Bill Shaikin's latest column salutes the Phillies on their ability to make the deals to get Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt. But I don't understand how he ties that in to the Dodgers' ability or desire to spend money. Both Lee and Halladay were acquired via trades. None of the players traded by the Phillies were draft picks that required them to pay over slot or do something out of the ordinary.
Now, perhaps if you want to dig deeper and say that if the Dodgers were willing to spend more money on player development or international signings, then maybe they have the type of prospects that the Indians or Blue Jays would have wanted. Or we could even go back to the stories about the Santana for Blake deal.
But that is a lot of steps to take and we could also take a look at the stages of the two clubs when these deals were made.
The Phillies had a core lineup that had started playing together in 2007, their core was older and most had been already extended either up to or through some arbitration years. Let's remember to date, they won their World Series without any of those acquired aces.
I have always maintained that the biggest detriment to the Dodgers ability to make a deal for those pitchers was the fact that at least the rumors made it seem that the other teams only wanted players on the MLB roster. Though Kershaw's name was never seriously mentioned, you often heard Billingsley or Kemp to headline a deal. That type of deal never made sense.
Had Scott Elbert remained healthy in 2007 and had remained a top prospect, I think he could have been part of deal. Of course the same could be said about Santana. Some here believe the rumored 4-5 prospect deal for Lee in 2009 was better than the players that Phillies sent to the Indians.
Look, if Shaikin wants to say that how the Dodgers have handled their finances have hamstrung the team's ability to win, I will accept that premise. But to me, he needs to go a little bit further than that to prove that one thing stopped them from getting some H2Lee.