On what has become the most frenetic day of dealing in Philadelphia sports history, Nnamdi Asomugha is not the only new athlete being welcomed into town. The Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros are finalizing a trade that will send OF Hunter Pence to the Phillies, according to multiple reports.
Pence was removed from the Astros’ Friday night game in the fifth inning and was seen saying goodbye to his teammates in the dugout. Domonic Brown is reported to remain a Phillie too after rumors that he was the lynchpin to the deal. Hunter Pence cost the Phillies’ their two top prospects in pitcher Jarred Cosart and first baseman Jonathan Singleton, as well as two players to be named later. Both Cosart and Singleton were in Class A Clearwater. Singleton and Cosart both were ranked on Baseball America’s Midseason Top 50 prospects list, with Singleton placing at No. 41 and Cosart at No. 43. Singleton has been removed from Clearwater’s Friday night game. One of the players to be named is pitcher Josh Zeid, who is currently as Class AA Reading. No word on the remaining unnamed player. The Phillies will also receive $1 million as part of the deal, SI.com reports.
Reports from earlier Friday indicated that talks between Houston and Philadelphia had progressed to the point where “another team will need to trump the Phillies with a superior package.” Atlanta had been the primary competitor but their package of prospects were not as appealing to Astros GM Ed Wade as Singleton and Cosart. There was some chatter of young outfielder Domonic Brown being involved in a potential deal, but Brown was not ultimately part of the Pence deal.
Pence is club-controlled for two more seasons and is not eligible to be a free agent until after the 2013 season. He can go to arbitration in 2012 if he so chooses. In 100 games this season, Pence is hitting .308 with 11 home runs and 62 RBIs.
This marks the third straight year Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. made his “big move” two days before the non-waiver trading deadline of July 31. Amaro is currently in his third season as the team’s general manager.
On July 29, 2009, SP Cliff Lee and OF Ben Francisco came over from the Cleveland Indians for four minor league prospects, pitchers Jason Knapp and Carlos Carrasco, C Lou Marson and INF Jason Donald. The original target had been Roy Halladay but Toronto did not approve the deal.
Last year on July 29, he dealt with the Houston Astros and former Phillies GM (and the man who hired Amaro into the Phillies front office) Ed Wade, to acquire pitcher Roy Oswalt for pitcher J.A. Happ and two minor league prospects, outfielderOF Anthony Gose and SS Jonathan Villar. Gose was sent to Toronto later that day in a deal for first baseman Brett Wallace.
Pence will report to Philadelphia immediately and will assume the starting right field position, likely taking over the fifth spot in the batting order between Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino. Dominoc Brown and John Mayberry will see some action spelling Raul Ibanez in left field or finding at bats somewhere in the outfield rotation.
The only caveat is that Domonic Brown already wears number 9, so Pence will have to choose a different uniform number… unless Brown is sent to AAA.
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