MLB Trade Rumors: Philadelphia Phillies Almost Landed Hunter Pence

Joe IannelloAnalyst IIIJuly 27, 2011

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 20: Hunter Pence #9 of the Houston Astros hits a triple in the first inning against  the Washington Nationals on July 20, 2011 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. Astros won in the bottom of the 11th 3 - 2. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies have made it crystal clear that they covet a RH power-bat and some bullpen help at the trade deadline.

Jayson Stark of made it clear today that the Phillies were oh so close to fulfilling one of their holes with the acquisition of All-Star Hunter Pence.

Stark quoted sources who claim that Philadelphia “had a deal for him earlier in the week, only to have Houston back off.”

Could GM Ruben Amaro really land the top player at the trade deadline for the third season in a row? Stark surely makes it sound like Amaro thought he had done just that.

The deal that Stark's suggested seems ludicrous from a Phillies standpoint. The package was seemingly built around the Phillies top two minor league prospects in first baseman Jonathan Singleton and their best pitching prospect, Jarred Cosart.

Singleton was considered to be an "untouchable" prospect before this season began and Cosart has the type of electric arm that translates to ace potential. Stark suggests that the Astros would want another two mid-level prospects along with Singleton and Cosart as well.

Why wouldn't Ed Wade make this deal? Hunter Pence is a 28-year-old player that will become a free agent in two years and leave the team.

The Astros are one of the worst teams in MLB and clearly need to be building for the future. Wade would be adding two top prospects that could be the core of his team for the next decade.

The Phillies would be acquiring the RH bat that would legitimize their lineup, but would they be trading away too much for a guy that could leave in two years? This deal almost seems like the Astros would be getting the best of it, and we all know that would be a first for Ed Wade.

Is it possible that Ed Wade thought Ruben Amaro was offering him a "Cuisnart" instead of Cosart? Perhaps Wade is a bit gun-shy to make another trade with his former employer, the Philadelphia Phillies.

He traded away Brad Lidge who subsequently had one of the greatest seasons ever by a closer. He traded the face of the franchise in Roy Oswalt for J.A. Happ and his sore arm, and he threw in an extra $11 million for good measure. 

The question still remains, why wouldn't the Houston Astros make this deal? If you were GM of the Houston Astros would you make this deal? How about if you were Ruben Amaro?