So uh, what’s the downside here?:
The Phillies, strengthening their pitching in two areas, have acquired Astros closer Brad Lidge and infielder Eric Bruntlett for outfielder Michael Bourn, reliever Geoff Geary and Class AA third baseman Mike Costanzo.
Oh baby, good trade alert! Brad Lidge, the man of many strikeouts, is now the Phillies #1 reliever. They definitely have him for the 2008 season, and can choose to let him go if he doesn’t work out. However, he’s been a premier reliever in the Majors outside of 2006. Even last year he was good when healthy. He was able to pitch well outside of some homers he gave up. And that’s the thing with Lidge, he can leave some fat pitches over the plate if he’s not careful. He also can get a little wild, walking 3.82 batters every 9 innings. However, his other peripheral numbers overshadow both of those negatives: 12.59 K per 9, .213 opponent batting average, and a good 3.3 K:BB ratio.
This also frees up Brett Myers to go back to the rotation, provided this reasonable move will occur. And I’ll take Myers for 200+ innings over the next couple seasons over a guy like Curt Schilling, who was recently resigned by the Red Sox.
So what about the other guys in this deal? Meh. It was going to be very likely that Geoff Geary would be back pitching in Philly after his poor 2007 output, Michael Bourn is nothing more than a 4th outfielder with no power and a decent eye, and Mike Costanzo is an interesting prospect but not a sure thing. He has rocks for hands, doesn’t make great contact, and is a fairly streaky hitter. He also has good power and was improving in laying off bad pitches. An 858 OPS for a 23 yr old in AA isn’t amazing, but it’s a plus. Eric Bruntlett is nothing special, just a bench filler.
All in all, this was a good deal for the Phils. It sends a good message to the players and fans that the front office isn’t just going to sit on their laurels (what the hell are laurels anyway?) because of this past season’s playoff berth.