Wade's Past Looms Large As Deadline Approaches

The July 31st trade deadline is right around the corner, and once again another Phillies season hangs in the balance. However, this time around it isn't the 2005 season that is hinging on the results of a key trade or two at the deadline. Rather, the 2006 season has many questions to be answered by the possibility of key prospects and veterans changing addresses in just over three weeks.

With General Manager Ed Wade at the helm of his seventh and possibly final trade deadline as a key component of the Phillies front office, there are many doubts as to what to expect from Philadelphia. Wade has already gone on the record stating that the Phillies will be buyers at the trade deadline. However, sources have told PhillyBaseballNews.com that the cutoff point for such a philosophy is the club being 11 games out of first place on the final Saturday in July. In the event that the Phillies are more then 11 games out of the division race they club would become sellers.

Whether or not the Phillies intend to be buyers or sellers at the deadline, little trust can be placed on the shoulders of Wade. Should the Phillies decide to deal heavy hitting phenom Ryan Howard or one of the so called gem pitching prospects, one cannot expect fair value in return. If Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, Jim Thome, David Bell or Billy Wagner is moved from this underachieving nucleus there is no way that the Phillies will have maximized the return for these players. Those assertions can easily be viewed by glancing at Ed Wade's track record, which is below:

Trades that occurred at or near the trade deadline:

July 26, 2000: Traded P Curt Schilling to Arizona for 1B Travis Lee and Ps Omar Daal, Vincente Padilla and Nelson Figueroa.

July 26, 2000: Traded OF Rob Ducey to the Blue Jays for a player to be named (John Seed).

July 30, 2000: Traded OF Ron Gant to Anaheim for P Kent Bottenfield.

June 5, 2001: Traded P Paul Byrd to the Royals for P Jose Santiago.

July 24, 2001: Traded C Gary Bennett to the Mets for C Todd Pratt.

July 27, 2001: Traded Ps Bruce Chen and Adam Walker to the Mets for Ps Turk Wendell and Dennis Cook.

July 27, 2001: Traded P Wayne Gomes to the Giants for INF Felipe Crespo.

June 25, 2002: Traded P Jeff D'Amico to Indians for P Bruce Aven.

July 29, 2002: Traded 3B Scott Rolen, P Doug Nickle and cash to Cardinals for 2B Placido Polanco and Ps Bud Smith and Mike Timlin.

July 20, 2003: Acquired P Mike Williams from the Pirates for P Frank Brooks.

July 30, 2004: Acquired P Felix Rodriguez from the Giants for OF Ricky Ledee and P Alfredo Simon.

July 30, 2004: Acquired P Todd Jones and P Brad Correll from the Reds for P Josh Hancock and SS Anderson Machado.

August 9, 2004: Acquired P Cory Lidle from the Reds for OF Javon Moran and P Joe Wilson and a player to be named later or cash.

All in All Ed Wade has traded players who went on to win World Series rings, one who was a Cy Young Award candidate last season and one who figures to be a perennial MVP candidate for years to come, with zero post season appearances for the Phillies to show for those players. In each of his seven seasons, the Phillies have arguably been one or two pieces away from clinching a post season berth and yet Wade has done next to nothing and hung his hat on the fact that his players would "Play up to their potential."

Forgive me for not putting full faith in Wade to resurrect this lineup and catapult it from the NL East scrap heap to division contenders in the next month. But with a track record like the one Wade possesses it is amazing that he is still one of two general managers to still hold the same job for the past seven years despite building not building a single playoff team. It is unlikely that Wade will succeed in putting together a playoff contending squad in his eighth go round either, and Phils fans must hope he doesn't dig the hole even deeper for his successor.

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