Getting Silly in Philly

Over the next several days, as the Major League Baseball trade deadline hovers, we here at Throwback Attack will take a look at some of the worst deadline deal trades over the past 20 years.

We’d like to note that we are not compiling a list here. There are plenty of those out there. (Google “worst baseball trades and you get nearly five million links.) Instead we are going to just pick a couple and examine them – for better or worse.

Today, on the day Philadelphia fans got terrific news in this news and then later in this news, we are going to keep it Philadelphonic (thanks for that, G Love) and discuss one of the worst trades in recent years the Phillies have been a part of.

No, today we won’t discuss Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa to the Cubs (although we might in the coming days), but rather the genius idea to get rid of Curt Schillingin 2000.

The Phillies sent Schilling to Arizona for Travis Lee,Nelson FigueroaOmar Daaland Vicente Padilla on July 26. That day Arizona was in first place in the NL West and thinking by adding Schilling to combine forces with Randy Johnson they would cruise into the postseason. That didn’t happen for another year.

The D-Backs instead watched as the Giants caught fire and won 19 games in July and August and then went 20-9 in September. Arizona finished in third place, 12 games out.

The Phillies meanwhile ended the year 30 games back and thought they had gotten rid of a pitcher on the downside of his career for three young arms and a slugger.


A breakdown:

  • Travis Lee hit 34 homers in 366 games in Philly (he was traded to Tampa Bay in 2002) and was a serviceable first baseman.
  • Omar Daal went 2-9 with a 4.69 ERA in 2000 with the Phils, then was 13-7 with a 4.46 ERA in 2001 before being shipped to the Dodgers. A lefty his stay in the bigs was extended longer than it should have been.
  • The thing you need to know about Nelson Figueroa is that he spent four years out of the majors from 2004 to 2008, the prime of his pitching life.
  • Vicente Padilla was considered the best part of that deal for the Phillies and he was 49-49 with a 3.98 ERA in six years in Philadelphia. He was an All-Star in 2002 (but was, according to some of my sources – and national ones, too – drunk in the bullpen and couldn’t pitch so that’s part of the reason the game ended in a tie) and was generally considered an average pitcher as evidenced by his 1.34 WHIP and the fact he only threw two complete games.

Schilling, meanwhile put together an incredible run in Arizona. He was 58-28 with a 3.14 ERA, averaged 10.1 K’s per nine innings, had a WHIP barely over 1.00 and finished second in the Cy Young voting – to Randy Johnson – in 2001 and 2002.

Then he helped lay the foundation as a big-game pitcher in the playoffs as the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in seven games of the 2001 World Series. Schilling was 2-0 with a 0.72 ERA in the NLDS with Arizona, 1-0 with a 1.44 ERA in three NLCS games and 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three World Series games in ’01.

So, yeah, we would considered that a bad trade for Philly.


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