Trade: Cleveland Indians trade Cliff Lee, along with outfielder Ben Francisco to the Philadelphia Phillies, for Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Lou Marson, and Jason Knapp.
Coming off a World Series championship, as the 2009 trade deadline approached, the Phillies were looking for rotation help since they ranked near the bottom of the league in team ERA (4.61) and opponents batting average (.270) prior to the All-Star break.
With a deep farm system and the knowledge that he'd approve a trade to Philadelphia, it appeared the Phillies were the best match for landing Roy Halladay, but the Toronto Blue Jays instead decided to hold on, and the Phillies opted for the 2008 Cy Young award winner, Lee, instead.
Not a bad decision obtaining Lee turned out to be, as it certainly didn't take long for Lee to make a statement in Philadelphia.
In his first career game with the Phillies, Lee pitched a complete game in a 5-1 victory. In his first five starts with the Phillies, Lee amassed a 5–0 record, 39 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched, and a 0.68 ERA.
He was just getting started.
After posting a 2-0 record in the first two rounds of the playoffs, in Game One of the 2009 World Series, Lee performed brilliantly, becoming the first pitcher since 1903 to pitch a complete game in the World Series, while recording 10 or more strikeouts and not walking a single batter.
Although Lee wasn't as brilliant in Game Five, he earned another victory allowing five runs and three walks while striking out three in seven innings.
Heading to Philadelphia, Lee never had any postseason experience. Unsure of how he would handle the pressure of the postseason, Lee silenced all doubters with his performances on the mound.
Despite falling short of winning their second consecutive World Series title, Lee made a huge impact for the Phillies. He was arguably the best pitcher in baseball down the stretch, and led the Phillies to a 93-69 record, en route to their third consecutive NL East division title.
Whether he stays in Seattle or finishes the season somewhere else, wherever Lee winds up after the 2010 trade deadline, that team can count on him to be at his best in the heat of any playoff race.
Lee has proven no matter what the moment is, or what team he's pitching for, he's one of the best pitchers in the game.