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Phillies Acquire Hunter Pence

Posted by Corey Seidman, Fri, July 29, 2011 09:24 PM | Comments: 124
Trades

Hunter Pence is a Phillie. And it did not cost Domonic Brown.

The Phillies have traded Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid (Double-A reliever) and a player to be named later to Houston for Pence. The player to be named later is not believed to be a top-tier prospect, and the Astros are also including $1MM in the deal.

In Pence, the Phillies get the righthanded fifth batter they wanted so badly. He is under team control for all of next season and the season after. Those are his final arbitration years, and based on his $6.9MM salary this season, an estimate of $23MM over the next two seems fair. Though, Ruben Amaro could do as he usually does and reach a contract extension instead.

Click the link for reaction and analysis.Cosart was the Phillies top pitching prospect. Singleton was their best hitting prospect. This is a hefty price. But neither was going to be a part of the 2011 Phillies, or the 2012 Phillies, or the 2013 Phillies, or probably the 2014 Phillies.

Each is a Single-A prospect with a very big buzz. Cosart’s buzz has been generated more by the Phillies’ PR machine and his performance in the Futures Game in Arizona than by his recent outings for Clearwater. On the year, he has a 4.18 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.7 strikeout-per-nine rate. The fastball may be electric, but as of now the numbers are not. There is a good chance that Cosart’s value may never be higher than it was these past few weeks, and in that case, kudos to Ruben Amaro for selling high as he did with the eerily similar Jason Knapp.

Singleton is a bit harder to lose, but keep in mind that he is a man without a position … at least in this organization. He failed in left field the same way a blocked Ryan Howard did when Jim Thome played first base once upon a time. Singleton is a patient hitter with power that is a few years younger than his competition. I won’t lie to you and say he won’t be an impact player some day for Houston, because I strongly believe he will.

But you have to give something to get something. We’ve been spoiled by Ruben Amaro’s fleecings in recent years. But in this case, Houston was under no immediate obligation to deal Pence. They could have shopped him this winter or next trade deadline and still gotten a decent return. The Phillies had no leverage here.

But Amaro did what he thought he needed to do and what his manager wanted him to do – went out and acquired one of the top available bats. Pence undoubtedly makes the Phillies a better team, the question is only “by how much?” The answer depends entirely on the Phillies’ outfield arrangement. If Brown rides the pine every day, Pence’s addition adds marginal value, maybe a win or so. But if Brown shifts to left and Ibanez sits, Pence increases the Phillies offensively, defensively and on the basepaths. He is sneakily fast, I’ve always likened his speed to Chase Utley‘s. He runs incredibly hard and beats out balls he shouldn’t.

To most, this looks like a bad trade, like an overpay. But keep in mind that the process employed by each team is different. For a team with a World Series window of three or four years, Pence is probably more valuable than Cosart and Singleton. Even if you don’t believe that, you will once you see him in red pinstripes.

Avatar of Corey Seidman

About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

 
 
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Memo to Dipsy: Raul Ibanez is NOT gonna be released. He’s your regular LF (with Mayberry getting a few starts against tough lefties). 20 HR and 80 RBI for Mr. Big Cheek.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    My thesis for Brown playing is this: You don’t bring a guy up, knowing he’s not ready, and tell him that he can learn in the bigs, and THEN send him down in August. Thats nuts and not fair and counterproductive to Brown’s development. Not to mention that you’re keeping the inferior player in LF.

    Raul is, I believe according to FanGraphs, is the worst position player in baseball. He’s actually worse than a replacement player. I think that a loose platoon in LF of Brown/Mayberry is great. Better D and better O. Raul being a nice man and hard worker is no reason to allow him to keep a job that he does not deserve.

    Raul cannot field and cannot pinch hit or play another position so I don’t see him being a bench player. I think RAJ should release him and allow him to hook on with another squad.
    RAJ can do it all and Charlie can come out and say he doesn’t agree with it just for appearance sake.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Power: Ibanez (maybe)
    Speed: Brown
    Average: Brown
    OBP: Brown
    Range: Brown
    Arm: Brown
    Speed: Brown
    Popularity: Ibanez
    Hustle: Ibanez
    Niceness: Ibanez
    Well spokeness: Ibanez
    Best name to chant after a play: Ibanez
    Slamming helmets after flyouts: Ibanez

    So, I guess, its kinda even.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 1108 betasigmadeltashag

      Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

      I posted it before just because you are faster and have a stronger arm does automaticly make you a better defender, if you use your speed to try and catch balls that you can’t and a single becomes a double or triple. or in some cases an out becomes a double. If you can not control where the strong arm throws the ball over cut off guys or half way up the line then one run a guy on first becomes one run guy on second or third. So three of the Browns you have up there are worthless unless he learns how to use those tools to play good defense. Dipsy how long have you been watching Charlie and this team. If Brown can not handle getting sent down to learn to play LF and get the loop out of his swing so he can hit the ball fair and not foul off good pitch after pitch then he does not belong in the majors. He will be fine and be a LF in 2012

       
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    And Brown CAN field?? Please. The kid needs REGULAR playing time. He’s still raw, wet behind the ears, still sucking on his Mommy. Raul, while somewhat limited with his abilities, is playing well right now. If he was still playing as miserably as he was in April and never got it together then… OK. … You’d have an argument.

     
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Power: Ibanez
    Average: the same
    OBP: I’ll concede that one
    Speed: same thing
    Range: Brown, but Raul can get there and he doesn’t take stupid-ass routes and knows how to play balls off the fence
    Arm: Ok…Brown

     
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Oh Dipsy, this is the same thing I told Andrew last night-

    You know as well as I do that once the Phillies commit to a big contract, that guy plays, period! They will soak every $ they can out of Raul until the contract ends to prove they were right to sign it ( they weren’t), he will not sit. I’m not saying some of your points are wrong, just that this is the reality. I would not be surprised if they sent Brown down until Sept 1 (or whenever the Iron Pigs schedule ends) to experience playing in left field every day.

    On the bright side, we got our man in Pence, and Raul playing his best right now, both O and surprisingly D, although the spaghetti arm isn’t going to change, but he’s really making an effort getting to and catching balls. (Hows that for a run-on sentence!) If we could play all games at home, Citfield or Washington, statistically Raul would be a monster. It’s what happens next week on the west coast that worries me a little. We’ll see, but the reality is, Raul gets paid, Raul is healthy, Raul will play.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Chuck….when you say Raul can “get there”, you are only seeing the balls that he is actually “getting to”. Every ball that Raul has to dive and jump for is a ball that an average fielder would take at little more than a brisk trot. Balls that are just out of Raul’s reach are balls that would probably be caught by the average fielder. Surely you have noticed that no one, NO ONE, not even pitchers, are held at third on a single to LF. They ALL come in. Raul arm is worse than his range, if that is possible. Its like he’s throwing a beach ball. If he was on the mound and was asked to get the ball to the catcher, he’d need a cut off man.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    If Raul Ibanez helps the Phillies win another WFC (and I think he will) then the contract that he got was worth every penny. Again, that contract didn’t prevent the front office from making other moves and he was the best LF on the market at the time. Yes, he has his faults. But, Lefty’s right, as long as he can play like he is now he will.

     
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    One thing I think both of you forgot about OF defense. Rule number 1- Keep the flippin ball in front of you. Don’t take a chance on a spectacular play in the mid range if you are not sure. Edge – experience, Ibanez

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Lefty and Chuck.

    If, measured by WAR (and I’m not a WAR guy), you were told that Raul was the worst position player in the game, would you still play him everyday just because he’s getting paid? If you would, I would respectfully tell you that you were nuts. Reasonable minds cannot differ.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    It doesn’t matter what we think. It’s reality

    Yes he allows runs that he shouldn’t and I would not play him every day, it’s not about what we would do, it’s about what they will do. I think he could be a dangerous bat off the bench at this point in his career, or maybe a DL in the AL

     
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I acknowledge that Raul’s arm is bad. But, he makes plays and has been tearing the cover off the ball lately. Ya can’t eliminate that power threat right now. Let the dude play, help the Phillies win and then he can ride off in the sunset.

     
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    And yes, I like him very much. But the success of the team is # 1 to me, no matter how much I like him. I root for the uniform, not the individuals.

     
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Can we talk about Pence? That’s why I logged on this morning. Is this guy as “Ultey like” hustle wise as he seems? Is he an old school Pete Rose type?
    I really don’t watch many Astros games.

     
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Bingo! I forgot about the “experience” factor. Yes, he keeps balls in front of him and plays it safe. BUT…I’ve also seen him dive for stuff and come up with it. Oh, and for THIS argument….eff WAR. I get the stat, but in this case, Raul brings intangibles that can’t be measured. (God, I hope Pubic doesn’t read this, cause I’m not in the mood to argue with him right now)

     
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Pence reminds me of Utley, Lenny Dykstra, Ty Cobb and Pete Rose all rolled into one. Philly is gonna fall in love with guy fast.

     
  • Posts: 220 The Dipsy

    Avatar of The Dipsy

    Jesus. Well if you root for the uniform than you should be all for putting Brown in LF because the Phillies will be a better team! Good lord, I can’t believe this is a discussion. Truth be told, I would be Martinez in LF over Ibanez. They guy just stinks to high heaven. Brown is a Phillie, too. Root for him. I root for him and I don’t think he’s particularly good right now. But he’s better than Raul, who, I repeat, is the worst position player in baseball.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    I do root for Brown! I think his athleticism is outstanding. I was greatly depressed yesterday when I found out he was part of the deal. BTW-Jon Heyman is a total tool, as that was never true. I am just willing to wait for him to get a feel for playing the position every day, until September.

     
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Wow that’s quite a list Chuck. Talk about great expectations!

    Every video I’ve seen makes me believe it though, even the high socks make him look old school.

     
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    And where does this leave the Bravos? They have to do something now right?

     
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I root fro Brown, too. And I was even willing to part with him if necessary (I’m glad we didn’t have to!). But he needs more time. For THIS season, give me EXPERIENCE over the kid. Next year….turn him loose in left.

     
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Who’s left for the Braves? Quentin, Ludwick,Upton, Willingham, Bird, Reed Johnson, maybe even Bourne?

    Which guy would you not want to see them get/ For me, it’s Upton or Quentin I think

     
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Braves are looking at CoCo Crisp, among others…

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/07/latest-on-braves-outfield-targets.html

     
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Interesting I hadn’t thought of Crisp. He might be a good player for that ballpark. But if he’s CF, and Mclouth (Called McOut in some Braves blogs) is a pretty good defensive CF, who moves I wonder.

    You know what, it doesn’t matter who they get, bring em on. If we get Oswalt back, at 100% we’re unstoppable.

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Why would we need to send Brown down when we have Ben Francisco wasting a roster spot?

    If you think that he needs regular AB’s, go ahead and send him down for three weeks but I think I’d rather have a platoon of Mayberry/Brown and had Dom the keys next year. But I also see a red hot Ibanez and I think you have to ride that out- it’s hard not to. IDK.

     
    • Posts: 5532 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I agree about BenFran, but it’s important that Brown play every day. Sitting him on the bench last year was a mistake.

       
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    The Godfather (Ruben) always gets his man. He may overpay some he shouldn’t, but he’s a bulldog, and nothing can stop him if he wants a player. Hope we don’t pay down the road, but the window is now.

    Alright off to do chores, back later.

     
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    You absolutely have to ride out Raul’s hot bat. . Plus, I’d rather see Brown get regular playing time in left IN THE MINORS right now. We really don’t need on-the-job-training at this point in the season.

     
  • Posts: 220 The Dipsy

    Avatar of The Dipsy

    Yes, now is the time to GIVE on the job training. We’re a lock (fingers crossed) to win the division and now you have the good player in the other outfield slot so you can leave Dom out in left to make his mistakes so it doesn’t hurt you. ????????? Oh, so let him go to the minors, screw his head up, hit against inferior pitching? Thats just wrong in every way. For Brown and for the team. Ibanez is gone next year. Who cares???? Oh, the “red hot” Raul is hitting .233 over the last two weeks. ALERT: Two good games is not a hot streak.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    You’re probably right… The move to keep Brown is important for the next two years (and beyond). Right now, you go for it and if that means playing Raul because he’s hot, I’m ok with that. I think that Dom will make an impact this year but if he has to play every day for developmental reasons and you can’t play him in front of Raul because he’s swinging a good bat, then send him down and I’m ok with that. My reasons for not trading Brown never centered on what he’s done this year (even though he have been ok- his numbers are good for a rookie… Could be better if babip was higher but he works counts and gets on base. The defense will come). Keeping him will allow us to try our best to keep Cole and the other guys who are approaching free agency. Good stuff… Great night, last night.

     
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Whatever. Insert whoever the hell you want in left. The Phillies will be ok no matter the decision. I trust the powers that be.

     
  • Posts: 0 Fish

    Now the Braves will get Marlon Byrd…..for a whole lot less than we paid. Marlon Byrd will be better down the stretch than Pence. Mark my words.

     
  • Posts: 220 The Dipsy

    Avatar of The Dipsy

    Marlon Byrd is the guy I wanted all along. I hope they don’t get him.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 9 jjfritz

    Avatar of jjfritz

    It was just announced on MLB Network that the Phillies sent D. Brown back to AAA Lehigh Valley.

     
  • Posts: 0 Fish

    I know his split againt LHP has been bad this year….and thats the entire reason you’re getting a RH stick, but my gut just tells me he’s the better option and would have cost so much less. Plus he’s locked up next year too for less $$$ than Pence will get.

     
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Ha! I knew it. And that’s the right move…sending him down. But you’ll disagree, Dipsy. That’s cool, though.

     
  • Posts: 0 philliesnation

    just another guy to come into this lineup and look silly against tim lincecum and matt cain

     
  • Posts: 64 bacardi

    Avatar of bacardi

    I like the trade but have some reservations. That’s four players perhaps trading one for a rental made more sense if you think about it. I think the Giants receiving Beltran for one minor leaguer made more sense. Then next year we could see if Mayberry/Brown developed . Im sure Rube has some sort of master plan that he may reacquire some prospects down the line possibly next year to fill up the farm system again. The Astro’s where playing hardball especially after the Happ debacle he wasnt going cheap but possibly Rube couldnt let the Braves have Pence which would even up the scale or possibly even tip it in their direction. This move could possibly be more so the Braves couldnt have Pence as well since Beltran was off the market. I hope Rube has more reasoning behind this than giving up so many prospects.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    No, you do not go out and get a rental. I think everyone here is a little crazy. pence is a solid player that will be here past this season. The guy hits and plays d. The fans will love this guy. Have you watched what he does to us when we played the Astros. I was very hard on Jr. but got faith in him this week. I knew he would do the right thing. We got rid of guys that might never make it to the majors for a proven right handed bat. Someone we needed for the 5th spot. I love pence. He will fit into this lineup perfectly. Good team guy. Runs the bases hard. He has that utley makeup. Also will help Ryan. Raul needs to play because he is a vetran player. I think the best thing I heard was from Peter Gammons. He said they only people that think D. Brown will be huge are the Phillies and there fans. The stros did not want him. That should tell you something. The guy has not helped us at all in the batting order and his D has been very shaky. I know when Pence is here playing this board will only have great things to say. The guy is batting over .300…We can take a few ks..Welcome Pence. Also the Mets were never going to give us Beltran. They would of made us pay dearly.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Hey Fish, shut your mouth. You have no clue what your talking about. D. Brown needs more work.

     
  • Posts: 72 RatBastardNJ

    Avatar of RatBastardNJ

    WTG RAJ!! Time for many on here to praise the man. Too many point to the few mistakes he has made, but the man knows how to make a trade. I don’t know of any GM who goes mistake free (even GIllick admitted the Freddy Garcia trade was a bomb)…so let’s cut this dude some slack. I was very much against giving up Brown and/or Worley to get Pence. I do believe he is a bit overrated but would mesh greatly in this lineup, ala Werth. He batted over .300 in a garbage lineup…he will do about the same or better here.

    People also need to cut the same slack for Raul and Brown. Since the AS break Raul has played extremely well. He has hit in key situations and been hustling in the field. He now will be our #7 hitter in the lineup…not too shabby! Brown is in his first full year up in the ML…give him a bit more time. As someone said on another post, Schmitty hit under .200 during his first full year. He was the #1 prospect in all of baseball at one time for a reason…at least give him another year or so before using him as a throw in for a trade.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    Mitch Williams left me laughing with his reaction to the trade in the MLB Network. It was something like:

    “The Astros just traded Hunter Pence for four players and the only player I recognize from that group is the Player to be named later.”

    Player to be named later apparently will come form Low A ball so no worries.

    As for Domonic, let him go down to AAA and play some left field. If he is going to be our left fielder next year he will need the experience and not just ride the bench. Let him come up in September where we can get some playing time when we start (Hopefully!) resting our starters late in the month.

     
  • Posts: 0 bart shart

    I think Brown goes to Lehigh Valley and plays left field for the rest of the year. Ibanez, who is second on the team in homers and RBI’s and is batting similar in average to Howard, stays in the lineup against right handers. Mayberry starts against lefties and gives Howard an occasional late-inning rest at first base.

    I am NOT an Ibanez fan but believe that he finishes out the year and plays in the playoffs. Cholly likes his hussle and his experience. He does have some power.

    I wonder if the Phils could get anything for Francisco and a minor leaguer — perhaps a left handed reliever. Just a thought.

     
  • Posts: 0 bart shart

    Raul Ibanez, when he has a hot bat, is a pretty decent offensive player. When he is cold, it gives me shivers. He has been a hot second-half player most of his career. His final days in Philly could potentially be memorable in a positive way.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Bart – Anyone “when they have a hot bat” is a “pretty decent” offensive player. Give me any player in the majors who is having a “hot bat” and I’ll stick them in my lineup. For Raul, that happens to be about 10-20% of the time he plays. This is unacceptable. Please get him out of LF.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Dispy go play in traffic. Tell Raul to his face he stinks and I hope he lays you out. Now go play fantasy baseball in your basement. LOSER

     
  • Posts: 161 therookie300

    Avatar of therookie300

    Raul will be the starter in left for the rest of the year. He will probably get occasional days off against some lefties though. Marlon Byrd isn’t going anywhere anyways. The Cubs won’t deal because they are going to be a suiter for either Fielder or Pujols. Either one makes their existing lineup much better. They will just wait and try again next year.

    It was a solid move by RAJ to get Pence. It definitely helps the lineup and the defense. Can’t wait to see him play tonight.

    Brown will benefit playing every day at AAA and learning how to play left because we will need him to properly man the position next year with Raul being gone.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    @ Dipsy sadly they are probably right. I agree with everything you are saying but the Phillies and Charlie do there thing. And there thing is to keep Raul in left. Which I 100% disagree with. Put Brown in left.

    There is another column on this site this afternoon that is so ridiculous I will not comment on it. But it makes 2 days in a row of sillyness from Dr Pompus ass.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Tonights line up= minus Brown?

    The Phillies seem to think he is a RF too. So that would give the phillies 2 RFs for the next 3 years. I am against sending him to the minors. Whats the point.
    He wont be on the post season roster. He cant pinch hit so whats the point of all this?
    Holding Brown to bench him for what next year?
    If he cant play this year but he can next year? Trade him. While his value is high. Demoting him to the minors will not improve his value.

    the line up
    Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Pence RF, Ibanez LF, Polanco 3B, Ruiz C, Lee P

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I think that you have to look at the 2012 free agent list to appreciate this deal… there are no outfielders coming up. Had we taken Beltran the rental or not done anything, we would be talking about replacing Ibanez with slop… instead, we got Pence for a decent price. Singleton and Cosart are both painful losses but I think we can groom a 1B and a pitcher over the next 3-4 years (the reasonable window for the Howard/Halladay/Lee/Utley regime). If not, we should have a lot of money to spend when those guys leave the books… just keep filling seats. Let’s go Phillies!

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    I am guessing the Phillies opinion here is that since Ibanez is gone next year that they will let Brown have the entire spring training next year to learn how to play left. Just a guess.
    Or if Brown got moved now Id not be suprised.
    The Phillies are all in to win the WS in 2011. I support that
    There is no guarentee Halladay Lee and Hamels will be all healthy all of next year.
    Really need to try to win it this year. Thats why they made this deal.

    Any word on who got sent down? I keep looking but cannot find out who.

     
 
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