Astros get little value for Lidge
November, 7, 2007
Ed Wade's reputation as a GM in Philadelphia was as a man who overvalued relief pitching, but in his first deal as the Houston GM, he gave away one of the better relievers in the National League for three spare parts. Lidge's struggles in 2006 may or may not have had anything to do with the infamous home run Albert Pujols hit during the 2005 NLCS, but in 2007 he looked a lot more like his old self, working with a plus fastball and plus slider, but with some of the control issues he had in 2006 carrying over. He's been more homer-prone the last two years, and he's moving to a great home run park, but in general he marks a huge upgrade in the Phillies' bullpen, reducing their reliance on 40-year-old Tom Gordon (who works mostly off two-seamers now, pitching away from contact) and allowing them to return Brett Myers to the rotation. If you believe Lidge's problems in 2006 and even his tendency to give up longballs in 2007 were all or partly mental, then you could argue that the change of scenery will help him in that department even while the ballpark hurts him. The Phillies still need to add at least one arm to their 'pen, but Lidge could easily end up as the best reliever to change teams this offseason.