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10 biggest trades in Phillies history

SAN DIEGO - 1986: Steve Carlton #32 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches during the 1986 season MLB game against the San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
March 13, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- The best trade in Phillies history is easy: Steve Carlton from the Cardinals for Rick Wise. There is no argument there. None. But what about the other top trades in franchise history? That gets a little complicated. Does Roy Halladay slot ahead of Curt Schilling and Jim Bunning?

PHILADELPHIA -- The best trade in Phillies history is easy: Steve Carlton from the Cardinals for Rick Wise.

There is no argument there.


But what about the other top trades in franchise history? That gets a little complicated. Does Roy Halladay slot ahead of Curt Schilling and Jim Bunning? What about Brad Lidge over Lenny Dykstra and Manny Trillo? Those rankings are debatable. So let's break down (arguably) the best 10 trades in Phillies history:

1. A Wise move
Phillies got from Cardinals: LHP Steve Carlton
Phillies gave up: RHP Rick Wise
Date: Feb. 25, 1972

Carlton wanted a $10,000 raise from the Cardinals in 1972, but St. Louis owner Gussie Busch said no. Rather than cave into Carlton's demands, the Cardinals shipped Carlton to the lowly Phillies for Wise, who was in a salary dispute. Philadelphia fans initially hated the trade but soon learned they had acquired one of the best left-handers in baseball history. Carlton won four National League Cy Young Awards with the Phillies, helped them capture the 1980 World Series and got enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

2. Doc is in
Phillies got from Blue Jays: RHP Roy Halladay and cash
Phillies gave up: C Travis d'Arnaud, RHP Kyle Drabek and OF Michael Taylor
Date: Dec. 16, 2009

Then-Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. always considered the late Halladay his great white whale, so when he fell short in catching him before the Trade Deadline, Amaro continued his pursuit that winter. Halladay made a tremendous impact on the Phillies in just four seasons. He won the 2010 NL Cy Young Award, throwing a perfect game in May and a no-hitter against the Reds in Game 1 of the NL Division Series. Halladay could be elected into the Hall of Fame, while no prospects Amaro dealt came back to bite the Phillies.

3. Another Hall of Famer
Phillies got from Tigers: RHP Jim Bunning and C Gus Triandos
Phillies gave up: INF/OF Don Demeter and RHP Jack Hamilton
Date: Dec. 5, 1963

It is hard to believe the Tigers ever made this trade. Demeter had some decent seasons with the Phillies, finishing 12th in NL Most Valuable Player Award voting in 1962, but Hamilton showed no inkling of being a consistently effective pitcher. Bunning was an ace when the Tigers traded him, and he was an ace with the Phillies, too. He threw a perfect game on Father's Day '64 and eventually got a Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown, N.Y.

4. Before the bloody sock
Phillies got from Astros: RHP Curt Schilling
Phillies gave up: RHP Jason Grimsley
Date: April 2, 1992

Schilling was a relief pitcher with control problems. Grimsley was a starter with control problems. So the Phillies and Astros swapped. The Phillies returned Schilling to the rotation, where he flourished and established himself as one of the best big-game pitchers in baseball history. Schilling led the Phillies to the 1993 pennant as the NL Championship Series MVP and remains a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame.

5. A perfect season
Phillies got from Astros: RHP Brad Lidge and INF Eric Bruntlett
Phillies gave up: OF Michael Bourn, RHP Geoff Geary and INF Mike Costanzo
Date: Nov. 7, 2007

Then-Phillies general manager Pat Gillick trusted his scouts when they said Lidge would bounce back from his struggles the previous two seasons with Houston. Lidge became an All-Star, posted a 1.95 ERA and went 41-for-41 in save opportunities for the Phillies in the 2008 regular season. He converted all seven save chances in the postseason, recording the final out of the World Series.

6. A steal for Stocker
Phillies got from Rays: OF Bobby Abreu
Phillies gave up: SS Kevin Stocker
Date: Nov. 18, 1997

The Rays took Abreu with the sixth pick in the 1997 expansion draft, but they traded him to the Phillies because they thought Stocker's defense could help them. Abreu blossomed into one of the best offensive players in Phillies history, while Stocker lasted a little more than two seasons with the Rays before they released him in May 2000.

7. Cliff sets the bar
Phillies got from Indians: LHP Cliff Lee and OF Ben Francisco
Phillies gave up: RHP Carlos Carrasco, C Lou Marson, INF Jason Donald and RHP Jason Knapp
Date: July 29, 2009

The Phillies needed pitching help in 2009, but when the price for Halladay became too high, Amaro changed course and landed Lee from the Indians. Lee led the Phillies to the NL pennant that year. He enjoyed Philly so much that even after the Phillies traded him to the Mariners in December '09, he re-signed with them the following offseason.

8. Nails and Roger
Phillies got from Mets: OF Lenny Dykstra, RHP Roger McDowell and a player to be named (RHP Tom Edens)
Phillies gave up: INF/OF Juan Samuel
Date: June 18, 1989

Dykstra became a three-time NL All-Star with the Phillies, whom he helped lead to the 1993 NL pennant. Samuel, meanwhile, struggled in his half-season with the Mets before continuing his career with the Dodgers in '90. Dykstra had an .835 OPS and a 128 OPS+ with the Phillies from '90-96.

9. Manny being Manny
Phillies got from Cubs: 2B Manny Trillo, OF Greg Gross and C Dave Rader
Phillies gave up: INF Ted Sizemore, OF Jerry Martin, C Barry Foote, RHP Derek Botelho and RHP Henry Mack
Date: Feb. 23, 1979

Trillo had been an All-Star with the Cubs in 1977, but he established himself as an All-Star, Gold Glove second baseman and Silver Slugger with the Phillies from '79-82. Trillo and Larry Bowa became one of the best shortstop-second base combos in franchise history. Gross was a pinch-hitting extraordinaire. Both helped the Phillies win the 1980 World Series.

10. The other Cy
Phillies got from Cubs: OF Cy Williams
Phillies gave up: OF Dode Paskert
Date: Dec. 26, 1917

Who doesn't remember this trade? Wait, you don't? The Cubs sent Williams, 29, to the Phillies for Paskert, 36, in part because Williams apparently did not get along great with Cubs manager Fred Mitchell. Williams developed into an offensive star for the Phillies, becoming the NL's all-time career home run leader before Rogers Hornsby passed him in 1929. Williams was a dead-pull hitter, taking advantage of the short right-field porch at Baker Bowl. Even before teams shifted on Ted Williams, teams shifted on Cy Williams.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.