Colon was 10-4, 2.55 ERA with the Indians at the time of the trade. He went 10-4 with the Expos to finish the season, winning 20 games for the first time in his career. Both Lee and Phillips made their debut for the Indians later that season. Sizemore, 19 at the time, debuted two years later at at the end of the 2004 season.
While this trade was one of the most lopsided of all time, the Indians did not think Phillips was as good as he was. They traded him to the Reds for RHP Jeff Stevens (who signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets before this season). Of course, Phillips would go on to star for the Reds and looks like he will, once again be the NL starting 2B in this year's All Star Game. The Indians got a handful of prospects for Lee after he won the AL Cy Young for them. Sizemore is currently injured after re-signing with the Indians prior to this season.
Colon was moved after the season, making the deal look worse for Minaya. The White Sox acquired him trading among others, Orlando El Duque Hernandez, a pitcher Minaya would acquire in 2006 as GM of the Mets, to the Expos.
I have always respected Omar's knowledge as scout and his ability when it comes to player development. Thats why this trade sticks out to me. Neither Lee, Phillips nor Sizemore overachieved to make the major leagues. It was not a surprise that all three became All Stars and two of them are among the league's highest paid players. I clearly agree that this was a move made by a GM (who at the time was appointed as GM as MLB ran the organization) who was expecting the Expos to be contracted. Two years later, the Expos would move to Washington after MLB decided not to contract any teams. I personally thought it would have been an impossible cause for MLB since the player's association would never eliminate 25 to 50 jobs on major league rosters. But, going back to 2002, this was something that was being considered. The fact that contraction did not happen caused this deal to turn out the way it did. Omar would not have made this trade as is, if at all, had those thoughts existed at the time.