Nov 222010
Phillies closer Brad Lidge

Phillies closer Brad Lidge

By Tony Fryckberg:

You’d be very remiss to not realize that the moves made by Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro, Jr. helped the Phils win 4 straight division titles. What most of us haven’t thought about is what exactly happened to all the players we moved in the big deals.

So, here we go:

11/7/2007 (Gillick): PHL trades Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary, and Mike Costanzo to HOU for Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett.

We all know what Lidge has done for us–WFC in ’08, dreadful in ’09, much better in ’10.

Bruntlett was what he was, but he was a contributor in both ’08 and ’09, and besides scoring the WFC-winning run and turning an unassisted triple play, he was also a valuable bench guy, even if it was only for his defense.

Meanwhile, Michael Bourn has played 3 years for Houston, winning 2 Gold Gloves, 2 stolen base titles, and hitting .262. Basically, he was what we all thought he was–a decent hitter, a stolen base fiend, and a defensive wizard–all without a place to play here in Philadelphia. 

On the other hand, Geoff Geary was great for the Astros in ’08, throwing 64 IP with a 2.53 ERA, then hit the wall in ’09, tossing to an 8.10 ERA and pitching his way out of the major leagues. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since May 13, 2009 and he pitched to a 5+ ERA in AA and AAA ball in ’10. He’s probably done as a major leaguer. 

Mike Costanzo never suited up for the Astros. He was traded to BAL with four other prospects to acquire Miguel Tejada Costanzo hit .202 for them in AA and AAA in ’09, was released and hit .266 in the Reds organization last year with more K’s than hits. 

Essentially we got the best closer season in Phillies history for Michael Bourn, who was blocked, first by Shane Victorino in center, then by Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth at the other OF positions.

7/17/2008: PHL trades Josh Outman, Adrian Cardenas, and Matt Spencer to OAK for Joe Blanton.

Joe Blanton, like him or not, has been a solid #4 starter. Was good for us in ’08, started horribly in ’09 AND ’10, but finished strong both seasons.  He’s won 25 regular season games in about 2 full seasons worth of work, and has pitched to his career averages.  He’s also been brilliant at times.

For Oakland, Outman was on his way to becoming quite a good ML pitcher, going 4-1 in 12 starts in ’09 with a 3.48 ERA before blowing out his elbow and having TJ surgery in June of 2009. He has yet to return to the mound, but the Athletics have thought enough of him to keep him on the 40-man roster and have plans for Outman in the future.  Pitchers have come back from Tommy John surgery with increasing success over the years, and the A’s are hoping the same for Outman. 

Adrian Cardenas has been a strong AA-level prospect for the A’s, but has struggled with AAA pitching. He’s a career .326 hitter in AA, but a .260 hitter with a 667 OPS in parts of 2 AAA seasons. He hasn’t made the major leagues but at only 23 years of age, may have a bright future yet. 

Matt Spencer is currently playing in the Cubs system as the A’s traded him to get Aaron Miles and Jake Fox, and he hit .269 in ’10 splitting his time between high A and AA ball with 19 HR and 69 RBI, which is good. He’s also 25, which is bad.

7/29/2009: PHL trades Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Jason Knapp, and Jason Donald to CLE for Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco.

We all know what Cliff Lee did for the Phils in 2009, and we (also as everyone knows) moved him to Seattle in December 2009 for OF Tyson Gillies, P Phillipe Aumont, and P JC Ramirez.  Francisco has become the Phils 4th OF and a main RH bat on the bench.  I’d bet most people don’t realize that he was named the most exciting player in the International League in 2006.  He’ll be here for quite a while, especially considering his contract status.  He’ll come cheap for the Phillies, and isn’t set to reach free agency until 2014.

Carlos Carrasco was hideous in ’09 for the Tribe, but better in ’10, going 2-2 with a 3.83 ERA in 7 starts. He’d look pretty good as the Phils 5th starter in ’11, but he’ll likely be the Indians #3 in the coming year. 

Lou Marson was the Indians catcher in ’10, starting 81 games and not doing too bad defensively, but he hit .195 with a 560 OPS in 294 PAs. He’s a nice defensive catcher, but to expect anything more from him would be a massive stretch.  

Shoulder trouble has delayed Jason Knapp’s move up the ladder, but last season he got into 9 games between rookie and A ball, and pitched to a 2.86 ERA and struck out 47 in 28 1/3 IP. He’ll be an interesting watch but is quite some time away. 

Besides “breaking up” Armando Gallaraga’s perfect game last year, Jason Donald got into 88 games, splitting between 2B and SS, and didn’t do too bad, hitting .253 with a 690 OPS. He could still grow into a nice middle infielder, but more likely will be a utility infielder.

12/16/2009: PHL trades Kyle Drabek, Travis D’Arnaud, and Michael Taylor to OAK for Roy Halladay

Kyle Drabek started 3 games for the Jays last year and damn sure didn’t embarrass himself, pitching to a 4.76 ERA, after going 14-9 with an ERA in the 2’s in AA. He’ll be a good one. 

Travis D’Arnaud hit .259 with a 726 OPS in high A ball. At worst, a good prospect for the majors, but is probably a year away at least from making any impact at the ML level.  He was also blocked here by Carlos Ruiz, and he hasn’t developed the same reputation for working with pitchers that Chooch has. 

Michael Taylor was immediately flipped to OAK for Brett Wallace, but sort of hit the wall in ’10, hitting .272 with 6 HR and 78 RBI with a 740 OPS (close to 200 points below his prior career average). He never really got started.

As an aside, Wallace was ironically traded to the Houston Astros for newly acquired Anthony Gose on the same day that the Astros sent Roy Oswalt to the Phils for Gose and two prospects.  I wonder if the Jays would have taken Gose, Drabek, and D’Arnaud in this deal?

Roy Halladay, of course, didn’t do a whole lot—just led the league in innings, wins, complete games, and shutouts, threw a perfect game, started off the playoffs with a no-hitter and won a Cy Young award.  If only the Phils offense were more consistent—I wonder how many games Halladay would have won with adequate support.

7/29/2010: PHL trades JA Happ, Anthony Gose, and Jonathan Villar to HOU for Roy Oswalt

JA Happ would look great as the Phils #4 or #5, but nowhere near as good as Oswalt as our #3. He went 5-4 with a 3.75 ERA for the ‘stros but had an up-and-down year overall. 

Anthony Gose, as mentioned above was sent to TOR for Brett Wallace. Definitely a prospect but is a similar player to Michael Bourn. Stole 45 bases at high A ball, but was caught an astounding 32 times. 

Jonathan Villar is a young, speedy SS prospect but is a ways away. Stole 45 bases and hit .260 last year as a 19 year old in A and high A ball, but committed 56 errors and fielded .913. He has a long time to get better, so this is definitely a “stay tuned” situation.

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