Save the date: Phillies save their blockbusters for July 29
Cole Hamels was on the trading block for some time, and his departure from Philadelphia was hardly a surprise to most.
But to Texas? And on July 29? Who saw that coming Wednesday night?
Well, according to history, we all should have. July 29 has become Blockbuster Day in recent Phillies history, and the Hamels deal was simply carrying on tradition. Observe:
The tweet was sent before the Hamels-to-Texas deal was final, but with sources confirming the parameters of the deal to FOX MLB Insiders Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi late Wednesday, the tradition did indeed continue.
But how successful were past July 29 deals for the Phillies? Well, none of them led Philadelphia to a championship (the Phillies’ last World Series win was in 2008, the year before the Lee deal). But they weren’t complete failures, either.
As for this year, along with the sadness Phillies fans likely feel with Hamels departing, July 29, 2015 also marks somewhat of an end of the most successful era in Phillies baseball in decades. Sure, the likes of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley -- key cogs on the Phillies’ World Series-winning 2008 squad -- are still in Philadelphia, but Hamels was the MVP of that World Series, picking up two wins in the five-game triumph over Tampa Bay.
And also on Wednesday, Joe Blanton was traded from the Royals to the Pirates. Blanton hasn’t pitched for the Phillies since 2012, but he set up Hamels’ close-out win over the Rays by picking up the win in Game 4.
So when the 2016 trade deadline rolls around next year, mark your calendars. The Phillies don’t wait until the final hour to make their moves.