Phillies’ top five deals at the trade deadline: A fan’s take

As the 2011 non-waiver trade deadline approaches, the Philadelphia Phillies appear to be in the market to potentially add a player or two for the stretch run.

Lee's acquisition paid big dividends in the 2009 World Series.
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In recent years, Philadelphia has been big players at the annual summer poker table.

The importance of trades is a very subjective subject. These five trades have been intentionally placed in chronological order, starting in 1977. There are certainly other important deadline transactions that have been made over the years.

Five: Bake McBride - June 15, 1977

(Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline had previously been set on June 15.)

On June 15, 1977, the Phillies acquired McBride and pitcher Steve Waterbury from the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Tommy Underwood, outfielder Rick Bosetti and utility man Dane Iorg.

While Waterbury never appeared in the majors for the Phillies, "Shake n' Bake" surely did.

He was a solid leadoff man, who had good speed and was a strong right field presence. His role on the 1980 World Series championship team was vital, as he hit .304.

Four: Dick Ruthven - June 15, 1978

On June 15, 1978, the team pulled made a deal that would pay dividends two years later.

Gene Garber had become expendable in the Phillies bullpen because of the effectiveness of Tug McGraw and Ron Reed. Being seen as expendable, Garber was dealt to the Atlanta Braves for Ruthven.

Ruthven performed well in his role as a starter and, like McBride, became a key component on their 1980 championship team.

He earned the win in Game 5 of the National League Championship series against the Houston Astros. That Phillies' pennant-winning effort is still considered to be one of the best NLCS that has ever been played.

Three: Bobby Abreu(notes) - July 30, 2006

Hall of Fame GM Pat Gillick dealt Abreu and the late Cory Lidle to the New York Yankees on July 30, 2006. His intent to create payroll flexibility was evident, as the players received in return were only considered marginal prospects at that time.

Gillick's shrewd decisions paid off when the team raised their second-ever World Series championship trophy in 2008.

Two: Cliff Lee(notes) - July 29, 2009

Lee had a remarkable 2008 American League Cy Young season, as he produced one of the higher winning percentages of all time with his 22-3 record.

Unable to land Roy Halladay(notes), GM Ruben Amaro, Jr., obtained Lee and Ben Francisco(notes) from the Cleveland Indians, for three minor league prospects on July 29, 2009.

The lanky lefty had a good stretch run and then dumbfounded the New York Yankees in that year's World Series.

His subsequent trade to the Mariners in 2009 and reacquisition through free agency in 2010 deserves to be turned into an MLB Network movie.

One: Roy Oswalt(notes) - July 29, 2010

Amaro acquired former American League Cy Young award winner Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays in December 2009.

Still believing that his team needed another arm, he called his former mentor Ed Wade in Texas. The Houston Astros general manager was in a trading mood when he took the call.

On July 29, 2010, the Phillies acquired Oswalt and cash from the Astros in return for promising starting pitcher J.A. Happ(notes) and two minor league prospects.

Oswalt was one of the best pitchers in baseball for the remainder of the season, as he went 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA. In three NLCS games, against the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants, his ERA was 1.84.

After earning a Communications degree from Penn State in 1990, I started my career in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons front office. At that time they were the Philadelphia Phillies Triple-A farm team. Follow me on Twitter @ SeanyOB.

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Updated Thursday, Jul 21, 2011