The Phillies have effectively created the most superior pitching staff seen in recent years. With their top four starters being Doc Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels; Philadelphia will most likely be able to get away with letting a fan pitch every 5 days and still make the playoffs. They have sealed up the fate of the NL East for the next 5 years as much as a team can in this sport. It seems a new playoff format will be needed just to make things fair for the Mets and Braves.
In the wake of the devastation, the Yankees and Rangers off season have restarted today. The Yankees are staying calm and not dealing from weakness. Both teams have very talented ball clubs and can still retool effectively. The good news is, Lee is now in another league and can only affect both clubs if faced in the World Series.
The Yankees are not slated to face the Phillies in inter-league play. So it is safe to say that the Yankees will not have to even think about him again until late October
The Yankees made two small moves today. The team agreed to sign Russell Martin to a major league contract and pitcher Mark Prior to a minor league deal. Russell Martin will likely serve as the everyday catcher for the club as Jorge Posada transitions into his new role as DH. The acquisition of Martin leaves 3 catchers competing for a backup catchers job. Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero and Austin Romaine will compete for the remaining spot. The abundance of catchers could mean the possibility of a package trade to acquire pitching or a fourth outfielder and bat.
The Yankee's are certainly not short on options. It has been reported that as soon as Lee made his decision, the Yankees phone began to ring off the hook with trade proposals for pitching. Brian Cashman expects that teams and agents will be jacking up prices sensing "blood in the water." However, the general manager says that the key will be "patience."