In 2006, the Phillies traded away Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, David Bell, Rheal Cormier, Ryan Franklin and Sal Fasano between July 26 and Aug. 7.
They were 46-54 on July 28, 2006 -- the day that Bell was shipped out to Milwaukee. The rest of the way, they went 39-23 to finish just out of the playoffs. It was considered addition by subtraction to a large extent, and the team clearly proved to be better without those six players.
(For what it's worth, they did bring in some role players like Jamie Moyer, Matt Smith, Jose Hernandez and Jeff Conine that helped the team down the stretch that year.)
There is a natural comparison to the 2012 season. The Phillies traded away Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence on July 31, followed by Joe Blanton three days later. (They also dumped Jim Thome and Chad Qualls a few weeks earlier.) The Phils entered play on July 31 with a 46-57 record, and they've gone 26-14 since.
But here is the difference. While the Phillies were making their September push in 2006, you were legitimately glad that Abreu, Bell, etc. were off the team. You felt that the clubhouse was better off without their presence and that the team was talented enough on the field to overcome their ability. But now, wouldn't you take Victorino back in a second? Pence too? Blanton is a little more iffy, but Vance Worley's injury makes it a fair question. Victorino, Pence and Blanton were all considered good guys, quality clubhouse presences. And their primary replacements (Mayberry, Brown and Cloyd) have been collectively average.
In 2006, the Phillies probably needed to rid themselves of those veterans in order to make their playoff push. But in 2012, it might just be more of a coincidence.
Fair point? I'm not sure. To be honest, I just wanted to post a photo of Sal Fasano.