Padilla Trade Still Has An Upside

With the release of pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez, the Phillies appear to have gotten nothing in exchange for Vicente Padilla. That assessment isn't completely true though when you look at the deal deeper.

The Phillies traded a two-time 14-game winner and former All-Star, right-hander Vicente Padilla, to Texas for right-hander Ricardo Rodriguez in December.

The understanding when the trade was made was that general manager Pat Gillick wasn't making the trade on a talent-for-talent basis.

Because if you were rating the trade on those terms...

"... it didn't come out too well," Gillick said Wednesday after the Phillies released Rodriguez. "In that case, it wasn't a very good trade."

Obviously not, since Rodriguez failed to put up a legitimate fight for a spot in the starting rotation and couldn't convince the Phillies that he had much use in their needy bullpen.

Even though Rodriguez didn't stick, the Phillies don't think the trade was all that disastrous since it sliced $4.41 million - Padilla's salary this season - from the payroll and took a brooding, injury-plagued head case from their roster.

"I will say sometimes it's addition by subtraction," Gillick said. "That's the way it is, but I don't want to knock somebody else."

The deal also cut some money from the payroll that allowed the Phillies to sign Ryan Franklin, who has had an impressive spring. Franklin will make the club either as a starter or working out of the bullpen in long and middle relief. Even if Franklin winds up working in release, his presence allows the Phillies to put Ryan Madson into the starting rotation, which he was being groomed for as a minor leaguer.

Rodriguez had a 4.15 ERA in 13 innings this spring. The damning statistic was the number of baserunners he allowed - 15 hits, seven walks and a hit batter. The Phillies felt that showed too much inconsistency to work in the bullpen.

"It was a situation where if we couldn't keep him in the majors, he could walk," manager Charlie Manuel said. "So it was probably best to let him go and pitch elsewhere."

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