Just go to Citizens Bank Park to check out a game and you will see how dramatically the Phillies franchise has fallen off the cliff. This stadium was sold out every year including the two years prior to their World Series win. They are now lucky to get 25,000 people in attendance and half of them are rooting for the opposing team. Ever since the end of 2008, when Ruben Amaro Jr. took over the torch as the General Manager of the Phillies; he has completely and utterly destroyed this once proud franchise. He has made mistake after mistake, wether it be bad trades or bad signings or lack of trades.
Ruben has sunk this ship pretty quickly as the Phillies core group of players have sadly aged in front of us without another championship ring. Pat Gillick was responsible for some of the trades; however, his trades directly enhanced the teams ability to bring the World Series back to Philadelphia. In 2007, the Phillies sent Mike Costanzo, Michael Bourn, and Geoff Geary to the Houston Astros for Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett. Well, Lidge had possibly the best season ever for a Phillies closer and Bruntlett lead a stellar bench that won the championship. Unfortunately, Lidge became injury prone and is now out of baseball. Michael Bourn is the only player left on this list remaining in the big leagues...a small price to pay for a Championship in my mind.
Then in 2008, Gillick sent Adrian Cardenas, Matt Spencer and Josh Outman to the Oakland Athletics for pitcher Joe Blanton. Well once again folks, Joe Blanton was a key part of that 2008 championship team and brought many memories to the city. All three of these players remain in Oakland's farm system at this time, with Outman actually pitching for the big club going 3-3 with a 3.47 in 8 Starts for them. I would say this was a little bit bigger price; however, no one can argue with Gillick as they won the World Series behind Blanton.
Ok...drum role please. Pat Gillick retires...enter Ruben Amaro. So in 2009, Amaro decided to try and win the city over with what was the beginning of a series of moves that has not only sealed the team's fate, but also stripped them of most if not all of their top prospects. The first trade may be his only positive one. In the off season after the World Series, Amaro traded Jason Donald, Carlos Carasco, Jason Knapp, and Lou Marson to the Cleveland Indians for CY Young winner Cliff Lee. Ok, one would say, what is wrong with this trade...well virtually nothing on paper. Donald spent most of last season with the Indians and is now currently playing on their AAA team. Carasco, still only 24, has become one of Cleveland's mainstays of the rotation. Marson is the backup catcher and Knapp is the only player that probably won't have a future in the majors due to injuries.
The second big deal for Amaro was even bigger. In 2010, he sent Michael Taylor, Travis D'Arnaud, and Kyle Drabek to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay. This trade was huge for the Phillies and the team looked to be on their way to another title. Taylor was flipped to the Oakland Athletics, where he currently plays in AAA, but has a future in the team's Outfield. D'Aurnaud spent a few years with the Blue Jays minor league team before being traded to the New York Mets in the R.A. Dickey trade. Drabek, who was the center piece of this deal has struggled and svn had Tommy John Surgery. But don't forget, he is the son of former great Doug Drabek and he is still only 23 so there is plenty of time for him to still bud. No one can argue with this deal though, because there is no price tag that can be put on Roy Halladay. That first season, Halladay went 21-10, throwing an astronomical 250 innings with a 2.44 ERA, 215 K's, 9 Complete Games and 4 Shutouts en route to a CY YOUNG award! He then went on to have 2 more stellar seasons before succumbing to injuries.
The Halladay was the good. The next trade, dealing away Cliff Lee was the bad and the ugly. The Phillies shipped Lee to the Seattle Mariners for Phillippe Aumont (up and down more than a squirrel in a tree), Tyson Gillies (recently released), and JC Rameriz (also recently released). So this is where Amaro blew his load. This is where it went downhill. Who knows what would have happened if the team had kept Lee instead of trading him for a bag of pucks. Then it happened, Amaro realized that he had made a huge mistake getting rid of Lee, so he decided to trade for All-Star Roy Oswalt. The only problem, he overpaid. He traded J.A Happ, Anthony Gose, and Jonathan Villar to the Astros for Oswalt. Everyone knows what happened that year, as they lost in the NLCS to the San Francisco Giants, who went on to win the World Series.
Ok, Oswalt...out of baseball. JA Happ...starter for Toronto Blue Jays. Anthony Gose...Starting CF for Toronto Blue Jays. Jonathan Villar...starting Shortstop Houston Astros. So I would say this deal was horrible in the end for the Phillies as all 3 Players are budding superstars. Next 2011, Amaro trades Sergio Escalona to the Houston Astros for Albert Cartwright. Cartwright, a 2B has yet to sniff the major leagues. Escalona is the long relief man for the Astros and specialty left hander.
And now the big trade. The trade that has everyone talking today after a CBS report that the Phillies accidentally dealt a prized prospect in the deal. The trade we are talking about here is the one that sent (SP) Jared Cosart, (SP) Josh Zeid, and (1B) Jonathan Singleton and a player to be named later to the Houston Astros for Hunter Pence. Hunter Pence was virtually a six month rental player as the Phillies traded him to the San Francisco Giants for another bag of pucks. Jared Cosart is the #2 Starter for the Astros now. Zeid is a budding star in the bullpen. And Jonathan Singleton, who has now cleaned up his act, could be the next Ryan Howard. The sad part is, Singleton is only 25. He was just promoted this past week and signed a deal to be the Astros long term First Baseman. (Wow...he would fit perfectly as a replacement for an aging Ryan Howard).
Nonetheless, these are three good prospects in their own right. However, a recent report surfaced that states that the Phillies accidentally traded prospect Domingo Santana in the Hunter Pence deal as the player to be named later. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me?!!!!! How does this happen. Well, on Saturday Amaro refuted this report and denies that a clerical error was made that added Santana to the list. Amaro claims that he was supposed to be on the list as per Ed Wade. Ed Wade????? Since when does he make decisions for this team...geez. So in other words, the Phillies would rather us fans know that they needlessly threw in another star prospect in the Pence deal, instead of making a clerical error.
Well in fact, if Amaro is right, this makes the Phillies (and himself) look even worse. Santana is a 6'5" 224 Pound Outfielder who is only 21 now. He is now in AAA hitting .292 with 9HR, 36 RBI, and an .858 OPS in 58 games. Astros officials say do not be surprised to see Santana in the big leagues before the year is over. According to de Jesus Ortiz, a reporter, Santana was included on the PTBNL List due to a clerical error. So, the Phillies virtually gave away one of their better prospects for no reason by mistake??? Geez, this is not only pathetic that we are even discussing this, this is borderline incompetence.
This report makes the Phillies organization look bumbling, stooped and amateurish. However, if this was indeed a mistake, it should be a bit reassuring if nothing else. Everyone was operating under the assumption that the Phillies saw no value in Santana that they just threw him in as the player to be named later. Everyone who follows the Phillies farm system balked when they finally realized that it was Santana who was the PTBNL. They scoffed as they knew that Santana has a bright future in the big leagues. If this situation does not bring light to the incompetence of Ruben Amaro and this Phillies organization, I don't know that anything ever will.
Ruben Amaro was recently voted the worst (30/30) General Managers in Major League Baseball by a jury of his peers. This is saddening and maddening. Why is this buffoon still making decisions for this Baseball Team????? Amaro should be axed immediately and the Phillies should be blown up...time to start from scratch. This team does not even have a handful of prospects left. Amaro has depleted the farm system in the name of hypocrisy. The only deals that made sense for the Phillies were the Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee (#1) deals. Amaro claims that he has no regrets in making all of the deals that he has made including trades, signings, and long-term contracts. He states that Hunter Pence was the best bat available at the time. Well this is a joke...because they never would have had to trade for Pence if they just resigned Jayson Werth. No, they thought they needed another Pitcher again. The Phillies have failed. Ruben Amaro has failed. And for that, I say he should not see tomorrow. He should be fired and this organization should start over. Phillies officials should be ashamed of itself for allowing this guy to ruin the franchise!!!! Good Riddance Ruben. Go ruin some other team.