Would Halladay and Lee be in the same rotation if Jamie Moyer retired?
Updated: December 16, 2009

By Zaki, PhillyGameday.com

I think everyone with at least one finger on the Phillies’ bandwagon would say ‘yes’, Cliff Lee would probably be our number two starter right now if Jamie Moyer retired either during or after last season.

I’m not necessarily saying that Moyer is the sole reason why the Phils will not march into the World Series with a stacked lineup and rotation this season, but he’s certainly not helping the situation. The Phillies owe Moyer around $8 million for 2010 to compete to be our fifth and final starter in the rotation behind Halladay, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ. And by ‘compete’, I mean that he may not even get the job and we could have an $8 million long reliever on our hands.

Moyer balked when he was pulled from the rotation late last season, even when it was the best move for the team. Now it’s looking like Moyer is interfering with the team’s improvement again, but this time it’s without even throwing a pitch.

I’ve got nothing against Moyer and he was as much a part of 2008 as anyone else, but when I think about how we could have had Cliff Lee — for at least 2010 — over a 47-year-old pitcher who was bumped out of the rotation last season and is coming off of several surgeries, I think that’s a no-brainer.

I don’t think any of us would have passed on signing a 2-year $13 million deal like Moyer did, so I blame the Phillies for giving a 45-year-old that much money for two years, but at the very least step up and say you’d defer some of your money to next year so we can afford to keep Lee on the team.

Of course, the deferring money thing applies to everyone else on the team as well, like so many others have said. Are we to understand that there was no possible way to keep Lee here at all? I call shenanigans on you, Ruben…and whoever else was involved in this whole process.

As always, I’ll reserve my more viscous judgment until later on, but if Moyer tanks again or we make it to the World Series and Halladay’s the only pitcher pulling his weight, we’ll look back on this trade and know that this is where we went wrong.

Zaki is the Chief Rocka and senior writer for PhillyGameday.com.

5 Responses to “Would Halladay and Lee be in the same rotation if Jamie Moyer retired?”

  1. Billy on December 16th, 2009 7:25 pm

    Better Question: Why not non-tender Blanton? We wouldn’t be responsible for his salary, and could afford Lee and Halladay this year by giving up the prospects. Let Lee go through arbitration next year and get the picks.

  2. Brian Quinn on December 16th, 2009 7:40 pm

    Could not agree with you more. It was a terrible deal when they signed him for 2 years and now it came back to haunt him. Not sure how much was the money and how much was to get prospects but if Moyer was not signed for this year the Phils would have had to think long and hard about moving Lee.

  3. Zaki on December 17th, 2009 12:05 am

    Billly - I don’t think I’d be down with letting Blanton go for nothing. I doubt we’d be able to afford both Halladay and Lee long term just based on letting Blanton go, and if that’s the case, why wouldn’t we just flip him for whatever prospects we could get?

    I think the best route would be just to bite the bullet this season and take a slim profit margin for a solid shot at a championship, let Lee go for picks and end up with the same rotation we have this year for 2011. I just don’t think the team wanted to go for (near) broke by footing the bill for both players this year.

    But like I said…none of this is an issue anyway if Moyer retires.

    Brian - Thanks for the comment. I think Phils’ management was high from the WS win and had no idea what they were doing, to be honest. They had this 45 year old vet that was adored by fans and had a decent year and wanted to reward him for sticking around by giving him $13 million plus incentives over the next 2 seasons.

    No one really made too much of a fuss over it because we were all hungover, but as soon as he started to stink, everyone realized how crappy of a situation the Phils were in with this guy that obviously doesn’t want to retire on his own.

  4. Nick on December 20th, 2009 7:43 pm

    Wow, Moyer is like everybody’s scapegoat since the beginning of the 2009 season. Once he started complaining about being sent to the bullpen, I think he lost a lot of respect from Philly fans, and I don’t blame them.

    The only question I have is, how much money would the franchise make if they won the WS again in 2010 with Cliff Lee in the rotation? Enough to extend him?

    I have NO CLUE on how much they make by winning it all… do you know at all?

  5. Zaki on December 23rd, 2009 12:17 pm

    I’m not sure how much they would have made if they won it all, but I doubt it would be enough to extend them. As far as I know, the league doesn’t hand out bonuses to the World Series champs…they just profit via TV and stadium revenue. And the Phils got their max stadium revenue by playing all three of their possible home games, I think the only way they’d make any more money would be from the added swag they’d sell, which would be a decent amount.

    I really think this came down to Amaro or the guys above him wanting Halladay over Lee. It doesn’t even sound like it was a financial decision and to say that they had to replace their farm system by trading Lee doesn’t answer why you traded Halladay in the first place.

    No one from the Phils has said why they traded for Halladay in the first place. All we hear is that they had to trade Lee to get prospects back….but we already had the prospects AND Lee to begin with. So yeah, doesn’t make much sense to me.

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