Just back from the Writer’s Strike picket line (Jesse Jackson shook my hand and said, “God Bless.” I said, “Fight the Power!”) when I heard Brad Lidge (and Eric Bruntlett) got traded to the Phillies for Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary and Michael Costanzo. Pujols made Lidge his bitch two seasons ago and Lidge has had to fight every step of the way back. Is he fully back yet? His wildness says probably not entirely, but this is still a coo for the Phillies. Think about it this way, if someone in your NL-only league traded Lidge for Bourn, protests flags would have flown. The Astros received three spare parts for an at-times absolutely dominating closer. Not dominating, you say? He held hitters to a .218 average and averaged 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings. Um, that’s dominating. Lidge needed to get out of Houston in a bad way; Myers needed to get back in the rotation before his career was completely derailed. Phillies–Win-win, Astros-lose.

Can the Astros get by on Chad Qualls?
6-5/78/3.05/1.32, 5 saves in 82.2 innings
Averaging almost a strikeout an inning, he’ll be just fine. His cheap and pretty solid. I predict teams will move and more to the cheap, solid setup man instead of the high-priced closer. Though, if you have to pay for one, Lidge isn’t a bad one at all. Not content with simply catching the Mets this year, the Phils will be a force in the NL East. I’ll tell you what, I’d rather have Lidge than the Billy Wagner we saw at the end of the year.