Cliff Lee Deal Made Phillies Younger, NOT Older.

I couldn’t resist commenting on this post by SNY’s Ted Berg who also has a blog at Berg asserts the following,

“They’ll also be one of the very oldest teams in baseball, quite likely the oldest. They were the oldest team in baseball last year, and now they’re all a year older — you probably know how that works.”

I have a few problems with that statement and find it to be very misleading, but more troubling than that is trying to figure out the purpose of saying it at all?

I wouldn’t have see Berg’s post at all today had it not been for Mets.Blog, where it was featured with a title that echoes the myth and misconception, “Ted Berg on the Aging Phillies“.

I don’t get it at all. Was it to deflect incoming missiles from the Cliff Lee deal as my colleague Joe D. suggested would happen in his own post this morning?

Let’s examine the evidence.

In his analysis of the Cliff Lee deal from the Phillies perspective, Berg writes, “They’ll also be one of the very oldest teams in baseball, quite likely the oldest.”

Really? Are they? It’s very misleading to say the least. If he had performed even a rudimentary roster analysis, he would have known that 22-year old phenom Domonic Brown will replace the 32-year old Jayson Werth in right field next season.

He also fails to mention the most obvious and glaring fact of them all and that is that 47-year old Jaime Moyer has been replaced by 32-year old Cliff Lee.  It was the presence of Jaime Moyer that skewed the numbers in determining the oldest team in the majors in 2010. Essentially, Moyer is now gone as Lee re-joins the fold. 

Additionally, 36 year old Mike Sweeney has been released, though his replacement has not yet been named.

Those changes alone take the Phillies from the oldest team in the Majors to the 12th youngest. Their ranking would be even better if not for 39-year old Jose Contreras.

The point is that to suggest that Cliff Lee made the Phillies older is very short-sighted and misleading. The deal made the Phillies younger, not older.