I'm not phlashing back to a player today. Instead, with the Phils set to open a series against the Cardinals, I thought I would look back at a rumored trade between the Phils' and Pirates for current Red Bird Kip Wells (who starts game three of this series.)
Rumors and stories about trades, especially at deadline time, are so rampant and random, they are often forgotten shortly after conception. Today I look back at one such rumor: Ryan Howard to the Pirates for pitcher Kip Wells in July of 2005.
At the time, the Phils were in a Wild Card chase, or at least they thought they may be in one, as they were sitting right around .500. Jim Thome had been hurt but the offense motored on; Lofton and Abreu were getting on base and Pat Burrell, Chase Utley and young Ryan Howard were knocking them in. David Bell still sucked. Lieber, Myers, Lidle, Padilla were racking up innings, but Wolf got hurt and the Phils needed a more reliable 5th starter than Tejada, Brito or Floyd to make a playoff run. Hmmmm, where to get pitching???
Pittsburh is always trading pitching, right? And sure enough, along comes Kip Wells, the available Kip Wells, to throw a 12 strikeout complete game shutout against the Phils on July 4th. When the available pitcher thows a shutout against the team that is interested in him, he immediately has the value of Nolan Ryan. So soon after, the Howard for Wells rumors start.
Needless to say, the deal never happens. Thome doesn't come back and Howard is deemed too valuable. As is Kip Wells, who the Buccos don't end up trading him at all...until the next year, when he is shipped to the Rangers for a minor-leaguer. Way to sell high, Buccos!
Howard goes on to win NL MVP in 2006.
Wells goes on to have a record of 5-16 after 2005 with ERA's in the 6's. Ouch.
So, as the Phils prepare to face Wells, remember this almost-Phucco and the greatest none-trade of the last decade...