Phillies: Most impactful trade made with every team
Chicago White Sox: Jim Thome for Aaron Rowand
"On November 25, 2005, the Philadelphia Phillies traded Jim Thome and cash to the Chicago White Sox for Gio Gonzalez, Daniel Haigwood, and Aaron Rowand."
At the time, Jim Thome was the biggest free agent addition in Phillies history and signaled a new era in team history with the closing of Veteran’s Stadium and opening of Citizens Bank Park.
Thome was nothing but excellent for the Phillies in his three seasons with the team. He led the league with 47 home runs in his first season and finished fourth in the MVP race. He followed that season up with 42 home runs and an All-Star game selection.
While having Thome was great, the Phillies weren’t making the playoffs and there was a big piece stuck behind him in the minors, Ryan Howard.
Neither Thome or Howard were fit to play a position other than first base, so someone had to go.
When an elbow injury ended Thome’s 2005 season, Howard stepped in and won the Rookie of the Year with 22 home runs in 88 games.
The choice was clear, the Phillies were better off with a cheap 25 year old Ryan Howard compared to a very expensive 34 year old Thome.
Prior to the 2006 season the Phillies sent Thome to the White Sox where his career could continue as a designated hitter. In return, the Phillies got two prospects and center fielder Aaron Rowand.
Prospect Daniel Haigwood only lasted 15 starts in the Phillies system before he was traded to Texas for Fabio Castro. Haigwood pitched in the minors for seven seasons and never made it to the big leagues.
Gio Gonzalez was thrown in as a “player to be named later” and developed into a quality big league starter. While he never played for the Phillies, traded back to the White Sox 363 days later, Gonzalez has pitched 12 seasons for three teams and nearly won a Cy Young in 2012 when he won 21 games for the Nationals.
Rowand was a very productive player, one of the most underrated Phillies players of the early 2000s. He was an All-Star who could hit for power and get on-base while also famously crashing into the outfield fence.
"“When I’m done playing baseball if that’s the one thing I get remembered for whether it’s just here in Philadelphia or around the country or whatever, I’ll gladly take that. Anybody that recollects that or thinks about that thinks about the fact that I played the game hard, that I played the game right. I don’t think as a player you could ask for anything more to be remembered for."
Not only did the Phillies get a productive player out of Rowand, they opened a spot for Howard at first base.
"Honorable Mentions December 9, 1959. The Philadelphia Phillies traded Gene Freese to the Chicago White Sox for Johnny Callison. December 6, 2006. The Philadelphia Phillies traded Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez to the Chicago White Sox for Freddy Garcia."