Paul Hagen wrote about Ed Wade’s return as a general manager to Philadelphia, the place where he spent eight seasons running the baseball operations. Wade says he still follows the Phillies, and was happy when Cole Hamels pitched a stunning seven-inning, one-hit game against the Cubs Saturday night.
When looking back at Wade’s tenure, the school of thought that generally enters the mind is that Wade failed to bring a championship to Philadelphia. He was terrible at in-season transactions and not much better during the offseason. He made one big free agent signings (Jim Thome), a few smaller ones (David Bell) and some iffy trades.
Of course, the trades weren’t all bad in retrospect:
Curt Schilling for Omar Daal, Travis Lee, Vicente Padilla and Nelson Figueroa.
OK, Schilling became a legend after the deal, but Daal gave the Phils a good season, Lee was a passable first bagger for a couple years, Padilla is a noted No. 4 starter and Figueroa â€” heck â€” he’s starting for a “contending” team.
Scott Rolen and Doug Nickle for Placido Polanco, Mike Timlin and Bud Smith.
Rolen never got much better as a Cardinal; Polanco almost won a batting title and Timlin was a very good reliever for a few years.
OK, I’m reaching a bit, but the one thing people say Wade seemed to do well was oversee a draft class. Let’s look at the years 1998-2005 and put together the All Ed-Wade Team, players the Phillies drafted during his tenure:
C – Lou Marson
1B – Ryan Howard – .288 / 132 HR / .999 OPS
2B – Chase Utley – .301 / 100 HR / .891 OPS
3B – Mike Costanzo
SS – Nick Punto – .246 / 9 HR / .637 OPS
LF – Pat Burrell – .259 / 222 HR / .853 OPS
CF – Marlon Byrd – .271 / 30 HR / .724 OPS
RF – Jason Michaels – .277 / 37 HR / .764 OPS
C – Jason Jaramillo
IF – Jake Blalock
IF/OF – Eric Valent – .234 / 13 HR / .696 OPS
OF – Michael Bourn – .253 / 2 HR / .686 OPS
OF – Chris Roberson – .232 / 2 HR / .515 OPS
SP – Cole Hamels – 26-14 / 3.49 ERA
SP – Brett Myers – 60-48 / 4.35 ERA
SP – Kyle Kendrick – 11-5 / 4.00 ERA
SP – Taylor Buchholz – 13-15 / 5.02 ERA
SP – Gavin Floyd – 10-10 / 6.00 ERA
RP – Joshua Outman
RP – JA Happ
RP – Joe Bisenius – 0-0 / 2.00 ERA
RP – Kameron Loe – 6-11 / 5.36 ERA
RP – Ryan Madson – 28-19 / 4.17 ERA
RP – Geoff Geary – 13-5 / 3.93 ERA
RP – Scott Mathieson – 1-4 / 7.47 ERA
How many games does this team win, 75? 70? Honestly, over Wade’s tenure, the Phils drafted a couple studs, and they seemed destined to at least break the league as a starter. After the big few, it’s a pretty mediocre list of fringe guys (Geary, Michaels, Valent), guys who never lived up to potential (Buchholz, Loe, Punto) and Minor Leaguers. Give Wade credit for grabbing some great foundation players, but beyond them, it’s a shallow, shallow pool.