The GM Game: A Deal With Houston

<I>The GM Game</I> allows our users to submit trade ideas to the PhillyBaseballNews.com GM to see what he thinks of the plan. If you want to play <I>The GM Game</I>, just send your ideas to <a href=mailto:phillies1964@att.net>phillies1964@att.net</a>, along with why the deal works for both teams. If our GM uses your idea, you'll receive a complimentary one-month Total Access Plan membership. Check out the <I>Philly Town Message Board</I> for more details. Now, on to one users trade idea.

Our trade idea comes from one of our message board users, philliesin03 and involves a potential deal between the Phillies and Houston Astros.

The Trade

Phillies Get:
P Brad Lidge
P Kirk Bullinger

Astros Get:
SS Jimmy Rollins
P Taylor Buchholz
P Seung Lee

Why this works for the Phillies:
Usually you don't want to trade a guy like Jimmy Rollins but when you have Tomas Perez on the bench you can. With the trade Tomas can play shortstop well while putting up the same if not better offensive numbers. The key to this deal is Brad Lidge. He is one the best young pitchers out there. He has great control of his pitches and strikes out a lot of batters in the innings he pitches. He has a very bright future ahead of him. The Phillies also get Kirk Bullinger who is the closer for the Astros triple A team. He is not the youngest guy but is still a very good pitcher. There is another pitcher who can be part of this deal instead of Bullinger. A pitcher named Doug Sessions. The Phills need another relief pitcher and they get that in Lidge, and Bullinger can close, Mesa blows to many saves so they could put him as setup man. If not Bullinger, then they get a good starter in Doug Sessions.

Why this deal works for the Astros:
They get a much needed upgrade at shortstop with Jimmy Rollins. Rollins is a very good defensive player, he's not a great offensive player but he is much better than their current shortstop Adam Everett. Taylor Buckholtz his a great young pitcher in Double A, The Astros will need some young pitchers in their farm system. They also will need a new closer if Billy Wagner leaves the team in free agency. Seung Lee is another solid pitcher in Double A. They need him for the same reason they need Buckholtz. Also the astros minorleague Triple A team does not really good pitchers. There are a few but not many.

What the GM says:
If I am Gerry Hunsicker, the GM of the Houston Astros, I jump at this deal. The Astros do have a young shortstop in Tommy Whiteman at AA Round Rock (Texas League) but they need some help at the major league level. If Whiteman develops the way they suspect he will, they can deal with that issue later. The Astros also desperately need some young pitchers in their system and Buchholz and Lee would give them that.

Losing Lidge would hurt the Astros bullpen, but they might be able to make another move to get some bullpen help. If I'm Hunsicker, I might ask you to put one of your young relievers – maybe Geoff Geary – in the deal instead of Buchholz.

The Astros would also be MUCH better off if they could get the Phillies to take Bullinger in the deal, instead of Sessions.

The final word from "The GM": The Phillies would be giving up too much in this deal. One concern would be Tomas Perez playing everyday. Some players – and Perez is one of them – are better bench players than they would ever be playing every day. One other option would be to put Nick Punto at shortstop. Buchholz and Lee are good prospects and while the Phillies have a number of good pitching prospects coming along, unless they get Sessions out of this deal, they would be dealing a blow to their collection of young arms. Bullinger is one of those career minor league guys. Actually, the Phillies had Bullinger at one time. He was a non-roster invitee to training camp in 2000.

The Astros might and I stress, might, make this deal if you offer Rollins for Lidge straight up. Would the Phillies do it? Probably not. Lidge would be a great addition to the Phillies bullpen, but his cost would be pretty high. If the Astros go in the dumper over the next two weeks, they might be a little more willing to make a deal. Of course, at that point, they might deal Billy Wagner if the price were right.


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