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How about just trading Cliff Lee for Josh Beckett?

Jul 30, 2012, 6:04 PM EDT

Josh Beckett Getty Images

(Note: this scenario is presented entirely for fun. This is not an actual rumor or anything that ever figures to happen.)

The Phillies want to save some money and still compete next year. The Red Sox want to move on from Josh Beckett and still maybe contend this year. So, Cliff Lee for Beckett? Anyone?

Lee will make $25 million per year from 2013-15, plus a $27.5 million option or a $12.5 million buyout in 2016. Beckett is owed $15.75 million in 2013 and ’14. So, in making the deal, the Phillies would save $9.25 million each of the next two years and get completely out from under Lee’s 2015 and ’16 salaries.

Strictly as a baseball trade, I think it makes sense. The Phillies can contend next year, and  that extra cash would prove useful in aiding the offense. Neither Lee nor Beckett is lighting it up this year, but both still have pretty good peripherals. Lee is the older of the two by almost two years. The idea of Lee being worth about $9.25 million more than Beckett next year seems right on to me. That extra $37.5 million commitment for 2015 and beyond would be a tough pill for Boston to swallow, though.

Also, a big reason the Red Sox are considering moving Beckett is to attempt to squeeze under the luxury tax threshold. This kind of a trade would likely lock them into the luxury tax for two or three more years.

Of course, even pulling off the trade itself might be impossible. I imagine Boston is one of the 21 teams on Lee’s no-trade list, and it’s doubtful he’d want to trade his comfortable situation in Philadelphia for a spot in the troubled Red Sox clubhouse. Perhaps he could be enticed if the Red Sox offered to pick up his $27.5 million option for 2016, but that’d be a huge commitment for Boston and it still might not work.

Likewise, Beckett has full no-trade protection, and there’s no telling whether he’d be amenable to such a deal.

So, yeah, this isn’t going to happen. Still, I wonder if either team has at least brought it up. All of the Lee and Beckett possibilities getting tossed around these last couple of days have included some talk of the Phillies and Red Sox having to eat salary. The one way to avoid that would be to deal for another high-priced player.

  1. grapes911 - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Lee for Beckett? As a Phillies fan I’d rather get punched in the testicles.

    • bleedgreen - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      As a Phillies fan, I concur. No. Just no.

    • doctorfootball - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      I think the Braves did just that to your testicles over the weekend.

      • ame123 - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:22 PM

        nope, irrelevant bunch of games, actually sets up Phillies better for 2013.

    • soj83 - Jul 30, 2012 at 7:40 PM

      as a Sox fan I would love this trade, but as a realist, it couldn’t be a 1 for 1.

  2. trybe29dr - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Its one thing to wave a white flag for the season its entirely another thing to set a franchise back 5 years

  3. randygnyc - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Yeah, I can’t see the phillies trading one of the best pitchers in the league to Boston for the biggest douchebag in baseball.

  4. ame123 - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    What a horrible proposal. Just terrible.

  5. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    So down.

  6. - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    What is wrong with this site today?

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      Just gallows humor at the trade deadline.

  7. Utley's Hair - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Um…no. Beckett would be eaten alive here. I still fail to see how Cliffy is going anywhere. There have been just as many NDs and losses pinned on his pitching as there have been on a lack of run support.


  8. joebuckiscreepy - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:32 PM


  9. deathmonkey41 - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Why aren’t the Dodgers showing any interest in the gum-chewing doosh?

  10. proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Nice attempt at humor Matthew, but you well know that Boston does not want to pay the Luxury Tax. I think that some of the wacky trade ideas that I have proposed have a better chance of occurring.

    • sabatimus - Jul 30, 2012 at 7:14 PM

      This article is disclaimed. Did you notice?

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2012 at 7:28 PM

        But when was it disclaimed? Matthew can edit his posts, but we can’t.

  11. dowhatifeellike - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    One of them is a good pitcher and the other is not. I don’t know why a team would intentionally get worse to save a little money in a league without a salary cap.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 30, 2012 at 7:15 PM

      Well, maybe if your owner is Jeffery Loria…

  12. axltcu - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    As a Sox fan I would love to see them get away with robbery like this.

  13. illad3lph1a - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    I hope he is kidding maybe Beckett and middlebrooks

  14. billymc75 - Jul 30, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Because Lee would reject playing for a loser, and bobby V he’s already on a loser, he wants a winning team

  15. Matthew Pouliot - Jul 30, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Is there a good pitcher in baseball who takes more **** for not being great than Josh Beckett?

    Beckett has a career ERA+ of 114. Lee is at 115.
    Beckett was at 150 last year, Lee was at 160.
    Beckett is at 95 this year, Lee is at 101.

    Beckett has definitely had some bumps in the road (2010, for instance), and his attitude leaves something to be desired, though at least part of it is that he’s not very good with the press. But Beckett’s a perfectly fine pitcher, one who has been a key cog on two world champions.

    Yes, I agree with everyone that Lee is a better bet going forward, even though he’s older by a couple of years. $56 million better? I wouldn’t bet on that.

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:15 PM

      Another reason Lee wouldn’t go to Beantown: his games don’t drag along slower than cold molasses.

    • Ryan - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:41 PM

      You can make numbers say anything. Comparing career ERA+ or just one season is a waste of time. A more accurate representation of their current value looks like this…

      Over the past 3 seasons Becket has an ERA+ of 105
      Over the past 3 seasons Lee has an ERA+ of 133

    • Ryan - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:41 PM

      You can make numbers say anything. Comparing career ERA+ or just one season is a waste of time. A more accurate representation of their current value looks like this…

      Over the past 3 seasons Beckett has an ERA+ of 105
      Over the past 3 seasons Lee has an ERA+ of 133

    • 24missed - Jul 30, 2012 at 9:43 PM

      Agreed. I think Beckett is a fine pitcher and I’m glad he’s here. So, he’s got the rep for being grouchy at times? Meh. Doesn’t take away his ability to pitch. I guess he’s human. He’s also a pretty good pitcher.

  16. muir6 - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Couldn’t get past the title was the rest just as stupid

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 30, 2012 at 9:34 PM

      Couldn’t get past the title, and yet you commented anyway?

      And remember, punctuation and capitalization are our friends. They help others understand what we are trying to say.

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