Philadelphia Phillies: Cliff Lee's Trade Chips Are Mostly Flat

By Sean O'Brien

Each recent Philadelphia Phillies‘ trade doesn’t need to be reviewed right now. Instead, the focus of this feature is simply to look at who general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. has traded and obtained in two specific baseball deals.

It’s understood that every GM has their share of good, mid-range and bad transactions. Baseball fans know that many prospects and most other minor league men never play in the major leagues. Among those who do make it, many have undistinguished careers.

Let’s see what has developed since Amaro made two deals that involved Cliff Lee in the 2010 season. The following breakdown doesn’t revolve around the veteran left-hander, but instead centers on seven other baseball players.

Lee and Ben Francisco were obtained from the Cleveland Indians on July 29, 2009. Amaro sent Jason Donald, Lou Marson, Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp to the Tribe in order to bolster his team for another World Series run.

Marson has appeared in 261 games for the Indians through this season. He has a .609 OPS and a .993 fielding percentage.

Donald played 170 games had 142 hits through the end of last season. The Indians dealt him, as part of a three-team trade, to the Cincinnati Reds in December.

Carrasco has started 34 games for the Indians through this season. He has a 10-16 record, a 1.490 WHIP  and a 5.16 ERA.

Knapp last pitched in Single-A for the Indians in 2010. Arm issues damaged any chance that he had for success and eventually caused the Indians to release him in August, 2012.

The Phillies certainly got the better part of this trade with the Indians. As to whether Amaro could have leveraged those four parts collectively, or in a combination of other deals, for something better is unknowable.

Amaro dealt Lee to the Seattle Mariners on December 16, 2009. The Phillies received J.C. Ramirez, Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies in return.

Ramirez is currently pitching in the bullpen for the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate.

Aumont is part of the Phillies’ major league bullpen. Since making his major league debut last season this middle-innings reliever is 1-4. He has two saves, a 1.543 WHIP and a 3.47 ERA.

Gillies is currently playing in the outfield for the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate.

Because Philadelphia still controls the three players who they obtained from the Mariners for Lee and because the Mariners traded Lee to the Texas Rangers on July 9, 2010, it’s fair to say that this deal’s final outcome is yet to be determined. Of course, Lee’s return to the Phillies via free agency on December 15, 2010 only lengthened the unusual path he’s taken during his strong career.

This peek at the past should also be kept in mind if Amaro obtains, or moves, any big name player(s) this season.

Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanyOB, Facebook, Google+ and read his blog Insight.

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