Just like Jacob Marley at the beginning of a Christmas Carol, the 2010s are dead. Gone is a decade of Phillies baseball filled with major mediocrity with a few bright spots in the beginning.
What isn’t gone are the effects of trades from the past decade. Knowing what we do now, let’s look back at some of the biggest trades of the past decade.
Just to clarify, the Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee trades occurred in December of 2009. Therefore, they’re not part of the 2010s. That leaves us with only one significant trade.
Phillies trade Anthony Gose, J.A. Happ, and Jonathan Villar to the Houston Astros for Roy Oswalt
At the time the Phillies gave up a ton for the Astros’ aging ace, Roy Oswalt. Anthony Gose was considered a top-5 prospect at the time. J.A. Happ had a Hell of a 2009 season in which he was the runner-up for Rookie of the Year. He posted a 2.93 ERA in 166 IP with 3 complete games and 2 shutouts. Jonathon Villar would be considered the “throw-in”, being an A-ball 19-year-old.
The Phillies technically “won” this trade as Oswalt went 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA in his first year with the Phillies. He had a 3.69 ERA in 2011 while facing injury issues.
Gose had 76 stolen bases in 2009 in A ball. He would bat .240 in his short MLB career. He was even being converted to a pitcher at one point. Happ had 3 bad seasons with the Astros posting a 4.84 ERA. He would become solid again in 2015. Oddly enough, Villar has been the most consistent of the 3 with a .759 OPS and 160 steals in the past 4 seasons.
Phillies send Jarred Cosart, Jon Singleton, Josh Zeid, and a PTBNL (Domingo Santana) to the Houston Astros for Hunter Pence and cash.
At the time, everyone and their mother knew the Phillies needed a right-handed bat more than anything. Hunter Pence fit that bill as his career .817 OPS would prove.
Between Jarred Cosart, Jon Singleton, and Josh Zeid, those players had a combined 2.8 bWAR for their careers. Hunter Pence had a 3.3 bWAR in parts of 2 seasons for the Phillies.
The PTBNL, Domingo Santana, probably shouldn’t have been in the deal. In his age 23-26 seasons (2016-19), Santana has had an OPS of .808. He’d be a welcome 4th outfielder even on the 2020 Phillies.
Phillies still win this deal in hindsight as in about a full season’s worth of games (155) Pence slashed .289/.357/.486 with 28 homers and 94 RBI.
Phillies trade Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants for Tommy Joseph, Seth Rosin, and Nate Schierholtz.
Hunter Pence, we hardly knew ya.
This trade would mark the beginning of the Phillies’ “retooling” phase. After being 12 games under .500, who could blame the Phillies for trying to look towards the future.
In return for their previously acquired All-Star, the Phillies received Tommy Joseph, Seth Rosin, and Nate Schierholtz. Schierholtz was a 28-year-old average right fielder whose contract was up at the end of the year and Seth Rosin was an A-ball pitcher with a 4 ERA.
Tommy Joseph was the diamond in the bunch. A top-10 prospect in the Giants system, Joseph looked primed to one day be the Phillies’ catcher of the future. In 2011, he hit 22 homers with a .270 batting average. He was a bit of a free swinger but with a ton of upside.
Tommy Joseph would never hit over 22 home runs in a season. He faced concussion issues that led to him being moved to first base. He held his own in his rookie season, slashing.257/.308.505 with 21 HR in just 107 games.
He’d falter in his second season, only hitting.240 with 22 HR in 142 games. He hasn’t been seen in the majors since. Rosin would pitch 1 game for the Phillies and would only be valuable for rosin-based puns.
This would be the first trade the Phillies lose as Pence faired much better in San Francisco. He’d go onto win 2 Wolrd Series, be an All-Star in 2014, and receive MVP votes in ’13 and ’14 all while being the team’s motivational leader.
Phillies trade Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Josh Lindblom, Ethan Martin, and Stefan Jarrin
*SPOILER ALERT* nobody won this trade.
Phillies saw the Dodgers’ #4 prospect and went “we want that guy”. The Phillies got that guy and with it a 5.93 MLB ERA. By 2015, Ethan Martin would find himself in AA again and by 2016 he was out of baseball.
Josh Lindbloom became a reason to look at FIP when evaluating players. He started 2012 with a 3.02 ERA with the Dodgers but with a 5.07 FIP. He would have a 4.63 ERA with the Phillies. He did just sign a major league deal with the Brewers after spending 2 years overseas.
Stefan Jarrin, the PTBNL, never even played with the Phillies in any capacity.
Shane Victorino could only muster a .667 OPS with the Dodgers. In 2013, he’d become a World Champion with the Boston Red Sox.
Nothing of note trade-wise happened in 2013. The Phillies traded away Michael Young, John McDonald, and Erik Kratz for spare parts and that’s it.
Phillies trade Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers for TWO PTBNL
Somehow, the Phillies won a fairly low-key trade. Roberto Hernandez was having his best season since he was named Fausto Carmona. He came to the Phillies with a career 4.67 ERA, but in 2014 he started off with a 3.87 ERA.
For some reason, the Dodgers would end up sending Jesmuel Valentin and Victor Arano, both of whom made it to the majors. Victor Arano even figures to be a significant part of the Phillies’ 2020 bullpen.
Phillies trade Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers for Zach Eflin and Tom Wendle
The start of the 2008 selloff began with Jimmy Rollins. This trade hurt a lot of young fans who loved J-Roll as a player but it was a necessary evil.
The Phillies won this trade. Zach Eflin, who had a rough middle of 2019, is poised to be the Phillies number 3 in 2020. His ERA has gone down every year and he has flashed the ability to throw Greg Maddux-esque complete games.
Meanwhile, Rollins would barely hit .220 with the Dodgers. The Phillies got away with one here.
Don’t ask about Tom Wendle.
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Alec Kostival graduated from La Salle University with a degree in communication with a focus in mass media and journalism. He covered high school sports for the Chestnut Hill Local. He has interned with the Reading Fightin Phils and the Philadelphia Eagles.