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  1. Any idea what Houston’s asking price is for Pence? It seems to me that he would command 2 or 3 top-level prospects based on the demand for outfielders on contending teams.

    Comment by Bascinator — July 25, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  2. If Barmes, Bourn, Rodriguez, and Pence and not moved for prospects by this time next year then Astros fans should sue Ed Wade for malpractice

    Comment by Mr. wOBAto — July 25, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

  3. Agreed, although if I was in the process of purchasing that team, I would not want Ed Wade heading the rebuilding process and in charge of determining the best return for the players you’ve named.

    Comment by hk — July 25, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  4. He did pretty well in Philadelphia.

    Comment by aladou — July 25, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

  5. No, his scouting director did pretty well while Wade was the GM in Philadelphia. His trades were generally bad.

    Comment by hk — July 25, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  6. Your comment on Magglio Ordonez may not be accurate going forward; since returning from rehabbing his ankle, he’s been an above-average hitter. This can be seen by looking at his Apr/May split vs. June/July.

    Pence may be an upgrade, especially given Magglio’s need for more rest, but it’s almost certainly not the Pence v. black hole situation that you imply. The current upgrade would not merit trading away the haul that would be required to get Pence.

    Comment by cherub_daemon — July 25, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  7. Tough to argue with Wade’s successes as far a acquiring amateur talent, from grabbing Victorino and Werth in the rule 5, to drafting Howard, Utley, Hamels and Bourn as a GM. He even made quite a few nifty trades along the way and never handed out any embarassing contracts(Amaro we are looking your way).

    That said his FA signings in Houston have been awful(Lyons) his trades outside of the Bourn trade have been bad(Tejada, Paulino, Lindstrom), and his Drafts/acquistion of draft picks is far from AAesque.

    Wade hasn’t run the Astros into ground(they were in a pretty bad nosedive when he got there) but he hasn’t exactly righted the ship either.

    Comment by Mr. wOBAto — July 25, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

  8. Mr. wOBAto,

    Scouting directors, not GM’s, usually get the credit or blame a team’s drafts. Wade was the GM when the Phillies took Victorino in the Rule 5 – a nice move for sure – but Pat Gillick was the GM who signed Werth as a free agent. Exactly which nifty trades did Wade make as the GM in Philly? Surely not the ones in which he traded away Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling or even Placido Polanco.

    Comment by hk — July 25, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  9. Wade has done well in trades so far in Houston. His FA signings have been abysmal, but he’s gotten good return for the MLB players he’s acquired, while the MiLB players for the most part are incomplete. He’s also done well with the waiver claims. I wouldn’t fear him making bad decisions on trades at this deadline. Really MLB is screwing the Astros right now, by handling the Dodgers mess before approving Crane.

    The only bad decision would be to not trade Barmes, Bourn, Pence, and Wandy/Myers.

    Comment by NLeininger — July 25, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

  10. Rumor has it they’re asking for 2-3 ML-ready “impact talents”, whatever that turn of phrase means. Could just be posturing though. The Phillies seem to be the current favorites (yet again) to trade for Pence, and I would imagine the Astros have asked them for Brown, a demand I assume Ruben Amaro rejected. Whether either side backs down by the deadline, we’ll see.

    Comment by OremLK — July 25, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

  11. And even next year, a Dirks/Wells platoon would do fairly well offensively and defensively.

    Comment by Stringer Bell — July 25, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  12. I would really LOVE to see Pence go to the yankees. They could really use another strong outfield bat and they have Montero and Nova which is more than enough to seal the deal. Honestly I think Pence has the sheer athleticism to play any position on the diamond. So if A-rod or Jeter needs a day off, BAM you got a killer replacement to spell them. Pence also pitched a good bit back in his high-school days so that mitigates the need for another arm too. Getting Hunter Pence in reality would be like getting 6 players in one.

    Comment by Bungalo — July 25, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  13. It’s not even that funny… Work on your punchline.

    Comment by Phillie697 — July 25, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

  14. HK,
    I assume you are giving Wade credit on players like Rolen and Rollins?

    Comment by Mr. wOBAto — July 25, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

  15. The Rolen trade return was decent considering how he was forcing his way out of town, as was the Thome return considering how he had no leverage. I would argue the first few drafts after a first time GM takes over he has a lot of imput, I can’t imagine Utley, Burrell, Myers and Byrd hadn’t been on Wade’s radar as an Assistant GM with a background in scouting.

    Comment by Mr. wOBAto — July 25, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

  16. First off. That is a terrible idea, and completely insane assumption that Hunter Pence could be a formidable 3rd baseman and shortstop. And to assume that he could be a bullpen arm, you have completely lost your mind. Quite frankly you shouldn’t even be allowed to post on this website anymore. And secondly, even if the Yankees were to get him and for some crazy reason they take Swish or Gardner out of the lineup and let him play a corner spot he would be a huge disappointment. He is made for a park like Houston’s and has shown that with his career triple slash home/away.

    Home: .299/.350/.502
    Away: .281/.327/.457

    Hunter is vastly overrated, and that will show most likely wherever he is traded, unless it is somewhere like Boston where he can follow in Youk, and Jason Bay’s paths and make a living pounding baseballs off the monster.

    Comment by Justin — July 25, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

  17. The Thome trade was Gillick.

    The Rolen trade is debatable. Yes, he got Polanco in the Rolen deal, but its hard to know or remember what else might have been on the table. He also later devalued Placido with the David Bell signing and undersold him for Ugie, but that’s besides the point. The point of my original comment was that Wade has rarely gotten good value when trading away established veterans (Rolen, Schilling, Polanco and Oswalt come to my mind) like he will be doing if he leads HOU’s rebuilding.

    Comment by hk — July 25, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  18. Anyone know what happened to all those Sabean is by far the most moronic GM in baseball threads? I went looking the other day but they all vanished for some odd reason.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwwingg — July 25, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

  19. I really want to see Pence come to the Braves. McLouth hasn’t been performing anywhere near his Pittsburgh form since we got him and Schafer has been spotty. When it comes to a right handed bat, Dan Uggla just hasn’t been himself all season. We are going to need all the help we can get if we want to keep the NL East race close before the Philies run away with it. I just hope we don’t end up giving away Teheran or Vizcaino. I’m OK with Minor being delt.

    Comment by Tyrannosaurus Ross — July 25, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

  20. I’m broken.

    Comment by Justin's Sarcasm Detector — July 25, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

  21. Marti Wolever and Mike Arbuckle did a fantastic job of building up the Phillies minor leagues and core players. Wade had ZERO to do with either.

    Wolever is still in charge of their scouting and is the big reason their farm system is still so strong despite all the trades.

    Comment by NEPP — July 25, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

  22. Brett Wallace was a terrible trade…especially considering they could have simply move Lee to 1B to fill that hole and focused on a true need. Instead, Wade targeted a former top prospect whose star had been fading for a couple seasons.

    Comment by NEPP — July 25, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

  23. Uggla has really come back into form lately. He might be back to the .800+ OPS slugging 2B we all remember. Of course, defensively, he makes a great LF but that’s another point altogether.

    Comment by NEPP — July 25, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

  24. The Thome trade would have been really good…had the Phillies hung onto and actually developed Gio Gonzalez.

    Instead, they screwed up his development to the point that he repeated AA when they handed him back in the Freddy Garcia deal a year later. Now he’s an elite starter in the AL…right in line with his ceiling at the time of the deal.

    Just a terrible deal overall and one of Gillick’s biggest blunders.

    Comment by NEPP — July 25, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

  25. why trade him? they have the record in baseball and a bad (if improving) farm system. this doesn’t seem to require a whole article.

    Comment by ezb230 — July 25, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

  26. the worst record in baseball is what they have. left that out there.

    Comment by ezb230 — July 25, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

  27. Did you read the article? Because the new owners have ordered Wade to cut 1/4th of the payroll and two of the biggest contracts (Lee for $19M and Myers for $12M) are untradeable.

    So they are left having to deal either Pence or Rodriguez, who are really the only two making any large amounts of money and are still seen as valuable by other teams.

    Comment by walt526 — July 26, 2011 @ 12:50 am

  28. I a not pretending to be a Wade expert, going almost exclusively off of fuzzy memory from afar and the GM History on MLBTR where they have the Thome trade attributed to Wade. I do think that a guy who is coming up through the organization with an eye on the GM job would have to keep an eye up and coming talent

    As someone who watched my team pass at the last minute on a generational talent a GM usually has a big hand in who a team picks at least in the first three rounds, a smart GM gets his input from trusted members of his scouting staff but at the end of the day it is the head guy’s job on the line.

    Comment by Mr. wOBAto — July 26, 2011 @ 12:52 am

  29. Wade should be tarred and feathered for dismantling the Astros in lew of his own pocketbook. He’s going to get 3/4 Billion $ for the Stros and leave us fans ( that gave him all that $) with nothing more than a AA team.
    I’ll never sound another dime there until the new ownership comes and shows interest in building back our team.

    How does Drayton even put his face in public without someone wiping that greedy smile off his face?
    Thanks for nothing Drayton.

    Comment by Texasaaa — July 26, 2011 @ 12:57 am

  30. how about “because pence has a .369 BABIP which will only decline as the season goes on, and because his current shiny, luck-inflated offensive stats will distract the less sophisticated GMs from the fact his defense is in serious decline, and because the astros should sell high on this guy before he regresses to the slightly above average outfielder that he is”?

    if the astros let ordinary luck and regression catch up with pence, they’ll have missed an important window to cash in on one of their only meaningful chips.

    Comment by tom s. — July 26, 2011 @ 2:29 am

  31. First time on the internet?

    Comment by Steve — July 26, 2011 @ 8:12 am

  32. While I agree with your first few points, saying that Pence is vastly overrated because of his home/road splits is not exactly fair. Since 2007 (when Pence broke into the league), the league average splits are:

    Home: .267/.342/.423
    Away: .257/.328/.401

    Pence is clearly well above average both at home and away, and the differential between his home and road slash line is only slightly greater than league average. While he does appear to be getting some benefit from his home park, it doesn’t appear to be all that significant.

    As for Jason Bay, let’s not forget that he only had 850 PAs as a member of the Red Sox, half of which would have come away from Fenway. In the over 3000 PAs he had in Pittsburgh before moving to Boston he had some pretty stellar numbers, so its not exactly fair to suggest that the only thing that propelled him to being considered an elite player was the Green Monster.

    Comment by James Lewis — July 26, 2011 @ 8:49 am

  33. Why would they want “Major League Ready” talent? They are not in any shape to contend in the near future. It seems like they would be better getting more lower level prospects so that they are ready when the team is back into position to compete. That being said, maybe the dearth of talent at the AAA level in Houston makes it necessary to have MLB ready players if they are to field a team next year.

    Comment by Bill — July 26, 2011 @ 9:05 am

  34. Pence’s defense is in serious decline? Really? Perhaps you should lay off the UZR, stathead. I guess by your standards Michael Bourn’s defense is in tremendous decline since his UZR/150 has dropped from +20.6 in 2010 to -6.3 in 2011 and that Carlos Lee’s LF defense is vastly improved since his UZR/150 has jumped from -20.7 in 2010 to +20.1 in 2011 (yes, that’s not a typo)? Pence is an above average but not great fielder when you take into consideration his range, speed, jumps, arm strength, arm accuracy, error frequency, etc.

    Comment by reillocity — July 26, 2011 @ 10:03 am

  35. Don’t shoot the messenger, that’s just what the rumors are saying. With that said, it’s possible they intend to spend lots in free agency around, say, 2013, with the core of average-ish young ML players they’re compiling.

    Comment by OremLK — July 26, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  36. You have to trade him because you’re going to finish last almost no matter what you do. And he’s gone after 2012 no matter what you do. Does it matter even a whit to Astros’ fans if they win 55 instead of 50? Heck, does it matter if they even win 60? For all the ridicule that PT got a couple of years ago for trading everyone, it was the right move. When you’re winning, go all in. When you’re losing, go out.

    Comment by Joey B — July 26, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

  37. joe, do you think pence would be a big upgrade over hunter for the angels? sure his 2011 has been much better, but they have put up similar WARs the last 2 seasons (7.4 WAR 2009-10 for both guys). I would expect some regression for both, with the result that pence wouldn’t end up helping that much.

    Comment by brendan — July 26, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  38. I don’t think it’s really that Pence is overrated–he’s a good player. He’s just being overvalued. Put in perspective, would Denard Span attract this kind of package? No, but he should, if Pence can (even if he doesn’t have the same history as Pence).

    Comment by benjipants — July 29, 2011 @ 11:54 am

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