Ed Wade was let go by his current employer; the Houston Astros. Apparently, new owner Jim Crane decided not to bring Wade with him the American league. There has been a ton of sentiment that Wade’s inability to operate as an effective general manager and his loyalty to his former employer has made the Astros a farm club for the Phillies. He is pretty easy to make fun of because he doesn’t look like a baseball guy. He looks more like a congressman than someone who should be making decisions for a major league baseball team. The Phillies won a world series in large part because of a trade with Wade that brought the team Brad Lidge. I would have killed to have seen the Phillies receive prospects of this caliber when Wade traded Scott Rolen and Curt Schilling. In truth it is pretty shortsighted to argue that Wade was fleeced in any of his dealings with the Phillies, but it is also difficult to come to the defense of someone who expected Travis Lee to be good at baseball.
There is also a camp of Wade defenders pointing to Wade’s decision not to unload what became the core of the team that started to make the playoffs right after he was ousted as a Phillies employee. Under his watch the Phillies drafted Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels and he hired Charlie Manuel. The argument can be made that the majority of the members of the 2008 world championship team had their roots in the Wade era of Phillies baseball.
So is he an idiot or genius? Much like everything else in this world Wade’s performance occupies a grey area. He traded Schilling and got nothing, but traded Kevin Stocker for Bobby Abreu. He looks like a librarian, but is purported to have a uncontrollable temper.
I don’t expect this to be the last stop for Ed Wade. This means that if you happen to be a mediocre middle reliever, there is a very real possibility that you too could be offered a multiyear contact. Shawn Chacon need not apply.