Big Trades and Von Hayes – Phillies Nation

Big Trades and Von Hayes

Whenever I play a sports video game, I always have just as much fun building my team in manager/dynasty/franchise mode as I do playing the game itself. As a result, I always get a little giddy around Trade Deadline time.

Now the Phillies, as the preeminent wheeler-dealers in baseball over the past 2 seasons, have been linked with everyone from Ty Wiggington to Roy Oswalt to the Easter Bunny in recent weeks, generating no shortage of speculation and hand-wringing from the media and fan base. I’m of the opinion that the Phils, as long as they stay in the race, ought to stand pat until July 31, but that’s a different discussion. I thought it might be fun to go back and revisit a famous trade from yesteryear–the Von Hayes 5-for-1.

Now, the Phillies traded for Von Hayes in 1982, more than 4 years before I was born, and sent him packing before I was old enough to understand baseball, but that trade’s become almost idiomatic in its significance to the Phillies and their approach to roster moves. Essentially, it’s a symbol of how the Phillies gave up 5 players for a 24-year-old outfielder who, in 9 seasons with the club, never really set the world on fire. However, under closer examination, rather than blowing the future for a mediocre player, it becomes clear that the Phillies took the Indians to the cleaners on that fateful day in December 1982.

Here’s the trade:

To Cleveland: 2B Manny Trillo, INF Julio Franco, RHP Jay Baller, RF George Vukovich, C Jerry Willard

To Philadelphia: OF Von Hayes

Part of the value of players is that they can be traded for other assets, so we’ll add to our scale the value added to the Phillies by LHP Kyle Abbott and OF Ruben Amaro (yes, that Ruben Amaro), when the Phillies got them from the Angels in a 1991 trade that sent Hayes to Anaheim. Likewise, we’ll put OF Don Carter (acquired by the Indians for Trillo in 1983) and 2B/SS Jerry Browne, OF Oddibe McDowell, and 1B/OF Pete O’Brien (acquired from Texas for Franco in 1988) in Cleveland’s basket. Everyone else involved in that trade was either released, retired, or involved in a trade of little significance.

So here’s how the balances really stack up:

Phillies: Hayes (1983-1991), Abbott and Amaro (post-1991)

Indians: Trillo (1983), Carter, Vukovich, Baller, Willard, Franco (1983-1988), McDowell (1989), Browne (1989-1991), and O’Brien (1989).

In order to gauge value, we’re using the easiest catch-all statistic I know: WAR. I know that stat’s controversial around these parts, but as you’ll see, the ultimate differences in value are quite large.

Here’s what the Phillies got: Von Hayes (w/PHI) 27 WAR/9 seasons; Traded for: Kyle Abbott (-1.1 WAR/2 seasons) and Ruben Amaro Jr. (0.9  WAR/2 seasons)

Total: 26.8 WAR

The Indians got: Manny Trillo (w/CLE) 0.7 WAR/1 season; Traded for Don Carter (never played in majors); George Vukovich (w/CLE) 2.9 WAR/3 seasons; Jay Baller (w/CLE)-never played in majors again; Jerry Willard-(w/CLE) 2.2 WAR/2 seasons (1984-85);  Julio Franco-(w/CLE) 12.1 WAR/6 seasons, traded for Jerry Browne (4.9 WAR/3 seasons, released), Oddibe McDowell (-1.0 WAR/half season, traded for Dion James), and Pete O’Brien (0.9 WAR/1 season, left as free agent)

Total: 21.7 WAR

Let’s look at the difference between what the Phillies got and what the Indians got, even after counting residual trades, which netted Cleveland 4.8 WAR and cost the Phillies -0.2 WAR. That difference of 5.1 is the difference in value last year between Evan Longoria and Jamey Carroll. It’s very nearly the entire offensive output of the 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates. On its surface, the Phillies won the 5-for-1 trade by an entire 2009 Ryan Howard, and then some. But that’s not the end of the story.

Look at the Indians’ haul. Baller would never play in the majors again. Trillo, an integral part of the Phillies from the late 1970s through the World Series winning 1980 team, was pretty much finished by 1983, and contributed little to the Indians that year before the Tribe traded him for a player who’d never see a minute in the bigs.

Willard, who spent 1983 in the minors, was a solid backstop for Cleveland the next two years, but never made his mark as a full-time player, moving on in 1986. Vukovich was also a platoon player who never broke 500 at-bats for the Indians. What’s more, literally  all of his value was from only one season, 1984, when he enjoyed a spike of 50 points in his batting average. His other two years, 1983 and 1985, he was actually below replacement level, and he never played in the major leagues again after 1985.

This means that just about all of the value Cleveland got from the trade was in the form of Julio Franco. I think it was Glen Macnow (it might have been Angelo Cataldi or Big Daddy Graham–I’m not sure) who wrote that the 5-for-1 trade looks worse and worse every year as Franco plays into his 50s. But anything past 1988, when Cleveland traded him to the Rangers, doesn’t factor into the trade, because any value Franco produced went to a team other than the Indians.

Even in that time, Franco played 6 seasons in Cleveland, averaging a little over 2 wins a year–solid, but nothing to write home about. Year-on-year, he produced somewhere between what Clint Barmes and Dan Uggla did in 2009, if you need a point of reference. Franco didn’t explode until he turned 30–the year after he was traded to Texas. And any value his excellent 1989-1991 seasons had, or his cameo as a bench bat for the mid-2000s Mets had, had no impact on what Cleveland got from the Hayes trade, since they had already flipped Franco.

For Franco, Texas traded utilityman Jerry Browne, who had two very good season with Cleveland before an absolutely abysmal 1991 precipitated a trade, half a season of noted flameout Oddibe McDowell, and a year of first baseman Pete O’Brien, 1989’s answer to Adam LaRoche. All serviceable, none spectacular.

In fact, in that time, the best performer by far was Hayes, who averaged 3 WAR a season in his nine years with the Phillies.

And here’s why the 5-for-1 trade was so beneficial to the Phillies. First, Hayes, 24 at the time of the trade, gave speed and youth to a 1983 Wheeze Kids team that started a 42-year-old Pete Rose, a 39-year-old Joe Morgan, a 38-year-old Steve Carlton, and gave significant playing time to 41-year-old Tony Perez. Hayes and Joe Lefebvre were the only starters under 30 on that team.

Second, not only did Hayes generate more value for the Phillies than all of the players the Indians got put together, he did it from one roster spot. Albert Pujols is valuable because he produces enough for two people but only takes up one spot in the lineup and one player’s worth of salary. So while the Phillies need Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth to produce what Pujols does, the Cardinals have the luxury of adding whatever contributions Ryan Ludwick is able to make to their basket as well. Not only would these 5 players have to outperform Hayes to even up the trade, they’d have to outperform him by a lot, because Franco, Vukovich, and Trillo take up more than one roster spot.

This leads me to two points. First, don’t trade Jayson Werth. It’s not worth trading him in for marginal players, like the Indians got for Hayes, particularly when letting him walk in the offseason nets the Phillies compensatory draft picks anyway. Second, it can often take years to successfully evaluate a trade. We don’t know who got the better of the Roy Halladay deal and three Cliff Lee trades of the past year, and it might take a decade for us to know for sure. It all depends on what happens to Jason Knapp, Tyson Gillies, Justin Smoak, Brett Wallace, and a host of other players who haven’t yet seen significant big-league time.

Most of all, it’s important to be patient and not panic. Not just us, but the front-office people too. Panic leads to trades that Omar Minaya or Steve Phillips would make. Panic leads to a lifetime citywide fixation on a player who only made 12 regular-season appearances for the Phillies. Panic leads to the demonization of a player who was productive and effective for a decade because the flotsam he cost the team got overrated somehow. Let’s keep cool, people. Let’s not make things worse by guessing.



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  2. Lewisauce

    July 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

    This is all well and good, but you know what’s sticking in my side lately? It’s not a trade the Phils made in the 1980s.

    It’s the fact that RIGHT NOW, the Phillies are considering adding middling starting pitching before the deadline. The fact is, we had the best rotation in baseball — hands down — for about four hours over the winter, until the best pitcher in baseball in last year’s playoffs (who is also the best pitcher in the AL as we speak) was shipped to the West Coast for garbage. You can justify all you want about how we “really” traded Lee for Halladay, how we “really” traded Lee for “cost certainty,” how we “really” traded Lee to beef up the Pharm — whatever.

    What I’m not understanding is this: why has Ruben put us in a position in which we are searching for MIDDLING starting pitching (Ted Lily, etc.), when he could have avoided all of this in the first place by keeping the ELITE starting pitcher we already had?

    If and when Ruben trades for a starting pitcher, he (Ruben, not the guy he trades for) should be run out of town or tarred and feathered or strung up by his unmentionable parts. Said trade will be an explicit admission of failure in regards to the Lee deal.

    Anyone else feel this way?

  3. bfo_33

    July 16, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Great analysis, even for the non-sabre folks. I remember the trade at the time, Manny Trillo was my favorite player on the Phils, was pretty disappointed. Hayes was a decent player overall, but rarely had a whole lot of other support (a few good years from Schmidt, Samuel, not much else).

    Very rarely do July trades work out for the buyer (CC pulled the Brewers into the playoffs, same with Beltran and the Astros, but other examples are few and far between). Personally, I’d rather stay with what we have, see who’s in the bargain bin.

    One guy who is tempting, but very high risk (and he seems like a jerk) is Joba. He’s got great stuff, but really doesn’t seem to know how to pitch anymore. I think the Yanks really screwed him up, not sure if the Phils can fix him.

  4. phatti

    July 16, 2010 at 10:37 am

    As big of a fan as I was of Von Hayes (and I was around when this trade happened), I’m not sure if I buy this analysis. I think you should look at assets gained versus assets lost. Franco was a more valuable player than Hayes in his career; the fact that the Indians made a subsequent bad decision in giving him up for a bag of beans does not change that. But I love that you’re looking at this trade.

  5. BurrGundy

    July 16, 2010 at 10:39 am

    This was another excellent eye-opening analysis. However, I would have much rather had the bat of Julio Franco than the play of Von Hayes. Both were decent players. Franco far exceeded expectations while Hayes did not. Franco had some great years while Hayes had some very decent years. In the big picture. I just did not like Von Hayes all that much but followed Franco’s career fairly closely.

  6. therookie300

    July 16, 2010 at 10:41 am

    RAJ had to trade Lee. He had to be forced by someone to do that. If you’re a GM and you have both Halladay and Lee why would you ever trade Lee unless you were forced to. The GMs job is to assemble the best team possible and that included Lee and he had him, but had to move him. Do you really think he would want to do that?

    The powers that be forced the Lee trade to Seattle, which was not a bad idea to send him there. I think RAJ gambled on Seattle staying in contention and not trading Lee to a real competitor. Seattle didn’t stay in contention, but they did trade him to a good team, but a team that the Phillies would less likely have to deal with. So in that aspect it worked.

  7. Bacardipr05

    July 16, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Some good points love the article…While we cant panic just yet…there are areas of immediate concern…While RAJ has questionable moments…this one thing we can say he hasnt really done is too panic…I hope the right moves are made and we need a lil lady luck on our side that said move works out for us..I have to say we do need a starting pitcing Hamels and Roy are the only two you can count on…this isnt any good for a team wanting to reach playoffs..No not this year with tougher Rivals..and sleepy bats…

  8. Jeff

    July 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Sorry to be the voice of reason. This team is not making the playoffs. The Braves are pulling away. I for the life of me do not understand why Halladay did not start. Use him when you can. The Yankees are doing that. Moyer is a batting practice pitcher that gets lucky at times. Getting killed by the Cubs. Really.

  9. Jeff

    July 16, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Phillies Don’t Expect To Add Pitching
    By Ben Nicholson-Smith [July 16 at 8:34am CST]
    GM Ruben Amaro Jr. explained to Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Phillies aren’t optimistic about acquiring pitching help before the end of the month. Last year, the Phillies acquired Cliff Lee, but Amaro doesn’t know if he will be able to add an impact arm in 2010.

    “Do we have to have another pitcher? No,” he said. “Would I like to add some pitching? Yeah. I think we need to get healthy. I think we’re getting closer.”

    Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson and J.A. Happ are no longer on the DL, but the Phillies could use help behind Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton have been shaky in recent starts and Kyle Kendrick is no sure thing.

    Last year this time, the Phillies signed Pedro Martinez, but a reunion seems unlikely, since Pedro has yet to throw off of a mound. There are plenty of starters for Amaro and the Phillies front office to consider, depending on how much they’re willing to spend and which prospects they’re willing to give up. The club could also add a reliever in an attempt to make up the 5.5 game gap between them and the Braves.

  10. Heather

    July 16, 2010 at 11:23 am

    In poker, I have 2-7 offsuit. I call a preflop all in bet, putting all my money in the pot with the worst hand in poker. The flop comes 7-7-7, giving me quad 7s and the winning hand.

    Does that mean I made a good move, or that I can’t evaluate the move until the hand is completely finished? No, not at all. I made a low percentage move that will have me lose my money more often than not. Regardless of whether I end up winning or not, it was a terrible move.

    In the same vein, Aumont might become the next Mariano Rivera. Does that mean the Lee trade was good? No, it doesn’t. It merely means that the Phils got very lucky and had three 7’s come on the flop.

    The Lee trade was terrible. If the future prospects turn out, they got lucky, but they shouldn’t be congratulating themselves for making one of the most lopsided trades in baseball this year simply because they catch lightening in a bottle and get three 7’s to come up.

  11. The Dipsy

    July 16, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Well, I think this article, while well researched and written, demonstrates that you can prove anything you want when you massage the numbers the right way. I remember the day that trade went down and I was pissed mainly because we were giving up Julio Franco, our prized blue chip prospect, for a guy who had a lot of potential. As it turned out, you can take the other four guys the Phils gave up out of the deal and make it Hayes for Franco straight up and its still a loser for the Phils. n This is because Franco turned out to be the better player. I liked Von Hayes. Beautiful swing. But the Phils did not make out in that one.

    Addressing the current Phils season as a whole, the team is in “no man’s land”, as they say. Close enough to be in it yet also knowing that they’re probably not good enough to get in. I remember when Ken Harrelson started dumping guys a few years back for the ChiSox when there were like, three games out, and caught a lot of shit for it. But he was right. He knew his team wasn’t good enough. I’m not suggesting that RAJ do the same for I think he owes to his fan base to try to make the playoffs right now. I just hope that the Phils show their stripes, one way or another, by the deadline so that we can plan accordingly.

    I never understood why some teams don’t restart their rotations after the break. Especially with this team. It makes no sense.

    The Dipsy

  12. Don M

    July 16, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Born in 1983, I couldn’t care less about trades in 1982

    They knew that Halladay was going to pitch in the All-Star game.. and since he’s leading all of baseball in innings pitched, they wanted to give him some extra rest …. which should make him stronger for the entire 2nd half .

    The Phillies organization takes everything one-day-at-a-time … but unlike most of my fellow fans .. the previous days’ result isn’t the deciding factor of whether or not the Phillies are Good, or they SUCK

    Thursday’s game and Sunday’s game count just the same in the standings.. and the extra rest for Halladay will pay off in the long run

    patience isn’t something we’ve got a lot of on here, huh?

  13. The Original Chuck P

    July 16, 2010 at 11:37 am

    The key to the second half: Joe Blanton has to get his act together now and we need to be in survival mode until mid-August when, hopefully, we’ll have a full healthy squad.

    Utley’s cast came off and apparently things are progressing well… he maintains that he would like to be back in 6 weeks (from July 1, that would mean right around August 16th).

    Happ is going to need time; might not be full strength for a couple of weeks and even if he does make it back up sooner than that, he’s probably not reliable as anything more than a #4. Truth be told, that’s fine (that’s what we need). Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick are interchangeable #5 pitchers… I think that we can survive with a rotation that consists of Halladay, Hamels, Blanton (when consistent), Happ and Moyer/Kendrick.

    By the way… Dom Brown went 3 for 5 yesterday and Happ struck out 7 in 5 innings (3 ER). Mathieson blew a save opportunity (walk off 2R HR in the bottom of the 9th).

  14. Don M

    July 16, 2010 at 11:38 am


    you don’t think the majority of their Free Agent aquisitions, trades, and players from their own organization … have proven that they know what they’re looking for in players?

    They did extensive scouting on all players they got in return, and determined that one year of Cliff Lee wasn’t as good LONG TERM for the organization .. and brining back multiple players that, once developed, would be able to contribute at the Major League level … They feel that the guys they got in return have much better odds than the “30% of 1st round draft picks” that make it to the Majors

    When you intend to keep players like Howard, Halladay, Utley, Rollins, Hamels …. all at salaries of $10-20+ M per season … you need to have more than a handful of players that you can have under team control ($400,000 a year) .. and then keep through arbitration ..

    It doesn’t help you win right now .. but it helps you WIN consistently over the next 5 years … at which point Hamels, Happ, etc will be reaching their prime, and contending for more World Series crowns ….. the long-term goal is to keep winning past 2010

    I wouldn’t call it anything close to “Lucky” when these prospects help us win in the future

  15. George

    July 16, 2010 at 11:49 am

    The analysis of the 5-1 deal isn’t one I completely agree with. You never saw Hayes in action, and believe me, he was never a great player. I truly question that 3 WAR, and really, is that all that much better than Franco’s supposed 2 WAR? The trade was basically a wash until Cleveland made a really horrible deal with Texas, just as Franco hit his prime. For what Hayes was supposed to deliver and didn’t, this trade turned out to be a mistake. It wasn’t a huge mistake, but perhaps a different acquisition would have been more useful.

    The only real lesson is that trades don’t always work out. Just because a player is highly rated at the time doesn’t mean he won’t blow out an arm or otherwise suck after a deal. So I agree with the article in saying the Phils should not panic. I think, though, that they aren’t; it’s the FANS who are doing that.

  16. Bob Myers

    July 16, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Heard a radio call in with Amaro and he stuck by his guns that trading Lee was all about replenishing the farm system.

    Also heard Reggie Jackson comment that he will never understand why the Phils got rid of Cliff Lee.

    I know that talking about Lee is beating a dead horse, but I believe trading Lee started the slide that we are currently in, and that we are discovering is very hard to reverse.

    The way things are going, the Phils could be close to ten games out before July 31st, and if so, we should trade Werth to replenish the farm system for the future.

  17. Don M

    July 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    JC RAMIREZ (the OTHER pitcher in the Lee trade) went against Trenton last night

    8 innings, 9 Hits, 2 ER, 9 Ks, 0 BB (got the Loss in the decision)

    Giving him, since the start of July, in his past 3 starts:

    22 Innings, 18 Hits, 6 ER, 4 Walks, 20 Strikeouts, 2.45 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

    (6’3″ 225 lbs, and doesn’t turn 22-years-old until next month)

    Aumont in that same span (July/past 3 starts)
    15 Innings, 10 Hits, 5 ER, 9 Walks, 22 Strikeouts, 3.00 ERA, 1.27 WHIP

    His past two outings were both starts, and he’s gone 6 IP, 5 IP, respectively, looking to get his arm stretched out

    6’7″, 255 lbs, won’t be 22 until next January

    The walks make it seem like he’s still adapting to the change in his delivery, but the numbers are good, and hopefully he’s ready to go back to AA as a new man soon!

  18. Chuck

    July 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    “Very rarely to July trades work out for the buyer”

    The Phillies don’t make the playoff in ’07 without Jamie Moyer and Kyle Lohse.

    They don’t make the playoffs in ’08 without Joe Blanton and Scott Eyre.

    And they probably don’t get to the World Series last year without Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco.

    Let’s give the Phillies management some CREDIT for what thet’ve been able to do and trust that they know what they’re doing THIS year at the deadline.

  19. Don M

    July 16, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    How does 4 wins before the All-Star break … and then 1 loss after, all of sudden put everyone back into panic mode? Some of the “fans” on here have no faith in anything Phillies-related UNLESS they are on a winning streak

    Phillies aren’t trading Werth..

  20. Chuck

    July 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Bob Myers…

    OR…we could be 1 or 2 games out by July 31st.

  21. George

    July 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Heather, your poker game analogy is fallacious. In poker, you have no idea what is coming up next because you aren’t allowed to “scout” the deck. You can, however, scout player prospects, so you DO know what your chances might be. If Aumont, et al, do turn out to be winners, it’s not just a matter of luck.

  22. George

    July 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Bob Myers:

    How in blazes did the Phils’ so-called slide happen when Lee was traded? It seems to me that it started with a large number of injuries to key players. The starting pitching has actually been good–much better than last year–and I don’t think Lee would improve the offense.

    Maybe I’m wrong, though. He surely could alternate between pitching, 2nd base, 3rd base, catcher, and shortstop, and hit .290 while doing it. Maybe he could even throw a few innings as set-up man and closer.

  23. bfo_33

    July 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Chuck, agreed for the middle level, I should have prefaced that with “high profile trades”. I was thinking (but not typing) about the “game changer” types. Even Lee last year was a 2nd tier option, much more similar to Blanton than CC or Halladay in profile before the trade.

    As your summary shows, the Phils have done an excellent job of going after low cost, mid potential guys for the end of summer push. I wouldn’t expect them to panic and offer too much for a flash in the pan guy, or a high priced rental.

    Also, didn’t watch the game last night, was the strike zone tight, or was Moyer just catching too much of the plate? Either way, every once in a while (1 out of 5-7 games), Moyer is going to get shelled, especially against a veteran team with slow bats and long swings. It woudln’t surprise me a bit if he goes 7 innings, 2 runs in Stl. I still think we take 5 of the next 7.

  24. The Dipsy

    July 16, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    bfo – Moyer was throwing batting practice. I heard Ibanez had to ice down his neck after the game from watching all the the balls go over his head. It was pathetic.

    The Dipsy

  25. Bob in Bucks

    July 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Ah, was it so long ago that there was this ridiculous discussion about Moyer in the HOF. Look, Moyer has been LUCKY in the first half. His BABIP number could not last and against the Cubs we started returning to average. That means he will be BELOW average in order to get to his average. Same thing happened with Werth.

    The good news is that we should expect improvement from Victorino, Rollins and Blanton on the same basis, they had bad first half numbers and should improve.

    Phils have a marginal chance at playoffs. Decision time will come in the next 10 days to be a buyer or seller.

  26. The Dipsy

    July 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Amen, Bob.

    The Dipsy

  27. Don M

    July 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    The ball always jumps out of Wrigley though … both of Howard’s were literally OUT OF THE STADIUM ..

    But Moyer will struggle from time-to-time, he’ll also be great from time-to-time .. in reality, he is what he is … a veteran pitcher that can often get hitters off balance and give your team a chance to win the game

  28. Don M

    July 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Phillies could lose from here out …. and still wouldn’t be “sellers”

    If anything, they are going to battle with what they’ve got.. hoping to get their lineup healthy again, and then mount a charge against the Braves .. and the Mutttsss

  29. Chuck

    July 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Cliff Lee was NOT more similiar to Blanton before last year’s July trade.

    He had already won a Cy Young, finished 4th in voting another year, and was an All-Star twice.

    And….I WOULD label him a “game-changer”

    It’s just that he was the BACK-UP plan to Roy Halladay.

  30. BurrGundy

    July 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Fact is, we do not really know what the Phils are going to do. They might be designing a big trade as I write this comment. It will be a fun second half wheter we make the playoffs (which I hope we do) or we don’t (as long as we are competitive). I would not give up any gold-chip prospects for over-the-hill short-term help at this point. It would be a long-term big mistake. I would focus on bullpen help if at his point.

  31. bfo_33

    July 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Chuck, in addition, when picked up, Cliff Lee was sent down 2 seasons before, was 7-9 at the time (due to a very bad start and little run support when he did pitch well), and was only striking out 6 guys/9 inning pitched. While his results were great coming over, he was far from a game changer before the trade. The Phils had no competition getting him (although several contending teams needed pitching), and didn’t give up any “sure thing” prospects to get a guy who was signed for 1-1/2 years – more than a rental.

    He had potential, but earned “Game Changer” while in Philly.

  32. Chuck

    July 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm


    “Game changer” in Philly.

    BUT….he was CLOSER to Halladay and CC in profile than he was to Blanton.

    Again…..a Cy Young, 4th in voing another year, and 2 AS teams.

    The closest Blanton has gotten to any awards is 6th in ROY voting in 2002 with a 12-12 record.

    Of course, I’m sure Big Joe is VERY happy with his ring.

  33. Bob Myers

    July 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    The reason the slide started with Cliff Lee trade, is that move signaled the white flag of surrendering the WIN IT NOW while we can spirit that makes everyone play better.

    Yes, Cliff Lee’s presence would not have stopped the unlucky injuries and inconsistent pitching.

    Just because a fan entertains criticism does not mean a fan is panicking. I hope they start a streak ,Blanton has an incredible second half, and that a 10 game win streak starts today and launches them into first place by July 31st……

    But, Amaro is saying he traded Lee for to replenish the farm, and that opens him to unrelenting criticism for raising the surrender from greatness. I want a front office that takes no prisoners and guns for dominance and greatness. Lee’s trade proves we do not have that. Blame Amaro or blame the entire front office Amaro must work with, but either way, them’s are the facts.

  34. The Dipsy

    July 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Tru Dat, Bob. I give do Amaro credit for being the good soldier and taking the bullets for what was clearly an ownership decision. Can you imagine the look on Amaro’s face when he told Montgomery that he could get Halladay for 3y/60m and Montgomery replied with “Great, but you gotta get rid of Lee”?

    “I saw the moment of my greatness flicker….”

    Big Joe has it in him though.

    The ipsy

  35. George

    July 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    There are arguments that can be made on both sides on the Lee trade. I’ll argue that the trade was not a surrender, because the Phils felt they already had enough pitching (remember, Happ was figured to be in the rotation, too) and DID need to replenish the farm. I doubt seriously if the players themselves would have played any worse because of losing Lee; they’re professionals, and if they lost the “win it now” spirit because of one pitcher, they should all be traded.

    They came out of ST playing like crazy, so your idea just doesn’t make sense. They played like crazy until players started going down, and they’d be no better off offensively if they’d kept Lee around (a look at Halladay’s and Hamels’ w/l records should tell you that). It was the injuries that caused the skid, not any loss of starting pitching or loss of “spirit.”

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  37. Bob Myers

    July 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    George, even Hamels was never the pitcher Lee is. Hamels had one great post season, but his numbers were never like Lee’s.

    To compare Happ, Blanton, and Moyer to Lee in any rotation is even more of a stretch.

    I’m not saying the slide would not have happened at all if Lee were present. I’m not saying that any players are dogging it because of Lee’s trade.

    But it’s obvious to all that a pitching rotation of Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Moyer, and Kendrick is in big trouble in any play off game, and is ruled out from winning the world series against any current AL division leader.

  38. Frank

    July 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Not that it means much, but Baller played a few more years, including the Phils again in ’92. He lives around here in the Reading area.

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  41. ashmidt

    July 17, 2010 at 7:26 am

    bob myers you are so right i heard rajs lame excuse about restocking the farm and reggie jackson saying he will never figure that trade out . it was a definite sign of surrender, and it started this slide that i dont know weather they can reverse. jimmy rollins i think is the only phillie to step up and question the move, saying how many fans showed up last year, about 4 million. these owners really blew a golden opportunity if the phils dont pull out of this slide. we really could have been the gold standard.

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