According to ESPN, Cliff Lee will be resigning with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Without getting too technical, this will make the Phillies’ starting staff the best in baseball by far, and possibly the best ever. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels looked like this in 2010 in terms of FIP and xFIP, respectively:
Halladay: 3.01, 2.92
Lee: 2.58, 3.23
Oswalt: 3.27, 3.45
Hamels: 3.67, 3.43
As Dave Cameron commented in his blog, this rivals the Braves’ mid 1990s rotations. Between 1995 and 1997, the Braves averaged a 3.38 FIP and a 3.25 ERA. Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine and Avery/Neagle combined for an (unweighted) 3.34 FIP and 3.20 ERA. Comparable to the Phillies’ four guys who averaged a 3.13 FIP last season. Hell, do the Phillies really need to score that much? To put things in perspective, if these four guys pitched every game, here’s the chart of wins the Phillies would probaby get with the given run support:
2010 Seattle Mariners run support: 82 – 80 (WOW, we were bad, too)
2010 San Francisco Giants: 106 – 56
2010 Phillies: 113 – 49
2010 NY Yankees: 120 – 42 (would be MLB record)
I realize that these four guys can’t pitch every inning of every game, but they’re going to pitch a significant chunk of the Phillies’ defensive innings, and they’re going to be good. Everyone in the National League will be chasing the Phillies next season.