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Everyone Chill the &*$# Out About the Hunter Pence Trade

Cosart: Yeah, inverted W anyways, good luck w/ that Houston!  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Cosart: Yeah, inverted W anyways, good luck w/ that Houston! (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

So it happened last night; the Phillies traded prospects Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton for the Astros Hunter Pence. This is not a good trade by any stretch, but it's far from a disaster.

There's a fair amount of prospect fetishization that goes on in online fan communities, and I'm certainly guilty of it. Serious fans look down the road, and look past the big league team's box score, to see what the future holds. We had gotten fairly attached to a couple of guys who had had their praises sung by experts and scouts, watched their performances on national television, and imagined what was going to be.

But the fact remains that the prospect attrition rate is terrible. Brutal. Cosart and Singleton are far more likely to turn into washouts or fringe big leaguers than they are to post a single All-Star Game appearance between them. It also didn't help that both players had affable online personas via Twitter and elsewhere, and in some capacity, many of us got to "know" them personally.

Were they worth the price of Pence? I don't really think so, but again, it's not like Hunter Pence is a bad player. He's overrated for precisely the same reasons lots of us are ambivalent about him ("hustle," "plays the game right," etc.). But he can still hit, even if he's not a masher, and he takes the team out of the offseason market for a corner outfielder to replace Raul Ibanez. This wasn't a complete disaster, the way it would have been if Domonic Brown were part of the deal.

Further, I think the trade provides a nice amount of cover for Domonic Brown, who is under an immense amount of pressure right now. While most of you reading this understand that Brown is a work in progress, and that he's showing many promising signs of development as a player, the fact remains that had this Pence deal not been consummated, Brown would have been, in the public eye, the guy who wasn't traded for Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and that he held up the deal for Shiny Toy Hunter Pence. The pressure and scrutiny would have been unbearable.

There's still time with Brown. A demotion to Triple-A will allow him to polish his game and probably learn left field, where he may be better suited in the long run anyway. The pressure will hopefully be reduced, and fans and management will, ideally, again view Brown for what he is -- a 23 year old work-in-progress who deserves a chance to develop and mature. I sincerely believe that management knows how important Brown's development into a productive, cheap big leaguer is to this team as players like Lee and Howard start to get very, very expensive.

In conclusion: It's fine to be disappointed in losing Cosart and Singleton. I'm pretty disappointed. But this isn't the Hindenburg Disaster.

That was Ryan Howard's contract extension. ::ducks::