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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Farewell to Outfielders or a Stupid Ed Wade Trick?

Reports are that the Phillies traded outfielder Michael Bourn, long reliever Geoff Geary and minor leaguer Mike Costanzo for former Astros' closer Brad Lidge and utility infielder Eric Bruntlett. Read this report from Espn.com to see for yourself.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. The Phillies are short on outfielders. By all accounts, they aren't going to re-sign centerfielder Aaron Rowand, who had a career year in a walk year. By giving up Bourn, they have resigned themselves to a starting outfielder of stiff-legged Pat Burrell in left (he's not the best leftfielder, but he's far better than the Cards' Chris Duncan, who looks like a middle-aged former professional wrestler out there -- and a loyal reader wonders that with all the Phillies' fan groups, why hasn't "Pat Burrell's Fat Girls" taken root?), Shane Victorino in center and Jayson Werth in right. Decent fielding and light hitting Chris Roberson is the only backup. This isn't an outfield that is going to scare most teams. Does Pat Gillick have another deal or free agent signing up his sleeve?

2. The Phillies will be getting some erudite players. Lidge went to Notre Dame, Bruntlett to Stanford. The issues, though, are whether Lidge ever will be able to regain his old form and whether Bruntlett can play consistently.

3. Lidge will be a setup man, at least based upon recently published reports quoting Pat Gillick that Brett Myers is the closer, period, as no good will come out of moving him back and forth from starting to closing. That said, what will happen to Flash Gordon? He clearly would be an upgrade over the iffy Geary as a middle reliever. Bruntlett apparently will replace Abraham Nunez as the utility infielder. It does remain hard to believe, however, that Gillick really is satisfied going into the 2008 season with the platoon of Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs at third base. They and Nunez combined to give the Phils' the worst OBP of any third baseman or third base platoon in the majors.

4. What is Ed Wade thinking? He's really trading for Bourn, who showed great promise under the tutelage of Phils' first-base coach Davey Lopes as a base stealer. If Bourn hits (and he did in 2007), he can be a good leadoff hitter and tablesetter in Houston. Geary won't give the Astros much. He has average stuff, and if he doesn't pitch to the right spots he'll get hit, and hard.

Let's watch to see who'll be getting the better of the deal -- the Phillies' GM or second-to-last GM?

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