It's a term that Pat Gillick loves; financial flexibility.
Gillick gave himself and the Phillies lots of financial flexibility in a deal with the Yankees that sent outfielder Bobby Abreu and pitcher Cory Lidle to New York for four players. None of the four players coming to Philadelphia are of the caliber that the Phillies originally hoped to get, with shortstop C.J. Henry being the highest ranked of the prospects coming into the season. Baseball America ranked Henry as the fourth best prospect in the Yankees' system coming into the season. The Phillies had hoped to pry either right-hander Phil Hughes or outfielder Jose Tabata away from the Yankees, but in the end, GM Brian Cashman wouldn't budge.
Abreu and his .301 career average fill a major void in the Yankees outfield that is missing both Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield because of injuries. In fact, Abreu's arrival could mean the exit of Sheffield from New York, since the Yankees will be on the hook for all of Abreu's $15.5 million deal for 2007. They did not have to guarantee his 2008 option in order to get him to waive his no-trade clause and come to New York.
Lidle will step into a Yankees' rotation that is also in need of some help. Lidle has won his last four starts and went eight innings in his last two starts for the Phillies. On the season he is 8-7 with a 4.74 ERA.
In addition to Henry, the Phillies will get left-hander Matt Smith, right-hander Carlos Monasterios and catcher Jesus Sanchez. Smith was in the majors with the Yankees this season and didn't allow a run in 12 innings of work, but was optioned back to AAA Columbus on July 4th. The lefty reliever is 27 years old.
The 20 year old Henry was a first round pick for the Yankees in 2005 and has been assigned to Class-A Lakewood, staying in the same league that he was playing in for the Yankees. With Charleston, Henry was hitting .232 with 2 homeruns and 33 RBI this season.
Sanchez and Monasterios will both join the Phillies Gulf Coast League club after playing in the GCL for the Yankees this season. Monasterios, 20, was 1-2 with a 2.97 ERA in seven GCL games, while Sanchez was hitting .264 for the GCL Yankees. At just 18 years of age, Sanchez is the youngest player acquired in the deal.
Premium users can get more information on the prospects that the Phillies got in exchange from the New York Yankees in our What The Yankees Gave Up To Get Abreu article from PinstripesPlus.com.