Wednesday, March 10, 2010

the Philadelphia Phillies' Sometimes Unlucky Seven Most Important Trades in Team History: No. 3—July 29, 2009

Philadelphia's Cliff Lee pitches against Los Angeles during game three of the NLCS in Philadelphia

Part 5 of a 7 Part Series

No. 3—July 29, 2009

The Deal—The Phillies acquired RHP Cliff Lee and OF Ben Francisco from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for four minor leaguers—RHP Carlos Carrasco, SS Jason Donald, C Lou Marson and RHP Jason Knapp.

After a great deal of speculation about acquiring Roy Halladay, first year General Manager Ruben Amaro reversed course and engineered a trade with the Cleveland Indians to acquire 2008 Cy Young winner, Cliff Lee. The brilliance of this trade was two-fold in that Amaro acquired such a talented pitcher without parting with any of the team's elite prospects while foregoing the king's ransom being demanded by Toronto for Halladay.

All four players that the Phillies sent to the Indians are considered very solid, but none were ranked in the team's top five. Of course, it remains to be seen how they will develop and perform at the major league level.

Regardless, this trade is one of the organization's most important in team history because it most likely enabled them to reach a second consecutive World Series. Without Lee in 2009, it is very hard to envision the Phillies winning the NL Pennant.

For a team that had advanced to the Fall Classic just a half dozen times before, this is surely of historical importance.

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