4-corners

December 17, 2009

They'll lack 1-2 punch
Stephanie Sigafoos

Allentown Morning Call

Acquiring Roy Halladay was certainly a bold move. There's no doubt he can help the Phillies, but what will hurt the team in the long run is the absence of a true one-two pitching punch.

I still don't like giving up Cliff Lee when the Phillies could've had him at least one more year.

Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton are a formidable force but won't exactly strike fear in the hearts of major league batters. Philadelphia is lacking any real depth in its starting five and long relief.

Halladay arguably is the best pitcher in baseball, but he has no playoff experience and is replacing a bona fide postseason hero. Another ring to cap a postseason journey may very well be out of the question.

ssigafoos@tribune.com

Win one, lose one
Dom Amore

Hartford Courant

The Phillies' acquisition of Roy Halladay should come as no surprise. They seemed to offer the package the Jays wanted all along. But what is a surprise - a shock, really - is that Cliff Lee is leaving as Halladay enters. A joining of Halladay and Lee atop the rotation would have made the Phillies prohibitive favorites to get back to the World Series, and win it no matter who they found there. Lots of teams have an ace; few have a pair.

But acquiring Halladay and dispatching Lee, which is reportedly about to happen, is like digging a ditch with one hand and filling it with the other. The Phillies must still be considered favorites in the NL East, but it's hard to see where this sequence of trades makes them significantly better.

damore@tribune.com

Maintains status quo
Dan Connolly

Baltimore Sun

No, because Roy Halladay can't do more than what Cliff Lee did in 2009 as a Phillie: 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 regular-season starts and 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five postseason games. Simply put, Halladay simply replaces Lee in 2010. He doesn't bolster a shaky back end of the bullpen or get Ryan Howard to have quality World Series at-bats. This move maintains status quo in 2010 - keeping the Phillies as the National League favorite to reach the World Series. Nothing more or less.

What this trade is about, however, is ensuring they will be contenders for several years to come. Lee wasn't necessarily going to sign with Philadelphia long-term; Halladay is locked up for the foreseeable future.

dconnolly@tribune.com

Not without Cliff Lee
Dave van Dyck

Chicago Tribune

Sure, the Phillies' addition of Roy Halladay would make them World Series favorites ... if it didn't result in the subtraction of Cliff Lee. How could Halladay be any more dominating in the postseason than Lee was? The Phillies' problem in repeating was not Lee - who was 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in the playoffs, including 2-0 with a 2.81 in the World Series - but the rest of the rotation. So adding Halladay and subtracting Lee was a wash. Halladay gives the Phillies enough to repeat as East Division and National League champions, but - as Andy Pettitte proved - it takes more than one big ace to hoist the trophy. The Phillies' chances rest on Cole Hamels, who went from 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the 2008 playoffs to 1-2 and 7.58 in 2009.

dvandyck@tribune.com

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