Brandon Phillips, 2002
2002, Brandon Phillips: The centerpiece of the Bartolo Colon trade made his debut when he was just 21 years old. You’ve got to remember, the 2002 campaign was a rough one for the Tribe after treating fans to seven years of contending baseball.
Phillips was supposed to superstar who would bridge the Indians into the next era. That September, Tribe fans caught their first glimpse of the infielder.
Alas, Phillips was promoted too soon. He’d spend more time in the minors than the majors until the Tribe reached the tipping point with him in 2006. The story goes that then manager Eric Wedge could’ve given Phillips a roster spot, but went in different direction instead. The Indians gave him away for a player to be named later (Jeff Stevens).
Phillips would go on to be a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winer for the Reds.
Losing him was one of the biggest blunders of the Progressive Field era.