Wade May Look To Hire Some Old Friends

There were a couple of Phillie connections in the Astros search for a new GM. Houston decided that experience made a difference and went with Ed Wade to lead their club for the next three seasons. So, will Wade look to bring some former co-workers from the Phillies with him?

On Wednesday, rumors were flying that the Astros would look to the Phillies for their next GM. The scenario was interesting, with Houston hiring current Phillies assistant GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. as their GM and adding Ed Wade as an assistant GM. It would have given the Astros a young, up-and-coming General Manager and would also give him an experienced assistant that he would likely feel comfortable going to for help.

In the end though, the Astros decided that experience was the most important thing for their new General Manager to have and decided to give the job to Wade.

The first thought, is will Wade now bring Amaro to Houston to again serve as his assistant? It's not likely. First, Amaro is in strong contention for the GM job with the Pittsburgh Pirates and will at least wait to see what happens there. Second, moving to Houston in the same role he has with the Phillies wouldn't give Amaro anything more impressive to put on his resume. Instead, Amaro is likely better served staying in Philadelphia where he is the Pat Gillick's top assistant, especially considering that Gillick will likely retire in the not-too-distant future, leaving a familiar door open for Amaro to reportedly waltz right through.

Mike Arbuckle might be another issue. Arbuckle, credited with helping to rebuild the Phillies minor league system and the go-to-guy for the Phillies draft choices, could be tempted to see what would await him in Houston. There is always the excitement of a new challenge for Arbuckle to look forward to and it doesn't appear that he's in line for anything more with the Phillies than being an assistant GM. Helping to develop the Astros minor league system would be another item for Arbuckle to put on his resume and might make him a little more attractive for GM openings in other cities in a few years. Arbuckle and Wade worked well together in Philadelphia and a reunion wouldn't be out of the question.

Wade may look a little lower on the Phillies depth chart for help. Scouting Director Marti Wolever and/or Minor League Director Steve Noworyta could be in line for a promotion to an assistant GM with the Astros as Wade's top assistant. Both are well respected and jumping ship wouldn't be out of the question. Should Amaro leave for Pittsburgh, the Phillies could trump any attempt by Wade to grab Wolever or Noworyta by elevating them to an Amaro's position as an assistant.

It's been assumed for the past couple weeks that interim manager Cecil Cooper would be given the job on a permanent basis shortly after a new GM was named. Should Wade decide not to go in that direction though, he could look at Triple-A manager John Russell. Odds are though that Cooper will get the nod and Wade won't look to rock that boat, especially since Commissioner Bud Selig has already weighed in on the issue, putting his support squarely behind Cooper - who would add to the ranks of minority managers in the majors - and Wade would have to justify going in a different direction.

Wade was given a three-year deal and he was mum on any changes that he may make or names that he could reach out to in an effort to bring some of his own people on board. It figures that if Wade is going to shake things up a little in Houston, a name or two on his short list could be names that are currently listed on the Phillies' payroll.

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