The Price for the Phillies Rotation

lee is back.jpg

Ruben Amaro Jr. said this week he expects Joe Blanton to remain with the Phillies this season, which means the guy the Phillies slated to be their No. 3 starter in 2010 is their No. 5 starter in 2011. It shows just how much has changed in a year. The Phillies shipped 13 prospects and committed more than $255 million in salaries to have Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Blanton in the same rotation at the same time.

I know the Phillies traded away Lee in Dec. 2009, which remains a regrettable trade. But if the Phillies had not traded for Lee the first time and had he not enjoyed his experience here, he would not have taken less money to sign with the Phillies in December. He would have signed with the Yankees or Rangers instead.

Here is a look at the prospects the Phillies traded to make this rotation:

Click here to read the entire story.


Catcher Travis d’Arnaud. ranks him as the ninth-best catching prospect in baseball. Baseball America considers him the organization’s fourth-best prospect in its rankings. He certainly has the all-around skills to be a frontline catcher. In fact, including d’Arnaud in the Halladay deal gave the Phillies pause because of the dearth of catching depth in the organization and baseball.

Right-hander Kyle Drabek. The organization’s top prospect and one of the top 10 right-handed pitching prospects in baseball, according to He should have the opportunity to make the team out of Spring Training as the fourth starter. He earned Eastern League Pitcher of the Year honors last season, going 14-9 with a 2.94 ERA in 27 starts. In three starts with the Blue Jays in September, he went 0-3 with a 4.76 ERA. He never allowed more than three runs in those starts.

Outfielder Michael Taylor. The Blue Jays immediately traded Taylor to Oakland for Brett Wallace. Taylor had a .383 on-base percentage and a .515 slugging percentage during three seasons in the Phillies’ organization, but he never got on track last season at Triple-A Sacramento. He had a .372 on-base percentage, but just a .392 slugging percentage. Still, Baseball America considers him Oakland’s 10th-best prospect.


Right-hander Carlos Carrasco. He made strides last season. He went 10-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 25 starts with Triple-A Columbus before a promotion to the big leagues, where he went 2-2 with a 3.83 ERA in seven starts with the Indians. The Indians still see him with top-of-the-rotation potential.

Infielder Jason Donald. The Phillies always considered Donald a super utility player, which he basically was with the Indians last season. He played in 88 games, hitting .253 with a .312 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage. The Indians still are trying to determine if Donald can be an everyday second baseman.

Right-hander Jason Knapp. He had the most upside of the four prospects. He still does. But after suffering a shoulder injury, the Indians are keeping their eye on him. But his potential is off the charts. In just 28 innings last season, he struck out 47 and walked 12. Baseball America considers Knapp the organization’s sixth-best prospect.

Catcher Lou Marson. It is hard to believe, but Phillies fans once considered Marson the heir apparent to Carlos Ruiz. But Marson struggled (.195/.274/.286) last season in 87 games with the Indians. He struggled (.202/.327/.371) with Columbus, too. Marson looks like a backup catcher at this point, but he has to improve offensively to stay in the big leagues.


Outfielder Anthony Gose. The Astros immediately traded Gose to the Blue Jays to get Wallace, who Oakland traded to the Blue Jays to get Taylor. The Blue Jays wanted Gose before the July 2009 trade deadline when the Phillies tried to land Halladay, but the Phillies balked. The Blue Jays got him now, and he is considered the organization’s third-best prospect and heir apparent to centerfielder Vernon Wells.

Left-hander J.A. Happ. He went 5-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 13 starts with the Astros. Asked about a player he wished he could have kept in these trades, Amaro quickly mentioned Happ. “He’s going to be a very good Major League pitcher,” he said. “Young, controllable pitching, there is a lot of value in that.”

Shortstop Jonathan Villar. Houston’s third-best prospect, according to Baseball America. The Phillies liked him before they traded him. He has tremendous tools, although he still needs work offensively.


Second baseman Adrian Cardenas. He could compete for a job at second base this spring. He hit .345 with three home runs and 32 RBIs in 51 games last season with Double-A Midland before hitting .267 with one homer and 21 RBIs in 58 games with Triple-A Sacramento.

Left-hander Josh Outman. He is expected to compete for the fifth starter’s job this spring. He was 4-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 appearances (12 starts) with the A’s in 2009 before blowing out his elbow and requiring Tommy John surgery.

Outfielder/first baseman Matt Spencer. The A’s traded Spencer, Jeff Gray and Ronny Moria to the Chicago Cubs before the 2010 season for Aaron Miles and Jake Fox. Spencer hit a combined .269 with 19 homers and 69 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. The Phillies considered him a fringe prospect before trading him.


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Hey pherris, just think, in 2014 our staff could have been Knapp, Drabek, Carrasco, Happ and Outman. Darn Amaro!!

I know this may seem naive, and perhaps ignorantly positive, but the draft does happen every year. If the Phillies’ scouting was good enough to acquire all of these great young players before, there’s no doubt in my mind they will be able to draft well and acquire great young talent in the future, be it for the purpose of grooming until they’re ready to be big league stars or for more trades to keep the team immediately competitive.

Roy Halladay, $69.75 million, Cliff Lee, $120 million, Roy Oswalt, $26 million, parade down Broad Street-priceles…..

phan52, how did it work out last year with the “3 aces”, not too well, you putz. Where did you get your 2014 rotation? There are moves and there are judicious moves. Thus far Junior has only made moves.

pherris, the difference between us is that I understand that nothing is guaranteed, but I also understand that it helps to have the best pitching staff in MLB. I have no problem with what Amaro did to put this staff together. I know it will be difficult for you but try to enjoy it, if you can.

phan52: I think its a waste of energy to try and reason with pherrisphain. Seems to be a glass 1/2 empty type. I don’t quite know what RAJ could’ve done better than the team he has assembled to date.

Gosh, you mean you don’t get goosebumps thinking about Matt Spencer and Jon Villar?
I know. The prospect (pun) of 4 guys who could win a Cy Young Award in the same rotation is a real indictment of the General Manager.
It’s a shame that there won’t be any more baseball drafts and the Phils won’t have a chance to pick some more kids who might not make the roster. I guess we’ll have to make do with this ragtag team of castoffs and unproven commodities and hope against hope that they can overcome the huge odds stacked against them and possibly win another division title.

Thanks Ruben, for screwing up another baseball season.

I hear ya karen. I don’t know how a phan doesn’t get goosebumps thinking about this team.
What is it, 23 days?

Listen to you people. I didn’t even comment on this thread until phan52 drags me into it. I guess negative strokes are better than no strokes. It warms the cockles of my heart knowing I am in all your thoughts as evident by this thread

You didn’t? Who is that “pherrisphain” who left a comment yesterday? You aren’t in my thoughts but you are in my prayers.

pherris, you mean the first comment when phan gives an alternative rotation for 2012? you didn’t have to rrespond, you know

no Pherris, I mean your response at 11:31 on Jan 21 saying, “phan52, how did it work out last year with the “3 aces”, not too well, you putz. Where did you get your 2014 rotation? There are moves and there are judicious moves. Thus far Junior has only made moves. “

fij you mean the comment addressed to me about an alternative 2012 rotation?

f.i.j.: Never wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but only the pig will enjoy it.

MLB top 50 prospects. Two Phillies, Domonic Brown (4) and Jon Singleton (30), and one ex-Phillie, Kyle Drabek (12).

guess TOdd is on vacation. No post in eons

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