Looking Back at the Abreu Trade

Sanchez0532.jpgThere have been countless moves to get the Phillies to back-to-back World Series.

One of them came July 30, 2006, when the Phillies traded Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle to the Yankees for Matt Smith, C.J. Henry, Carlos Monasterios and Jesus Sanchez. If you look at the talent exchanged, the trade came out poorly for the Phillies. Smith and Henry are out of baseball, and the Mets selected Monasterios with the seventh pick in December’s Rule 5 Draft.

Only Sanchez remains, but the Phillies are optimistic after converting him from a catcher to a pitcher. In his first season as a pitcher, Sanchez went 10-6 with a 3.44 ERA in 26 games last year for Single A Lakewood. He impressed the Phillies enough that they protected him from the Rule 5 by placing him on the 40-man roster.

But the Phillies made the trade not because they were in love with Smith, Henry, Monasterios and Sanchez. They made the trade because the nucleus they had in place had not won, and Pat Gillick wanted to make a change. They traded Abreu to clear salary and change the atmosphere in the clubhouse.

The trade allowed the Phillies to play Shane Victorino in right field the remainder of the season, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley to assert themselves as leaders in the clubhouse, and indirectly sign Utley and Brett Myers to contract extensions in the offseason because Abreu had been set to make $16.5 million in 2007 with a $16 million club option with a $2 million buyout in 2008.

“It came out all right,” Gillick said. “I’m happy with it.”

Read the entire story here.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Philadelphia Phillies” is available online, and at most Delaware Valley bookstores NOW!

4 Comments

I’ll always remember that day it a double header against the Marlins and the day game was being pitched by Randy Wolf for his first start since Tommy John Surgery, it was the summer after I graduated high school. On that day I was helping my friends move in south Philadelphia from Carpenter St. to Salter St. And in the new apartment the former occupant had spliced the cable with the neighbors’. So my friend Rob’s room had like 7 channels and one included the Phillies game. So in between hauling other people’s stuff a couple blocks I watched the Phillies game for I have an undying love for Randy Wolf, and I remember when Bobby and Corey Lidle started saying their goodbyes to every one on the team. Then they stepped out of the dugout and waved to the fans. It was a sad day only saddened more when Corey Lidle died. Those Bobby Abreu phillies teams were amongst some of the most talented teams not to make the playoffs.

Remember that catch Bobby made crashing into the outfield wall, me neither.

I don’t miss Bobby Abreu even a little bit. It wasn’t a coincidence that the team turned around after he and David Bell were sent packing. The current core of the team took over the clubhouse and they were able to use the money to extend those guys.
Addition by subtraction.

phan: Reminds me of a comment I heard an NFL coach say, “I’d rather lose without him than win with him.”

WIP had Randy Miller on Saturday, and he said that Ed Wade forbid David Bell be sat so that Polanco could play third base because Bell was making so much money. That was when Utley was coming up and they had to make a decision. The worst baseball decisions are based on salary, and that was one of the worst. Imagine that lineup with Polanco at third and Utley at second.

In 2005 Polanco was traded for Ugueth Urbina. Nice move.

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