jason Donald was the #4 rated prospect for the Phillies coming into this season according to Baseball America. Donald is having a rough time in the minors so far this season. Donald has played in 60 games in AAA + Rookie Ball this season and he is 55 for 234 (.235 avg, .629 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 1 homer, 17 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. Donald could fit in at 2B where the Indians have a hole right now. Jason Knapp might have the biggest upside of this bunch. He was the #10 rated prospect in the Phillies’ system coming into this season according to Baseball America. Knapp has started 17 games in A-ball this season and he is 2-7 with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Knapp has outstanding stuff as he has whiffed 111 batters while allowing only 63 hits in 85 1/3 innings this season. This was a trade the Phillies had to make as they try to be back to back World Series Champions.

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