Trade Details

Date: June 27, 2002

Cleveland Indians acquire

  • Left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee
  • Second baseman Brandon Phillips
  • Outfielder Grady Sizemore
  • First baseman Lee Stevens

Montreal Expos acquire

  • Right-handed pitcher Bartolo Colon
  • Right-handed pitcher Tim Drew

RHP Bartolo Colon

RHP Bartolo Colon

The Expos found themselves in playoff contention midway through the 2002 season and decided to exchange several significant minor league prospects to upgrade their starting rotation with Colon. He fared well for them in 17 games started before moving again (to the Chicago White Sox) in a trade the following offseason.

OF Grady Sizemore

Sizemore quickly became a star for the Indians, displaying all the offensive, defensive and intangible skills you could want from an everyday player. He totaled at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in each of his first four full seasons (2005-2008) and remained with the organization through 2012.

2B Brandon Phillips

2B Brandon Phillips

Phillips spent most of his Indians seasons (2002-2005) in the minors and struggled to hit when given opportunities with the major league club (.206 batting average). However, he broke through for the Cincinnati Reds in 2006. He went on to earn four National League Gold Gloves and three NL All-Star selections as their second baseman.

LHP Cliff Lee

Lee was a highly regarded prospect at the time of this trade and eventually lived up to that potential as the American League's 2008 Cy Young award winner. Overall, he appeared for the Indians in parts of eight seasons, posting a 4.01 earned run average over 1,117 innings pitched.

Trade's Legacy

Sensing that the franchise would be forced to relocate without making a flashy acquisition like Colon, the Expos' desperation here is understandable. Unfortunately, his contributions weren't enough to avoid that fate (they became the Washington Nationals in 2005). Moreover, the loss of homegrown, impact talent like Lee, Phillips and Sizemore prevented the club from fielding a competitive team throughout the 2000's.

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