What Cliff Lee means for Philly

Updated: December 14, 2010, 11:05 AM ET
By Keith Law

Assuming the Phillies don't do what they did the last time they acquired another No. 1 starter -- turn around and trade one of their incumbent aces -- they now have a terrifyingly good rotation for the 2011 and 2012 seasons (after which Cole Hamels is a potential free agent) with the addition of Cliff Lee.

The benefit in October is slimmer -- but at least October conversations can already be entertained -- since Roy Oswalt becomes the seldom-used fourth starter, but the Phillies will prevent a lot of runs over the course of the regular season by replacing their fifth-starter mess with Lee.