Friday, July 23, 2010
Let's say that Bobby Abreu was never traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Philadelphia Phillies for Kevin Stocker. The aging Stocker was wearing down even though he was only approaching 30, so the Rays decided to keep the young prospect Abreu. Without an answer in right field, the Phillies went out to drain a ton of money into a right fielder who happened to not pan out while Stocker retired a year later. Abreu, on the other hand, gave the Rays exactly what they needed to complement the savvy veterans on the original expansion roster and actually not be pathetic for so many years. What's more, the Phillies continue to stick with Stocker through his early 30s hoping that someday he will turn around his performance, and that totally miss on another young shortstop who should have debuted in 2000, Jimmy Rollins.
Although this is only a very brief alternate history, and you can see why one of the most talked about trades in recent Phillies history was vitally important to the franchise.
Photo by emples on Flickr