Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Bobby Abreu Trade

Faith must be enforced by reason. When faith becomes blind it dies. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

The only justification I have heard in the days following the Bobby Abreu/Cory Lidle trade to New York has been a line of reasoning heavy on the idea of maintaining faith in the Phillies’ front office. People point to all that money freed up by dealing these two players (in addition to dumping David Bell, Sal Fasano, and Rheal Cormier) and the fiscal flexibility that the Phillies will enjoy in their attempt to build a team capable of winning the pennant by 2008. Abreu may be gone, but at least Pat Gillick will be able to use the $4.4 million saved on his contract in 2006, $15 million saved in 2007, and $2 million that would inevitably be spent on his 2008 buyout in such a way that the Phillies will ultimately come out ahead in this deal from a purely baseball (and not economical) standpoint, right? Trading Abreu saved the Phillies roughly 21.4 million dollars ($21,475,409 to be exact). Trading Lidle saved the Phillies another 1.1 million dollars ($1,136,065…again, to be exact). If you have faith in the Phillies organization to spend that $22.6 million in savings wisely and make a concerted effort to improve the product on the field, then the argument in favor of this trade works for you…blind faith works for you.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that the Phillies organization – from David Montgomery and the rest of the ownership group all the way down to Pat Gillick, Ruben Amaro, and the whole front office gang – have it in them to A) make the financial commitment to a winner that the fans of Philadelphia have waited so long for (i.e. slashing the 2007 budget for players expenses down to the $70 million range as has been speculated by some conspiracy theorists out there), or, in the unlikely event that payroll remains at $90+ million for the foreseeable future despite the ensuing attendance fallout and subsequent loss of revenues, B) obtain the right players (NO Pedro Feliz and Mark Redman in 2007!) with the freed up money to make up the difference between the second division club the team currently is and the year-in-year-out contender for the pennant that a team in a market as big as Philly ought to be.

This is about all I can muster on this deal for now…I needed a few days after the trade went down to reflect on it properly without being overly emotional (Abreu is my all-time favorite Phillie and the best hitter of my generation). More on the players the Phillies acquired for Abreu and Lidle, plus prospect profiles on the players brought in after the Rheal Cormier, David Bell, and Sal Fasano trades to come…

By the way, the Phillies are just 3.5 games out of a playoff spot right now and are playing some of their best baseball of the season of late…how sweet would a sweep of the hated Cardinals in “Baseball Heaven” be? It would definitely give the Phils a touch of momentum as they head to Shea Stadium for a weekend series against the hated Mets (as you can see, I hate a lot of teams)…


Anonymous oper33 said...

I had almost the exact opposite reaction to the trade. It was the most blatant salary dump I have ever seen but yet it made me hopeful for the future, I will try to back my faith with facts.
1) Abreu is a really good player and people can argue back and forth about the specifics of clutch not clutch or whatever but to me the bottom line is they were not winning with him. Do the same thing get the same result. A change was needed.
2) We have not seen Gillick in action when he was not handcuffed by the former GM's deals. Going into this off season there was only so much he could do and he did what he could. People can argue that alot of the deals he made did not work out but again he was limited by the constraits laid down by the former regime. I see most of his moves to this point as him dumping Wade's guys so that in the fututre he can get his guys.
3)Pitching, pitching, pitching. If this team is ever going to get any real starting pitching they had to free up some real money. There is not a lot out there in the way of #1 startersthis off season but if the right deal comes up Gillick is now in a position to make it happen IMHO.
I wish they could have gotten more than they did for Bobby, but they Yankees really had ‘em by the balls.

12:14 PM  
Blogger GM-Carson said...

It is a salary dump, plain and simple. However, this trade should benefit the Phils if Gillick makes proper moves in the off-season. Everyone keeps talking about slashing payroll, well, I maintain that $95 million won't buy you a shot at the playoffs, as obvious from past Phillies seasons, rather field the best available team.

8:37 AM  
Blogger GM-Carson said...

some good baseball being played...when you returning to the blogsphere?

7:42 AM  
Blogger XXX said...

I'm back...and am lucky enough to be greeted by two very good arguments presented here in the comment section. You've guys have definitely given me something to think about...

Good to be back by the way, Phils are playing great ball

11:09 AM  

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