Phillies Rewind: Revisiting The Bobby Abreu Trade
At the 2006 trade deadline the Phillies, 49-56 at the time, unloaded mercurial OF Bobby Abreu to the Yankees. Not for a windfall of prospects but, to Phillies fans’ dismay, to simply unload an expensive player. Abreu was making $13.6M in 2006, and stood to make $15M in 2007. General manager Pat Gillick didn’t think Abreu was a piece of the puzzle worth the price, and in what Bill Conlin dubbed “the Great Gillick Giveaway”, he traded Bobby for a group of low-level prospects and a Triple-A lifer.
There was some hope the tall lefty could fill a need in the middle of the Phillies bullpen, but he could never find the strike zone. Smith walked 15 in only 12 2/3 IP during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He has never thrown a pitch in the majors since.
Henry was the Yankees’ 2005 first round pick, and was only 20 years old at the time of the trade. He was released in 2007 later after batting a measly .184 for the Lakewood Blue Claws. His career then took a different path. He enrolled at Memphis in 2008 and was a walk-on with John Calipari’s basketball team. He redshirted that season (2008-2009) and then prepared to play with his younger brother Xavier, a top recruit, in 2009-2010. But before that could happen Calipari jumped ship to Kentucky and Xavier Henry was released from his commitment, choosing to attend Kansas for the 2009-2010 season. C.J. followed and was a reserve guard alongside his brother at KU. Xavier Henry will head to the NBA this year, so who knows what C.J. does from here. It won’t be hitting a curveball, that’s for sure.
Sanchez is the only guy still left on a Phillies’ roster, only now he’s a starting pitcher, not a catcher. He converted to the mound in 2008 and has done quite well for himself. In 2009 Sanchez struck out 120 batters in 136 IP, posting a very respectable 3.44 ERA for Low-A Lakewood. This season Sanchez is in the Clearwater starting rotation with some actual expectations. Should be interesting to watch.
Monasterios, signed as a free agent by the Yankees out of Venezuela, was 20 at the time of the trade. In 2009 as a member of the Clearwater Threshers Monasterios was named the Florida State League’s mid-season All-Star team. Before 2010 he was selected by the Mets in the Rule V draft and then traded to the Dodgers. Surprisingly Monasterios made the Dodgers out of spring training in 2010 and has been an effective relief pitcher.
Of course the Phillies went on after the Abreu trade to win three consecutive NL East pennants, appear in two World Series, and winning one. So his instinct that Abreu was going to be a the type of player they were going to win with has been proven correct. Whether he could have gotten more in return for Bobby is still debatable.
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