Looking Back at the Abreu Trade
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.”