Phillies decide they don’t need an outfield, ship out Victorino and Pence
By Ethan Seidel
In a shocking and not-so-shocking turn of events the Phillies traded away Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence on deadline day. The baseball world was a twitter regarding the potential deals that saw both players head out west (Vic to LA and Pence to SF). Once news of the deals broke out Phillies nation weighed in on the success, or failure of the haul Rueben Amaro received for both players. The following is a sampling of the trade deadline hysteria.
The range of emotions from these deals spans the full spectrum. Not everyone loved Victorino and Pence like I did, but that’s ok. No one is right or wrong in the aftermath of huge changes such as these (except Eskin). I’m of two minds about these deals, mostly due to my non-comittal nature. Rather than play winner-loser like most pundits out there I’ve analyzed the trades with my Jekyll and Hyde brain and declared the Phillies winners AND losers in both deals.
1) Dodgers: OF Shane Victorino, Phillies: P Josh Lindblom P Ethan Martin
Winner: The reality is the Phillies were never going to meet Vic’s contract demands in the off-season. The fact that his numbers went down only hurt his chances of getting big money elsewhere, so the Phillies would also have been unlikely to offer arbitration. Translation, the Phils wouldn’t have gotten that oh-so-coveted draft pick compensation. For a 2 month rental with an OPS+ of 94 the team got a young proven bullpen arm, and a former 1st round pick, not too shabby.
Loser: The Phillies traded away the only proven center fielder on the team (majors or minors) and now have to play a platoon of John Mayberry Jr. and Dom Brown out there, yikes! And what did they get in return? Another young arm who leads the league in home runs allowed. That will go over great at the Bank (SARCASM). They might as well have traded Vic for a box of signed basketballs by Magic Johnson. They would be worth more.
2) Giants: OF Hunter Pence, Phillies: C Tommy Joseph OF Nate Shierholtz P Seth Rosin
Winner: Lets preface this by saying Hunter Pence is overrated. He’s not a bad guy but his stats can be deceptive, particularly a high BABIP last year. He plays hard, he leaves it all on the field, but he’s not a guy that can carry a team, which the Phils found out this year. Catching prospect Tommy Joseph immediately comes in as the Phillies new top positional prospect, and can take over for Chooch after 2013 when he inevitably comes down to earth. Shierholtz is a defensive upgrade over Pence, and can handle righties. Throw in Rosin, a young pitching prospect, and you have a sweet haul for an outfielder who is about to be paid a lot more than he is worth.
Loser: The Phillies trade away Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton a year ago and this is all they get back in return?!? Joseph is a good prospect, but they already have Ruiz’s heir apparent in Sebastian Valle! No third baseman, and an outfielder who’s no better than John Mayberry Jr. I say Ruben got scared by the luxury tax, and pulled the trigger on a deal that even he knew he was getting fleeced on. The Cliff Lee deal to the Mariners now has competition.
The truth of the matter is all of the arguments have some shred of credibility. Two hours is way too soon to be passing judgement on the return for both players, as they are mostly full of minor leaguers. For some real analysis check out Keith Law’s rundown of the Phillies compensation for the two outfielders. And Phillies fans, please remember to temper the emotions until the dust has settled.