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Phillies, Diamondbacks pick up options on aces

The Phillies and Diamondbacks made similar moves today, exercising the options on pitchers Cliff Lee and Brandon Webb, respectively.

Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee's 9 million dollar club option was a no-brainer, especially after his performance in the postseason. Lee ended the season with a 14-13 record, but posted a 3.22 ERA and 181 strike outs. He made 12 starts with the Phillies after the acquisition, and those numbers are shown below:


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Cliff Lee 7-4 12 12 3 1 0 0 79.2 80 35 30 7 10 74 3.39 1.13

Lee was 4-0 in five postseason starts, striking out 33 while walking just 6. However, Lee pitched in 272 innings this past season, nearly fifty more innings than he did last season when he won the Cy Young, mind you.

The Phillies are expected to approach Cliff Lee about an extension this offseason, but may be forced to wait till after next season. Lee, 31, shouldn't command more than a three or four year extension.

After weeks of deliberation, the Diamondbacks picked up Brandon Webb's 8.5 million dollar club option. Webb, who made one start this season before being shutdown, owns a career 3.27 ERA.

The 30-year old ace is no guarantee to stay in Arizona beyond the 2010 season. While he makes his residence in Arizona, the Diamondbacks have really failed to build on their 2007 success, and have quickly fallen back to the bottom half of the NL West.

If Webb isn't interested in signing an extension, the Diamondbacks would be smart to move him for a boatload of prospects. With Dan Haren and Max Scherzer, moving Webb for future help may be the next best thing if an extension doesn't work out.