Now let’s address what really matters. Cliff Lee. What a pimp. The dude is insane. He’s arguably the best pitcher in baseball right now and it’s effortless. He’s pitching at a level that no Mariner has pitched at since Randy Johnson was in town. He’s that amazing.
Watching Lee pitch is like watching porn. You realize you’re immersed in fantasy, you sense this is too good to be true, and yet you can’t take your eyes off the action. He’s a freakin’ pornstar. We have a pornstar on the mound.
Just a few hours ago, I was under the impression that the Mariners should swap Lee for prospects as the trade deadline nears. It makes sense. The team is in last place, Lee will be a free agent at season’s end. Why not, right?
But after the left-hander’s most recent complete game, my opinion has changed entirely.
We need Cliff Lee. We need to try to keep Cliff Lee. If we trade Cliff Lee, the only time we’ll see him again is when he’s dominating our hitters. Personally, I don’t think I can handle that.
Think of it this way. If we were to swap Lee for prospects at this point, it would be like trading your incredibly hot supermodel fiancee for a pair of 16-year-olds and a junior high schooler to be named later. Yeah, you end up with a handful of potential wives, but you’ve got a lot of question marks, too. Two of these chicks need to get their braces off, one’s been texting the captain of the football team, another is really into Justin Bieber, all three haven’t even experienced the freshman fifteen yet. This is drama you don’t even need. Especially when you’ve already got an ace in your back pocket.
Let’s face it. Prospects are prospects. They might amount to something and they might not. Look at the haul we got for Freddy Garcia a few years ago: Mike Morse, Jeremy Reed, and Miguel Olivo. None of the three turned out as planned. Garcia was one of the premier trade targets at the time, and we got nothing for him. Who’s to say we wouldn’t do this again with Lee?
Look, I get it. Every other in team in baseball is going to be seeking Lee’s services this offseason. Locking Lee up would require ridiculous amounts of money. The hitting will still suck. The guy is 31 years old.
I know all that, and yet I don’t care. That’s how much I love Cliff Lee. Worst case scenario, we ride out this season with the dude taking the hill every fifth day, he goes and signs with another ballclub for 2011, we end up with two first round draft picks as compensation. That’s not as bad as it sounds. And the reward (signing Lee to a longterm deal), seriously outweighs the risk (losing him and getting the two first-rounders), at least in my mind.
No one has said it, so I’ll be the first. We need to keep Cliff Lee. The campaign starts here. Lee in ’11. And ’12. And ’13. And ’14. And for however long he wants to pitch for.
The Mariners need to give it a shot. It’s time we took a risk like this. Come on, Jackie Z. I’m trusting you to work this out. Let’s keep the guy and see if we can’t sign him. I believe in you. This city believes in you. We want Cliff Lee.