Phillies Send Pence to Giants in 4-Player Deal

Posted by Eric Seidman, Tue, July 31, 2012 02:07 PM | Comments: 125
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts, Trade Rumors, Trades

Moments after the Phillies finalized a deal sending Shane Victorino to the Dodgers (see story), reports surfaced that the Phils and Giants were close to completing a deal for Hunter Pence.

A few hours and a few issues later, the deal was finalized. Pence is on his way to San Francisco for three players: catching prospect Tommy Joseph, major league outfielder Nate Schierholtz and Single-A pitcher Seth Rosin.

The Phils and Giants had been negotiating all week, but the acquisition of Victorino by their NL West rival likely escalated talks between the parties.

Joseph is 21 years old, was a 2009 second-round pick and entered the season as the Giants’ No. 2 prospect, behind centerfielder Gary Brown. Joseph has a .315 wOBA in Double-A this season and has hit slightly below average relative to his level in each of his first three years in the minors. But then again, he’s only 21, and he’s in Double-A. So growing pains are to be expected. Last season, Joseph hit .270/.317/.471 with 22 home runs and 33 doubles at High-A San Jose.

Scouts consider him a viable catching option, which obviously increases his value to the team, with Carlos Ruiz a potential free agent after the 2013 season. The Phils also have Sebastian Valle waiting in the wings, though his struggles at Double-A have caused some concern. Plus, catcher is one position where depth is welcome. Acquiring Joseph means the Phillies have two solid catching prospects in the system.

Joseph, Rosin and Schierholtz might seem like an underwhelming return, but Joseph is now one of the top prospects in the Phillies’ system, Rosin has some potential, and Schierholtz, if platooned with Mayberry, could be pretty effective. It’s an interesting deal. Here’s why…

Schierholtz is an intriguing piece. He’s a corner outfielder currently in his first year of arbitration, who has seemingly settled into the .325 wOBA area. Given that the league average is .313, he is an above-average hitter. However, relative to outfielders, he is closer to average, as they have a collective .331 wOBA.

He plays solid defense, has an exceptional arm and runs the bases fairly well. Put together, Schierholtz is a perfectly average player who is best utilized in a platoon. This season, the lefty-hitting Schierholtz has a .363 wOBA against righties. Last year, he had a .346 wOBA against righties. He is a decent throw-in but nothing more.

Rosin, 23 years old, is a 6-foot-6 righty pitching in High-A. He looks like a big-time strikeout pitcher, although he may also be considered on the older side for his level. In 56.1 innings this year, he has a 10.9 K/9 and a 2.9 BB/9.

When the Giants Come to Town ranked Rosin No. 18 on their pre-season prospect list, suggesting that he might have the best fastball command of any pitcher the Giants have drafted since Madison Bumgarner. Rosin pounds the strike zone with both a two- and four-seam fastball and works to keep the ball on the ground. He throws around 93-96 mph as a reliever and features a changeup, as well. The Giants tried him as a starter but he seems primed for bullpen duty as his breaking ball is sub-par.

Fangraphs’ minor league expert, Marc Hulet, also summarized Rosin in his pre-season prospect rankings thusly:

SLEEPER ALERT: Seth Rosin, RHP: If you’re a rival executive talking trade with the Giants this winter you’ll want to ask for Rosin as a throw in to any deal. He’s made easy work of pro ball so far. He has a big, strong frame at 6’5” 240 lbs and has shown the ability to both start and relieve, while producing both strong strikeout rates and good ground-ball numbers. Despite spending the entire 2011 season in low-A (for no good reason), the club challenged the right-hander with an assignment to the Arizona Fall League and he’s more than held his own. As a pitcher from a northern state (Minnesota) he could be a late-bloomer.”

In trading Pence, the Phillies will free up approximately $14 million next season because they won’t have to worry about his final year of arbitration. They brought back a solid catching prospect, a big-strikeout relief pitching prospect, and a major leaguer who has utility as the left-handed bat in an outfield platoon. It’s not the sexiest return, but bolstering depth at an important position and freeing up money are both long-term interests of this organization. And the Phillies accomplished both goals today.

Avatar of Eric Seidman

About Eric Seidman

Eric Seidman has written 64 articles on Phillies Nation.

Eric offers his unique analytical perspective to Phillies Nation and is a regular contributor on FanGraphs.com.

  • Posts: 0 Alex

    Haha you realize you haven’t won shit yet right Nats fans?

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Where are Joe Blanton and Juan Pierre still on this team? Can someone please tell me?

    The Dipsy

    • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

      Pierre is probably still here because of his clubhouse presence and the fact that Nix and Brown have had a lot of recent injury issues. From all accounts, the Phillies were just asking for too much in return for Blanton. It wouldn’t be surprising to see either one of them go before the waiver deadline (August 31) though.

      • Posts: 0 George

        I’m not so sure the Phils asked too much for Blanton. From the names of the other pitchers Baltimore was targeting, I got the impression they only wanted someone if that someone only cost a bag of peanuts. They struck out on all of those guys, too.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Fat Joe is inside the phanatic uniform on days he doesnt pitch.
    Saves money.

    And with all the outfielders gone I am guessing they need Pierre or they would have to go with only 2 outfielders some nights.

    I actually expect a little bit of a spark from this. Would not be suprised if they didnt play well the rest of the way.

    On the flip side they may continue to suck and finish 30 games out.

  • Posts: 2896 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    AFW – Watch them make the freaking playoffs..

  • Posts: 0 grismundo

    It’s going to be nice not having to see Pence strike out swinging at balls over his head and missing routine fly balls on a daily basis, or Victorino’s ADHD nonsense in the dugout. No more of their annoying radio commercials either. Goodbye and good riddance. Two less cancers in the clubhouse. I was hoping they’d trade Lee too. Oh well, I just hope this is a wakeup call to the rest of the roster to get their s%#t together.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Great post grismundo. Pence was horrible in the field. Also swinging at every pitch. Not clutch. Then watching Vic on the basepaths. What a nightmare. They needed to make these two moves. Clean it up.

  • Posts: 2896 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    OCP – McGehee is nothing special. Really not worth being upset about that.

  • Posts: 556 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    It’s sad to see Victorino and Pence go. I’m sure his teammates are feeling the same. I would think the team also felt as if they were slapped in the face in regards to two months of baseball left in the season. The implication being to forget about this season and just play out the string.

    No matter how our writers sugarcoats these two trades, it’s still basically a salary dump as some posters commented here. My first impression is that we received just one valid player that would be of immediate help in the bullpen , righthanded reliever, Josh Lindblom who comes from LA Dodgers in the Victorino trade. That’s basically it for this season.

    The Phillies have lost two thirds of their regulars in the outfeld. Who fills in and what position they play remains to be seen. Domonic Brown is an unproven player who last year disappointed the manager with his hitting and defensive fielding in the OF and was DEMOTED to the minors and Amaro to make a trade for Pence. Is Mayberry Jr now the regular centerfielder? Oh my goodness!

    What a revoltin’ development this is…. ;-)

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I don’t remember anyone with the Phillies being disappointed with Brown’s hitting. He hit at the league average, and as well as the average NL leftfielder. Perfectly fine for a 23 yo rookie.

  • Posts: 2896 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    No, Bruce…this was a NECESSARY development. And the re-tooling of the team is far from over. Let’s wait and give it all some time before we rush to judgement.

    • Posts: 0 George

      Absolutely agree, Chuck. Finances would have been a disaster had they kept Pence. Now there’s room to add, and/or prospects to flip. The retooling is definitely not over.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    @ Chuck A

    Its too far to make the playoffs. But can spoil. Starting with winning 2 of these 3 with the Nats. Or maybe sweeping them.

    For me my biggest worry is Doc.
    Lots of innings on that arm.

    Really a shame they didnt get a WS for him in 2010 or 2011. But wasnt his fault.
    Just one year ago he was easily the best pitcher in the sport.
    Not close at this point.
    Definately would not push him alot the rest of the way.
    The overuse in 2011 is catching up with him and Lee. That and thier age and career IP. .

  • Posts: 2896 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Uhhh… AFW – my comment was a joke, dude.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    I like the deals. Joseph was the Giants #2 prospect and probably ranked higher than Cosart and Sanatana. Just bothered they let money get in the way of dealing Blanton. he my not clear waivers.

  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    To the Nats fans who invaded our blog: Look at the scoreboard, 6-0 in favor of the Phils, as I write this. Go away.

    I do not think we can judge the trades as of yet, and I agree with others that the team is not done retooling either, but at least we are under the luxury tax and now have money to acquire free agents to try to fill our holes.

    Thanks for your efforts Sane and Hunter! Best of luck with your new teams. Time to see what Dom Brown and Mayberry really have.

    Glad we kept Juan Pierre, as his performance tonight confirms that. Lee pitching well, and Frandsen looking good defensively and offensively at third tonight.

    And stay away from my inside the park home run record, Jimmy.
    -Ed Delahanty

  • Posts: 0 chuck schreiber

    Can’t wait to see Hunter in that huge outfield in SF. That should give us some real laughs.

  • Posts: 0 Lisa

    Phillie once, Phillies’ forever.

  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    @AFW: I still cannot stop laughing at your comment about Blanton in the Phanatic suit – hysterical!!

  • Posts: 0 The Sarge

    I know you can’t get enough of the Sarge!

    Follow him on Twitter @the_sarge36

    Oh My!! It’s cadillac time!!

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