Phillies trade Curt Schilling to the Diamondbacks, 2000 Trade Deadline
Before Curt Schilling was spouting conspiracy theories on social media and keeping himself out of the Hall of Fame, he was a pretty good pitcher.
In nine seasons with the Phillies between 1992-2000 – more than twice the time he spent with any other team in his 20-year career – he posted a 3.35 ERA over 242 games (226 starts), and went 101-78 back when a pitcher’s win-loss record actually meant something. He represented the Phillies as an All-Star for the first time in 1997, and again in the following two seasons. In 1998, he led all of MLB in innings pitched for the first time, and in complete games (15) for the only time in his career, though he’d lead the NL in the category three more times.
When the Phillies traded him to the Diamondbacks at the 2000 deadline, he had a 3.91 ERA in 16 starts. In that first half-season in Arizona, he had a 3.69 ERA over 13 starts, helping the team finish 85-77.
The following year, the Diamondbacks rose from third to first in the NL West, winning the division, and the first pennant and World Series in the history of the young franchise. This success for a team that had only been incepted four years prior was largely due to the dominance of Randy Johnson and Schilling. That season, Schilling, an All-Star for the fourth time, led MLB in wins, starts, innings pitched, and batters faced, and he led the NL in complete games. He finished second in NL Cy Young voting to his rotation-mate Johnson, but got his first World Series ring.
Schilling would go on to be a hero in the 2004 Red Sox’ historic season and would win two more rings in Boston. In exchange for Schilling, the Phillies got Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee, and Vincente Padilla. Certainly not a terrible return, by any means, but it pales in comparison to what they gave up.
The year after Schilling retired, the Phillies finally won their second championship in franchise history, but fans will always wonder how many more postseasons they would’ve seen if they hadn’t dealt away Schilling.