Phillies: Most impactful deadline deals of the decade
When the Phillies traded for Hunter Pence in July 2011, it was the final move made by Ruben Amaro Jr. to keep the Phillies dynasty alive. Coming off a loss to Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants, Amaro pulled off a deal to help a team already five games up in the division.
Philadelphia never replaced Jayson Werth in right field after he left for the Washington Nationals, starting Ben Francisco in right field on Opening Day against Pence’s Astros. Pence actually hit a double off Roy Halladay in that game, unbeknownst to him he’d play with Halladay just a couple of months later.
The Phillies started six players in right field that season: top prospect Domonic Brown, Francisco, John Mayberry Jr., Ross Gload, John Bowker, and Pence. Brown struggled in limited action, Francisco never kept the starting job and the others were backups at best.
At the time of the trade, Pence was hitting .308 with 26 doubles and 11 home runs for a horrendous Astros team. He was one of the best options on the trade market; Carlos Beltran went to San Francisco, Michael Bourn had been sent to Atlanta, and Derrek Lee went to Pittsburgh.
Pence was an instant spark in the Phillies lineup, fueling a nine-game win streak in early August. Philadelphia went 37-21 for the rest of the season, clinching another division title finishing 13 up in the division.
The story behind Houston’s haul of prospects is an interesting one. The deal was Singleton, one of the Phillies top power-hitting prospects caught behind Ryan Howard, pitcher Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeudi, and a player to be named later.
The player to be named later would accidentally become Domingo Santana after the Phillies accidentally left the outfielder on the eligible player list for Houston to pick from. Santana went on to hit 30 home runs for the Brewers in 2017 after Houston traded him along with Josh Hader to Milwaukee.
Singleton would fail multiple drug tests after going to Houston, but became the first drafted player to sign an extension with no major league service time. He made his big league debut in 2014 at the age of 22 and hit 13 home runs, but was out of the big leagues after 2014 thanks to a .171 career batting average.
After the deal was made, Cosart became the Astros top-rated prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He had a 3.92 ERA and a high walk-rate in Clearwater prior to the trade, but was projected to be a top of the rotation arm.
Cosart made 30 starts for the Astros, pitching with a 3.57 ERA but striking out only 22 more batters than he walked. At the July 2014 trade deadline, Cosart would be dealt with Austin Wates and Enrique Hernandez to the Miami Marlins for Jake Marisnick, Francis Martes, Colin Moran and a 2015 competitive balance round A pick.
Cosart had early success in Miami but failed to stick in the big leagues. He last pitched for the Padres in 2017.
Zeid was the forgotten player of the trade, though he did reach the big leagues at the age of 26. The righty made 48 relief appearances with a 5.21 ERA for Houston, but last pitched in the Mexican Pacific Winter League.
Ultimately the Pence trade was a win for Philadelphia, but it also marked the end of an era in Philadelphia.