Cliff Lee To The Phillies: Power Ranking MLB's Top Rotations After Big Signing
Cliff Lee just shocked the baseball world by going back to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees were widely thought to have been the front-runners for his services, but they're now left in the dark after his signing.
But the Phillies now have arguably the most dominant rotation in all of Major League Baseball.
The Bottom Half
30. Pittsburgh Pirates
Rotation: Paul Maholm, Sean Gallagher, Chan Ho Park, Chris Resop, Scott Olsen
The Pirates pitching rotation is by far the worst in the league.
29. Baltimore Orioles
Rotation: Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, Rick VandenHurk, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta
The Baltimore Orioles have a young and relatively inexperienced pitching rotation.
28. Cleveland Indians
Rotation: Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson, Jeanmar Gomez, Carlos Carrasco, Josh Tomlin
The Cleveland Indians are in bad shape. If their starting pitching was anywhere as good as their relief pitching, they'd be in better shape.
27. Milwaukee Brewers
Rotation: Randy Wolf, Yovanni Gallardo, Chris Narveson, Chris Capuano
They have the offense, but certainly not the pitching to compete.
26. Arizona Diamondbacks
Rotation: Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders, Daniel Hudson, Barry Enright, Zach Duke
The Arizona Diamondbacks have solid contributors from front to back, but no true ace.
25. Kansas City Royals
Rotation: Zack Greinke, Kyle Davies, Sean O'Sullivan, Vin Mazzaro
The Royals have Zack Greinke and that's about it. With all the trade rumors surrounding Greinke, he may not even be in their rotation on opening day, making them arguably the worst.
24. Seattle Mariners
Rotation: Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Doug Fister, Chris Seddon, Luke French
The Seattle Mariners are really top heavy in their pitching rotation with Felix Hernandez, and that's mostly it.
23. Minnesota Twins
Rotation: Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn, Brian Duesing
The Twins really need a true ace to balance their rotation.
22. Washington Nationals
Rotation: Stephen Strasburg, Livan Hernandez, John Lannan, Jason Marquis, Jordan Zimmerman
The Washington Nationals really need Stephen Strasburg to return and improve upon his impressive start from last season.
21. New York Mets
Rotation: Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Jonathon Niese, R.A. Dickey, Dillon Gee
The Mets need help and lots of it.
20. Cincinnati Reds
Rotation: Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Homer Bailey
Cincinnati has one of the deepest rotations, going as far as seven deep for their starting pitchers.
19. Florida Marlins
Rotation: Josh Johnson, Javier Vasquez, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Volstad, Anibal Sanchez
The Florida Marlins have their strong ace in Josh Johnson with some solid pitchers behind him.
18. Chicago Cubs
Rotation: Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Thomas Diamond, Carlos Zambrano, Jeff Samardzija
If Carlos Zambrano can keep his temper under control and get back to pitching, the Chicago Cubs rotation gets a significant boost.
17. Houston Astros
Rotation: Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, J.A. Happ, Bud Norris, Nelson Figueroa
The Houston Astros have a solid, albeit front-loaded, rotation in Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and J.A. Happ.
16. Los Angeles Dodgers
Rotation: Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, Jon Garland
Clayton Kershaw has a great shot at winning the Cy Young in 2011.
Chad Billingsley through Jon Garland provide a solid lineup from start to finish.
15. Oakland A's
Rotation: Dallas Braden, Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, Bobby Cramer
The Oakland A's have a talented cast of young pitchers. All of their starters are under 27 and they all posted sub-4.00 ERAs last season.
Led by Dallas Braden, the team just needs a true ace to elevate it.
Even so, the team has a group of formidable pitchers to get the job done.
14. Toronto Blue Jays
Rotation: Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil, Kyle Drabek, Jesse Litsch
The Jays have a young rotation that could really develop into a dominating group of pitchers.
Brett Cecil and Kyle Drabek have been mentioned in trade rumors, but as long as this core stays intact, the Blue Jays are a dangerous team.
Teams better not sleep on the Blue Jays.
13. San Diego Padres
Rotation: Mat Latos, Clayton Richard, Wade LeBlanc, Shaun Marcum, Aaron Harang
The San Diego Padres don't have a true shut-down pitcher, but they bring depth and solid contributions all around.
If they deal away Heath Bell, it will hurt their bullpen though. So they'll need their starters to bring their A game.
12. Detroit Tigers
Rotation: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Armando Galarraga, Phil Coke
Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello is certainly a trio to watch out for.
The Tigers are built not so differently from the San Francisco Giants and they could make a serious run behind their pitchers.
11. New York Yankees
Rotation: C.C. Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova
The New York Yankees swung and missed on Cliff Lee. Pitching was the main area they needed to address and they'll be scrambling to find a replacement.
Zack Greinke would be an interesting option and would certainly bolster their lineup.
As the team stands now, it can't go all the way with A.J. Burnett playing the way he has.
10. Chicago White Sox
Rotation: Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Edwin Jackson, Jake Peavy
The Chicago White Sox could very well deal Mark Buehrle in the offseason, which would really hurt their starting pitching rotation going into the 2011 season.
However, even if they lost Buehrle, they still have a deep rotation that could pick up the slack.
9. Texas Rangers
Rotation: Colby Lewis, C.J. Wilson, Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, Scott Feldman
Losing Cliff Lee will undoubtedly hurt their starting rotation, but it's not like they'll be lost without him.
C. J. Wilson has been impressive and will do well as the No. 2. It will all be on Colby Lewis' shoulders now.
8. Los Angeles Angels
Rotation: Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, Scott Kazmir
I believe the Los Angeles Angels have the most underrated starting rotation.
They're strong from top to bottom and if Scott Kazmir can return to pre-Angels form, they can make some serious noise.
7. St. Louis Cardinals
Rotation: Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Kyle Lohse, Jake Westbrook, Jaime Garcia
Chris Carpenter is a true ace and Adam Wainwright isn't too far behind.
Kyle Lohse brings good depth at the three and Jaime Garcia has a solid arm with high upside.
6. Atlanta Braves
Rotation: Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, Mike Minor
Atlanta had one of the best starting pitching rotations last season and the Braves are bringing that back this season for another run.
Too bad they'll have to face up against the Philadelphia Philles 18 times next season.
However, they should make for some great pitching duels.
5. Colorado Rockies
Rotation: Ubaldo Jimenez, Jorge De La Rosa, Jason Hammel, Jhoulys Chacin, Aaron Cook
Pitching stud Ubaldo Jimenez leads the Colorado Rockies and a strong pitching rotation.
They will look to bounce back after falling short in 2010.
4. Tampa Bay Rays
Rotation: David Price, James Shields, Matt Garza, Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson
If the Tampa Bay Rays keep Matt Garza and James Shields, they'll be in good shape for 2011.
However, if they ship either of them out, they'll need to find help elsewhere in order to compete with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
3. San Francisco Giants
Rotation: Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner
The San Francisco Giants won the World Series behind their amazing pitching rotation.
Headed by Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, the Giants will come back strong and be ready to make another playoff run.
2. Boston Red Sox
Rotation: Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz
The Boston Red Sox have a deep rotation with strong pitching all around.
They reloaded their bats just recently to give their pitching some offense to back them up.
If Daisuke Matsuzaka can ever regain his form, the Red Sox rotation would be deadly.
1. Philadelphia Phillies
Rotation: Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Joe Blanton
Simply put, this starting pitching rotation is absurd.
The Philadelphia Phillies have two legitimate aces on the roster in Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Following them up with Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt is just plain unfair.
The NL East will be a massacre.