Nine times out of ten, player transactions are a game of chicken.
In a trade, you have two, professional, MLB organizations desperately trying to get the best of each other, because let's be honest: As many times as we've heard a general manager proclaim that the deal "made sense for both sides," we all know that each team is trying to get the deal's best possible player for the least possible price.
In free agency, agents will do everything in their power to create leverage for their client. They'll build up another team's interest. When negotiations begin, they'll shoot for the stars while the organization does just the opposite until one side caves in.
The same could be said for lesser transactions like the draft, where potential draftees hold things like a commitment to a college against a team, or the waiver wire, will teams will try as hard as possible to look uninterested in a player.
The bottom line is this: This game of chicken hatches controversial player moves.
Sometimes, teams have to take risks on a deal. Sometimes they have to overpay for a free agent, send that extra top prospect to a rebuilding team, go over slot for a player in the draft, so on and so forth. It's not always rainbows and butterflies in negotiations, and teams will fight tooth and nail to come out on top.
Teams won't get anywhere in this game—this business—without taking a few chances. A lot of times, that leads to a huge controversy over whether or not they made the right decision, and this slide show will examine those controversial transactions in the history of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Before we begin, however, it is important to note that these transactions will be evaluated at the time of the transaction's execution. Hindsight is 20/20. A deal that seemed controversial at the time of its execution may not seem that way after a player has years of success.
So please note that each and every deal on this list will be evaluated as if it just happened. After all, that's what makes it controversial.
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