Monday, July 29, 2013
Best deadline deal ever: Diamondbacks
By David Schoenfield
Throughout July, we're presenting 30 deals in 30 days: the best trade-deadline deal ever made by each team. We wrap up with the NL West.
THE TEAM: Arizona Diamondbacks
THE YEAR: 2000
THE SITUATION: The Phillies were on their way to a 65-97 record, their seventh straight losing season since reaching the 1993 World Series. Curt Schilling was tired of the losing ways and pushed for a trade to a contending team. He was still signed through 2001, but the Phillies were willing to accommodate. The Cardinals and Mariners reportedly came close to landing the 33-year-old right-hander, but the Diamondbacks made the winning offer.
THE TRADE: On July 26, Arizona acquired Schilling (6-6 with a 3.91 ERA) for Vicente Padilla, Travis Lee, Omar Daal and Nelson Figueroa. Schilling's request for a trade had made him a target of Phillies fans. "I will leave here with nothing but the best memories on and off the field," Schilling said. "I was booed so much less than I probably deserved to be booed here, which I don't think too many people leaving Philly can say."
THE AFTERMATH: The Diamondbacks were tied for first with the Giants on the day of the trade but faded down the stretch (12-17 in September) and finished 12 games back. GM Joe Garagiola Jr.'s comparison of Schilling and Randy Johnson to Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale would come true the next season, however, as the dynamic duo led the Diamondbacks to a dramatic World Series title. Schilling signed a new contract and would go 58-28 for the Diamondbacks, winning 22 games in 2001 and 23 in 2002 as the D-backs won the NL West again. He finished second in the Cy Young to Johnson both seasons.
With Schilling and Johnson both landing on the DL in 2003, the Diamondbacks fell to 84-78 and they traded Schilling to the Red Sox after the season for Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, Jorge De La Rosa and Michael Goss.
Similar to the Phillies' haul -- Padilla did have two 14-win seasons in Philadelphia, but Lee didn't develop into the middle-of-the-order bat projected of him -- that trade did little for the D-backs.