Phils get Urbina so their rivals wouldn't

Originally Published: June 9, 2005
By Jayson Stark | ESPN.com
One reason the Phillies moved so fast to deal for Ugueth Urbina was their fear that if they didn't, he might wind up with the Mets or Marlins. But several sources familiar with the Urbina trade conversations say the Tigers never got close with either of those two teams. Detroit didn't think it matched up with the Mets. And the Tigers weren't ready to give up on the season and start selling off players like Urbina for prospects – which was all the Marlins were offering.

Detroit also talked to the Red Sox about Urbina, but another source says those two teams never got serious.

Meanwhile, with all the pressure on Phillies general manager Ed Wade to make a big deal before the trade deadline next month, even Wade admits he was "very tempted" to wait, hang onto Placido Polanco and save him for a major July deal.

"But in talking with our people," Wade said, "and looking at [which relievers] were likely to be out there, we finally had to ask: 'Waiting on what?' The main reason for waiting would have been to trade him for somebody more attractive. So once we became convinced there wouldn't be a lot of quality available, the only reason not to do this was just to not give up Polanco. But realistically, it was going to take a Polanco-type player to get an Urbina."

The flip side now is that unless the Phillies can find a significant non-rental player to deal Ryan Howard for, they might not have another chip to trade before the deadline. So a very big question is: Will this trade alone be enough to satisfy Wade's insatiable critics?

"This, obviously, was our primary guy [to move]," Wade said. "So we'll see [what happens next month]. I know deals you make in the second week of June don't count. But ..."

Jayson Stark | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com