The Amaro Analysis: Trades

Ruben Amaro Jr. is facing what could be his toughest trade deadline as the GM of the Phillies. Should the team be in buy or sell mode? Rebuild or reload? And, is Amaro the guy to make the call? Here's a look back at the 17 trades Amaro has made as GM of the Phillies.

As the trade deadline approaches and the debate between being buyers or sellers gains steam, it's a good time for a look back at the trades that Ruben Amaro Jr. has engineered since taking over as the Phillies GM on November 3, 2008.


November 20: Acquired John Mayberry Jr. from Texas for outfielder Greg Golson - Neither player has become a true everyday player, but Mayberry has been a much better player than Golson has become. Golson has played in 34 MLB games - 1 with Texas and 33 with the New York Yankees - and is a career .195 hitter. Since leaving the Phillies organization, Golson has played in the minors for Texas, the Yankees, White Sox and is now at Triple-A for the Colorado Rockies.

December 10: Acquired Ronny Paulino from Pittsburgh for Jason Jaramillo - Paulino never played a game in the Phillies organization, thanks to a trade that sent him to San Francisco prior to the 2009 season. Jaramillo was a decent prospect, but has never panned out and after playing parts of two seasons in the majors with Pittsburgh, Jaramillo hasn't been back to the majors since 2011. In addition to his time in the Pirates organization, Jaramillo has also played in the minors for Milwaukee, Houston, Oakland and Seattle, where he is currently at Triple-A.


March 27: Acquired P Jack Taschner for Ronny Paulino - Taschner showed some moments of brilliance out of the Phillies bullpen and pitched well at Triple-A, but injuries really set him back. He wound up pitching in the majors for Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Dodgers following his stint with the Phillies, but injuries ended his career after the 2010 season.

July 29: Acquired Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco from the Cleveland Indians for Ps Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp, C Lou Marson and IF Jason Donald - This was the first major trade that Amaro pulled off. We all know the saga of Cliff Lee, who was later dealt by Amaro on the same day that he acquired Roy Halladay from Toronto, only to be re-signed as a free agent. Ben Francisco was a somewhat serviceable fourth outfielder, but didn't develop into the player the Phillies had hoped.

Jason Knapp was actually the big part of the deal from the Indians point of view. At the time of the trade, Knapp was one of the better pitching prospects in all of baseball, but injuries shot him down pretty quickly. Knapp never did reach the majors and his career was done after the 2010 season. Donald was up and down with the Indians for a couple seasons before being dealt to Cincinnati last December. Donald has been hurt for much of this season, but has played in 24 games for Triple-A Louisville.

Carrasco and Marson are both still with the Indians and both have bounced up and down between the majors and the minors. Carrasco was a pretty good prospect at the time of the trade and has definitely fallen short of what the Indians had hoped he would be. The same could be said of Marson, who has struggled to hit at the major league level.

December 16: Traded P Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners for Ps Phillippe Aumont and J.C. Ramirez and OF Tyson Gillies. Acquired Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays for P Kyle Drabek, OF Michael Taylor and C Travis D'Arnaud - You really have to consider these two deals as one, because they were dependent on the other. Had Amaro not been able to deal Cliff Lee, he wouldn't have acquired Roy Halladay and vice versa. There are so many ramifications to this deal that it's hard to know where to begin.

First, the deals were related because of finances. Amaro has maintained they were contingent on each other, because he wanted to restock the system in the deal with the Mariners because he was sending three quality prospects to the Blue Jays for Halladay. Believe what you will, but it was finances and it came back to bite the Phillies when they re-signed Lee as a free agent likely for more than he would have taken had the Phillies not traded him.

The minor league players swapped in the two deals aren't very lopsided, but it appears the Phillies got the lesser of the deals. Aumont has had very limited success in the majors, while Ramirez and Gillies are still struggling in the minors. Toronto dealt D'Arnaud to the Mets as part of the R.A. Dickey trade, but D'Arnaud has been hurt and isn't impacting the Mets major league lineup - yet. Taylor was almost immediately sent to Oakland for journeyman infielder Brett Wallace. The Blue Jays have since dealt Wallace to Houston for former Phillies prospect Anthony Gose.

When you consider the deals to acquire Lee and the one to send him to Seattle, neither team is crowing over the prospects they acquired and the two deals are basically a wash.


July 29: Acquired Roy Oswalt from Houston for P J.A. Happ, IF Jonathan Villar and OF Anthony Gose - Oswalt's time in Philly didn't bring another World Series as it was thought that it might. He later left as a free agent. Happ has pitched well for the Astros, but is currently on the DL after suffering a head injury when he was hit by a line drive. As mentioned earlier, Gose was later dealt to Toronto for Brett Wallace and has played in 69 major league games with the Blue Jays over the past two seasons with a career average of .233 in the majors. Villar is still working his way through the minors and has a line of 7-13-.280/.336/.441 with 24 stolen bases in 30 attempts at AAA Oklahoma City.

August 4: Acquired 1B/C Mike Sweeney from Seattle for cash - Sweeney saw limited playing time with the Phillies in 2010 and filled a need. That's really all there is to say about this deal.


July 29: Acquired OF Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros for 1B Jonathan Singleton, OF Domingo Santana and Ps Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid - Pence spent one year in Philly with a line of 28-91-.289/.357/.486 and played a strong right field. Most of those numbers were put up in 2011 and he was struggling horribly in 2012, which helped lead to his exit out of town and to San Francisco.

After serving a 50-game suspension, Singleton is crushing the ball in the minors for Houston and was recently promoted to AAA. Phillies fans could well be lamenting the loss of Singleton, especially if Ryan Howard doesn't return to his home run form. Cosart has started 18 games at AAA for Houston with an ERA of 3.14 and it won't be surprising at all to see him in Houston by the end of the season. Zeid is also at AAA this season and has an ERA of 3.29 in 26 relief appearances with three saves.

Santana could make this deal a sweep for Houston. He's in his first season at AA and in 60 games, has hit 13 home runs. Last season in High-A ball, Santana hit 23 home runs with 97 RBI and a .302 average.

This is looking like it's going to be the biggest haul of prospects that Amaro has ever allowed to slip away from the Phillies system in one trade.

August 31: Acquired John Bowker from Pittsburgh for cash - Bowker never did much in Philly, just like in all of his other stops. The worst part about this deal is that the Phillies kept Bowker on the 40-man roster and lost infielder Carlos Rivero to the Nationals in the Rule 5 Draft. Rivero is looking like he could at least be a serviceable utility player.

November 20: Acquired IF Ty Wigginton from Colorado for cach - Wigginton was a decent player for the Phillies. Problem was that he was supposed to fill a role as a utility player, which he's qualified to do, but was pressed into regular duty by injuries and his hitting was exposed for what it is; sub-par.

December 12: Acquired P Frank Gailey from Toronto for OF Ben Francisco - Really a wash, but at least Francisco has contributed at the major league level a little. Gailey was released and is now at AA in the Oakland organization and pitching well out of the bullpen.


January 25: Acquired P Jeremy Horst from Cincinnati for IF Wilson Valdez - Valdez developed into somewhat of a favorite in Philly because of the job that he did filling in for injured players. Truth is that he played over his head while he was with the Phillies and wasn't as good as many fans pegged him to be. To further the point; if you want Valdez back, he's playing for the Camden RiverSharks in the independent Atlantic League. As for Horst, he has been somewhat of a bust. He's currently on the DL with a sore shoulder and we'll have to wait to see what happens with that.

June 30: Acquired P Kyle Simon and C Gabriel Lino from Baltimore for 1B/DH Jim Thome - This was a deal that got Thome to a place where he could simply serve as a DH and a bat off the bench rather than trying to be the first baseman that the Phillies had hoped he could be. Simon looked good after the trade, but has struggled horribly this season at AA Reading. Lino had a non-descript season at Lakewood last year after the trade and is now with Williamsport in the New York - Penn League.

July 31: Acquired P Seth Rosin, C Tommy Joseph and OF Nate Schierholtz from San Francisco for OF Hunter Pence - Usually, Amaro makes his trade deadline splashes on July 29th, but he was a little late last year. Pence has rediscovered his stroke with the Giants and was probably just trying to do too much when he was in Philly. In truth, the Phillies got a decent return for Pence, especially considering how he was playing when the trade was made. Joseph is a quality catcher, but is having trouble returning from a concussion suffered in early May. Schierholtz - in another financial issue - was let go during the off-season and is putting up nice numbers as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Odds are he would have been a better fit in right field than Delmon Young has been. Rosin is still recovering from a rough outing with Reading that boosted his ERA from 3.84 up to 4.36, but overall, he's pitched pretty well as a starter for the Fightin Phils.

July 31: Acquired P Ethan Martin, P Josh Lindblom and Stefan Jarrin from the Dodgers for OF Shane Victorino - Again, Victorino was a popular player in Philadelphia, but was struggling horribly at the time of the trade. The Phillies were afraid they wouldn't be able to afford Victorino, who was entering free agency at the end of the season, and they may have been right. It would have been a stretch to see the Phillies give Victorino the three-year/$39 million deal the Red Sox gave him, especially coming off the season that he had. Lindblom was part of the deal that brought Michael Young over from Texas this past off-season. Martin has shown some signs of busting out as a starter for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Jarrin is stuck back in extended camp.

August 3: Acquired P Ryan O'Sullivan from the Dodgers for P Joe Blanton - A salary dump and a matter of getting something in exchange, because the Phillies weren't going to re-sign Blanton. O'Sullivan is pitching out of the bullpen for Clearwater and has a mark of 3-4-3-2.37 this season in 27 games.

December 6: Acquired OF Ben Revere from Minnesota for Ps Vance Worley and Trevor May - The Phillies gave up a lot to get Revere and the way he started the season, he looked like a complete bust. To his credit thought, Revere has hung in there and currently has an eight-game hitting streak and is hitting .323 since the first of May, boosting his average to .274 on the season.

Worley was the Twins opening day starter, but struggled badly and was eventually optioned down to AAA. May has a 3.95 ERA in 13 starts for the Twins at AA New Britain.

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