8 Halloween-scary trades that still haunt Phillies fans
By Matt Rappa
1. Traded INF Placido Polanco to the Detroit Tigers for RHP Ugueth Urbina and INF Ramon Martinez
June 8, 2005
When the Phillies acquired utility infielder Placido Polanco from the St. Louis Cardinals in the July 2002 Scott Rolen trade, he immediately became a fan-favorite. In 53 games to finish out the season, Polanco slashed .296/.353/.427. And, in 2003 and 2004, Polanco combined to slash .293/.348/.444.
Just how Jim Thome was traded to the American League to free up playing time for Ryan Howard, the Phillies similarly chose to move on from Polanco in favor of rising star Chase Utley. But, this decision still is questioned today, as the Phillies could have kept Polanco to play the hot corner; instead, they stuck with David Bell, who remained with the team through parts of the 2006 season.
In 2007, Phillies starting third baseman Abraham Nunez slashed only .234/.318/.282. Pedro Feliz would follow, again slashing an underwhelming .249/.302/.402 during the 2008 World Series championship-winning season.
Polanco would ultimately return to the Phillies in 2010, but who is to say he could not have helped the Phillies after the June 2005 trade, and especially in the 2009 World Series? Feliz put together only a .174/.174/.348 slash line against the New York Yankees, albeit doubling and homering once each. In between his Phillies stints, Polanco earned two All-Star nods, two Gold Glove Awards, one Silver Slugger Award, and 2006 ALCS MVP honors.
Urbina would wrap up his 11-year Major League career in red pinstripes, making 56 appearances with the Phillies in the 2005 season. He posted a 4.13 ERA and 1.146 WHIP, while striking out 66 batters in 52 1/3 innings. Of course, he would enter the headlines not too long after in legal trouble.
Martinez played in just 33 games with the Phillies to finish the 2005 campaign, although he did hit a respectable .286/.317/.375 in 65 plate appearances. He would play the next two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and two more with the New York Mets, before finishing his 12-season career.