All eyes are on the rotation and their struggles as the Phillies are beginning their season. Roy Halladay’s health (despite winning his last two starts) is now, but what about the future? What do the Phillies have in the future? The Phillie phaithfuls will tell you that the team has the likes of Darin Ruf and Tommy Joseph about to hit their prime and come into the big league with a roaring appetite for winning. The truthful scout will tell you that the Phillies’ future is shot. The concerns about the future of the Phillies come from the Phillies right now and the recent inconsistency of Halladay can only make me look at what could be.
If the Phillies had not traded their entire farm system away for Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and yes, Joe Blanton can be thrown into the group, they could have some glimpses of a bright future.
On side note, dealing with bad trades that the Phillies made, in 2006 the Phillies traded for Freddy Garcia from the Chicago White Sox for Gavin Floyd and a guy named Gio Gonzalez. In case you didn’t recognize that last name, Gonzalez is the number 2 for a phenomenal Washington Nationals starting rotation (one that can possibly take the Phillies’ rotation and mop the floor with them). Oh, and he also threw a shutout and hit a home-run in his first start of the 2013 season.
Back to the trades. Let’s rank the 3 trades in order of worst to best:
Worst: Roy Oswalt
Not Bad: Roy Halladay
Not Bad (but better): Joe Blanton
I may be a little biased here, but I truly believe that the Joe Blanton trade was the best of the 3.
The Oswalt trade was obviously the worst of the bunch as Oswalt never truly came into his ace form in Philadelphia that he once had in Houston. The price for Oswalt was J.A. Happ, who was once a highly regarded pitcher in the Phillies’ organization. Also, the other name that was traded from the Phillies was Anthony Gose. While Gose hasn’t amounted to a star since the trade, he was once a high prospect for the Phillies. The players we traded doesn’t make the trade look that bad, but look at the result. We traded away some highly-talented prospects that could have flourished in the minors for nothing. The Phillies literally got nothing out of the deal. Roy Oswalt did not help the Phillies do much. The team never won a World Championship with him or even made a deep run into the playoffs with him.
The Roy Halladay trade was a successful trade, but the Phillies also never accomplished their ultimate goal: winning a World Championship. In that regard, the Halladay trade can be seen as a bust. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the trade was a bust, after all he did throw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the same season. He also led a dominant Phillies rotation to 102 wins in 2011. With the Phillies, Halladay is 53-26 with an impressive 3.09 ERA.
But let’s take a look at what was given up for him: Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek, and Travis d’Arnaud. 2 of the 3 prospects that were traded were among the top of the prospects for the Phillies. d’Arnaud was one of the top catching prospects in the entire league. Not to mention that they also had to trade Cliff Lee to the Mariners. But in that deal, the Phillies also got Tyson “Let’s Haymaykers at Team Mexico” Gillies and bullpen sensation Phillippe Aumont, so I guess the Phillies win this trade by a little.
The Joe Blanton trade was by far the most successful trade for the Phillies. The three prospects that were traded for him have not amounted to much over the past few years since the trade. Adrian Cardenas was the best prospect that was traded to Oakland. He was the “2006 National High School Player of the Year” according to Baseball America. He made his major league debut last year for the Chicago Cubs, but he is unlikely to get a chance to contribute as he is stuck behind up-and-coming Darwin Barney. The other two prospects that were sent in this deal were pitcher Josh Outman and outfielder Matthew Spencer who has fallen from Triple A ball back down to Single A ball in Boise in a matter of one season.
Besides the Phillies practically ripping off the A’s, they also won a World Championship with Blanton. That is my reasoning for the trade for Blanton being the most successful trade of the three. Blanton helped Cole Hamels lead the Phillies to their 2008 World Championship, their first in 28 years.
But now let’s look ahead. What does the Phillies future hold? Will they be able to continue their recent success or will they revert back to their 1990s form? One can only speculate, but with the likes of Tommy Joseph, one of the top catching prospect in the league, Darin Ruf, a supposed hitting machine, Cody Asche, a Mike Schmidt-like player, and Jesse Biddle, a hard throwing hometown lefty, it seems possible that the Phillies will be able to stay afloat. Only time will tell.