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Ed Wade finds a job

Good for him.  

He apparently beat out Amaro for the GM spot over in Houston.  Those guys obviously liked what we are/were doing here.  For the most part, they should.  Wade has gotten way too much heat over the years on what he has and has not done.  I am not saying he was a top 5 or even top 10 GM.  But I am saying he was much better than has been perceived and has basically built the nucleus to one of the best runs this franchise has ever seen, playoffs or not.

Wade got judged on the moves he has made, which is fine, and deserved.  But there were plenty of moves that he didn't make that were just as important.

Over on mlbtraderumors, they have come up with a list of big moves Wade made.

12-23-97: Traded Mickey Morandini to Cubs for Doug Glanville

This may be one of the most bittersweet moves of Wade's tenure.  He traded a light hitting old 2nd baseman for a light hitting young CF on a club who desperately needed one with Lenny out the door.  Unfortunately, Glanville played way too much at the top of the order and only had one season where his OPS+ was over 100.

Failed to sign J.D. Drew; drafted Pat Burrell first overall in 1998

This was the first major blunder on Wade's record as he drafted Drew who said he wouldn't sign.  I wonder if this came from management who knew they didn't want to sign him to a big contract and got a free out or if Wade thought he knew something.  While I admire his perserverence, do it with somebody ELSE'S first round draft pick.  Troy Glaus and Wernon Wells were picked immediately afterwards, but so was Jason Grilli.

11-19-98: Traded Ricky Bottalico and Garrett Stephenson to Cardinals for Ron Gant, Jeff Brantley, and Cliff Politte

Not much as Gant was average here and Politte showed promise but wasn't a factor.  He did get us Dan Plesac though...

11-13-98: Traded Jerry Spradlin for Chad Ogea

We were the last stop for the 28 year old Ogea who's name was only valuable since he was pitching on the big time Indian teams.  Still, it was for Spradlin.

5-5-99: Traded Paul Spoljaric to Blue Jays for Robert Person

Got Robert Person for Spoljaric and his 15+ ERA.  First positive move for Wade.  Person wasn't great, but he was above league average for us and he had 7 RBIs in a game

Drafted Brett Myers 12th overall in 1999

Good draft.

11-10-99: Traded Steve Montgomery, Carlton Loewer, and Adam Eaton to Padres for Andy Ashby

This was another one of those moves that people want to get on Wade for, but Montgomery and Loewer never turned into anything and, well, we know what happened to Eaton.  Ashby sucked for us after 5 good years in SD.  I can't fault him for this move.

12-7-99: Signed Mike Jackson to be closer (spent entire year on DL)

I can't remember the details here as I blocked this out of my memory.

7-12-00: Traded Ashby to Braves for Jimmy Osting and Bruce Chen

Chen was a decent prospect at the time and ended up having a better career than Loewer or Montgomery.  Maybe Eaton as well.

Drafted Chase Utley 15th overall in 2000


7-26-00: Traded Curt Schilling to Diamondbacks for Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee, and Vicente Padilla

Wade's first major trade and one that people will always chalk up as a negative towards him.  I was actually ok with this trade and still am.  Obviously Schill went on to do sme great things like win 2 World Series, but in 2000 he was a 33 year old right hander that just came off of shoulder surgery, was very critical (rightly so) of this team and wanted out.  We did have him on contract for another year and a half, but we appeared to get decent value in return.  Daal posted ERAs of 2.88 in 1998 and 3.65 in 1999 before bottoming out in 2000.  Figueroa was an old prospect that turned into nothing but actually had a handful of good starts for us in 2001.  We all know the Travis Lee story, but he was a 25 year old first baseman witha good glove and a good eye.  Unfortunately that was it.  Lastly was Vicente Padilla who had back to back good years in Philly and made an all-star team.  I can't complain about that package too much.  Would I have liked more, or for Schilling to stay?  Sure, but I am not killing Wade for that move.

7-29-00: Traded Gant to Angels for Kent Bottenfield


Drafted Gavin Floyd 4th overall in 2001

Ended up being a bad draft move since Gavin had good stuff but couldn't put it all together.

Fired Terry Francona, hired Larry Bowa

Big blunder by Wade, but it seemed like a move to appease the fans.

2000: Signed Ricky Bottalico, Rheal Cormier, and Jose Mesa

All three had differing levels of success, but all three actually found success here.  Rheal was the second best reliever in the NL behind Gagne in 2003.

1-29-01: Signed Paul Byrd

Wish we still had that holy thrower.  Byrd my be living proof that Christianity is right.

6-5-01: Traded Byrd to Royals for Jose Santiago
Drafted Ryan Howard in 5th round in 2001

Santiago was a decent shot after Byrd sucked for us in 2000.

7-27-01: Traded Chen for Dennis Cook and Turk Wendell

This may be the move that everyone remembers.  Chen was nothing special, but Cook and Wendell singlehandedly lost 2001 for us.  Or so we thought.  Real easy to blame 2 players, but it takes a) a manager to put them in and b) the rest of the team to not pick them up.  Don't get me wrong, they sucked, but there were plenty of other reasons why we lost in 2001.

Signed Terry Adams

Don't remind me.

7-29-02: Traded Scott Rolen for Bud Smith, Mike Timlin, and Placido Polanco

The worst of Wade's moves.  Smith was living off of his no hitter, Timlin was a decent reliever but HATED Philly and Polanco was a light hitting team MVP that played well here, but basically just blocked Utley from reaching the majors.  Rolen was worth more than that.

Drafted Cole Hamels 17th overall in 2002


2-20:02: Signed Bobby Abreu to five-year, $64MM extension

Abreu came off of a very successful run of 4 seasons with an OPS+ of around 140.  He was 28 years old and locked up through his most valuable seasons.  The next 3 years Abreu put up OPS+ of 155, 134 and 149.  But he was killed by fans and media as being soft despite being the best hitter on the team.  Wade also gave him a FNTC which may have saved 5-10 mil off of his contract.  FNTCs are very hard to justify and I presume he thought that there was no reason to trade an awsome 28 year old right fielder.  Maybe he was right...

11-24-02: Signed David Bell to a four-year, $17MM contract

Another questionable move, but the Phils needed a 3rd baseman and were too cheap to find anything better than Bell.  Looking back, 4 mila year for him wasn't a big deal, but the Phil's payroll was still in the 50 millions.  Wade bought into the hype and Bell responded with an injury riddled awful season.  His next season was pretty good as he posted an OPS+ of 110.  But that was it from the goodness of David Bell.

12-3-02: Signed Jim Thome to a six-year, $85MM contract in December 2002

This was the signing to bring people into the new park.  And it worked.  The city fell in love with Thome and he lived up to his contract for the first 2 years.  An injured 2005 and a Ryan Howard in the minors made the Phils dump Thome and eat part of his contract.  Yeah, he was getting paid too much, but Thome has had 2 big season since then and he was the free agent signing that people craved.

12-20-02: Traded Johnny Estrada to Braves for Kevin Millwood

Anyone who kills Wade on this move is a liar.  Everyone loved it when Millwood fell into our laps because the Braves offer arbitration to Maddux.  Millwood had some fairly bad luck here but also was prone to giving up big innings.  But I still have the tickets to his no-hitter which was about the only shot at greatness I have seen live since 93.

2-3-03: Signed Pat Burrell to a six-year, $50MM contract in February 2003

Another move people kill Wade for.  Pat smacked the snot out of the ball in 2002 and got paid for it.  We bought him out of 3 arbitration years for 3 more years at what seemed to be a decent price for a young slugger.  Pat responded with a 89 OPS+ year and seemed to be a huge mistake.  Nobody knows what happened to Pat then, but he slowly worked his way back improving almost every year since then.  110, 125, 124 and 133 OPS+ were his next 4 years.  2003 seems like a lifetime ago, but Pat has redeemed himself but is still much maligned as a slugger.  Another FNTC kept the Phils for dumping him for nothing which may have ended up being the smartest of all moves.

11-3-03: Traded Brandon Duckworth, Taylor Buchholz, and Ezequiel Astacio to Astros for Billy Wagner

Big win for Wade.  Wagner was expensive and a jerk, but was lights out for us.  

12-3-03: Traded Carlos Silva, Nick Punto, and a PTBNL to Twins for Eric Milton

A decent move at the time.  Milton always showed promise and everyone loves lefties.  Milton was decent for a year and sucked after that.  Silva had a couple of mirage years for Minnesota, but has been league average or so.  Punto is the worst everyday player in the majors this year.

12-9-03: Signed Tim Worrell in December 2003
Drafted Greg Golson 21st overall in 2004

Meh.  Timmah actually had a good 2004 for us, but he was the king of smoke and mirrors.

8-9-04: Traded Elizardo Ramirez, Javon Moran and Joe Wilson for Cory Lidle

Another decent trade that I didn't like at the time.  Lidle pitched fairly well for us being almost exactly league average.  And he helped ship Bobby Abreu out of town for nothing.

12-3-04: Traded Felix Rodriguez to Yankees for Kenny Lofton

FRod was pretty good for us down the stretch and then got Lofton who was 1/2 of a dynamic outfield platoon with Jason Michaels.

12-8-04: Signed Jon Lieber to a three-year, $21MM contract in December of 2004

Lieber is just finishing up his 3 year stint on the DL, but had a decent first year with an ERA+ of 108.  His second year wasn't so good, but considering what we gave Eaton, he ended up being decent value.

12-13-04: Selected Shane Victorino from Dodgers in Rule V draft

We did offer him back, but still a good selection.

5-14-05: Traded Marlon Byrd to Nationals for Endy Chavez

Ended up being a garbage for garbage move except Endy went on to the Mets in 2006 and played like an MVP.  Bastard.

6-8-05: Traded Placido Polanco to Tigers for Ugueth Urbina and Ramon Martinez

Uggie actually pitched well after a bad start here.  Polanco road the HGH train to some pretty good hitting seasons in Detroit.  Probably would have made more sense to keep him at third, but Bell was there and Polanco was blocking Utley.

6-13-05: Signed Jimmy Rollins to a five-year, $40MM extension in June 2005

I hated this move at the time, but at the time, Rollins wasn't the hitter he has shown this year.  This will end up being a bargain for us and was the last real move Wade made.  People should be LOVING him for this.

Those are the end of Wade's biggest moves.  What you didn't see here is what many GMs are often killed for and that is trading good young talent.  Not one young player Wade traded really turned into anything.  All the good players Wade kept are stars on this team (Utley, Hamels, Howard, Myers and Burrell).  

While it seems weird to be happy that a GM didn't make a bad move, look at all the opportunities Wade had to mortgage our future to make the playoffs.  Heck, maybe he should have, but where would we be today?  Not many GMs would risk the temptation to not trade one of those 5 players, but Wade gets full credit from me for recognizing good talent and keeping it.

Am I upset the Phils haven't made the playoffs during his tenure or since?  Absolutely.  But I can recognize that Wade made plenty of moves that helped this team and while he left the minors failry barren, he still kept the players that actually turned into something.