By Seth Everett
I was honored to be on WIP Friday night right after the story about the Eagles big signing of Nnamdi Asomugha to a 5-year deal. Then, around 8:30pm, I started hearing that a Phillies deal for Hunter Pence was coming down. When Friday’s 10-3 win over the Pirates was over, Ruben Amaro Jr. announced the deal.
Pence was coming to Philadelphia for four minor leaguers & cash considerations. I think that’s a great deal for the team. Wait, wasn’t I the same baseball insider that said on WPHT, WIP, & KYW that I didn’t want this trade to come down? Yes, and I didn’t change my mind. The terms of the deal changed.
Originally, a deal for Hunter Pence was too expensive, both in terms of prospects, and finances. I didn’t want to give up on Domonic Brown or Vance Worley for a guy in Pence, who while is a very solid ballplayer, wasn’t worth that price. I also didn’t want the 2011 Phillies to become the first national league team ever to pay luxury tax for a guy who, quoting myself, “wasn’t Willie Mays.”
Turns out, it was the deal that changed, not my opinion on it.
Call it the shrewdness of Ruben, or the dumbness of Ed Wade, but this deal did NOT call for a top prospect, although Jared Cossart is the highest ranked of the 4 players going. It also involved cash considerations, which Ruben Amaro Jr. stated keeps the Phillies UNDER the luxury tax. Those factors make this an amazing deal.
Hunter Pence will fit in nicely. He’s under control for a few years after this season. Carlos Beltran would have been a rental. Dom Brown is heading to the minors, but he still might be the LF for the Phillies in 2012.
All in all, a great day for the Phillies, the Eagles, and all of Philadelphia sports. I was honored to be on the air when it happened, and I’m glad that a change in a deal makes a bad deal turn into a great deal.