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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #6 Owens Brings Believer Into Fold

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, June 27, 2014 02:45 PM Comments: 4

McGraw turned a bullpen from worst to first and led them to the 1980 World Series.

Most modern Major League general managers will tell you that one of the keys to staying under budget while fielding a competitive team is spending wisely on relief pitching. These days, Jonathan Papelbon’s four-year, $62 million pact gets a lot of, deserved, flack for perhaps being too long, too expensive, or both for a reliever while young players like Greg Holland and Ernesto Frieri seemingly turn up every year or reclamation projects like Joe Nathan or Jason Grilli become success stories.

The key to rationale behind the long commitments is the idea that good, and more importantly consistently repeatable, relief pitching is incredibly difficult to find. While Holland has continued his excellence in 2014, Frieri has not, posting a 6.39 ERA at press time. And while Grilli and Nathan were great stories of value relief pick-ups for 2013, 2014 has been disastrous to say the least for either.

As you may imagine, the long held narrative of find reliable, consistent relief pitching being difficult to obtain existed even in a time when relief pitching was first becoming specialized. Tug McGraw was one of the original stewards of this expansion of roles on a baseball team. According to the SABR Baseball Biography Project, a then-swingman McGraw was told in 1969 by Mets manager Gil Hodges “Tug, I have three pieces of advice for you. One, I think you should think about staying in the bullpen permanently. You could be a great reliever and at best an average starter. Two, this team needs a late-inning stopper, and I want you to be my stopper. Three, I think you’ll make a lot more money as a reliever than as a starter. Now it’s up to you.” Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #6 Owens Brings Believer Into Fold

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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #7 Phils Dupe Detroit

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, June 26, 2014 04:15 PM Comments: 1

Detroit felt Bunning was on the downside of his career. He wasn’t and the Phillies acquired a Hall of Fame pitcher for very little.

Over the next two weeks, in conjunction with the run-up to the July 31 trade deadline, Phillies Nation will be presenting the Top 10 Trades in Phillies History. Consideration was given to the performance of the players traded with their new club v. the performance of the players acquired with the Phillies in addition to heavily weighing the success of the Phillies once the trade was completed.

This series will be immediately followed by the Top 10 Worst Trades in Phillies History, starting approximately on July 7.

The 1963 Phillies were a successful squad without an identity. Led by left fielder Wes Covington, then 31, and right fielder Johnny Callison, then 24, the Phillies had successfully blended veteran leadership with a small youth movement. Throughout the line-up, there was a solid blend of youth and experience: for every 26-year old Clay Dalrymple there was a 36-year old Roy Sievers, for the 26-year old Tony Gonzalez, there was 35-year old Don Hoak.

The mix of veterans and youngsters was less pronounced on the pitching staff where youth dominated the ranks. Including 19-year old spot starter Marcelino Lopez, the 1963 Phillies featured nine pitchers at age 26 or younger out of the 14 that appeared for them in 1964. Four out of five starting pitchers that started 16 games or more for the Phillies were 25 or under. The exception? 37-year old Cal McLish, who went 13-11 with a 3.26 ERA with 10 complete games. Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #7 Phils Dupe Detroit

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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #8 Amaro Makes a House Call

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, June 25, 2014 10:00 AM Comments: 1

Acquired from Toronto in December 2009, Halladay pitched many memorable games in Philadelphia, including his May 2010 Perfect Game as seen above.

Over the next two weeks, in conjunction with the run-up to the July 31 trade deadline, Phillies Nation will be presenting the Top 10 Trades in Phillies History. Consideration was given to the performance of the players traded with their new club v. the performance of the players acquired with the Phillies in addition to heavily weighing the success of the Phillies once the trade was completed.

This series will be immediately followed by the Top 10 Worst Trades in Phillies History, starting approximately on July 7.

The 2009 Phillies came just two wins short of repeating as World Series champions. Throughout the series, the Phillies deficiency was clear: the Phillies, despite getting two memorable performances, and more importantly wins, out of midseason acquisition Cliff Lee, lacked starting pitching. Relying on two starts from 37-year old Pedro Martinez, the Phillies dropped a very winnable World Series in six games.

Lee was the reigning AL Cy Young winner heading into the 2009 season. The Phillies snagged Lee in a midseason deal that sent Carlos Corrasco, Jason Donald, Jason Knapp, and Lou Marson to Cleveland in exchange for Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco. At the conclusion of the season, Toronto made the league aware that 2003 AL Cy Young winner Roy Halladay was available. During the 2009 All-Star break, rumors went wild that Halladay would be willing to become a Phillie. The Phillies, facing fears that they would not be able to resign Lee beyond his $9 million option for 2010.

The dots all started to connect themselves in December 2009. Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #8 Amaro Makes a House Call

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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #9 Thomas Steals Abreu From Devil Rays

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, June 24, 2014 12:00 PM Comments: 2

Acquired in 1997, Abreu spent parts of nine seasons with the Phillies and became one of the franchise’s all-time great players.

Over the next two weeks, in conjunction with the run-up to the July 31 trade deadline, Phillies Nation will be presenting the Top 10 Trades in Phillies History. Consideration was given to the performance of the players traded with their new club v. the performance of the players acquired with the Phillies in addition to heavily weighing the success of the Phillies once the trade was completed.

This series will be immediately followed by the Top 10 Worst Trades in Phillies History, starting approximately on July 7.

Lee Thomas had put together a pretty solid playing career. An All-Star first baseman/outfielder in 1962 for the Los Angeles Angels, Thomas spent eight years in the Major Leagues with the Yankees, Angels, Red Sox, Braves, Cubs, and Astros, accumulating 106 career homers before spending a year in Japan with the Nankai Hawks.

After retiring following the 1969 season, Thomas became a coach and, eventually, the director of player development with the St. Louis Cardinals. In the 1980’s, Thomas helped assemble and develop the Cardinals clubs that won three pennants and the 1982 World Series. In June 1988, the Phillies tapped Thomas to steer the ship as their general manager.

This is the first of three Thomas-era trades that will appear in the Top 10 but it is the last to occur chronologically. Thomas won The Sporting News Executive of the Year in 1993 after guiding the Phillies from worst to first and a World Series appearance. Thomas made several shrewd trades in addition to the ones that will appear in this countdown but struggled with keeping talent for reasonable prices.

Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #9 Thomas Steals Abreu From Devil Rays

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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #10 Phils Acquire Lidge

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, June 23, 2014 02:00 PM Comments: 3

Acquiring Lidge instantly improved the Phillies’ bullpen. Photo AP

Over the next two weeks, in conjunction with the run-up to the July 31 trade deadline, Phillies Nation will be presenting the Top 10 Trades in Phillies History. Consideration was given to the performance of the players traded with their new club v. the performance of the players acquired with the Phillies in addition to heavily weighing the success of the Phillies once the trade was completed.

This series will be immediately followed by the Top 10 Worst Trades in Phillies History, starting approximately on July 7.

Jimmy Rollins proclaimed the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies as the team to beat in the NL East. After a remarkable late season surge, erasing a 7 ½ game lead with just 17 to play, the Phillies found themselves NL East champions for the first time since 1993. The man on the mound to close out the clincher? Starter-turned-closer Brett Myers.

Myers was one of 21 pitchers to appear out of the bullpen that season for the Phillies, joining more memorable Phils like J.C. Romero, Jose Mesa, and Clay Condrey and blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em Phils like John Ennis, Joe Bisenius, and Anderson Garcia in a bullpen that ranked 24th in MLB in ERA, 26th in K/9 IP, and 24th in HR/9 IP. Looking for bullpen stability after their first-round sweep at the hands of the Colorado Rockies, General Manager Pat Gillick was looking to make a splash to upgrade the bullpen of a team with the best offense in the Majors per fWAR. Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #10 Phils Acquire Lidge

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Did the Phillies Accidentally Trade a Prospect?

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, June 08, 2014 08:10 PM Comments: 30

There have been numerous reports around the Internet claiming that the Phillies accidentally traded a prospect in the 2011 Hunter Pence deal.

Domingo Santana

In exchange for Pence, the Houston Astros received Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid, and a player to be named later, who turned out to be Domingo Santana. Singleton made his Major League debut last week after being given a 5-year, $10 million contract.  Cosart has found his way into the Astros’ rotation and Zeid remains a pitching prospect.  In Triple-A, Santana is batting .297 and may soon find his way into the Majors. Now, Santana has become the question of the trade.  According to reports, Santana was not on the list of players that the Astros were able to choose from.

Reports are saying that the mistake was made on the Phillies part, and they never intended to let Santana go. With the Phillies’ poor play and with Santana about to be the third player in the Pence deal to appear in the Majors, the trade may be receiving more attention than it should.

Ruben Amaro Jr. has denied the mistake, claiming Santana was needed to complete the deal:

“We didn’t want to put [Domingo] Santana on the list but we had to to get the deal done.  There were several prospects we didn’t want to part with in that deal but we were trying to acquire the best right-handed hitter on the market and that was the price. I understand we’re going to get picked apart because we haven’t had success for a couple of years, but this is not true.”

“There were three names that they had to have.  There was a list of three or four more guys from which they could choose one. I think they wanted more time for evaluation. Santana was on the list because Ed [Wade] asked for him to be placed on the list. There was no mistake.”

It all comes down to who got the better end of the deal. The Astros received four top prospects who are about to make an impact in the big leagues, while the Phillies got one year and a playoff appearance out of Pence.

What do you think? Was this an honest mistake on the Phillies part, or do you believe Ruben Amaro Jr.?

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Deadline Day Open Thread

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Wed, July 31, 2013 11:36 AM Comments: 71

amaro-phoneThis is your open thread for all things having to do with the trade deadline. 4 PM is the cutoff. There’s lots of rumors and conflicting reports. Post will be updated periodically as news and rumors come in.

- The Yankees want M. Young, but it doesn’t sound like he’d approve a trade there. UPDATE: A source tells a NY Daily News reporter that Young WILL accept a trade to the Yankees. Big, if true. Confirmed by Ken Rosenthal. There are no reports of any talks between the teams at this time, though. Rosenthal says it is certainly plausible that this is simply a posturing move. UPDATE: Rosenthal now says that Young is indeed interested in going to the Yankees.

- There may be no trade today at all.

- 4 PM is here and M Young is still a Phillie.

- A Red Sox reporter says it is doubtful that the Red Sox will trade for Young. UPDATE: Another is reporting that there are NO talks between Philadelphia and Boston regarding Young. UPDATE #2: According to Joel Sherman, league executives believe that there are talks.

- Young to the Rangers is dead. It’s Yankees or bust.

Continue reading Deadline Day Open Thread

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Report: Asche to be Called Up, Possible Young Trade? Deadline Madness!

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Tue, July 30, 2013 12:27 PM Comments: 28

It looks like it will be only half a season in a Phillies uniform for M. Young.

It looks like it will be only half a season in a Phillies uniform for M. Young.

Michael Young has been the topic of a plethora of trade rumors, and today, it seems as though at least one of the rumors may come true. Jeff Passan is reporting on Twitter that Cody Asche is to be called up today, and hints that this could be the first domino to fall in a Michael Young Trade.

From his Tweet:

@JeffPassan: Source: Phillies plan on calling up 3B Cody Asche. Points to Michael Young being traded today.

UPDATE: According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees are NOT the ones in on Young.

UPDATE #2: Ken Rosenthal says that Young would only accept a trade to the Rangers.

UPDATE #3: Jayson Stark says there is no deal imminent. And he doesn’t classify it as “likely”, either.

UPDATE #4: Steve Susdorf was designated for assignment. The Asche promotion could still mean Young is dealt, according to Jim Salisbury, with Matt Gelb providing an explanation.

UPDATE #5: Michael Young is in the Phillies lineup tonight. Phils fans should be on #HugWatch tonight.

Continue reading Report: Asche to be Called Up, Possible Young Trade? Deadline Madness!

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Even In Win-Now Mode, Phils Should Still Sell

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Fri, July 12, 2013 09:05 AM Comments: 5

Hamels has been a victim of poor run support all season. (Photo: AP)

Phils should consider moving Ruiz, even if they want to win next season. (Photo: AP)

On Wednesday, The Good Phight published a spirited piece regarding the Phillies and the upcoming trade deadline. In it, Joe Catz argues that right now fans should stop being so concerned with what the future holds for the franchise if it is precluding you from enjoying day-to-day success. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do.

Essentially, his argument boils down to the fact that, right or wrong, the Phillies are not going to have a major overhaul of their roster via a late July fire sale. The reason being an ownership group that won’t allow a full-on rebuild. They’re constantly in win-now mode, and that means tearing it down just isn’t an option.

I’d like to go on record and say I agree 100% with Catz. As a fan, you should never stop yourself from enjoying a team’s success on a given night because you’re worried it may affect an impending rebuild. Baseball is supposed to be fun, and when you can’t even allow yourself the joy of your favorite team’s successes, what’s even the point anymore? Continue reading Even In Win-Now Mode, Phils Should Still Sell

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Should the Phillies Call the Giants About Pence?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, July 11, 2013 11:10 PM Comments: 32

Good series, let’s go call the Giants about Pence?

Think back to your days in high school or college, to the girls or fellas that you dated. There were the ones that made you stay up at night, heart racing. You may have even written poetry or songs for them. Then, there was the moment that things got weird and you parted. You fell in love again, usually with someone new, married, and your former flame is long forgotten.

For a lot of fans, Hunter Pence was the player that got their palms sweaty and blood pumping. He was a handsome-yet-clumsy throwback to the 1970′s – a player whom writers used words reserved only for the most awkward-yet-talented, and oddly usually Caucasian, players. Writers called him a gritty gym rat and a hustler. Last year, the Phillies fell well out of contention and, frankly, things got weird. Pence and his penchant for eating after scoring game winning runs were sent to San Francisco where he won a World Series.

Since then, Domonic Brown has become an All-Star outfielder but there is a hole left unfilled in right field. There is one player that is likely available who can fill that hole – while I am one of the many who believe the steep cost of his acquisition may become one of the worst trades in Phillies history, that player’s name is Hunter Pence. Continue reading Should the Phillies Call the Giants About Pence?

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