Ed Wade Strikes Again: Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros Swap Spare Parts

January 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies and their fans are very familiar with Ed Wade and his work.

When Wade assumed the role of General Manager with the Phillies in 1998, he made trades and signings that never sat well with the fans.

During his tenure with the Phillies, he traded franchise cornerstones Curt Schilling and Scott Rolen for little return and made questionable signings on the free agent market, committing multi-year deals to players like Jose Mesa, David Bell, Jim Thome and Jon Lieber.

The Phillies consistently underperformed under his reigns, posting a record of 643-652 during his tenure.

Needless to say, when he was relieved of his duties after the 2005 season, there weren’t many Phillies fans losing sleep over the team’s decision.

After Wade was long gone, however, the fruits of his labor began to produce for the Phillies. Players drafted under his watch, including Pat Burrell, Ryan Madson, Brett Myers, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick and JA Happ, all formed part of the core of the Phillies team that won the World Series in 2008.

Other players that Wade drafted, including Happ, Lou Marson, Josh Outman, Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary and Michael Costanzo would be part of packages that would land the Phillies integral pieces like Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Joe Blanton and Brad Lidge.

He also signed a number of amateur free agents, including Carlos Ruiz and Carlos Carrasco, who would eventually become yet another piece to the Lee trade.

So, while his tenure didn’t pay immediate dividends for the Phillies, his stint as General Manager provided crucial pieces to today’s team. Wade would go on to become the General Manager of the Houston Astros on September 20, 2007 and has kept in touch with the Phillies ever since.

One of the first deals he made as the General Manager of the Astros was to send closer Brad Lidge and utility infielder Eric Bruntlett to the Phillies for prospects Michael Bourn and Mike Costanzo and reliever Geoff Geary.

He has signed many former Phillies, including Brett Myers and Pedro Feliz.

This trend continued right into 2010, as he traded the long-time face of the Astros’ franchise, Roy Oswalt, to the Phillies for JA Happ, Jonathan Villar and Anthony Gose.

On January 11, 2011, Ed Wade struck again.

On a much smaller scale than the Lidge and Oswalt deals, the Phillies and Astros swapped minor leaguers Sergio Escalona and Albert Cartwright.

When asked about the deal, Wade said, “Sergio adds depth to the competition for left-handers in our bullpen. Our scouts have liked his stuff and believe he’s got a chance to be very effective in left-on-left situations.”

Escalona, 26, is going to need a chance at the major league level to prove Wade right. His brief stint in the major leagues with the Phillies in 2009 didn’t yield impressive results. He appeared in 14 games and posted a record of 1-0 and an ERA of 4.61. He struggled with command, walking more than three and striking out just over six batters per nine innings in that span of time.

Wade is relying heavily on his numbers in the minor leagues. In 2010, Escalona spent the season with the Phillies AA affiliate, posting a record of 4-8 and an ERA of 3.81. He’s had tremendous success at AA, posting ERAs of 2.22 and 1.77 in 2008 and 2009 respectively, but has struggled at AAA and in the majors.

If he wants to break camp with the Astros, he’s going to have to beat out fellow lefties Wesley Wright, Fernando Abad and Gustavo Chacin.

The Phillies, on the other hand, added much-needed depth to their system’s middle infield.

Cartwright, 23, has played second base in the Astros system over the last four seasons. He’s had a few very streaky seasons, and struggled at AA in 2010. However, he also played in 92 games at A+ ball, hitting .318/.381/.551, with 10 home runs.

Though an extremely high BABIP of .389 suggests those numbers will come down some, the potential for improvement is there.

The Phillies, who designated Escalona for assignment this week, were lucky to get anything in return for him. When the opportunity to swap him for a middle infielder presented itself, they were quite satisified.

Cartwright won’t be the next Chase Utley, but he’ll join other middle infielders Michael Martinez, Harold Garcia, Freddy Galvis, Brian Bocock and Carlos Rivero as the Phillies attempt to find another diamond in the rough.

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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