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Wheeling 'n' Dealing

Firstly, apologies for the recent site outage you may have experienced over the past 12 hours or so. Our tech deities tell me things should now have been restored to normal.

Another of the Baby Backs slides away: we traded Matt Kata for the Phillies' reliever, Tim Worrell. See the sidebar for thoughts, but a brief summary would be, "Eh?" Still, mostly harmless, I suppose; at least, until we watch Kata blossom late, somewhich which Worrell is very unlikely to do.

But it actually fits in very nicely with today's piece, which takes a look at D'backs deadline trade activity over the years. Were we buyers or sellers? Did the deal work out in the short-term? What about the longer aspects? And would we take it back now, if we had the chance?

1998 SELLERS Sent Willie Blair, Jorge Fabregas, and cash to the New York Mets; received Nelson Figueroa, Bernard Gilkey, and cash. SHORT TERM Blair was solid out of the bullpen, but the Mets ended up second in their division. LONG TERM Gilkey had a decent 1999 for Arizona, but faded in 2000 and was released in June. Figueroa has bounced around a few teams, and is currently with Pittsburgh, but hasn't appeared for them this year. Fabregas had one good year for Kansas in 2000. TAKE BACK No. Gilkey did help us to our first division title the following year,

1999. BUYERS. Sent pitchers Vladimir Nunez and Brad Penny, plus OF Abraham Nunez to Florida; received closer Matt Mantei. SHORT TERM. Mantei saved 22 games down the stretch with a 2.79 ERA, helping us win the NL West, but we lost in the first round of playoffs to the Mets. LONG TERM Mantei was plagued by injury and inconsistency. While he stayed with Arizona for more than five years, he only had a total of 52 saves after 1999, and was a $7m albatross in 2004. The Nunez's haven't done much though. TAKE BACK: Yes. Penny has gone on to become one of the top starting pitchers in the NL, something we sorely need.

2000 BUYERS. Sent Travis Lee, Omar Daal and pitchers Vicente Padilla and Nelson Figueroa to Phillie; received Curt Schilling. SHORT TERM. Schilling only went 5-6 down the stretch, and we sputtered into third-place in the division, with only 85 wins. [Okay, that might win it this year!] LONG TERM Of course, next year, he went 22-6 and helped us to the World Series, which justifies the trade entirely. Daal has posted a 30-34 record since leaving, while Lee has been okay, if somewhat nomadic. TAKE BACK. No. Without this one, 2001 almost certainly didn't happen.

2001 BUYERS. Sent pitcher Nick Bierbrodt and OF Jason Conti to Tampa Bay; received Albie Lopez and catcher Mike DiFelice from Tampa Bay. SHORT TERM Okay, DiFelice was tossed before the season's end after an altercation in a nightclub, and Lopez went 4-7 the rest of the way, but hey, we won it all: what more do you want? LONG TERM Conti hasn't amounted to much; Bierbrodt got shot in a drive-through, went from Tampa to Cleveland to Texas to Cincinnati, and has appeared in only 38 games in four years since leaving us. TAKE BACK Whatever. Pretty much a flat wash, with no-one involved having much of an impact.

2002 BUYERS. Sent pitcher Duaner Sanchez to Pittsburgh; received pitcher Mike Fetters. SHORT TERM. Fan favourite Fetters didn't really help much, posting a 5.11 ERA in 33 games, but we still won the NL West, only to be swept by the Cards; Fetters only pitched 0.2 innings in that series, so we can't blame him. LONG TERM. Fetters went to Minnesota after that season, but came back late in 2004, only to post an 8.68 ERA. TAKE BACK Yes. Fetters wasn't an asset, and Sanchez has become a good reliever (3.38 ERA in 67 games for LA last year, and 3.91 this season), something we desperately need.

2003 BUYERS. Sent David Dellucci, Bret Prinz and catcher Jon-Mark Sprowl to the Yankees; received Raul Mondesi. SHORT TERM Mondesi did okay, hitting .302 with 8 home runs in 45 games, but we still finished 3rd in our division. LONG TERM. Dellucci has become a bit of a stud in Texas, hitting 17 home runs so far this year. However, as a left fielder, he wouldn't have got much playing time here. Prinz saw action with the Yankees last year, but has been on the DL almost all of 2005. TAKE BACK No. Mondesi might have been what we needed, but turned out not to be quite enough; that's the risk you take. We didn't have anywhere for Dellucci to play, and Prinz was only ever a fringe reliever here.

2004 SELLERS. Sent Steve Finley + Brett Mayne to LA; received Koyie Hill + minor-leaguers Bill Murphy and Reggie Abercrombie. SHORT TERM Sellers for the first time in a long while, we watched as Finley helped LA to the playoffs with 13 HR in 58 games. LONG TERM That helped Steve secure an overpriced contract with Anaheim, but he's only batting .225 with 8 HR for them. Koyie Hill was expected be our starting catcher, but hasn't been the same since getting his ankle broken. Murphy and Abercrombie have yet to make any impact. TAKE BACK No. Getting rid of Finley was wise, and while we haven't received much value in return, it stopped us from signing him to an extension, which would likely have backfired badly.