GM Ruben Amaro has built what is arguably the best Philadelphia Phillies roster in the entire 127 year history of the franchise. The team's nucleus of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and Ryan Madson (to name a few) were developed through the team's minor-league system.
Those core group of players combined with one of the best ballparks in MLB, enabled this franchise the financial flexibility to go out and acquire top-flight free agents like Cliff Lee and trade for Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence and Cliff Lee again.
The Phillies have the best starting rotation in baseball and now what could be a very potent lineup with the arrival of Pence. Building this team has cost the Phillies their fair share of minor league talent.
Here are the prospects the Phillies will regret trading away.
Let me make it clear that the Philadelphia Phillies may very well not regret trading any of these prospects away and this is all speculation. The Phillies traded away Michael Taylor (instead of untouchable Domonic Brown) along with Kyle Drabek and catcher Travis d'Arnaud to the Toronto Blue Jays for the man/myth/legend Roy Halladay.
The Phillies decided that Brown's five-tool potential was more valuable than that of Michael Taylor. Taylor is a monster at 6'5" 255 lbs. and he is having a stellar season for the Sacramento River Cats (River Cats?) a Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.
Taylor is hitting .283 with 13 HR and 49 RBI in just 78 games. He can run for his size as he has swiped 10 bases as well. Taylor has always been a guy that is willing to take pitches and his .375 OBP indicates that he has a good eye.
There is still time for Taylor to develop into a really good player. I'm not complaining about getting "Doc" though.
As much as Philadelphia Phillies like to believe that GM Ed Wade just gives us players (myself included), he actually has received some talent in return for Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence. Look no further than speedy Anthony Gose.
The Phillies were able to acquire Roy Oswalt at the trade deadline last season for lefthander J.A. Happ, outfielder Anthony Gose and shortstop Jonathan Villar. Oswalt joined Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay to form H20 and was arguably the Phillies best pitcher down the stretch after compiling a 7-1 record with Philadelphia.
Gose has the potential to be a really good major league player sometime soon. His career batting average (four seasons in the minors) is right around .260, but he has already swiped an impressive 52 bases for Double-A New Hampshire, a Toronto Blue Jays affiliate.
Gose has a good eye and a .347 OBP to boast and he clearly is a threat to steal every time he is on base. He will be tormenting pitchers on the base-paths for years to come.
Good thing we have Chooch behind the plate.
The Philadelphia Phillies certainly will not regret acquiring the beast (and fan-favorite) that is Hunter Pence, but they may wish that they included Domonic Brown in the deal instead of Jonathan Singleton.
A National League scout who watched Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and Domingo Santana play this season told Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he believed Singleton was the only one with true star potential. http://articles.philly.com/2011-08-16/sports/29892756_1_phillies-sign-charlie-manuel-jonathan-singleton
"He's going to be the player of that group," the scout said. "He's going to be a great player." Singleton has continued to hit for power and average wherever he plays, as he hit .339 with two homers in the first 14 games with the Houston Astros minor league affiliate.
While Brown is the top-prospect, Singleton was the number two ranked prospect in the Phillies minor league system. Before being traded Singleton, not Brown, was ranked as the "best power hitter" and "best strike-zone discipline" of all Phillies minor leaguers by Baseball America.
Singleton is still very young at the age of 19 and has a lot to prove but can't the same be said about Domonic Brown?
The Philadelphia Phillies traded away Josh Outman, Adrian Cardenas and Matthew Spencer for Joe Blanton in 2008. Blanton had an ERA over 4.00 in the regular season with the Phillies, but pitched great (3.17 ERA) in the playoffs, hit a home-run that will forever live in Phillies infamy, and was a big piece to the World Series puzzle.
What's interesting is that the Phillies believed they were trading average prospects to acquire Blanton, but Josh Outman has shown the Phillies first-hand that he is a solid MLB pitcher.
In 2009 Outman went 4-1 with a 3.48 ERA before missing all of 2010 due to Tommy John surgery. He is back in 2011 and is 3-3 with a 3.47 ERA in eight starts.
His $400,000 salary would look really nice with Vance Worley's with the price tag the Phillies already pay for Halladay and Lee and what they expect to pay for Cole Hamels.
Still, I'd bet it would be pretty hard to find a person that regrets the Phillies trading for Joe Blanton. If only we could have given up a mid-level prospect that doesn't look like he can be really good.
I think it's pretty safe to say that Ruben Amaro looks like a mastermind at this point.