Big League Stew

Priceless! Philadelphia Phillies trade pitcher Mike Cisco to Los Angeles Angels for ‘no compensation’

David Brown
Big League Stew

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(AP)

When it came down to dealing right-hander Mike Cisco, no price seemed fair to Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro. So he literally traded Cisco to the Los Angeles Angels for nothing.

No compensation. No compensation? How can it be a trade when one team doesn't get anything back? There was no exchange of commodities, no swap of goods or services. It's not a release, or a waiver wire transaction, because the Cisco's contract wasn't at the mercy of any team that might have wanted him. It's not a sale, either. Players have been sold for money before — it's kind of awkward if you think about it — but the Phillies received no money. They received nothing!

Even pitcher Dickie Noles, whom the Cubs infamously traded for Dickie Noles, was traded for something. Himself!

Has a player ever been traded for nothing before? It must have — even though it would seem to be against the rules, or else it would be more common. Unless Amaro just conjured it.

Cisco is 25 years old and isn't a major leaguer, but his recent minor league track record suggests he might get a shot in the majors at some point.


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"The heck you say? My grandson's worth nothing?" (Getty)

He is descended baseball royalty, in a sense: Cisco's grandfather is former major league pitcher Galen Cisco, who also was a longtime pitching coach for the Royals, Phillies and Blue Jays. He was kind of a pitching coach's pitching coach.

It's like Amaro traded a prince for nothing!

It would have been nicer if Amaro said the trade was for "future considerations," or even "a player to be named later," and later, after a few months, we all would forget about it. At least by then, Cisco wouldn't have to suffer the indignity of being traded for a concept for which the ancient Greeks had no use.

And say what you will about Amaro being smug to the point of disgust sometimes, but at least he had an ethos, a set of guiding beliefs, to help him return the Phillies to World Series glory. But after several seasons that couldn't match the success of the championship team of 2008, when Pat Gillick was the GM, and especially now that Amaro has traded a player for nothing, one has to wonder:

Is Amaro is becoming a nihilist?

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