I was a little shocked by the tone of your response; your lack of vitriol (comparitively) suggests you know, deep down, that I'm pretty much right. But I'll address the challenges.
- When I said I didn't care what the Phillies were giving up, I misspoke. I didn't care about the guys the Phillies were giving up, as in, I don't think they're anything all that valuable. And while I appreciate the fact that, since you think Garcia is actually good, the Phillies got over, I'm inclined to think that neither team won on this trade. The Phillies swapped an uncertain future for a mediocre present. In my opinion.
- As for Park Factor: I don't see how you can feel this way, being a fan of a team that plays in a hitter's park. You point out that odger Stadium was ranked as a hitter's park this year, which is true and very strange. But it's also an aberration, which you'll notice if you go back (Chavez is usually well into the bottom third of the chart). Unless there were some structural changes made to the park that I'm not aware of, I think it was just variance. But, for the most part, there's a consistent trend of teams with hitter's parks having another thing in common: Pitchers getting absolutely blasted. I can take the time, if you want, to list off the scores of good pitchers who went to hitter's parks as free agents and paid for it, but I don't need to. You know that the phenomena exists, and has a real effect on expected outcome for the individual players and teams.
However, you're quite right that Garcia is actually coming from one of the few parks that rates better for hitters, so I suppose we should't expect a drop-off. Which'll be good for the Phillies, since there isn't a lot of room for Garcia to drop off before he becomes downright shitty. I should have driven home this point more with fellow flyballer and soft-tosser Moyer, who's coming from an extreme pitcher's park and will likely get the living snot kicked out of him making half his starts in Citizen's. It's worth noting that low-hanging-fruit Adam Eaton also sucked in a bandbox.
- Hamels: A WHIP of 1.25 is not fantastic. It's good. But he could stand to take that down. A WHIP of 1.20 or lower is where you start talking about excellence, or at least I do. I know Hamels wass a rookie, blah blah blah ... he's awesome. I agree. But, if there were one thing I would say he needs to work on, it's the WHIP. That's all I'm saying.
- Milton in 2004 = 4.75 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. If that's not a "bad" pitcher in your eyes, then you need to stop driving immediately. But I sense that your defense of Milton is based on the one "stat" you use to defend Garcia. Which brings me to the larger point:
WINS ARE A TEAM STAT. THEY ARE A POOR INDICATION OF A PITCHER'S ABILITY.
I'm shouting because that's what you do to people who are smart yet decide that it's important to continue saying dumb things.
Was Freddy Garcia good last year in Comiskellular? Yes.
No, he wasn't.
Garcia, 2006: 4.53 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 1.0 HR9, 5.6 K/9
American League Average: 4.56 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 1.1 HR9, 6.44 K/9
Pleasepleasepleaseplease justify your position that Garcia is a good pitcher. His ERA was barely below the very definition of mediocrity, his HR/9 was in the same boat as his ERA, and his Ks were well below league average. His WHIP was the only thing that, when held against league average, could be considered "good."
CAVEAT: Garcia pitches a ton of innings, every season, and appears to have the constitution of an alpha bison. I didn't consider this the first time around. It is important. Usually, I would say you don't necessarily want a mediocre pitcher out there for 210+ innings, but in the case of the Phillies, you want anyone but those relievers in the game.
You did point out one factor that I was not considering, however, when judging Gillick's pitching moves: Comparison to 2006. Yes, this rotation is better than last season's, which isn't saying a whole lot but in the world of batshit baseball offseasons nonetheless important. Gillick has upgraded the staff, though his unwillingness to concentrate on the pen (unless the non-deal for Turnbow somehow indicates concern instead of contempt for the bullpen) is a little baffling. So, unlike the odgers, who will be a worse team in 2007 because of their idiot GM, the Phillies will probably be better because at least Gillick didn't make the team worse, and you've got to expect that the young guys will be better for having another season under their belt. But I still can't help but wonder why Gillick targeted the guys he did, because they seem so ill-suited to play in Citizen's, where you want ground-ball, strikeout guys to offset the gophers. That's really what I was saying, in essence.
LATE EDIT: I have been citing Garcia's HR/9 rate as 1.0, incorrectly. It's actually 1.3. Which is way worse than league average.