High Cheese: How will history judge Pat Gillick? He signed Brad Lidge, but also gets credit for Tom Gordon. Utley, Dobbs, Moyer, Wert, Myers...all came to Philadelphia under his reign.
I touched on this in my story today about Greg Dobbs, J.C. Romero and Jayson Werth and their respective contributions to this Phillies team. GM Pat Gillick and the Phillies front office has taken considerable heat from the fan base for some of its higher-profile mistakes, namely the signing of Adam Eaton to a big multi-year deal and the trading of Gavin Floyd for Freddy Gonzalez last offseason. In both cases, you all know the rest of the story.
But for today's story, I looked at three successes of Gillick and his regime: Dobbs, the pinch-hitter extraordinaire, Werth, the new everyday rightfielder, and Romero, who for most of the season was the only lefthander in the bullpen.
It got me thinking: how will history judge Pat Gillick? Granted, the Eaton signing and Garcia trade will be hard for people to overlook. But what if you look back on all the moves the regime has made since Gillick was named general manager in November of 2005?
Here is a list of them. I have bolded the ones that were clearly positive moves, italicized the ones that were clearly negative moves, and left in normal type all of the moves that were neither overwhelming successes nor overwhelming failures.
Feel free to disagree.
Nov. 26, 2005: Acquired Aaron Rowand along with Dan Haigwood and a player to be named later for Jim Thome and cash considerations.
Dec. 3, 2005: Signed pitcher Tom Gordon, formerly of the Yankees, to a three-year contract.
Dec. 12, 2005: Traded Vicente Padilla to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later (Ricardo Rodriguez)
Jan. 28, 2006: Acquired Arthur Rhodes from the Indians for OF Jason Michaels.
July 28, 2006: Traded 3B David Bell to the Milwaukee Brewers for pitcher Wilfrido Laureano.
Aug. 19, 2006: Acquired pitcher Jamie Moyer and cash from Mariners for pitchers Andrew Barb and Andrew Baldwin.
Aug. 28, 2006: Acquired IF/OF Jeff Conine for a player to be named later.
Oct. 24, 2006: Signed Moyer to a two-year contract extension.
Nov. 18, 2006: Signed IF Wes Helms, formerly of the Marlins, to a two-year contract.
Nov. 30, 2006: Agreed to terms with Adam Eaton.
Dec. 8, 2006: Acquired Freddy Garcia from the White Sox for Gio Gonzalez and Gavin Floyd.
Dec. 19, 2006: Signed Jayson Werth to a one-year contract.
Jan. 14, 2006: Antonio Alfonseca signed as free agent.
Jan. 16, 2007: Greg Dobbs acquired off waivers.
Jan. 21, 2007: Chase Utley signs seven-year contract extension.
Feb. 1, 2007: Brett Myers signs three-year extension.
April 5, 2007: Acquired pitcher Francisco Rosario from Blue Jays for cash considerations.
April 13, 2007: Claimed pitcher J.D. Durbin off waivers from Red Sox.
June 13, 2007: Purchased contract of pitcher Kyle Kendrick from Reading.
June 23, 2007: Signed J.C. Romero, formerly of the Boston Red Sox.
July 27, 2007: Traded for Tadahito Iguchi from White Sox.
July 30, 2007: Acquired pitcher Kyle Lohse from Cincinnati for pitcher Matt Maloney.
Aug. 10, 2007: Acquired IF/OF Russ Branyan From Indians for cash considerations.
Nov. 7, 2007: Acquired pitcher Brad Lidge and IF Eric Bruntlett from Astros for pitcher Geoff Geary, OF Michael Bourn and 3B Mike Costanzo.
Dec. 20, 2007: Signed OF Geoff Jenkins to a two-year contract.
Dec. 20, 2007: Signed pitcher Chad Durbin to a one-year contract.
Feb. 1, 2008: Signed 3B Pedro Feliz to a two-year contract with a club option for 2010.
Feb. 14, 2008: Agreed to terms with Kris Benson on a minor league contract.
April 2, 2008: Agreed to terms with Rudy Seanez on a one-year contract.
July 7, 2008: Signed pitcher Brad Lidge to a three-year contract.
July 17, 2008: Acquired pitcher Joe Blanton from the Athletics for pitcher Josh Outman, 2B Adrian Cardenas and OF Matt Spencer.
Aug. 7, 2008: Acquired P Scott Eyre from the Cubs for P Brian Schlitter.
Aug. 30, 2008: Acquired OF Matt Stairs from the Blue Jays for a player to be named later.
Positives: The acquisitions of Rowand, Lidge, Moyer, Werth, Dobbs, Lohse, Romero, Gordon and Chad Durbin all turned out to be marquee moves. The pitchers have combined to go 50-33 with a 3.78 ERA and 84 saves during their time with the Phillies. To put that in perspective, since Gillick arrived in Philly, the club has won 236 games. More than half of them (134) have either been won or saved by Moyer, Lidge, Lohse, Romero, Gordon or Durbin. You might argue the Gordon move, since he has spent a considerable amount of the last two seasons on the disabled list. But he pitched well down the stretch last season, and was a big part of the bullpen's success early this year. Plus, he did save 34 games in 2006. And when you compare his contract -- three years, 18 mil -- to some of the other closers who were free agents in 2005 (B.J. Ryan - Five years, 47 mil; Billy Wagern - Four years, 43 mil) he came at a relative bargain. The Rowand move goes without saying - nobody expected it to pay off like it did. And Werth and Dobbs have been huge pieces of the team's success the past couple seasons.
Negatives: The biggest blotches -- and they are big blotches -- are Garcia, Eaton and Helms. I'll throw Kris Benson in here too. Even though it didn't cost the Phils much, it may have prevented them from some other options they were considering. If they don't sign Benson, maybe they consider Lohse on a one-year deal once his price dropped. I think it's too early to judge guys like Geoff Jenkins, Pedro Feliz and Joe Blanton, though the Jenkins deal isn't looking like a great one right now.
Overall: I'll be interested to see how history judges Gillick's time with the Phillies. Fairly or unfairly, a lot could depend on how the Phils do in the playoffs -- assuming they get there -- this season.