Around 4:00 pm, Jayson Stark tweeted “This is a guess, not a scoop, because no one will confirm it. But no team fits profile of Cliff Lee’s mystery team more than the #Phillies.”
Is it possible that this man will wear this uniform again?
Three hours later, Ken Rosenthal confirmed that the “mystery team” theory had some merit. Aside from the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers, the Philadelphia Phillies are the wild card in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. With every minute that passes as we approach the later hours of Monday night, the story is picking up steam. Lee’s return to Philadelphia is not exactly a likelihood in my eyes, but unbelievably, it seems to be a possibility. There’s even talk of the Phillies shopping Joe Blanton to other ball clubs.
In speaking with friends and reading blogs and news sites, there seems to be a split between just how logical a move like this would be. The Phillies already have “H2O” in Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt. But an “H2O” transformation into “R2C2″ would make the Phillies starting rotation the most dominant in the game by far, if they aren’t already.
The question of logic lies in the offensive side. With Jayson Werth’s departure to the division rival Washington Nationals, the team has lost their big right-handed bat. With no guarantee that Domonic Brown is the immediate answer in right field, the Phillies may have trouble piecing together a fluid lineup. As my friend told me today, “We’re either going to be winning or losing every game by a run. We need to fill the hole in that offense with a solid rightie bat.”
As of 10:05 pm, the YES Network is reporting that Lee is heading to the Phils. However, there is so much talk across the board right now, it’s hard to confirm until a Heyman, Stark, or Rosenthal can put their stamp on a confirmed move. There is also talk that the Rangers increasing pursuit of Adrian Beltre is a sign that the possibility of Lee joining them is less of a likelihood. If Beltre is signed, it’s highly doubtful that the Rangers will even be able to sign Lee.
It was also reported minutes ago by Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that the Yankees are becoming increasingly pessimistic about signing Lee. The more time that passes, the better it looks for Ruben Amaro, Jr. The New York Post is also reporting a similar story.
So what do we do now? We sit and wait. The way things seem to be moving, I’m expecting something tonight.