Fans of the Texas Rangers are just a few days away from the anniversary of one of the most important (and polarizing) dates in the franchise's history.
July 9, 2010, is important because it's the day that the Rangers put together the trade to get Cliff Lee that ultimately fueled the Rangers' first-ever World Series run.
The date is polarizing today, because some Rangers fans still feel duped by Cliff Lee and his (now crystal-clear) offseason agenda.
To Lee's defense, who wouldn't want to make (essentially) the same money and not have the burden of being the No. 1 stud, the go-to ace?
That's a comfort you can have when you're on a Phillies team that has arguably the best starting staff of the decade, if not the last two or three.
Think of the Miami Heat—but with less attitude, and a better chance to win a championship.
Cliff did create an awareness—first hand—of the utterly unequivocal importance of having an ace atop your rotation. Especially if you want a sustainable postseason run.
If the Rangers want to ensure a postseason berth for a second consecutive season (something not done since the '99 season) they most certainly will need to make a move a for a front-line starter.
Cliff Lee is out. And many key pieces in the Rangers farm system went out with him just to rent him away from the Mariners for a few months.
Was it worth it?
You'd better believe it. Texas Rangers fans have now felt the rush of the World Series, and they want to do whatever it takes to get back.
If the Rangers do go out and get a solid starter, who might they procure? A word of warning: there won't be a Cliff Lee-type pitcher coming to the Lone Star State this time—there are some quality options available, however...