The Phillies' trade of Shane Victorino to the Dodgers for Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin helps the Dodgers in their quest to win the NL West, and carves out a bit of badly needed payroll flexibility for the tapped Phillies. In a broader sense, the trade can be summed up in two words: chain reaction.
It starts with Philly's half decade of dominance. After 14 years in the wilderness, the 2007 Phillies finally won a division title, wresting the crown from the Mets, who'd finally toppled the dynastic Braves a year earlier. Five of the Phillies' eight best regulars that year (Ryan Howard, 27; Chase Utley, 28; Jimmy Rollins, 28; Pat Burrell, 30; Carlos Ruiz, 28), as well as their best starting pitcher (a 23-year-old Cole Hamels) and closer (26-year-old Brett Myers), were homegrown. The team's Opening Day payroll was $89.4 million, $6 million less than than the Phillies had carried two years earlier, and miles away from top-spending clubs like the Yankees. Several of the team's top stars were signed to below-market contracts (including Utley at seven years, $85 million and Rollins five years, $40 million), portending good things as the team marched forward.