I originally meant this as a response to WholeCamel's article telling everyone to Chill Out but it got long enough to be a separate post.
Good write up. First off I agree that the price (litereally and figuratively) for Hunter Pence was and is much too high. He does make the lineup better right now, but not by much. Still, I agree with your claim that Cosart and Singleton are apt to fall victim of the prostpect attrition rate, especially with Cosart's injury history. All in all I think I'm glad to have Pence in a Phillies uniform, although I'm going to hold back judgment until he plays. My biggest worry is he is at best shaky in the outfield. The Phillies already have a liability in LF now it looks like they'll have one in RF for right now too. Hopefully Victorino can cover a lot of ground.
What worries me the most about this trade is what it says about how the organization is run. Ruben Amaro Jr. seems to have a personality that's almost in direct opposition to his two predecessors, in that he always wants to be in the limelight and has an irrational infatuation with making "the big deal" that will have everyone in the baseball world talking about him. The Phillies have yet to win a World Championship with RAJ at the help (yes I know very sss) and yet it seems that a good portion of the baseball world not only knows his name but sees him as one of the best GMs in the game solely on his ability to make huge headline grabbing trades and signings. I'm not saying that Amaro is a bad GM or that these trades or signings have been bad, but it doesn't bode well for the future.
It's almost guaranteed now that the Phillies will make a blockbuster deal every year with RAJ at the helm when they are in contention. This year is a perfect example, there was a perceived need of an RH bat and once again the organization treats their top prospects as chips to obtain that perceived need. All the while the team's most visible need (middle relief) has yet to be addressed. I'm not going to blame or bash the Philadelphia media or fanbase for this. First off because there's been enough of that already but in reality it's Amaro's job to be the adult in this situation. If Amaro wants to be in the limelight he should have just pointed to the team's record as evidence that there wasn't a need to sell the farm, and if he was truly influenced by everyone saying the Phillies need an RH bat, then he really needs to reflect on how he does business as a GM. So it looks like every year now we'll be seeing the Phillies making a big trade at the deadline, not because they need to but just to make a splash and to show that the Phillies are "in it to win it" for that one season.
What worries me most, however, is what will happen in a year when the Phillies are out of playoff contention or well behind the division lead with RAJ at the helm? I realize there's a lot of "what ifs" in that scenario but with the way Amaro has treated the minor league system as trade bait it's almost guaranteed to happen somewhere down the road. With Amaro's obsession with staying in the headlines it seems like he'll either double down once again and try to obtain a big name player for the stretch run or start trading off players on the current major league roster for prospect (think of how the Reds were run in the early 2000's).
So in conclusion. I'm not terribly upset about the Pence deal because it is a slight improvement for the roster right now, but it's no secret that Pence has been grossly overvalued this last month and it doesn't bode well for the future. Amaro has shown time and again he's more interested in making the big deal that will improve the team's chances of winning right now rather then building for the future, but what does that mean when the future gets here?