Phillies acquire closer Brad Lidge from Houston

November 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm 9 comments

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The first move to come from the GM meetings in Orlando. This is a great move by the Phillies. They gave up little. They got a closer with incredible stuff and they only gave up a guy who is more of a 4th OF in Michael Bourn, a reliever that they sent down to the minors last year in Geoff Geary, and a non-prospect in Mike Costanzo.

I honestly think the Astros could’ve gotten a better player than Bourn for Lidge. Maybe they were high on him since they are looking for a centerfielder who is speedy. Either way, I think the Astors did this to just get Lidge off the books and to have the freedom of not worrying if Albert Pujols is still giving him nightmares.

The Phillies can now move Brett Myers back to the rotation, and this is key because they are looking for starting pitching and they got a frontline guy from within. They were reportedly told by none other than Scott Boras that Kyle Lohse is going to cost $40M. Carlos Silva won’t even talk unless you start at $40M, and those are the best free agent pitchers on the market other than Andy Pettitte and he will only play in Houston, New York, or Los Angels (Dodgers). Starting pitching is very hard to get and the Phillies obtained some by dealing for a reliever and not giving anything up that compromises their future.

Minor league third baseman Mike Costanzo is the key to this trade for the Astros. He has good raw power (27 homers) and draws walks (75) but is a bit slow and strikes out a ton (157 in 508 at-bats). He was also a bit old for AA, turning 24 in September. He has to get off to a hot start in AAA next year if he wants to make this team in 2008. He is currently hitting .179 in the Arizona Fall League with 25 strikeouts in 71 at-bat and only 2 extra-base hits (both homers).

The Phillies win this trade hands down in my opinion. Here is the exerpt of the original story:

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Philadelphia Phillies acquired reliever Brad Lidge from the Houston Astros in a five-player trade on Wednesday night.

The Phillies sent outfielder Michael Bourn, pitcher Geoff Geary and minor leaguer Mike Costanzo to Houston, and received infielder Eric Bruntlett in addition to Lidge.

It was the first trade of the general managers’ meetings this year.

The 30-year-old Lidge was 5-3 with 19 saves in 27 chances for the Astros last year. He struggled to close out games but held batters to a .218 average and averaged 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

Philadelphia intends to move Brett Myers, who had been their closer, back into the starting rotation.

Bruntlett hit .246 with 14 RBIs last season, seeing time at shortstop, third base and the outfield.

Bourn batted .277 as a rookie this year with one homer, six RBIs and 18 steals, and Geary was 3-2 with a 4.41 ERA with the Phillies. Costano, 24, batted .270 with 27 homers and 86 RBIs at Double-A Reading. Info from and the Associated Press

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brooke  |  November 7, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    It’s insane. Great for the Phillies!

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 7, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    No doubt! They got away with robbery.

  • […] wrote an interesting post today on Phillies acquire closer Brad Lidge from HoustonHere’s a quick […]

  • 4. Erik  |  November 8, 2007 at 2:38 am

    I think what this move does is it annoints a new closer in Philly as well as strengthens their starting rotation by putting Myers back there in the rotation.

    It also makes it necessary for Philly to go after Aaron Rowand Hard! I doubt they’ll have the money for A. Jones or Torii Hunter. And seeing what kind of player Rowand is he fits in Philly.

    Lidge goes from one hitter’s park to another so no real difference there.

    To Houston they get a CFer in Bourne. Which enables them to move Pence to RF which is one of their goals all along. To me it seems like they had this speedy CFer in wily tavaras a year ago. They get Geoff Geary who is a middle reliever who isn’t bad.

    Overall I think the phillies win this in the early going but who knows it is after all only November.

  • 5. Charlie Nehl  |  November 8, 2007 at 6:22 am

    Hopefully the change of scenery, will help Lidge out. It’s obvious he has some confidence issues that make him vulnerable out there on the hill in the ninth. He does go to a much better team, and that should really help out matters greatly. I’ve always like Eric Bruntlett because he could play every where in the infield has decent speed, and can handle a bat pretty decent. He’ll be a good utility player for the Phillies. Do the Phillies have Iguchi through this season or is he a free agent. He might be a decent option at 3rd Base. I saw Bourn playing a few games when they were playing the Cubs. The dude can flat out fly in the outfield, so I think he’ll help out the Astros more than he would have with the Phillies, because Jason Lane and Luke Scott sure did a good job for them :thumbs up:.

  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 8, 2007 at 7:30 am

    I like your thinking Erik. It makes perfect sense for the Phillies to go after Rownad now, they may even go after Jones if they can get him on a one year deal. Let’s not forget how deep the CF pool is with Jones, Hunter, Rowand, Corey Patterson, Kenny Lofton, and possible trades for Coco Crisp and Rocco Baldelli. The Phillies can find a CFer and they have options. I think Crisp is a great fit but they don’t really have a whole lot to give for him. Re-signing Rowand seems like a priority of theirs. And you’re right, Bourn is a lot like Taveras. They are both incredibly similar.

  • 7. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 8, 2007 at 7:36 am

    I agree Charlie. Lidge was removed from the closer’s role last year and got it back when he finally got confidence. He did so well in middle relief they gave him the job back and he ran away with it, making Dan Wheeler expendible at the time.

    I also love your satire at the end! Bourn can fly! He is a speedy guy but I hope they don’t bat him lead-off just because he’s fast. He belongs in the 8th spot. The Astros could still go after a Miguel Tejada or someone so keep your ears open. The Astros desperately need pitching but if they could swing a Tejada they could have a lineup with Tejada, Lee, Berkman, Pence, Wigginton, Burke, Towles, and Bourn. Not too bad, especially in the weak NL Central.

  • 8. Charlie Nehl  |  November 8, 2007 at 8:15 am

    Do you think they’d send Adam Everrett in a Miggy Tejada trade? Honestly I’d rather have Everrett than Tejada. With a healthy Everrett he’s one the best defensive SS’s in the MLB, maybe not THE best, but ONE of the best. If they added Tejada, it could be the best lineup in the NL Central and could compete in the overall NL. As a Cubs fan, I don’t like it =)

    Yeah, I hope they bat Bourn 8th, but we’ll see where that goes. I suppose Burke could lead off (and I think he has some in the past).

  • 9. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 8, 2007 at 8:53 am

    I think Everett would be part of the deal but he wouldn’t be the best part in the deal at all. I personally think Everett is the best fielding SS in the Majors. He is so good. I remember one time Bagwell saying that he didn’t cover first becuase the ball was a base hit and next thing he knew he was running to first to try to catch the ball that Everett already got to and unloaded. He is that good but he doesn’t hit too much and doesn’t take a lot of walks.

    Burke could bat leadoff, but he’s not a prototypical leadoff guy. You’re right, he has batted there in the past.


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