In the light of day, we now have heard what kinds of Trading Deadline deals are being rejected. Apparently the Phillies had targeted Houston Astros Hunter Pence as their answer to their search for a right-handed hitting corner outfielder. Plans to bring Pence on board to hit fifth behind Ryan Howard and solidify the right field position have been thwarted, causing Ruben Amaro and company to hear a response from Houston (and former Phils) GM Ed Wade that they have never heard before. “No thanks.”
Wade and Amaro have collaborated on many deals including Brad Lidge & Eric Bruntlett for Geoff Geary and Michael Bourn (2008) and last year’s deal which sent J.A. Happ to Houston in a package that brought Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia (and two prospects, OF Anthony Gose and SS Jonathan Villar). Brett Myers, Pedro Feliz, Jason Michaels and others have been salvaged from the Philadelphia roster in order to play for the Astros.
The deal offered for Hunter Pence was inclusive of the Phillies best minor league pitching prospect, best minor league hitting prospect and a veteran reliever all of which would have settled nicely into a Houston team bereft of talent at the major league level. Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and Scott Mathieson (44 MLB IP with rotator cuff surgery over 5 years with Phillies organization, 27 years old) were offered to the Astros for Houston’s lone All-Star Pence and the response from Wade was essentially “what else ya got?” Perhaps Ed Wade thought that he could hold out for Domonic Brown or John Mayberry, Jr. but that asking price would have been too high. No soup for you Ruben Amaro.
Singleton (#30) and Cosart (#13) both rank on the Top Minor League Prospects of 2010 and have seen productive experience during their first year in the Phillies organization. Singleton banged out 14 HR and is being compared to Ryan Howard. Cosart is coveted because he will have two or three years to develop his craft while names like Halladay, Oswalt, Lee and Hamels help the major league club get a second championship. The Phillies have focused recent drafts on starting pitching and consider their “Baby Aces” the jewel of the farm system.
Now that the Hunter Pence issue has been set aside, the Phillies will look to other options. Carlos Beltran has landed in San Francisco. Colby Rasmus has relocated from St. Louis to Toronto. The trading deadline approaches July 31 meaning that the asking price for available players such as Jeff Franceour, Melky Cabrera, Josh Willingham, Ryan Ludwick or Carlos Quentin may rise. The Phillies had also been rumored to offer Singleton and Mathieson to San Diego in exchange for reliever Mike Adams to no avail. San Diego asked for Domonic Brown in a combined deal that would include Ryan Ludwick.
The most intriguing potential acquisition would still be Michael Cuddyer of the Minnesota Twins. Cuddyer can play both corner outfield spots as well as first and third base (.299 BA, 15 HR, 51 RBI) and is also under contract through 2012 (4 years, $33.5M). Minnesota maintains that Cuddyer is not available at any price.
The Phillies have indicated that Domonic Brown will not be traded. The status of Ben Francisco, Ross Gload, Mathieson and John Mayberry, Jr. are not as assured.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org