The Three-Year Plan

Posted by Corey Seidman, Fri, July 30, 2010 03:18 AM | Comments: 76

Know where the Phillies were on July 29, 2007?

They were in second place at 55-49, sitting 3.5 behind the Mets.

They beat the Pirates 5-1 that day. Jimmy Rollins went 3-for-4 out of the three-hole and Kyle Kendrick went 7-6-1-1-4.

Two days prior, the Phils traded Rich Dubee’s son, Michael, for a stop-gap solution at second base named Tadahito Iguchi. A day later they would trade Matt Maloney to the Reds for Kyle Lohse.

Know where they were on July 29, 2008?

They were a half game behind the Mets in the win column in the NL East, sitting at 57-49. They sat out during the trade deadline en route to a World Series.

They beat the Nationals 2-1 on 7-29-08, riding Chase Utley‘s 26th home run and seven scoreless innings from Brett Myers to victory.

How ’bout July 29, 2009?

Six games ahead in the NL East, but shut out, 4-0, in Arizona, to a 44-58 team. J.A. Happ pitched well and the Phillies traded for Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco. Oh, what was that last part?

Then, this past day…

Had someone told you on July 29, 2007, that in the next three years the Phillies would:

  • overcome a seven-game deficit with seventeen to play to make their first postseason in fourteen years,
  • win a World Series
  • defend their NL title by trading for Cliff Lee at the deadline
  • trade for Roy Halladay during the ensuing offseason
  • trade Cliff Lee during the ensuing offseason
  • trade for Roy Oswalt on the very same day as Lee, the next year

Would you have believed it? Would you have even listened? If someone told you those things, would they have sounded realistic in any possible way?

The Phillies won their eighth consecutive game Thursday night, improving to 56-46 on a walkoff single from Wilson Valdez. Cody Ransom scoring a game-winning run on a Wilson Valdez single. Just how they drew it up…

A game and a half behind in the Wildcard, and two-and-a-half back in the NL East, the Phils will carry the momentum of an eight-win resurrection into Washington. As if that exhilaration wasn’t enough, they’ll play behind their new Ace 1a – Roy Oswalt.

How am I supposed to believe Roy Oswalt is a Phillie? I still can’t believe Roy HALLADAY is a Phillie!

Bye J.A. Happ. We’ll miss your irrefutable poise, ridiculous strand rates, and hair line. So long, Anthony Gose. I hope you straighten out and don’t go 36-for-63 in stolen base attempts in the Blue Jays system. Adios, Jonathan Villar. Take your reputation of being a “good glove” and earn it by not making 42 errors at shortstop.

What a light package. This package was lighter than the one the Phillies traded to Cleveland (Carrasco-Knapp-Donald-Marson), lighter than the one sent from Seattle to Philly for Clifton, and lighter than the one sent from LAA to Arizona for Dan Haren.

Saving Singleton

The Phils were able to keep Jonathan Singleton - the Single-A slugger, not the director – because of the third-party interest in Anthony Gose.


Well, immediately after receiving Gose from the Phillies, the Astros adeptly flipped him to the Blue Jays for sweet swingin’ first base prospect, Brett Wallace.

(Side note: Wallace, one of the top ten hitting prospects remaining in the minors, has been traded four times in the past year despite sporting a .304/.375/.487 line in 1,250 minor league plate appearances. He went from St. Louis to Oakland for Matt Holliday, than to Toronto for Michael Taylor, now to Houston for Gose.)

Since the Astros and Blue Jays had an obviously prearranged agreement to swap Gose and Wallace, Houston did not demand the powerful Singleton, also a first baseman. The third party side-trade was reminiscent of Toronto’s with Seattle this past offseason, when the Mariners sent Brandon Morrow to the Blue Jays for Brandon League and prospect Johermyn Chavez during the Halladay-Lee companion deals.

The loss for the Phillies is far from substantial, but here’s the kicker: ELEVEN MILLION of the remaining $23MM on Oswalt’s contract will come from Drayton McLane‘s pockets. The Astros are paying nearly half of Oswalt’s remaining pact!

Oswalt is due $16 million total next year, but the Phillies are only on the hook for eight. The same amount they pay Joe Blanton. Not bad.

These are crazy times, folks. Such crazy times that Phillies Nation actually BROKE for a day! But don’t worry, we’re back and better than ever. With a server 10x stronger than the last one, we’re primed for a postseason run…

Just like the Phillies, who now have the best three-headed monster in Major League Baseball: Halladay-Hamels-Oswalt. Would you have believed it in ’07?

Avatar of Corey Seidman

About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

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  • Posts: 0 Glutenous

    Quite the turn of events.. we got away with highway robbery on this one. Glad the new server is in place. Looking forward to the rest of the season. GO PHIGHTINS.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Doesn’t going back to the WS in 2009 merit a mention?

    Oh, right, they didn’t win, so it doesn’t really count. /sarcasm

    I enjoyed the game at the Bank last night for a number of reasons. Sure, I would’ve liked to get home a bit earlier, but there’s nothing like a walk-off win in extra innings.

    Two guys I’ve been defending all season (Ibanez and Lidge) came out and produced in a big way. Ibanez homered and got on base and Lidge had himself a pretty sweet 1-2-3 inning.

    Not that I ever had a doubt, but I think we’re headed back to the post-season.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Roy, Roy, and next year D Brown will be R.O.Y.

    Okay, Okay, I threw RAJ under the bus last week. I no longer want to trade him for a hot dog vendor. He’s climbed out from under that bus and despite EMS response, came out just fine. I wish he could have pulled off Matt Capps too, but what was the chance the Natinals would trade him to a division team anyway?

    Nice recovery RAJ!! If we can get any help from the bullpen (Hopefully, Lidge has been energized by his old teammate joining him) we’ve got a real chance to do what no National league team has done in a very, very long time!

  • Posts: 0 BrewTown PhilsPhan

    Roy, Roy, and King Cole…

    …We Three Kings?

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  • Posts: 0 Brian Sr. of CO

    I hope Roy Story 2 works out, he is amongst the best in the league in the 2nd have of the season almost every year, but I will miss J.A. Happ. I was hoping he would be with us for a long time. I even bought the signed Rookie baseball. :( Oh well. Lets go Phils!

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    This has been an amazing series of events and we all are right in the middle of it – way cool.

    Kate, I was there to with Keith. Disappointed not to see D Brown other than a PH opp, the sight of seeing vintage Lidge, Ransom getting some key hits and Chooch being Chooch — great stuff. Side note, Ryan once again was 0 for, this time 0 for 5. JW was 0 for 5 with 3 k’s, looking like he did pretty much 2 weeks ago. When you see a W and 12 hits on the board, you’ll normally assume that at least 1 or 2 belong to our big men.

    Last night, it was pretty much hitters 6, 7 & 8 with 7 hits and 2 rbi. Good to see, yes, it was the D’Backs but we all know how the Phils have played ‘up to their competition’ this year. A win, a huge win.

    Is Jimmy still slated to return vs the Nats this weekend?

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    As I mentioned prior, because I would like everyone to know, the Astros HAD to trade Oswalt and that’s why RAJ took Wade (so glad he’s still in baseball with another team) to the proverbial cleaners. And you give us 11m? Thats just hysterical. Of course, I’ve been around long enough to know that trades that look to good to be true usually are. So that scares me. I wish JA well. Ruben has really done well with this. We now have a #1 at 8m a year for a a year and two months as opposed to committing to a guy that is only marginally better, but someone we all love (Cliff), for 5 years 100m+. Pretty nimble. I know this was not Ruben’s master plan but that is the sum and substance of his moves. Go Phils. I think we get Downs before it al over.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 "PHILLYBOY"


  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    I am hoping that with all the cheese being passed around, somewhere in this mix with all the trades, upgrades, terrific hopes we have now – evidence supplied by Corey that at this point in the season, our record is better than it has been in the last 4 years – somewhere, somehow – the name Cliff Lee will be dropped from the all time whiners list – of course if Roy Story 2 does not work out (injured back, whatever…) the matter will be brought up again.. Until the worst happens (if it does), can we just stop?!?!?!?

  • Posts: 0 Lewisauce

    This wasn’t a trade. It was an exorcism of Cliff Lee’s ghost.

    I’m not complaining, and yes, we took Wade to the cleaners. (With the money and years, this deal was better than any of us anticipated.)

    But I can’t shake the feeling that our rotation was at its best for about four hours over the winter, and that the current rotation doesn’t equal that one.

  • Posts: 0 Dennis

    Wow, 3 aces! Things have definitely turned around in the last week or so, remember back when everyone was debating whether to sell or buy at the deadline? The bigger question that always will pop into the equation…. Does this deal make up for trading away Cliff?

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    I heard Jimmy is still questionable for tonight’s game – anyone hear different?

  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    The way i see this trade we traded a young future All-Star pitcher and sold the Astros 2 prospects. It sounds like a win for us on the surface and maybe for this year it is. Next year when Happ goes 19-6 with a 3.10 Era while makin a 1/4 of the salary and controlled for the Astros for 3 years then the balance will shit to the Astros. Blue Jays wanted Gose like a fat chick wants a piece of chocolate. So you have to wonder of his potential.

  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    oops have a mispelling feel free to edit.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Just your logic Bacardipr05 – are you implying that Happ will someday become an AS pitcher, or win 19 games? I’ll play poker with you bud.

  • Posts: 0 Psujoe

    I actually think it was a good trade for both teams. Astros flipped gose for Wallace who will start at first base. Now the Astros can dump Berkman. Happ is a pretty good, inexpensive starter. It will be interesting to see how Happ and Oswalt perform in 2010-2011.

  • Posts: 0 Dennis

    Happ is not winning 19 games…..

  • Posts: 0 NickFromGermantown

    I have to say, whatever you think about Amaro’s skill at signing free agents and drafting extensions, he has displayed a pretty good acumen at making trades. Although I hate that Cliff Lee isn’t here, the deal to bring him here, then the deal to add more certainty to the future by bringing in Halladay on good financial terms, and now to bringing in Oswalt has been quite good. It’s gotten the fans engaged. That’s key really at this point too and may be overlooked. The Phillies need to keep selling tickets!

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Happ will be Ted Lilly. Which is a nice career.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Crazy turn of events, indeed. I did call for a Phillies WS appearance in 2008 when we were playing the Red Sox (June 08?).

    Great to see that the server is back. I was anxious to read and post comments regarding yesterday’s trade for Roy Oswalt.

    Basically, I agree with the consensus that we STOLE this guy from the Astros. Hopefully he’s durable and his injuries won’t come back, because when this guy is on, beware. I’m very sad to see one of my favorites, Happ, go in this deal.. but this was a very, very favorable deal for the Phillies… and even for the Astros cause they ended up getting Wallace (what the hell was the Jays GM smoking to swap Wallace for Gose!!! ESPECIALLY after they had already swapped Taylor for Wallace in the offseason!! Why not just keep Taylor?)

    Guys, 2.5 games back in the division!!!!

  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    This is just a tremendous trade!

    Happ is a nice pitcher. I’ve always liked him. 10-12 game winner for sure. I do worry about Happ staying healthy. He’s had two trips to the DL in two years—which is more the Oswalt. And he seems to have developed some control problems lately.

    Amaro deserves a ton of credit. Oswalt may not be as good as Lee, but I’d rather have Oswalt for 2-3 years than Cliff Lee for one.

    Right now the bullpen is the key to this team. If they can pull it together—and Lidge did look good last night—then we could be in for another special season.

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  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Also, for those who watched last night’s game: Brad Lidge looked pretty damn sharp. He’s so much better when he’s rested. Take note, Charlie.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    This is a tremendous trade much because of what we didn’t have to give up to make the deal.

    Happ is a very nice even-keeled pitcher you need in your rotation for such a long season but the Phils have that in Blanton. Gose could be an impact player as Toronto view him as… But the Phillies acquired Gillies who could be even better at the major league level. We don’t have the guarantee that option and get enough salary relief to make Oswalt a very affordable pitcher and make that option seem less hefty if we do pick it up. We didn’t have to give up Worley or Singleton or any prospect who could have helped the Phils in the near future.

    Oh and we get an absolute stud that you can go blow for blow with any team in the majors in a play-off series and Cole Hamels becomes the best 3rd starter in the play-offs by an absolute mile… Oh and we go into the following year with that and your innings eater and a ton of versatile options for the 5…

    RAJ and his guys have completely overhauled the Phillies beginning with that Lee trade to turn us into a legitimate top team capable of being one for years.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Oh I’d expect Lidge to be a hell of a lot more comfortable with Oswalt back next to him and a ring on his finger… We may have just addressed our closer situation.

  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    Yea its just the way im seen it Brooks…everyone sees it different…

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Oh man, I still cannot believe how badly RAJ fleeced the Astros, that is just outrageous. Amaro is a very good GM when he zeroes in on one particular player.

    Our projected three-man playoff rotation is now officially ridiculous. The Braves are scared, the rest of the Wild Card teams are scared, we will be back in the playoffs.

    I think we will get an infield player who can hit fairly well and play several positions as cover for our injured infielders. That seems an obvious move. Maybe they will get some bullpen help. But I think they will likely prioritize some injury cover for their infield.

  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    Ps…Nj says not so fast with Lidge..he had one good outing on a not so good team…

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Bacardipr05- I know, I’m just optimistic as I think Lidge obviously can still get the job done if the peripherals aren’t hanging over him every time he takes the mound.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Ruben just did an amazing job. Gose, who has about 100 steals along with being caught 75 times, and Villar, who I gotta say, for A ball he looked pretty good. Gose can’t hit. My lord. An, oh, I almost forgot. We got 11m, too. Yeeeeee-haaaaaaaa. Its just like, as soon as Ed Wade starts to run a team, players just wanna start getting out.

    Brian, Is the server fixed for good now? We need the Nation now more than ever.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Peter Gammons said both owners spent one hour finishing this up. GREAT JOB. I like many phillies fans killed this team for getting rid of Lee. I fell in love with Cliff while he was here. Like when your girlfriend breaks up with you. Then you one move on to the next. Like we just did. I have been a huge fan of Oswalt forever. Leads the league in k’s since 01. This guy knows how to win and is a great pitcher. Just on a bad team. Give him a few runs and see what happens. Just knowing you have these three guys going into any series makes us a favorite. Watching Doc pitch is like watching a surgeon. He is just that good. not good that GREAT. You give doc a few runs and you will not lose. Also, watching Brown the other night was one of the most exciting games. He is so much fun to watch. I cant wait to see him again. I almost would rather trade victorino away. Sign Werth and move him to center. Raul seems to be coming out at the right time. Stick Brown in right. Just to see, Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Werth, Brown. WOW.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Good thing we didn’t release Raul as was suggested on this site, amirite?

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I missed not having Nation up and running. Are we cool now with it being fixed? Thanks and welcome back.

  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    Good point. Nice to hear those Rauuuuul! chants after big hits again.

    I admit I was really down on Ibanez. I thought he was done. But he’s starting to hit. In fact, his whole month of July has been very, very good. I hope this means he’s finally healthy. If Ibanez can keep this up, the offense will be scary good when Chase gets back in there.

    Credit to Raul for grinding through a terrible first half. He’s incredibly hard worker and class act.

  • Posts: 0 steve


  • Posts: 0 MysteryMet

    I am going to root for the Phills to win the division this year, cuz it will teach the Mets a thing or two, too go out and try to get the best players available wheither it be free agency, or trade, but the Mets are so damn cheap, and hold every single minor leaguer high on a pedestal, as if their going to be the next big thing, that they will continue to lose till they get a new GM. Good job Phillies, and fans at least you have a GM that knows what it takes to win, and until the Mets realize that Phillies may continue to win the division.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Wow, look at the positive vibes going across the airwaves now! Even Jeff got into it!

    Bacardi – I am totally with you about Lidge. I was there last night and there on Monday – 2 different pitchers altogether. Although it was nice to see “Lights Out” pay us a visit! Hope to see more of him soon

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Mysterymet – start at the top. I dont think the Mets are cheap, but they do have the wrong chemistry. Santana, FRod, Reyes, Pelfrey, David Wright (the ONLY Mets player I would not mind seeing in pinstripes) – they have spent some money they just need better leadership. The other thing is that 12 out of the 25 roster players were born in the 1970′s.

    Get rid of Jerry Manuel first.

  • Posts: 0 Land Shark

    Not to sound greedy but we still need one more solid arm in the bullpen, and possibly another bat off the bench

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Thanks Brooks. Now I have to be negative. LOL….I heard Oswalt say Lidge was a big reason for him coming here. They are friends. Then I thought OH NO. Will he still be saying that when Lidge comes in to save one of his games. LOL. SORRY…

    I know why Charlie started Madson last night in the 9th. He was so good in the 8th. Its like he hits a wall in the 9th. I also know why JC was out there against all those lefties. I still would of liked to see Lidge start that inning. That double play was HUGE. Close play at first. Call could of gone either way.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Talk about the Mets and go no farther then the owner. They are the worst.

  • Posts: 0 MysteryMet

    Brooks your right, and I really didn’t mean cheap cuz they fill the needs , but they don’t get the hard gritty players that certain team haves, they just fill the spot, just to save money, I also think the Mets aren’t doing anything, just to put the blame on Jerry Manuel, and Omar Minaya to fire them. Now I have one bad comment about the Phills, and that is they really don’t have a promising future after about the end of next season what’s their plan, cuz that lineup, and rotation will get real old soon.

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  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Your right Mystery Met but us Philly fans just need to enjoy the next three years. Win as much now. Play for now. I have trust they will make the right moves. I like that they have shown Doc they want to win.

  • Posts: 0 mark

    RAJ is quite the wheeler dealer, no?

    For the past 2 years, the Philies have been the #1 story at the trade deadline

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    It’s hard for me to look past this year and the next too but in the mean time, I could be getting my picture with 2 more WS trophies

    B )

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Site is so much faster. Sweet. Doesn’t seem to be scrolling the comments on my iphone though. Coincidence?

    Manny, Raul has proved everyone wrong. His July numbers .333, .417 OBP and a .929 OPS.

    Rubin will have to really bear down to keep Weerth or obtain another power RH bat, but that’s after the season.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    I think the thing that’s become apparent is the front office will be aggressive in addressing needs but will keep a next-step plan in place. I’m really impressed because instead of frittering our money and our prospects/young players on small deals their focused on big moves coupled, retaining our guys and developing a next generation.

    Ups and downs the Gillick/Amaro front office have built the Phils into a legitimate powerhouse franchise.

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