The Phillies traded Carlos Carrasco to the Indians in exchange for Cliff Lee, and the deal has paid off so far for Cleveland.
When the Phillies acquired Cliff Lee in 2009, they needed a second elite pitcher to bring them to the World Series. A top prospect like Carlos Carrasco was the price for Lee, who won the Cy Young Award in 2008.
The Indians bounced Carrasco between the bullpen and the rotation in his first couple seasons in the majors. However, they fully committed Carrasco to the rotation last year, and it’s worked so far.
In 2015, Carrasco finished the year with a 3.63 ERA, 2.84 FIP, and 2.66 xFIP. He finished second on the team in fWAR behind Cy Young finalist Corey Kluber. Carrasco himself finished 13th in Cy Young voting.
This year, Carrasco hasn’t been as effective, but he is still a solid piece of Cleveland’s rotation. He struck out a quarter of opposing hitters this year, but also allowed home runs on 16.3% of fly balls. His 2.5 fWAR this year is still third on the team behind Kluber and Danny Salazar.
The Indians cashed in on Lee when they realized they weren’t contenders in 2009. They’ve slowly risen to the top of the AL Central since then, running away with the division this year. The Indians have one of the best rotations in the game, and a former Phillies prospect is a big part of it.