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MLB Trade Deadline Heats Up, Phillies Get Cliff Lee, Halladay stays put

Posted by Gene Morris on July 29, 2009

2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee will be pitching in Philadelphia for the rest of 2009

2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee will be pitching in Philadelphia for the rest of 2009

After a long flirtation with Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired reigning American League Cy Young Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco from the Cleveland Indians this afternoon in exchange for pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp, as well as shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson.

This is a huge deal for the Phillies, as they were able to grab another front of the rotation starter without giving up either J.A. Happ or top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek.

The move definitely cements the Phillies as the run away favorite in the NL East, and probably the favorite in the entire National League. But where does this move leave Roy Halladay and the Toronto Blue Jays?

Boston Red Sox officials refuted an earlier report that the Sox had offered the Jays young pitchers Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden, along with outfield prospect Ryan Westmoreland.

There’s a good chance the Jays missed the boat on getting top dollar for Halladay before Friday’s trade deadline, but if they can get the word out there that the Red Sox are seriously interested in making a deal, you’d have to guess that the Yankees will get involved in some way.

These two teams are far and away the richest in the game, but have both committed to spending more in player development and restocking their farms systems in recent years. But when a pitcher the magnitude of Halladay is available, will either of the financial giants be able to just sit back and watch the other get a foot up the season? Highly doubtful.

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