MLB Rumors: Philadelphia Phillies Trades Come Full-Circle

December 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies‘ Ruben Amaro Jr. is some sort of genius.  Somehow, he was able to acquire three of the game’s best pitchers within one calendar year.  These moves suddenly make his team the game’s most viable threat and already early favorites.  With a rotation that boasts Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, the Phillies are sitting “perfectly.”

Last December, the Phillies’ gutsy GM got rid of Cliff Lee and sent him to the Seattle Mariners.  In getting unproven talent in return, many questioned this deal.  On that same day though, the Phillies would acquire the game’s top pitcher in “Doc” Halladay.  With the righty-lefty combo of Halladay and Hamels, the Phillies couldn’t have wanted anything more right?

As the season progressed, “Doc” proved to have the perfect remedy for the rest of the National League.  On May 29, 2010, Halladay was perfect against the Florida Marlins and was undoubtedly the game’s best pitcher.  

Shortly thereafter, a deal for Roy Oswalt came to fruition and the deadline deal gave the Phillies a dose of “H20.”  Oswalt’s arrival made Hamels the third wheel.  Hamels wouldn’t mind, though, and responded with a strong season of his own. 

But his statistics don’t truly tell the story of just how good Hamels was.  His 12-11 record was due in part to by poor run support.  Otherwise, he easily could’ve won 18 games or so.

The Phillies stole the division from the Atlanta Braves backed by “H20” and hastily made their way into the playoffs.  After convincingly running through the Cincinnati Reds, the Phillies would soon be stopped by the San Francisco Giants.  They tried everything in their power but were beaten by a hungrier San Fran squad that eventually won the World Series.

After a disappointing end to the season, the Phillies were quiet in the beginning of the offseason.  This worried some fans at first, but they couldn’t be naive enough to think that Amaro couldn’t have had something up his sleeve.  

The big story of the free-agency period at that time was Jayson Werth.  The Phillies quickly needed to make a decision on Werth’s future.  They did so by not responding and letting him walk to the Washington Nationals earlier this month.  To Amaro’s credit, this was a wise move and allowed the Phillies to keep a large sum of money in their wallets. 

“Quiet” isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you’re talking about RAJ.  He let Werth walk and thus freed up a ton of money, but still there was no set direction on where he was going with it.  Then, rumors of Cliff Lee came into the mix and within a matter of hours, Lee was again a Phillie.   

Lee’s wife Kristen was said to be a lot of the reason.  She didn’t want to stay in Texas, nor did she want to go to New York.  The Lees enjoyed Philadelphia, the city that was taken away from them last winter.  In a sudden change of events, the Phillies gave Lee and their fans the best Christmas gift of all.  Their re-signing of the pitcher showed that Lee’s loyalty and heart won over money.  

Although $24 million is a load of money, he turned down a nice chunk of money from New York.  That’s not only admirable on his end, but also unheard of.  Lee, now No. 33, may give the Phillies the best rotation ever.  Though this is high praise, it may be true.  The sky is the limit as the possibilities are endless for the Phillies.

Fast-forward an entire year and so much has changed.  The Phillies now not only have Lee, but also Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels.  Lee’s unselfishness is amazing.  He knows that this is his best chance to win a World Series. 

Now if the offense is able to get their act together, the Phillies could be lethal.  Many are already pre-planning a parade down South Broad St. for early November 2011.  The games still need to be played though, but as for now, the Phillies are looking like the team to beat.

Don’t break their hearts this time, RAJ.  

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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