Meet the Phillies' New Ace

Phils introduce Roy Halladay as their replacement for Cliff Lee

See you later Cliff Lee -- Roy Halladay is the Phillies new ace.

The end finally came on Day 3 of the Halladay/Lee mega-deal saga -- Cliff Lee was no longer a Phillie and Roy Halladay was announced as the newest Phillie by General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. at a press conference.

"Once the opportunity came up to be a part of this it was too good to pass up," said Halladay. "There are so many positives about this for me and my family."

Toronto sent the 32-year-old righty and $6 million to the Phillies for three minor leaguers -- catcher Travis d'Arnaud, right-hander Kyle Drabek and outfielder Michael Taylor. Taylor was then sent by the Jays to Oakland for another prospect.

"Hopefully I can go out and achieve goals I strive for in the game," said Doc Halladay.

As part of the complicated deal, Halladay and the Phightins agreed to a $60 million, three-year contract extension through 2013 -- a deal that would include a 2014 option.

He could be worth every penny.

“Roy is known as the best pitcher in baseball and will have instant respect,” said manager Charlie Manuel.  “He’s a number one, a blue chipper and I expect him to stabilize our pitching staff."

Since 2002 he leads all major league hurlers with 130 wins, 46 complete games and 13 shutouts. The 2003 American League Cy Young Award winner went 148-76 with a 3.43 ERA over 11-plus seasons with the Blue Jays.

“Without question, Roy is one of the top pitchers in the game today,” said Amaro. “He has the talent, professionalism and makeup that embody what we look for in players and we’re very happy to have him in a Phillies uniform for at least the next four seasons.”

The first domino fell as the Phillies wrapped up the deal to send Lee to Seattle Wednesday. The Mariners sent three minor leaguers of their own -- outfielder Tyson Gillies, righty Phillippe Aumont and righty J.C. Ramirez -- to Philly for 31-year-old lefty.

In his short time as a Phightin Phil Lee became a fan favorite as he went 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA and three complete games in 12 regular-season starts. He was even better in the playoffs going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA and two complete games in five starts.

“It’s never easy trading a player of Cliff’s caliber, but we felt it was the right move to make at this time,” said Amaro. “We’ve acquired three players that we think have big upsides and will strengthen our player development system.”

Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik weighed in on what Phils fans should expect from the prospects and why the M’s made the deal for the 2008 AL Cy Young.

“We gave up three very nice prospects to Philadelphia. I think they will be a nice piece of the Phillies' future,” Zduriencik said. “It was not an easy decision for us, but we could not pass up the opportunity to add a pitcher a Lee's ability.”

These deals are really the first time that two former Cy Young Award winners (Halladay, Lee) and the son of a former Cy Young (Drabek’s father Doug won the NL award in 1990) were all involved in the same set of trades.

Now that the deals are done, some Phillies fans will forever be left pondering why the Phightins couldn’t have kept Lee and Halladay on the same staff for at least one season before Lee tested the free-agency market.

Moving Lee was a baseball decision, said Amaro.

That still didn't help fans convinced that the Phillies were showing Lee disrespect. And, to add a little salt to any wounds the Phils gave Halladay Lee's old No. 34.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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