Phillies: Most impactful deadline deals of the decade
The first Hunter Pence trade at the July 2011 trade deadline was Philadelphia’s final push in their dynasty. Just 367 days after that deal the Phillies turned their organization around by sending Pence to the San Francisco Giants.
Pence had turned into a team favorite since coming over from Houston, but the club would be eight games below .500 and 10 games back in the division. It was time to turn the ship in a different direction and restock the prospect pool.
Through 101 games Pence hit 15 doubles and 17 home runs for Philadelphia, making him one of the best bats on the trade market. Philadelphia would receive three players in return, two prospects and major league outfielder Nate Schierholtz.
The star of the deal was Tommy Joseph, one of the top catching prospects in baseball. Joseph was projected to be the Phillies catcher of the future, rated as the seventh-best catching prospect in baseball, one behind Rangers Jorge Alfaro and one ahead of Phillies prospect Sebastian Valle.
Joseph would ultimately be forced to move up the diamond to first after concussion issues behind the plate. He’d have a very good rookie season platooning with Ryan Howard, hitting 21 home runs with a .257 batting average. He came back to hit 22 home runs the next season, but it wasn’t enough for the organization. He’d be waived in March 2018 due to his lack of mobility at first base and the emergence of Rhys Hoskins in the organization.
Joseph is now playing in the Korean league with nine home runs in 55 games. He’d been the Giants’ sixth-best prospect, but none of their top-10 in 2011 made a big league impact.
Seth Rosin was the second prospect coming over, though not ranked among the Giants top prospects. The Mets would take Rosin in the Rule 5 Draft the following offseason before he’d bounce between multiple teams that spring training. He was ultimately returned to the Phillies in 2015 before making one appearance allowing five runs in two innings.
Schierholtz was nothing more than a fourth outfielder in his career. He came into Philadelphia with a pedestrian .251 batting average and 14 extra-base hits. He’d walk as a free agent before hitting 21 home runs for the Cubs in 2013.
In 2016 Schierholtz was busted for using a performance-enhancing drug, and hasn’t played a big league game since 2014.
With the Pence deal circulating around Joseph it was another big miss by the Phillies in their rebuild. Had Joseph become an All-Star catcher the organization would have taken a big step forward in growing a new dynasty.