Ruben Amaro has done it again; the Phillies have acquired Houston OF Hunter Pence in exchange for 4 minor leaguers. The price that the Phillies ultimately had to pay for the services of Pence was high, but this team is on a World Series or Bust campaign and an upgrade to the offense was needed. Pence is a good but not great player but his ability and Chase Utley style of play will make him an instant phan Phavorite. He will be plugged into the middle of the Phillies lineup and instantly become their everyday right fielder. Another plus that Pence brings to the table is that he is under team control until the end of the 2013 season.
The 6-4 28 year old outfielder will give the Phillies offense a much needed boost. Coming into play today, he was batting .309 with 11 homeruns and 62 RBI’s. He was Houston’s lone representative in the all star game. The addition of Pence now gives the Phillies a former or current all-star at 7 of their 8 positions and 4 of their 5 spots in the rotation. Hunter is a player who loves to play the game and he shows that love by playing the game as hard as he can. The amount of hustle he shows on every play will make him instantly loved by the Phans.
Now the questions begin of just what the Phillies lineup will look like with Pence. The most logical lineup would be Pence batting 5th between Howard and Victorino but there are other options that Charlie could chose. He could also bat third or even 6th in this lineup but regardless of his spot in the order, he will make an impact.
The return of Placido Polanco could come as early as tomorrow, so the Phillies might have to make 2 roster moves tomorrow. I believe that RF Dominic Brown will be one of the players that are sent to the minors. The addition of Pence will put Brown to the bench and that would take significant at bats away from a promising young player. The best thing for Brown right now is for him to continue to get at bats and progress as a player. I think that he will be back as a September call up and give the team a significant bat off the bench in September and October.
The 2ND roster move might be a little trickier. If it was my decision, I would DFA IF Wilson Valdez. Michael Martinez has shown he has the ability both defensively and offensively to be the team’s utility man for this year and in the future. Valdez lacks speed or the bat to be an effective PH or PR late in the game. I ultimately think the team will take the easy route and send John Mayberry Jr. back to AAA. The Jay May kid still has an option and wouldn’t have to clear waivers. It seems as though the Phillies still would like to keep Francisco around because they like what he can bring as a RH bat off the bench.
The Phillies will send 1b Jonathan Singleton, SP Jarred Cosart, P Josh Zeid and a player to be named later in exchange for Pence and some cash. Singleton is only 19 but he has been given high praises by many scouts. It is hard to project players when they are still play A ball, but it looks like Singleton has the potential to be a .300/30/100 type of player. The organization had Singleton start the season in the outfield but moved him back to 1b later in the season. It didn’t seem like a permanent move but they wanted Singleton to develop more as a hitter before they tried to move him back to the outfield.
Jarred Cosart was kind enough to do an interview with BLN earlier in the season and we at BLN are sad to see Cosart leave the organization. Jarred has a great arm and has a mid to high 90’s fastball. Most scouting services project Cosart as a top of the rotation type of pitcher. But he has experienced some elbow problems that might force him to the pen. Some scouts are worried about his delivery and think it might cause him to have future arm problems. But regardless of the concern, Cosart has the chance to be a great pitcher. Josh Zeid and the other player to be named don’t look to be anything special. Most reports have said that the PTBN is not a high rated prospect.
In the end the Phillies did give up two young players who could have very promising careers. Singleton was the team’s top hitting prospect and Cosart was their top pitching prospect. That is a high price to pay for the services of Pence. But in the end the Phillies were able to acquire Pence without traded Worley or Brown. Their outfield in 2012 looks to be set as Brown, Victorino and Pence look to be the Phillies outfield through the 2013 season.
Ruben Amaro has been a very aggressive GM since he took the job and he continued this theme today. The Phillies know that they have a team that can win a world championship and they will do everything they can to better their chances. On the eve of opening day last year, the Eagles traded franchise QB Donovan McNabb to Washington. Then today on the day the Eagles sign all pro CB Nnamdi Asomugha, the Phillies return the favor and land Pence. This move may end up hurting the Phillies in a few years but if earns them a World Series banner; it will defiantly be worth it!
Brotherly Love Nation Writer