Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lidge for Bourn: Perfect?

Justice's new blog post calls the Brad Lidge-for-Michael Bourn trade "perfect."

Ed Wade made the perfect baseball when he sent Brad Lidge to the Phillies for Michael Bourn two years ago. It's a trade that ought to teach us plenty of lessons about how we have to be careful in assessing trades and people too quickly.

At this time last year, it appeared the Phillies had fleeced Wade. Bourn was coming off a season in which he hit .229 and struck out 111 times. In his defense, he'd had just 594 career ABs and was only 25 years old, but there was nothing in his 2008 performance that indicated what he might do in 2009.

Meanwhile, Brad Lidge had a perfect season for the Phillies in converting 48 consecutive save chances and getting the final out of the 2008 World Series.

While Lidge probably needed a fresh start, Wade didn't appear to have gotten nearly enough for a guy with one of the best arms in baseball. At least that's what we thought after the 2008 season.

What we've since learned about Michael Bourn is that he has toughness and drive and self-confidence that almost all the really good ones have. He believed in himself when almost no one else did...

...Now we can look back on Lidge-for-Bourn and see it as the perfect trade because it helped both teams. Both teams got what they'd hoped to get. The Phillies got someone to take care of the ninth inning, and in the process got a championship out of it. The Astros got a dynamic presence at the top of the lineup. Trades don't turn out this way very often. Pretty cool, huh?

Agree, or disagree?


Ryan Sides said...

Agree to some extent. I like Bourn, but isn't the whole goal of playing the game to win a championship? While you can definitely argue that it was more than Lidge that got them the ring (obviously), it's pretty clear that without him they probably don't get the ring (most closers (even good ones) blow 4 saves a year, 4 less wins means they don't make the playoffs). And yes I just pulled out the parenthesis inside the parenthesis.

I said the whole time that no matter what Bourn did, the Astros were getting ripped off in losing one of the best arms in baseball -- as long as he was healthy. Last year, as noted, they got the poor end of the deal because Lidge was healthy. This year, he wasn't, and it looked better for us. I still think we need to see what Lidge does for the next 5+ years to really make this call.

Kevin said...

Any Astros fan that was paying attention in 2008 was questioning this move all season. MLBTR referenced this same Justice blaberry and offered his opinion saying; contract-wise we gave up one year of Lidge for five years of Bourn. Lidge was given a contract extension during 08. Would the Astros have done that or would he have walked at the end of the season?

Let's play the "what if" game. Valverde had about 7 blown saves in 08. Granted not all blown saves necessarily result in a loss, but IF we had a perfect SV/SVO from Lidge season here, where do we end up in the standings when we finished 3.5 games behind Milwaukee for the Wild Card? I know, I know... wild speculation.

Realistically, we MAY have been closer to contention in 08 with Lidge and someone else in center field, batting 8th. In the long run though, I think we will come out ahead on the deal (more upside and less money invested).

The Constable. said...

I think that, even two years later, it's too soon to tell about this trade. So, in warning us not to judge trades too hastily, Justice is still too hastily evaluating this trade.

Bourn has had one good season, and one bad season. As has Lidge. We'll need to give this one some more time before we know who got fleeced...