Rosenthal is a pretty good match-maker

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for cliff lee and roy halladay.JPGAfter providing plenty of rumors and news all week at the winter meetings, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com has a doozy of an idea regarding Roy Halladay and the Phillies:



You want a blockbuster? How about one that includes not one, but two former Cy Young Award winners?



I have no proof
that the Phillies are trying to move left-hander Cliff Lee as part of a
three- or four-team trade for Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay.




But I’ve got a hunch.



(snip)



So, here’s the
deal: Lee goes somewhere for prospects. The Phillies include the
prospects in their package for Halladay, maybe keep one or two for
themselves. Halladay gets his extension, the Jays get a bounty of young
players and some lucky team gets Lee for one year at his bargain salary
of $9 million.




Who could be that lucky team? The
Mariners, says Rosenthal. Again, it’s just a hunch, but Rosenthal
thinks Mariners’ prospects Michael Saunders and Phillipe Aumont could
appeal to the Blue Jays because they are Canadian.




Is the idea far-fetched? Maybe. If
the Phillies want to go all-out this season, they could afford to keep
both. But both Lee and Halladay are free agents after 2010 and would
cost somewhere around $150-200 million to stick around, a figure that
makes every team outside of the Yankees blush. Rosenthal’s idea
wouldn’t give Phillies fans the dream rotation they covet, but his
logic is pretty sound.

The Red Sox start is ridiculous

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The red-hot Red Sox completed a sweep of the previously red-hot Angels last night, outscoring them 27-3 in their three-game series. Last night’s game was, relatively speaking, a close one, with the Sox winning “only” by six runs. They did manage to strike out Shohei Ohtani three times, though, so some style points help make up for the “squeaker.” Also worth noting that they held Mike Trout of all people to a 3-for-11 line in their three-game series. He did not score a single time and drove in no runs.

That series win puts the Sox at 16-2 on the year. They dropped their Opening Day game to the Rays, but then won their next six games against Tampa Bay, which I’d say makes up for it. In between those two series they swept a two-game series from the Marlins and afterwards they took two of three from the Yankees and three in a row from the Orioles. The only thing that even threatened to slow this juggernaut down is the weather, resulting in a postponement of Monday morning’s Patriot’s Day game. Somewhere in here we should notice that they’re doing this with their starting shortstop and starting second baseman on the disabled list.

As we’ve noted many times, their 16-2 record is the best start in the Red Sox’ 118-year history. It’s also the best start for any team since the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers began 17-1 (let us just forget, for the time being, that those Brewers lost 18 of 20 in May of that year). They are the fourth team since 1961 to win 16 of its first 18 games.

The Sox aren’t simply getting lucky here. They’ve scored 116 runs and have allowed only 50, which is a Pythagorean record of 15-3. They lead all of baseball in offense, scoring 6.44 runs a game, leading individually in average, on-base percentage and slugging. They are only three one hundredths of a run behind the Astros from leading all of baseball in pitching, allowing only 2.78 runs a game. They’re winning all of these games because, in the early going, they’ve simply been that dang much better than everyone they’ve played.

No, the Sox are not going to go 144-18, as they are currently on pace to do. Yes, they are going to find a lot more trouble in their schedule once they play the Orioles, Rays and Marlins less, play a healthier Yankees team more and face off against the Astros, the Blue Jays, the Indians, the Twins and some tougher interleague opponents. This is baseball, obviously, and no one makes it through a season without rough patches, long, short and numerous.

Still: this has been one whale of a start for Boston. Those wins are in the bank. It’s been quite the thing to see.