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Philadelphia Phillies: The 20 Most Significant July Trades in Franchise History

Mark SwindellCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2016

Philadelphia Phillies: The 20 Most Significant July Trades in Franchise History

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    The Phillies have made plenty of "significant" trades over the course of franchise history.  Arguably the best pitcher to ever put on a Phillies uniform, Steve Carlton was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in a trade.  Also, "significant" isn't always "good."  They threw in future Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg to the Chicago Cubs along with Larry Bowa in order to acquire Ivan DeJesus.

    Neither of those trades occurred in July.  The trade deadline has become more important than ever for a team's success for the future and the current season.  The following list are of the 20 most significant July trades in team history.

No. 20: July 31, 1994 Dealing Milt Thompson to Houston

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    1994 was a disappointing season on many fronts.  The defending NL pennant winners fell to fourth place and dumped outfielder Milt Thompson off to the Houston Astros for RHP Tom Edens.  However, the strike hit less than two weeks later and the Astros, who were in a dog fight to win the NL Central, were left with no race whatsoever. 

    Edens, in his short time in Philly went 1-0 in three games with a 2.25 ERA.

    Thompson came back to the Phillies later as the hitting coach for the 2008 World Champions.

No. 19: July 24, 1995 Dave Hollins Shipped to Boston for Mark Whiten

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    Phillies third baseman Dave Hollins finished 20th in MVP voting in 1992 and was named to the All-Star team in 1993.  He was never completely healthy again for the Phillies and on July 24, 1995, he was dealt to the Boston Red Sox for Mark Whiten.  Yes, the same Whiten who once hit four home runs in a game when he was with the Cincinnati Reds.

    The '95 Red Sox did go on to win the AL East but Hollins only scraped together 13 at-bats for them and was not on their postseason roster.

    In 60 games for the '95 Phillies, Whiten hit .269 with 11 HR and 37 RBI. He was the opening day right fielder the next season but was released by mid-June.

No. 18: July 31, 1991 Roger McDowell Shipped to the Dodgers

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    The Dodgers were in a dog fight with the Atlanta Braves to win the NL West, and McDowell was brought in to solidify the bullpen.  McDowell was highly effective for the Dodgers going 6-3 with a 2.55 ERA and seven saves in 33 appearances.  However, the Dodgers finished one game back of the Braves.

    The Phillies received outfielder Braulio Castillo, who in two seasons racked up 128 at-bats and hit .188.  In addition, they received serviceable reliever Mike Hartley, who appeared in 64 games with the Phillies in 1991 and 1992.  Hartley was traded after the season to the Minnesota Twins for lefty David West, a key member of the pennant-winning 1993 bullpen.

No. 17: July 29, 1983 Cash Sent to Mariners for Larry Andersen

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    There aren't nearly as many "cash" deals today as there used to be.  There will be an even more significant one further on this list.  Andersen had two swims with the Phillies and this was the first.  He was terrific down the stretch in 1983 going 1-0 with a 2.39 ERA in 17 appearances.  He also tossed four innings in the World Series vs. the Baltimore Orioles, allowing just one earned run.  He remained with the Phillies before being released on May 13, 1986.  Hard to imagine a player being released was also traded straight up for Jeff Bagwell just four years later.

No. 16: July 12, 2000. Andy Ashby Shipped to the Braves for Bruce Chen

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    Twelve years later and Bruce Chen is still in the starting rotation of the Kansas City Royals.  He was a highly regarded prospect of the Atlanta Braves and was 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA when the Phillies acquired him. 

    The Braves were on their way to a 95-win season but desperately needed another starting pitcher down the stretch.  Ashby was their man. 

    The Phillies were highly disappointed with Ashby, who was actually their opening day starter.  He lost that game and finished 4-7 with the '00 Phils and then went 8-6 with a 4.13 ERA for the Braves. He pitched effectively in relief in the NLDS vs. the St Louis Cardinals, but the Braves were eliminated and Ashby signed with the Dodgers the next season.

    Chen pitched in parts of two seasons for the Phillies, essentially making it one full season.  In 31 starts, Chen went 7-9 with a 4.28 ERA.

    The throw in of the deal, left hander Jimmy Osting never appeared in the big leagues for the Phils.

No. 15: July 30, 2007 Phils Trade for Kyle Lohse

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    With injuries to Jon Lieber and Freddy Garcia, the Phillies needed a starter that would help them chase down the New York Mets and reach the postseason for the first time since 1993. 

    Lohse was far from dominating as a Phillie but he didn't lose a game.  In 11 starts, Lohse was 3-0 with a 4.72 ERA. Most Phillies fans will remember Lohse being the man who served up a grand slam to Kaz Matsui in Game 2 of the NLDS that basically ended the magical 2007 season with a loss to the Rockies.

    The Phils gave up promising left hander and former thirrd round pick Matt Maloney in the deal. Maloney did pitch in parts of three seasons for the Reds and is currently with the Minnesota Twins.

    Kyle Lohse has probably never pitched any better than what he has done for the St. Louis Cardinals this season.

No. 14: July 31, 1996 Phils Acquire Desi Relaford from M's for Terry Mulholland

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    A up-to-the-last minute deadline deal sent lefty Terry Mulholland to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for the Phillies' shortstop of the future: Desi Relaford.

    By 1998, Relaford was the Phillies everyday shortstop with Kevin Stocker being shipped to Tampa Bay for Bobby Abreu.  Desi hit .245 with five HR and 41 RBI in '98 and in total appeared in 320 games as a Phillie. 

    Mulholland was a rental for the Mariners who fell short of catching the Texas Rangers in the AL West.  Terry was 5-4 with a 4.67 ERA down the stretch in 12 starts.

No. 13: July 30, 2004 Phils Acquire Felix Rodriguez from Giants

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    Larry Bowa's 2004 Phillies were in the hunt for the Wild Card and needed some bullpen help to get it done.  Righty Felix Rodriguez was a key member of the San Francisco Giants bullpen and even finished 20th in MVP voting in 2001.

    So Ed Wade dealt disappointing outfielder Ricky Ledee to the Giants along with Alfredo Simon to give Bowa another option to Billy Wagner, Rheal Cormier, Tim Worrell, and Ryan Madson. 

    Rodriguez did not disappoint going 2-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 23 games.  The Phillies were 52-51 when they acquired Felix and went 34-25 the rest of the way.  Unfortunately, it was not enough to make the playoffs.

No. 12: July 27, 2001 Phils Acquire Dennis Cook and Turk Wendell from Mets

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    On July 27, 2001, the Phillies lost to the Mets 6-1 to drop to 57-46.  They were just one game back in the NL East and were desperate for some bullpen help down the stretch.  All in one shot, they were able to acquire lefty Dennis Cook and right Turk Wendell from the Mets in exchange for Bruce Chen (him again) and minor leaguer Adam Walker.

    Unfortunately, neither pitcher worked out.  Cook was not very effective appearing in 19 games and carrying a 5.59 ERA and 1.97 WHIP.  Not exactly the left handed specialist they were seeking.  Think that's bad?  Wendell was even worse.  Turk went 0-2 with a 7.47 ERA and a 2.11 WHIP.

    The Phillies went 29-31 after the deal and fell out of contention.  Chen didn't do much with the Mets and Walker never made it higher than AAA. 

No. 11: July 27, 2007 Iguchi Acquired from White Sox

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    On July 26, 2007, Phillies second basemen Chase Utley was plunked by a John Lannon fastball, breaking his hand and possibly the hearts of all Phillies fans desperate for postseason action.  The very next day, Pat Gillick sprung to action and traded for White Sox two-bagger Tadahito Iguchi to fill the void while Utley was out.

    It was a great move. In 45 games, Iguchi hit .304 for the Phillies while providing steady play at second.  And, it was Iguchi who scored the winning run against the  Mets in a thrilling September series after Utley singled off Billy Wagner that propelled the team to the NL East crown.

    The Phils gave up pitching coach Rich Dubee's son in the deal, Michael.  Dubee never got out of A-ball for the White Sox and is currently in Double-A for the Toronto Blue Jays.

No. 10: July 3, 1993 Phils Acquire Roger Mason from Padres for Tim Mauser

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    Everything went right for the 1993 Phillies and there really weren't many moves GM Lee Thomas had to make near the deadline.  One that he made in early July was acquiring reliever Roger Mason straight up for reliever Tim Mauser.

    Mason was a 35-year-old journeyman while Mauser was a 26-year-old former thirrd rounder.  It's obvious Thomas wanted a veteran for the postseason.

    Mason didn't light the world on fire for the '93 pennant winners going 5-5 with a 4.89 ERA. However, in the postseason, Roger was lights out.  In 10.2 postseason innings, Mason allowed just one run while giving up five hits, one walk and striking out nine.  It was exactly what Thomas wanted.  A veteran reliever who wouldn't freak out in the spotlight of it all.  Mason would have been the pitching hero of Game 6 if Joe Carter wouldn't have done....well we all know he did.

No. 9: July 21, 1997 Phillies Say Goodbye to Dutch

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    One of the more popular players in recent Phillies' history was a deadline deal for the eventual world-champion Florida Marlins.  The three-time NL All-Star and unquestioned leader was dealt, almost as a reward.  Darren Daulton was nearing the end of his career and the Marlins were on their way to the postseason.  Dutch hit .262 in 52 games with the Fish but .389 with a home run and seven runs scored in the thrilling seven-game World Series victory against the Cleveland Indians.

    In return for Daulton mercenary deal, the Phillies received OF Billy McMillon.  The 25-year-old McMillon held his own for the Phils, hitting .292 in 24 games, but he never played in the major leagues for the Phillies again.

No. 8: Gene Garber Sent to the Phillies from KC for Cash

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    Garber was a sensational reliever for the mid-to-late '70s Phillies.  In 250 appearances, Gene saved 51 games and carried a 2.68 ERA with a solid 1.16 WHIP.  Many will remember it was Garber who was on the hill on the fateful "Black Friday" game that basically ended the 1977 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Garber should have been credited with the save but bad defense and umpiring turned that game around.

    Finally, Garber was dealt in 1978 to the Atlanta Braves in a deal that brought Dick Ruthven, the Phillies 1980 No. 2 starter to town.

    All of that for a little pocket money.

No. 7: July 29, 2002 Scott Rolen Dealt to the Cardinals for Three

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    Scott Rolen had to go.  He hated Philly, he hated the Vet, he didn't have the vision of what the Phillies were trying to become.  He was dealt at the trade deadline to the St. Louis Cardinals for Placido Polanco, Mike Timlin and promising left-hander Bud Smith.

    Rolen went on to win a World Series with the Cardinals in 2006.

    Polanco has had a fine career with the Phillies and Tigers while Timlin was a key member of the Red Sox bullpen after leaving Philly. Unfortunately, Bud Smith couldn't ever get healthy and never appeared in a game for the Phillies.

    Phils included pitcher Doug Nickle in the deal but he never pitched in the big leagues for the Cards.

No. 6: July 30, 2006 Bobby Abreu Dealt to Yankees

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    When Pat Gillick traded Bobby Abreu to the New York Yankees at the 2006 trade deadline, it was thought the Phillies were still a few years away from competing.  Um, not exactly.  They won the NL East the following year and the World Series two years later.

    Trading Abreu though was necessary for the Phillies to move past a certain era. The Rolen/Lieberthal/Abreu era was competitive but never made it to the postseason.

    The surprise is how little the Phillies received in return and they also included serviceable major league starter Cory Lidle in the deal.

    The Phillies received four players in return but only left handed reliever Matt Smith reached the big leagues.

No. 5: July 26, 2000 Schilling Dealt to the D'Backs for Four

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    In a way, Curt Schilling is almost a forgotten Phillie as his greatest moments are now outside of Philadelphia.  He won two World Championships after the Phillies with the Diamondbacks in 2001 and the Red Sox in 2004.  But Schilling made over half of his major league starts in a Phillies uniform and he was a deadline deal for four players in 2000. The Phillies were a bad bunch and needed some younger players to try to turn things around.

    Travis Lee, Omar Daal, Vicente Padilla, and Nelson Figueroa all came over for Schilling and all contributed somewhat in the major leagues.  Only Padilla sniffed an All-Star game and the rest basically had a cup of coffee with the Phillies.  Overall the deal was mostly a failure.

No. 4: July 29, 2011 Phils Acquire Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros

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    The 2011 Phillies had the "four aces."  But with the loss of Jayson Werth to free agency, and the lack of production from opening day right fielder Ben Francisco, the Phillies needed a right handed bat to jump start the offense.  All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence was that guy.

    Pence did not come cheaply however.  Slugger Jonathan Singleton who played in the Futures Game this season went to Houston and he appears to be very promising.  He is ranked 34th in minor league prospects. Jarred Cosart, who was a 38th round draft pick, was included in the deal and is now considered the No. 50 prospect in all of baseball. Marginal pitching prospect Josh Zeid was also in the deal and the player to be named later was 6'5", 228-lb slugger Domingo Santana.  Santana, who is only 19, is hitting .308 with 14 HR and 71 RBI in High A this season.

    If the Phillies would have won the World Series last season, this could have been ranked higher, but now with the team struggling in 2012, losing top prospects Singleton & Cosart as well as Santana might prove to be costly.

No. 3: July 29, 2010 Phillies Acquire Roy Oswalt from Houston Astros

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    The 2010 Phillies were floundering along.  Even with Roy Halladay in the mix and Cole Hamels rebounding from a subpar 2009, the Phillies were 56-46 and 2.5 games out of first place.  After acquiring Oswalt, the Phillies went an amazing 41-19 the rest of the way out and won the NL East by six games over the Atlanta Braves.  Oswalt pitched just so-so in a no decision vs the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS and was brilliant vs the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS (1.84 ERA in 14.2 innings) but the team failed to move past the Giants.

    Overall, Oswalt went 7-1 after the trade and the Phillies won 10 of his 12 starts.

    To get Oswalt, the Phillies gave up J.A. Happ.  Happ hasn't nearly been the pitcher with Houston as he was for Philly.  With the Astros, Happ has gone 18-28 with a 4.84 ERA in 59 starts.  For the Phillies, J.A. was 14-5 with a 3.11 ERA in 31 starts.  Also included in the deal was promising OF prospect Anthony Gose, who was immediately flipped to the Toronto Blue Jays and was just called to the major leagues at age 21. He stole 70 bases for Double-A New Hampshire last season. The third player was Jonathan Villar, a 6'1", 195-lb shortstop.  This season Villar is hitting .261 with 11 HR and 50 RBI in AA.

    For 2010, the Oswalt deal was necessary and rewarding.  Back injuries hurt his 2011 performance and his one start in the NLCS left a lot to be desired.

No. 2: July 17, 2008 Phillies Acquire Joe Blanton from Oakland A's

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    It wasn't a sexy move, but the Phillies trading for starter Joe Blanton two weeks before the trade deadline in 2008 was an absolutely underrated move.  Including the postseason, the Phillies won 12 of the 16 games started when Joe was on the hill and his home run in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series is one of the lasting impressions of that fall classic. 

    Maddeningly inconsistent, Blanton is still a key part of the Phillies' rotation and has made 98 starts since the trade.   However, the Phillies were able to win a World Series with Blanton in the rotation and that can not be forgotten.

    The Phillies gave up Matt Spencer, who has been going back and forth from position player to pitcher and is now at Triple-A for the Chicago Cubs, former first rounder Adrian Cardenas who was waived by Oakland after the 2011 season and has now made his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs, and starter Josh Outman who has gone 8-11 in 32 big league starts.

    Bottom line, a great trade for the franchise that contributed to a World Championship.

No. 1: July 29, 2009 Cliff Lee & Ben Francisco Acquired from Cleveland Indians.

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    The first of three significant July 29 deals, Cliff Lee was acquired along with Ben Francisco from the Cleveland Indians for P Carlos Carrasco, INF Jason Donald, C Lou Marson and P Jason Knapp.  You can almost—almost—argue that if the Phillies had acquired only Ben Francisco in the deal it might have been fairly even.  But Lee was the prize.  All along leading up to the trade deadline, it appeared the Phillies were going hard after Roy Halladay of the Blue Jays.  That deal fell through so plan B was Lee. 

    Lee started off red hot for the Phillies, who were 58-42 when the deal happened.  They won eight of Lee's 12 starts during the regular season and all five of his postseason starts including a memorable six-hit shutout of the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the 2009 World Series.

    Carrasco, Marson and Donald are all marginal major leaguers while Knapp hasn't thrown a pitch since 2010.

    Ruben Amaro's first big July 29 deal was his best.  With the acquisitions of Hunter Pence and Roy Oswalt also happening on July 29, it makes you wonder what will be in store this season.

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