In the second big name trade of the Hot Stove League, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Houston Astros closer, Brad Lidge, for 2nd-year CF Michael Bourn, RP Geoff Geary, and AA 3B Mike Costanzo. The Astros also sent utility infielder Eric Bruntlett to the Phillies.
Phillies' GM Pat Gillick announced that Lidge would be the team's closer in 2008 with last year's closer, Brett Myers, moving back into the rotation. Whether this move was tied to the reports that Scott Boras wanted $40MM for Kyle Lohse to stay with the Phillies can't be overlooked.
Given what the Astros received for one of their marquee players, one must conclude CF Michael Bourn will be immediately elevated to the starting CF role with Hunter Pence moving to RF. Whatever else is said, the Astros wanted to replace the centerfield speed lost when the team dealt Wily Tavares to the Rockies last winter. That Bourn attended the University of Houston is just a bonus for the rebuilding franchise.
The Houston Chronicle reports the deal "increases the likelihood the Astros will go after Marlins lefthander Dontrelle Willis, whom they already have inquired about." Would just-displaced RF Luke Scott, a minor league starter like Troy Patton and AAA CF Josh Anderson be enough?