The latest rumors have the Angels kicking tires on potential back-up catchers, but today they managed to work another trade of a completely different variety. It was announced that they acquired a pitching prospect from the Phillies for a level of compensation that is, well, unique:
Minor League RHP Mike Cisco traded to Angels for no compensation, Phillies announce.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) March 17, 2013
That's right, nothing. They got a minor league pitcher for absolutely nothing. No prospects. No money. Not even a sack of baseballs. Ruben Amaro Jr., you've done it again!
The crazy thing about it is that Michael Cisco isn't some 34-yeard old minor league journeyman. He's 25 years old and only a few years removed from being a top 25 prospect in the Philadelphia system. He's obviously not really advanced from there, but it isn't as if he is a total write off. In fact, he just converted to relief in the last year and did a pretty decent job, so there is a chance that he could someday be a back of the bullpen guy. Again, that isn't much, but there is potential value to be had. That value though is something the Phillies just gave away for free... for whatever reason.
What I'd really like to know about this deal is how it came to pass. This is fairly unprecedented, so it must've had some sort of bizarre twists and turns to settle on a compensation of nothing. Did Amaro just call up the Angels and offer him for free? Did Jerry Dipoto call the Phillies and ask about him and Amaro just wasn't in the mood to haggle? Here is how I like to imagine that phone call going:
Amaro: (answers phone) Hello.
Dipoto: Ruben! How are you doing?
Amaro: I'm fine, Jerry, good to hear from you. How's the family?
Dipoto: Doing wonderful as always. They are truly a blessing. Anyway, I don't want to waste either of our time, I just called with a minor inquiry I wanted to run by you. There's a kid in your system, Mike Cisco and one of our scouts really-
Amaro: He's yours.
Dipoto: Um, what?
Amaro: You want him, right? He's yours.
Dipoto: Oh, well, that's great. I mean, shouldn't we talk price first though? We just like him as depth, so maybe a cash deal-
Amaro: Nah, don't worry about it. Just take him.
Dipoto: For cash, you mean?
Amaro: No, I mean just take him. I don't see what is so hard to understand about this, Jerry.
Dipoto: So, I get him for free?
Dipoto: Wait a minute. Is this a joke? Am I being punked? Is this really Tony Reagins?
Amaro: No, not a joke. This is Ruben, but I am abig fan of Tony's work.
Dipoto: I can tell.
Amaro: Great doing business with you, Jerry. We'll have Cisco on the first flight to Scottsdale.
Dipoto: Wow, you're paying his airfare too?
Amaro: Yeah, sure, whatever. Look, I've really got to wrap this up. I've got a whole season of Duck Dynasty burning a hole in my DVR and I've gotta get back to it.
Dipoto: Sure, Ruben. No problem. Thanks a lot. Good luck this season.
Amaro: You too, Jerry. Bye now. (Hangs up phone.) Sucker!
Dipoto: (Hangs up phone.) What the hell just happened? Is this real life? Wait a minute, I just had an idea! (Intercoms his assistant) Susan, find out when the next new episode of some show called Duck Dynasty is and setup a reminder for me to call Amaro five minutes after it starts to ask him about taking on Vernon Wells' contract.
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