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Pence was acquired by the Phillies on July 29, 2011, as the Astros received a couple of intriguing prospects—Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart—for the slugging, strange-swinging outfielder.
On Tuesday, he was shipped away to San Francisco, where he will get another raise through arbitration prior to hitting free agency in 2014. The move allows the Phillies to take the contract off of their books, freeing money to acquire another outfielder through free agency or a trade during the upcoming offseason.
The Phillies received:
Nate Schierholtz, 28 years old, OF: Schierholtz is not a cornerstone talent but he does have some value. He is a very good defensive outfielder, he is arbitration-eligible for 2013 (and he makes just $1.3 million in 2012, so he is affordable), and he is a decent left-handed bat off of the bench, having ripped 57 doubles, 12 triples and 20 home runs in 955 at-bats against right-handed pitchers in his career.
Seth Rosin, 23 years old, RHP: Rosin was dominant as a relief pitcher before being moved to San Jose's rotation on June 28. At 6'6", 250 pounds, he has an impressive frame to become an innings-eating machine. He is not a top-tier prospect, but a 68:18 K:BB in 56.1 innings is worth a look.
Tommy Joseph, 21 years old, C: Joseph is the prize. The young, slugging catcher was named as a representative in the MLB Futures Game in Kansas City, and he has impressed with the bat since becoming a professional. He has already reached Double-A, having hit eight home runs along with 16 doubles for Richmond in the Eastern League. He has some issues with the strike zone, having posted a career 282:80 K:BB in 1,254 at-bats, but he has popped 46 long-balls and 71 doubles in that time, as well. He could be ready in late 2013, which lines up perfectly for when Carlos Ruiz can walk via free agency.
While the Phillies did a nice job of shedding payroll here, they didn't really get a fantastic haul for an above-average corner outfielder who was under team control for 2013.
Joseph is a very good prospect, ranked No. 2 in the Giants' system prior to 2012 by Baseball America, but he has his flaws and they received a bench bat and a solid arm that looks bullpen bound in return for Pence.
If Amaro takes the money and lands another solid bat for the 2013 season, this deal could be worth it, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Without an immediately ready prospect in return, you have to wonder if this is going to lead to some tossed batteries in Philly.