News Flash: Charlie Manuel would like to have had Cliff Lee in the rotation

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Cholly on the Cliff Lee trade:

“Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball right now. Lee is a tad
behind him. Of course it would’ve been nice to have both of them. It’d be good to have Halladay, Lee, Hamels. I’d be looking good. I might even be buying more expensive
furniture than the Mrs. has been buying me lately.”

“The Mrs.”  Though I can’t stand the Phillies, I really love Manuel. Partially because he’s a West Virgina boy, but mostly because every time he talks I get the sense that he’s been sent here from the mid 20th Century to teach us all to just chill out and to speak and act more plainly. There’s a reason this Onion piece was so damn funny. It’s really hard to explain in words.  Anyway, Manuel goes on:

“Baseball is a business and I understand a lot of things. I have my own opinion and suggestions, but like everybody else I have
a boss. From a business standpoint, the last two or three years they’ve
definitely made good decisions. I trust them.”

I suppose it’d be much more interesting if If I’m Manuel had talked about how much better the team is without Cliff Lee — “that sonofabitch, good riddance!” — but I’ll accept this story too. I’d want Lee around if I was Charlie Manuel. I’d want Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum and a nice frosty Ballantine’s ale, a new pair of Florsheims and some Burma Shave too, I imagine.  That’s just the kind of guy Manuel is.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.