The 2011 Phillies always had the starting pitching. Their bullpen has been a force from Day One. Now, they have the dynamic offense to go with it – or so Ruben Amaro Jr. hopes.
Amaro pulled the trigger on the much-anticipated Hunter Pence blockbuster Friday night, acquiring the Astros outfielder in exchange for Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton, as well as two players to be named later. Domonic Brown and Vance Worley are NOT part of the deal, which has been reported by CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury and SI's Jon Heyman, among others.
It is the third straight year that the Phillies have made their big move on the exact same day - July 29. In 2009, it was Cliff Lee. Last year, it was Roy Oswalt. This year, it’s Hunter Pence. Salisbury says the trade is expected to be announced later on tonight.
What they’re getting: Pence, who was just removed from the Astros' game in Milwaukee, isn’t always pretty in his style. However, he does have a solid line of .309/.346/.472 this season. He has recorded 11 homers and 62 RBIs, in addition to seven steals in eight attempts. For his career, the two-time All-Star has a line of .290/.339/.480. He has hit exactly 25 homers each of the last three seasons, averaging 82 RBIs. Defensively, he has a strong arm, though the accuracy can be inconsistent. Like every aspect of his game, Pence can be awkward out there at times. He saw some action in center field during his rookie season in 2007, but since then he has only played right field. He’s never played a major league inning in left. Pence is making $6.9 million this season and is under control for two more years after this one.
What they’re giving up: Cosart, a 38th-round pick in 2008, was considered one of the Phillies’ elite pitching prospects. This season, the 21-year-old is 9-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 20 games for Clearwater. Singleton, 19, is batting .282/.386/.411 for the Threshers. The first baseman/outfielder – an eighth-round pick in ’09 - has nine homers and 47 RBIs and is considered one of the Phils’ top hitting prospects.