To trade or not to trade? That is the question

There is joy in the City of Brotherly Love today as the Philadelphia Phillies have pulled the trigger on a big trade, acquiring Cliff Lee from the Cleveland Indians as the centerpiece of a multi-player deal that Phils fans hope leads to a repeat as World Series Champions.

Cliff Lee is headed to the Philadelphia Phillies

Cliff Lee is headed to the Philadelphia Phillies

It is easily the most notable deal to date in anticipation of the MLB Trading Deadline this Friday at 4pm Eastern.  The hypothesizing and theorizing by the fans and media at the trade deadline gets more pronounced every year and the merits of this year’s prize plum – Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays – have been discussed seemingly more often than virtually any other sports figure for the last 30 days. 

Halladay is still in play, though it appears possible at this juncture that he won’t be traded at all.  If you just can’t get enough of the Halladay talks over the next 48 hours, be sure to keep checking the Toronto Star for the latest coverage.

But for fans of all of those teams looking to make a deadline deal, be very careful what you wish for.  Joe Posnanski of does a great job (as always) of breaking down the dilemma that GM’s have at this juncture of whether or not to “gamble tomorrow for today”

As he points out, history has shown that deadline deals have about as much chance to bring immediate results as they do to  haunt organizations for years to come as prospects included in these trades can develop into All-Star reminders of the careers that might have been had if not for the short-term gains of the deadline deal.

Jayson Stark of provides a similar “stark” reminder of the “biggest myths about the trade deadline”.  His columns consistently contain some great nuggets and this piece is no exception.  For example:

Over the past 32 years, exactly three pitchers who changed teams in midseason have won a World Series game: Joe Blanton for the 2008 Phillies, Jeff Weaver for the 2006 Cardinals and Mike Torrez for the 1977 Yankees. Combined Cy Young Awards for those three guys: Uh, that would be zero.

So keep your ear to the ground and plead for your team to do something if you must.  But just remember that only one team can win it all. 

And for most, that is the only result that can justify the premium required to make a deadline deal.  The rest of the teams pulling the trigger this week can only cross their fingers and hope that their former prospects don’t spend the rest of their playing days making those teams pay dearly for the mistake.

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~ by acm213 on July 29, 2009.

One Response to “To trade or not to trade? That is the question”

  1. I wanted Halladay but I’ll take Lee. And the more i look at the trade and the numbers…the more i like Lee 🙂

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