Jul 26, 2009, 10:00 AM EDT
The Phillies were having a dismal season in 2000 as the trade deadline approached. They were 11 games under .500 on July 26th, 2000, with more bad news coming down the pipeline–ace pitcher Curt Schilling was on his way out of town. Dissatisfied with the Phillies' performance over the last few seasons, Schill had pushed for a deal to a contender, and GM Ed Wade granted it by sending him to the then 56-44 Arizona Diamondbacks. In return, the Phillies got pitchers Vicente Padilla, Omar Daal and Nelson Figueroa, as well as first baseman Travis Lee. "I will leave here with nothing but the best memories on and off the field," claimed Schilling in his post-trade conference. "I was booed so much less than I probably deserve to be booed here, which I don't think too many people leaving Philly can say."
"The reality of the deal is that we are giving up, obviously, one of the top starting pitchers in all of baseball," Phillies GM Ed Wade said at the time. "In getting these four players, we answer a lot of needs. Did we get Curt Schilling back in this deal? Obviously we didn't." True to say the least, although considering some of the hair-pullingly lopsided deals Wade and Gillick made over the course of the decade, we did at least get back a little value here. Padilla would be one of the team's front-end starters for several years, Lee at least had an above-average 2001, despite ultimately being a disappointment, and Figueroa served OK that season as a fill-in starter as well. (Daal would be less serviceable, leading the league in losses the next year with his 4-19 record).
Schilling, though, went on to combine with D'Backs starter Randy Johnson as the most dominant one-two pitcher punch in 21st century baseball, as the two powered the Diamondbacks to the '01 playoffs (setting the single-season record for combined strikeouts by teammates) and got named co-MVPs in the World Series. Schill would also win a pair of rings after moving to the Red Sox, all while the Phils struggled with Padilla, Randy Wolf, Kevin Milwood and Jon Lieber as their makeshift aces. His time in Philly will likely endure as a somewhat checkered one, but Phils fans certainly didn't know what they had until it was gone with Curt Schilling.
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