Pat Gillick's record on trades has so far been spotty, but at least he has Jamie Moyer.
The old-school general manager acquired the old-school pitcher (you purists have to love the way he wears his uniform) in a deal with Seattle on Aug. 19, just a couple of weeks after the Phils had ripped out the respirator wires and joined last season's National League wild-card race.
Moyer made his 16th start as a Phillie last night, and although it wasn't one of his best, everything ended up all right. The veteran lefty departed trailing, 4-2, in the seventh, but his mates put up a six-spot in the eighth to pull out a pulsating 8-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
It was nice to see the bats come alive because Moyer's teammates owed him one. He had opened the season with seven straight quality starts - six or more innings, three or fewer earned runs - and that's not too shabby.
The Phils' record in Moyer's 16 starts with the club is 12-4.
On this scorecard, Moyer beats out Aaron Rowand as the best trade acquisition of the Gillick era, which began in November 2005.
Rowand is having a tremendous season - his .350 batting average ranks in the top five in the NL - and we all know what a team-first guy he is. But the Phils gave up a Hall of Fame-caliber talent in Jim Thome (and picked up $22 million of his salary) to get the package that included Rowand.
To get Moyer, the Phils gave up two pitchers who were in single A last season, Andrew Barb and Andrew Baldwin. Of the two, Barb has the highest ceiling. He has pitched well as a closer in the single-A Midwest League, while Baldwin has an ERA of 4.67 in double A.
The Phils had no problem giving up those two pitchers for the 43-year-old Moyer in August. And they'd have no problem doing it all over again, even as Moyer has seen the candles on his birthday cake increase to 44.
Not all of Gillick's trades have worked out so well, especially the ones made late last season, when over the span of three weeks, the GM hung out the For Sale sign when it looked as if the team was dead in July, then changed it to Help Wanted when the club rallied in August.
On July 26, Gillick traded spare-part catcher Sal Fasano to the Yankees and would have been happy to get back anything with a pulse. He got minor-league second baseman Hector Made, who just passed the halfway point in a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.
On July 28, Gillick sent unproductive third baseman David Bell to Milwaukee for pitcher Wilfredo Laureano, whom the Phillies released in spring training.
Two days later, in the big deal of the season, the Phils sent Bobby Abreu (and his big salary) and Cory Lidle to the Yankees for four players.
Matt Smith pitched well for the Phils down the stretch last season but began this season poorly and is back in the minors. C.J. Henry, the best prospect that the Phils got in the deal, was hitting .202 in his first 28 games at single-A Lakewood and is now playing the outfield after failing at shortstop and third base. Pitcher Carlos Monasterios had a 5.60 ERA in his first seven starts at Lakewood. The Phils remain high on Jesse Sanchez, a 19-year-old catcher acquired in the deal.
On the day of last summer's trade deadline, the Phils moved Rheal Cormier to Cincinnati for righthander Justin Germano, not a bad arm to have in the system. Only problem is the Phils waived Germano midway through spring training. He joined San Diego's rotation last week and has allowed just one run in 13 innings.
There were other deals down the stretch. Picking up Jeff Conine from Baltimore for infielder Angel Chavez proved to be a good one. Conine would look good now as a semi-regular for the Phils, but he was dealt to Cincinnati in December for outfielder Javon Moran (a Michael Bourn-type player hitting .300 in double A) and third baseman Brad Key, who was recently released.
Two weeks before peddling Conine, Gillick pulled off one of the biggest trades of his time in Philadelphia, landing pitcher Freddy Garcia for minor-league arms Gio Gonzalez and Gavin Floyd. The jury remains out on that one. Gonzalez, 21, has a chance to be very good. Garcia has a chance to help the Phillies this season, but so far he's been a disappointment, with a 5.17 ERA and body language that says "short-timer."
While Garcia has been a disappointment, Moyer has probably exceeded expectations, even after seeing his string of quality starts end last night.
Looking for the best trade pickup of the Pat Gillick era? Come out to the ballpark Saturday night when Jamie Moyer is scheduled to make his next start.