On July 27, 2007, the Indians sent Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco to Triple-A Buffalo. Two years and two days later, Lee and Francisco once again found themselves leaving one of our most miserable cities for another (we kid because Philadelphians are renowned for their self-effacing sense of humor; we're sure the Liberty Bell is well worth the trip, really).

When he woke up Wednesday morning, Lee could probably have walked down the streets of any major American city that didn't border Lake Erie and gone unrecognized. All right, Lee could probably still do that this morning, but overnight, the lefty became the powerbroker of record in the National League, and possibly the entire sport. Not bad for a guy who was barely still a prospect himself, let alone worth a bunch of them, when the Indians sent him down two years ago after a 5-8. 6.38 ERA start to the season.

As we recounted yesterday, less than a quarter of SportsNation thought the Phillies could win the National League if they didn't add either Lee or Roy Halladay. Now that they added the pitcher voters ranked No. 8 in the game (seven spots behind Halladay but one spot ahead of new teammate Cole Hamels), more than quarter of voters think the Phillies are the best team in baseball.

So what about the National League race?


Lee Isnt The Only Good Thing.. They Got Ben Fransisco. Who Can Play All Outfield And Is Speed On The Bases. All He Needs Is Some Work On Discipline And The Phillies Will Have A Great Bench. With All This Talent, The Phillies Are Proned To At Least Make The NLCS. I Wouldn't Put Them Back In The World Series. Just Yet, Until They Get Another Strikeout Reliever.

-- KidSox1

This was a horrible move for Cleveland. I'm upset that they didn't get one major league prospect worth anything. Carrasco with an ERA over 5.00 and a WHIP of 1.36 in AAA? Are you kidding? Marson, who is also underwhelming and completely useless with Santana waiting in the wings? Donald, who won't even sniff the bigs with LaPorta and Brantley coming up? Horrible trade on all accounts with Knapp still at least 2 years away from the bigs.

-- thirdsaint

poor Cliff Lee. He is going in with the highest of expectations in a bad ballpart for his style of pitching. He will get eaten alive.

-- pandanwh

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