Phillies Moves Didn't Keep Pace

The two minor trades completed by the Phillies in their quest to win their first division title in eleven years simply added to the pathetic body of work that is the list of Ed Wade's trade deadline acquisitions.

Todd Jones and Felix Rodriguez were added to a list of players Wade has acquired at past trade deadlines. That list includes Scott Aldred, Bruce Chen, Jimmy Osting, and John Sneed just to name a few. Amid rumblings that manager Larry Bowa's job is in jeopardy, it is Ed Wade who needs to make an accounting of exactly why he is still on the team's payroll. When you add Wade's off season acquisitions to the mix it is clear that he needs to be on the next flight out of Philly. Some of Wade's finer offseason moves include Carlos Reyes, Jesus Cordero, John Wasdin, and Valerio De Los Santos.

This year, he did it again. Not only did Wade fail to adequately the most glaring need on this year's roster, a starting pitcher, he also exposed his current team at a position at which they were already very thin. Wade acquired two middling relievers and he didn't even get a good deal. To get Rodriguez from the Giants, Wade had to give up Ricky Ledee, his best of three players splitting playing time in center field. This left the team with the combination of Jason Michaels and Doug Glanville to patrol centerfield before Wade recalled struggling Marlon Byrd from Scranton. Byrd was hitting .255 at the time of his call up after going 2-for-3 in game one of a double-header against Durham. Byrd came in as a defensive replacement in game two, but didn't have an official at bat. Byrd looked closer to going to Reading than making a return to Philly and is not the answer to the Phils center field problem, a problem made worse by Wade's ill advised trade.

Wade did nothing to address the fact that his starting rotation fails to go deep into games.

To make matters worse for the Phils playoff hopes, two of their main rivals, the Mets and Marlins dramatically improved their clubs for the stretch drive while the Phils picked up two mediocre relievers. Don't let Wade give you the old "there was no one available" spiel either. Brad Penny, Jose Contreras, Victor Zambrano, and Kris Benson all moved before the deadline and the Phils acquired none of them, so there were quality arms available.

But what could Ed Wade have done, with only "some flexibility" in the financial realm and three glaring holes to fill if this team was to contend this year? Well, here's what I would have done if I was in Wade's position. This team could have somewhat improved and addressed both the bullpen and center field holes with two trades and two transactions.

On the trade front, I would have sent soon to be free agent Placido Polanco and AA All-Star Ryan Howard to the Minnesota Twins for Terry Mulholland and Luis Rivas. Mulholland would give Bowa another left-handed option out of the pen, in addition to the over worked Rheal Cormier and Rivas would be able to back up Chase Utley, who would move into the starters spot at second base.

The other trade involves sending Geoff Geary, Marlon Byrd, and Mark Budzinski to Pittsburgh for Tike Redman and Solomon Torres. While neither of these players are big names, they would serve to improve the Phils by giving them things they don't currently have. Redman gives the Phils speed, which you need in center field more than any other outfield position and which Michaels, Glanville, and even Ledee don't have. Torres gives Bowa a workable arm that he doesn't have to be confined to mop up duty, the way he was forced to with the triplet of Josh Hancock, Geary, and Brian Powell.

Like any GMs trade deadline acquisitions, mine didn't go exactly according to plan. I had planned to reacquire former Phillie Nick Punto instead of Rivas believing that Punto would already be familiar with the team, the city, the fans, and the manager instead of having to ramp up Rivas in the heat of the pennant race. But then Punto broke his clavicle and landed on the 15-day DL. The other minor moves I would make involve sending Powell to Scranton and giving Roberto Hernandez his outright release.

Ultimately, Ed Wade should be "bleeping embarrassed" at his performance as general manager and the fans should rally to unseat him as the GM of their baseball team, because he has proven to be incapable of handling the responsibilities that accompany that position.

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