For most of this season, Phillies fans have considered Cliff Lee to be “the one that got away.” For a mere $9 million, the Phillies could have had the best 1-2-3 pitching combination in all of baseball.

For most of the season, the cries of “if we just hadn’t traded Lee,” were echoing through the streets of Philadelphia.

Cliff Lee is a great pitcher, make no mistake. However, if Ruben Amaro hadn’t traded Cliff Lee, the Phillies wouldn’t have Roy Oswalt. Maybe things worked out for the better.

Here’s Cliff Lee vs. Roy Oswalt for the month of August:

Cliff Lee

Record: 1-3

ERA: 5.80

HR: 4

WHIP: 1.32

Roy Oswalt

Record: 3-0

ERA: 1.65

HR: 2

WHIP: 0.95

Look, I know every pitcher has a bad month. I know that Cliff Lee is a fantastic pitcher. I also know that Ruben Amaro (well I guess) didn’t trade Cliff Lee knowing that he’d eventually pick up Roy Oswalt. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you planned it or not though, it just matters that it is.

He did pick up Roy Oswalt. A guy whose numbers only get stronger as the season goes on. Whose best months historically are August, September and October. A guy who the Phillies have under contract for next year, which wouldn’t have been the case with Lee.

Sometimes, you make great trades.

Sometimes, the best trade you make is the one you don’t make.

And sometimes, just sometimes, the best trade is the one you make because you shouldn’t have made the other one.