3) Phillies trade beginning to age poorly: David Robertson for Ben Brown
Adding David Robertson in a swap with the Chicago Cubs last year felt like a no-brainer for Philadelphia. He proved during his time in Chicago as a closer that he was officially back. Although frustrating at times, Robertson brought some much-needed stability to a group of relievers who often found themselves lost.
The downside to this trade is that it was purely a rental. Robertson is now with the rival New York Mets putting up elite closer numbers. More notable is how Ben Brown, the minor league pitcher the Phillies traded for Robertson, has performed with his new organization.
The 23-year-old was drafted in the 33rd round back in 2017 and was never in the same class as some of the current Phillies pitching prospects. He was pitching well in High-A at the time of the trade, but something seems to have clicked for Brown in 2023. Brown was 2-0 with a 0.45 ERA in four starts in Double-A before a recent promotion to Triple-A. He has only made one start there but tossed 5.2 innings of one-run ball while striking out 7.
Brown is on his way to becoming a Phillies prospect we wish the team never did trade. Unfortunately, because the Phillies didn’t get it done in 2022 and Robertson is now long gone, this trade is bound to get a little more painful.