Former Phillies Prospects: Where Are They Now?

Posted: March 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

ImageWith many believing that the Phillies window is closing, complaints about the way the team has orchestrated their run the past half-decade continue to emerge. The constant wheeling and dealing of once promising prospects has, according to many, left the team in their current situation; old, decrepit, and past their prime.

But, is that really the case? Who did Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro really give up since the team began their run in 2007? Let’s take a look at the former Phillies prospects and what they have done since they left the organization. You may be surprised at just how wrong a lot of the “experts” were.

2007 Trades

– December 6th, 2006: Phillies trade RHP Gavin Floyd and LHP Gio Gonzalez to Chicago White Sox for RHP Freddy Garcia

imagesPat Gillick made the move to trade two top prospects to Chicago for former All Star Freddy Garcia way back in December, 2006. The move was the inspiration for Jimmy Rollins’ now notorious soundbite stating that the Phillies were the “team to beat” in the NL East. Yes, they did win the division in 2007. But, Freddy Garcia had no part in the success. Coming off a 17-win season, Garcia was positioned to be a key contributor to the Phils. But, his stay with the team lasted just 11 starts (1-5, 5.90) before his season was over due to injury. The team did not bring him back the following offseason.

The guys they traded, meanwhile, turned into dependable MLB starters. Floyd, 30, has gone 63-60, 4.20 with the White Sox since. He is nothing short of dependable, starting at least 29 games in every season since 2008.

Gonzalez, meanwhile, is the real kicker. Acquired from the White Sox in 2005 for Jim Thome, the lefty has developed into an ace, with a 52-29, 3.08 record the last three years. There is no way around it, Gillick got fleeced by Kenny Williams in this one.

– July 27th, 2007: Phillies trade RHP Michael Dubee to Chicago White Sox for IF Tadahito Iguchi

Dubee was really a nothing prospect at the time. The son of Phillies’ pitching coach Rich Dubee, the right-hander was shipped to Chicago for the versatile Iguchi, who provided key bench support in the Phillies miracle run to the 2007 N.L. East title.

The young right hander is now 27 and has yet to pitch in the major leagues. He spent a couple of seasons in the White Sox organization before joining Pittsburgh, where he pitched for the AAA Indianapolis Indians for two years. Dubee spent 2012 in the Blue Jays and Yankees organizations as a AA reliever. It looks like Dubee will never be an impact player in the majors, if he reaches the bigs at all.

– July 30, 2007: Phillies trade LHP Matt Maloney to Cincinnati Reds for RHP Kyle Lohse

At the time, the Phillies desperately needed pitching for the stretch run. Lohse provided the team with a durable arm, going 3-0, 4.72 down the stretch. Granted, he is the one who served up the game two grand slam to Kaz Matsui in the team’s three-game sweep at the hands of Colorado. But, Lohse has since turned into a very capable veteran starter, winning 16 games with the Cardinals last year.

Maloney has appeared in the bigs every year since 2009, when he debuted for the Reds. In three years in Cincinnati, the left-hander went 4-9, 5.40 in 22 games (11 GS). Last year, he went 1-0, 8.18 with the lowly Twins. It does not look like this 29-year old will ever turn into anything more than a AAAA lefty.

2008 Trades

– November 7th, 2007: Phillies trade OF Michael Bourn, 3B Mike Costanzo, and RHP Geoff Geary to Houston Astros for RHP Brad Lidge and IF Eric Bruntlett

hi-res-73411284_crop_exactKnowing that no team can survive 162 games without a closer, Pat Gillick gambled, sending top prospect Michael Bourn along with two others to the Astros for Lidge and Bruntlett.

Everyone knows how things worked out with the Phillies’ haul. They went on to perform admirably en route to a world championship. But, what about those they shipped away? Bourn, 30, has developed into one of the best fielders in baseball. He has some problems with drawing walks and getting on base out of the leadoff spot. But, there is really no doubt that Bourn was one of the best prospects that the Phillies ended up trading during their run.

Costanzo, meanwhile, was the Phillies’ first pick (2nd round) in the 2005 draft. A local kid from Archbishop Carroll, Costanzo finally made his MLB debut in 2012 with Cincinnati, and performed nearly as poorly as possible (1-18, 10 K). He never even played a game in Houston’s system, as then GM Ed Wade shipped the third baseman to Baltimore in a package for veteran SS Miguel Tejada later that winter. He has 106 career homers in the minor leagues. But, that is about all Costanzo will be doing with regards to America’s pastime.

Geary had some nice years in Philadelphia, most notably 2006, where the right-hander went 7-1, 2.96. He pitched 64 innings with the 2008 Astros, impressing to the tune of 2-3, 2.53. However, 2009 was the end of the line for Geary, as his 1-3, 8.10 record led to his release following that season. He bounced around a few places, including Los Angeles and San Diego, before retiring following the 2011 season.

– July 17th, 2008: Phillies trade 2B Adrian Cardenas, LHP Josh Outman, and OF Matt Spencer to Oakland Athletics for RHP Joe Blanton

acardIn the heat of a pennant race, the Phillies shipped former top prospect Adrian Cardenas along with two others to Oakland for RHP Joe Blanton. We all know how it worked out with “Pancakes” over the years. The right-hander provided steady support for a strong pitching staff, going 4-0 down the stretch in 2008 and winning game four of the World Series (hitting a home run in the process).

The men that the Phillies traded away, meanwhile, have not come back to bite them. Cardenas, a first round pick in 2006, impressed in the low-minors with Philadelphia and Oakland from 2006-2009. However, the now 25-year old has yet to take command of big league pitching. He made his MLB debut last year with the Cubs after being waived by Oakland. His MLB line: .183-0-2 in 45 games. Something tells me Cardenas would never have made an impact with the Phillies.

Outman was a promising young lefty who had just gone through Tommy John surgery with the Phillies the year prior to his being dealt. Since then, the 28-year old has already gone through another such surgery. Despite starting his career strong with a 4-1, 3.48 mark in 14 games for the 2009 Athletics, Outman now finds himself on the outside looking in after missing all of 2010 with the aforementioned injury. Traded to the Rockies for Seth Smith in January, 2012, Outman struggled to the tune of 1-3, 8.19 in Colorado. He will get another shot at the bigs this year.

Spencer was considered a throw in at the time, and has yet to appear in the majors. In fact, the former Arizona State Sun Devil star played in just 15 games between three systems last year.

– August 30th, 2008: Phillies trade LHP Fabio Castro to Toronto Blue Jays for OF Matt Stairs

Fabio CastroFew in Philadelphia will ever forget the impact made by Matt Stairs in his 1.5 years with the team. The big slugger ended up being a key reason why the team won the 2008 World Series. One thing is for sure, he will never have to buy a drink in Philadelphia for the rest of his life.

Castro, meanwhile, is a bit forgettable. Acquired in 2006 from Texas for RHP Daniel Haigwood, Castro was quite impressive in his first stint with the Phils in 2006 (0-1, 1.54). But, he really struggled with his command in 2007, walking 13 batters to just 14 strikeouts. The diminutive lefty (5’7) has spent the remainder of his career in AAA, pitching in Oakland’s organization with the Sacramento River Cats last season.

As one can see, the Phillies had not given up many impact players through Pat Gillick’s run as GM. Only Floyd, Gonzalez, and Bourn have really turned into quality major leaguers in the five-plus years since they departed the organization. Check back next time as we continue to take a gander at the many trades made since the Phillies began their run of five-consecutive division titles. Next up, Ruben Amaro.


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