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Phillies Phlashback: Cardinals once offered J.D. Drew in Curt Schilling talks

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Omar Daal, the lone veteran acquired in the July 2000 trade that sent Curt Schilling from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Arizona Diamondbacks, recently made SportsTalkPhilly.com's All-Forgettable Opening Day starters team. Daal, along with Travis Lee, Vicente Padilla and Nelson Figueroa, came back to the Phillies in what turned out to be one of the more lopsided deals in the history of the sport. In Arizona, Schilling teamed up with future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, who he would win World Series co-MVP with a season later. 

Forgotten in history is another proposal that general manager Ed Wade and the Phillies received for Schilling: one that included J.D. Drew.

In July of 2000, ABC News reported that the St. Louis Cardinals offered Drew and RHP Matt Morris for Schilling: 

The Cleveland Indians made a run at Schilling last week. St. Louis and Seattle also were considered contenders to land the 33-year-old pitcher. The Cardinals offered outfielder J.D. Drew and pitcher Matt Morris, one source said.

The Phillies, of course, drafted Drew No. 2 overall in the 1997 MLB Draft. Drew and his agent, a much younger Scott Boras, ultimately objected to signing with the Phillies. After spending a season playing for an independent team, Drew re-entered the MLB Draft in 1998, where the Cardinals selected him with the No. 5 overall pick, four picks after the Phillies made Pat Burrell the No. 1 overall pick. 

Drew didn't take long to make his major league debut, as he broke into the major leagues on Sept. 8, 1998, the same day that his teammate Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris' single-season home run record. Just under a year later, on Aug. 11, 1999, Drew appeared in his first game at Veterans Stadium. In one of the darkest moments in the history of Philadelphia sports, a few fans threw batteries at Drew. The situation was so bad that public address announcer Dan Baker had to make an announcement that the Phillies would be forced to forfeit the game if anything else was thrown at Drew. In the grand scheme of things, the 1999 Phillies, who finished 26 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East, could afford to forfeit the game. Fortunately, however, things didn't come to that, as no more objects were hurled in Drew's direction. 

And yet, nearly 12 months later, Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty offered Drew as the headliner in a deal for one of the greatest players in Phillies history. It's unclear how seriously Wade considered the offer. Schilling had a no-trade clause, so perhaps he wasn't especially interested in going to St. Louis. 

The ABC News report also noted that the New York Yankees, New York Mets and Cleveland Indians showed interest in Schilling, but it's unclear what they were willing to offer. In terms of players offered in return, the Cardinals absolutely put together the best offer for Schilling. However controversial Drew was in Philadelphia, he posted a 45.9 career fWAR, Daal, Lee, Padilla and Figueroa had a combined career fWAR of 38.3. Morris had a relatively short career, only pitching 11 years in the majors, but was a two-time All-Star. His best season came in 2001, when he went 22-8 with a 3.16 ERA in 216.1 innings. Just in terms of production, the Phillies would have made out pretty well taking the Cardinals offer for Schilling. 

Ultimately, the Phillies and Cardinals would hook-up for another trade of a controversial star in July of 2002. The Phillies sent a disgruntled Scott Rolen, along with RHP Doug Nickle, were traded to the Cardinals for Placido Polanco, Mike Timlin and Bud Smith. Drew and Rolen, both of whom had controversial relationships with manager Tony La Russa, were only teammates for one full season: 2003. The Cardinals went 85-77 that season, one game worse than Larry Bowa's Phillies, who went at 86-76. 

More Phillies Trades That Never Happened

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