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Phillies get Pence from Astros

Posted on: July 29, 2011 9:01 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 10:34 pm
 
The Phillies have acquired outfielder Hunter Pence from the Astros, in a trade announced late Friday night.

Pence, a 28-year-old two-time All-Star, gives the Phillies the strong outfield bat that manager Charlie Manuel has been asking for. Pence hit .308 with 62 RBI in 100 games this year for the Astros. Manuel told reporters that Pence will likely bat fifth, behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, in the Phillies' lineup.

While Pence isn't as dynamic a player as Carlos Beltran, the outfielder the Giants got this week from the Mets, he fits the Phillies' pattern of acquiring players they can control past the end of the year. Pence can't become a free agent until the end of the 2013 season. That's why the Phillies were willing to pay a bigger price for him than they would have for Beltran.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro also has a history of being able to make deals with Astros GM Ed Wade. The two worked together when Wade was with the Phillies, and last year they engineered the trade that sent Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia.

In exchange for Pence, the Astros received two of the Phillies' top prospects, first baseman Jonathan Singleton and pitcher Jarred Cosart, who were both at Class A Clearwater. They also get Double-A pitcher Josh Zeid, as well as a player to be named later, who will also be a minor leaguer. The Astros included cash ($1 million, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com), to cover part of Pence's $6.9 million salary.

Pence started for the Astros Friday night, but was pulled out of the game in the fifth inning. He was then shown receiving hugs and handshakes in the Astros dugout.

The Braves had also tried to get Pence, but they weren't willing to surrender any of their top pitching prospects. The Phillies, who valued Pence more, were willing to come up with the players to convince the Astros to make the deal.

The Phillies originally expected that Domonic Brown could take over in right field this year, after they allowed Jayson Werth to leave for Washington as a free agent. But Brown got hurt in spring training and has struggled since then, and Manuel told reporters Friday afternoon that he would be better off developing in the minor leagues.

Earlier this week, the Phillies were still trying to decide whether to prioritize an outfielder or bullpen help. They decided to make Pence their top target, in part because they believe the bullpen will be strengthened in the playoffs by the addition of whichever starter they don't use in their postseason rotation (either Vance Worley or Oswalt).

The big question then was whether the Astros would truly consider dealing Pence, who is a favorite of outgoing Houston owner Drayton McLane. At one point this week, Astros officials were telling friends with other teams that they were much more likely to trade Pence this winter.

Once Beltran was dealt to the Giants on Wednesday, however, the Astros realized that the time to maximize Pence's value was now. Incoming owner Jim Crane intends to start a complete rebuild in Houston, likely dropping the Astros' payroll to around $60 million next year. So moving Pence, who makes $6.9 million this year and will be due for an arbitration raise, began to make more sense.

The Astros have also shopped center fielder Michael Bourn (the Reds are interested), and starting pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. But Pence was always the one who would bring the biggest return.

The Braves move on to other targets. They could try to make a deal for White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin, but the Sox are believed to be asking for the same high-end pitching prospects that the Braves refused to deal for Pence. Atlanta could also step up efforts to get Ryan Ludwick from the Padres, or potentially try to get B.J. Upton from the Rays.





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Since: Dec 15, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2011 5:38 pm
 

Phillies get Pence from Astros

Coming from this Glenn, this trade was Phantastic!!!!!!!!  The fact Pence is on contract through 2013 is phabulous and Beltran was rental, is a deal for the Phils.  When the Phils got Haladay they traded Drabek who was a cant miss but he struggled and was sent down.  Prospects are just that.  Pence is known and is young and very good! Howard heats up in August and he will burn with up Pence behind him.  BTW the phillies phans will love the way Pence plays.


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