It looks like Hunter Pence will be in another team’s uniform by Sunday but which team is still undecided. From the sounds of it, the Astros have effectively started a bidding war over the right fielder and that is the best thing that could happen. The rumors have been flying the past 24 hours and this post sums it up pretty well where they stand right now.
The front runner for Pence should come as no surprise to Astros fans, the Philadelphia Phillies. With Ed Wade coming over from the Phillies, he has a familiarity with the Phillies farm system and has tried to use this when trading players like Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt. Some of the players have worked out, like Michael Bourn, some have struggled, J.A. Happ.
There are three main pieces that the Phillies are offering and the Astros will be looking for all three or a combination of them. After the jump I break down the prospects and what fans might expect in return.
Domonic Brown- He was the top prospect in the Phillies farm system before the season start and has been average since being called up. He is hitting .247 this year with five home runs and 18 RBI in 53 games. I am sure the Phillies don’t want to give up Brown but if I am Wade, I demand Brown. He has the potential to be a perennial All-Star and fans could start to see returns from the trade immediately. The Phillies have refused to include trades over the past few years for the likes of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt so if Wade can get him, that is a big win.
Jonathan Singleton- He was the 39th best prospect in the minor leagues before 2011 and ranked number two in the Phillies system. At 19 years of age the outfielder/first baseman has a lot of upside. However, Jon Heyman of SI.com tweeted that the Astros would prefer Brown over Singleton in a trade but I believe they could get both. With the way this bidding war has gone on and with a division rival, the Atlanta Braves, also in contention, the Phillies could possibly pay more.
Jarred Cosart- This right hander was ranked 70th in the minor leagues before 2011 and was ranked fourth by Baseball America in the Phillies system. The problem with Singleton and Cosart is that they both haven’t played higher than Class A+ and will be a few years before fans see these players with the Astros.
This is why I think Ed Wade needs to get Domonic Brown because by trading Pence, the Astros will lose that franchise player and fan favorite. The Astro Nation will need to have a player to rally around, maybe it is Jordan Lyles or Bud Norris, but a pitcher is only available once every five days. The team needs a player that will be out there every game. The next 48 hours should be exciting.