Philadelphia Phillies – Cost Of Doing Business

9 06 2009

by Michael DeLuca

As the Philadelphia Phillies continue to scour the trade market in search of a starting pitcher, perhaps we should joe blantonexamine the cost of doing so by taking a look back at one of the team’s most recent transactions.  Last year, on July 18th, the Phils acquired Joe Blanton from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for second baseman Adrian Cardenas, pitcher Josh Outman and outfielder Matthew Spencer.  Blanton, as advertised, ate innings and pitched adequetely, posting a 4.20 ERA in 70.2 innings for the club in the 08′ regular season.  His record was 4-0.  Blanton went on to post a 2-0 record in the postseason, starting 3 games, with a 3.18 ERA in 17 innings.  The team went on to win the World Series and, for that reason and Blanton’s role in doing so, the trade must be considered a success.

Fast forward to 2009.  Blanton is 4-3 with a 5.46 ERA.  Meanwhile, the A’s haul is starting to pay dividends.  Josh Outman has started 10 games, posting a 4-0 record for a team that offers little run support.  His ERA, a sparkling 3.17 josh-outmanand WHIP just 1.17.  Let’s move on to Adrian Cardenas, considered to be the prize piece in the trade.  In 35 games for the  Double A Midland Rockhounds, Cardenas batted .388 with 2 home runs and 3 stolen bases.  He was promoted to Triple A Sacremento and has had a rocky start but is still just 21 years of age and is considered one of the top prospects in the A’s plentiful farm system by Baseball America.  Matthew Spencer is batting .265 with 2 home-runs at Double A  Midland.  This trade happened to work for both both teams.  The Phils won the ultimate prize and therefore deserve  credit for pulling the trigger but, less than a year later, the A’s look like the clear long term winners in this transaction.

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