Ed Wade's time in Houston probably has a lot of Astros fans thinking of him as a poor GM. The same was true when Wade left Philly in 2005. Ed Wade is clearly an evil genius when it comes to building teams and acquiring talent. One of Wade's final moves in Houston was trading his last two big value assets. Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence.Bourn brought the Astros Brett Oberholtzer, a seemingly fairly reliable mid-rotation starter, along with a few bullpen arms and a fungible 5th OF. The Masterstroke was in the Pence deal where he got four future Major Leaguers for a league average-ish Right Fielder.
When the deal was originally announced It felt like a slight overpay, but, at the same time, Singleton was blocked by Howard and Cosart was the physically smallest of the "Baby Aces" (god, I hate that nickname). Zeid looked like a very average middle relief guy who would bounce between the Majors and Triple-A and the PTBNL would probably be even less valuable than Zeid. Besides, Pence was pretty good, and while not needed in 2011, he would fill a long time hole in the OF with Werth gone and Brown looking like a Left Fielder. That the PTBNL was currently a massive 18 year old OPS'ing nearly .800 in the SALLY (Making him about 2 years young for the league), made several prospectheads apopleptic. Santana was High Risk, as his K rate was close to 30%. However, his BB rate was in the 10% neighborhood and he showed 70 Grade Power. This was not what a PTBNL is supposed to be. Of course, as John Stolnis wrote a few weeks back, Santana was added to the list by mistake. Of course Amaro then stated that it wasn't a clerical error, but Santana was on the list at the request of Ed Wade (Note to self: next time I renew, request a swimsuit model, apparently that could work.).
Santana's call-up today makes him the 4th of the 4 prospects the Phillies traded to make the Astros (and the 8th from those two 2011 trades to make it). Now, there's still a road ahead of each to stick. Cosart isn't striking guys out the way he did in the Minors and is likely to move to the Bullpen as top prospects like McCullers, Folty, Aiken, Appel, etc. start making the MLB club. Singleton has struggled making contact so far (though he's shown good power when he does), but it's only ~100 PAs. Santana also still struggles with K's and his power plays more like a 60 grade. Santana, Singleton and Cosart are all young enough to still iron a few things out to become regular contributors to a contending team in a few years. Much like Pence has done in San Francisco.
Just for Reference sake: Here's who the Phillies acquired while Ed Wade was GM of the Phillies:
Brett Myers, Marlon Byrd, Chase Utley, Gavin Floyd, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Michael Bourn, Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, Pat Burrell, Ryan Madson, Jim Thome, Hired Charlie Manuel.
Here's who Wade added as GM of the Astros: Jonathan Villar, Michael Bourn, Singleton, Santana, Cosart, Oberholtzer, Castro, Keuchel, Springer, Folty, DeShields, J.D. Martinez, Lyles (used to acquire Fowler). It's too early to deem successes there, but I'd be willing to bet there are a few All Stars in there and a possible core for a contender in a couple years. I'm not all doom and gloom, so I like to think about that on the positive side. The Phillies are going through a rebuild and while no one really trusts the current GM, fortunately the former GM fans derided in both his previous stops as incompetent would seemingly be exactly the guy you want advising your GM on a rebuild.