Ed Wade Rumors

Astros Done Dealing For Awhile

Brian McTaggart of the Houston Chronicle spoke with Houston Astros general manager Ed Wade about the possibilities of signing one of the “big-time free agents” anytime soon, to which Wade said no.

That includes starting pitcher Ben Sheets. Wade laughed when McTaggart asked if he expected Sheets to be under the Christmas Tree.

Odds and Ends: Wade, Crisp, Holliday

Links for Thursday…

Ed Wade – GM Trade History

Next up in our GM Trade History series: Ed Wade of the Astros and formerly the Phillies.  You can download the spreadsheet here.  All of these GM spreadsheets were compiled by MLBTR contributor Brendan Bianowicz.

Odds and Ends: Bonds, Davis, Chulk, Ichiro

Time for some random linkage.

Wade Looking To Add Pitching

MLB.com’s Jim Molony tells us that Astros GM Ed Wade has been working the phones to get a feel for the "general lay of the land." After a busy offseason for Wade, most notably adding Miguel Tejada and Jose Valverde, Wade will likely be in the market for pitching upgrades.

The Astros rank 21st in baseball with a team ERA of 4.50, and their rotation is a combined 20-25 with a 4.77 ERA, and a league-worst 65 home runs allowed.

As Wade himself points out though, starting pitching won’t be easy to come by this year. As usual, there are far more clubs looking to add starting pitching than sell it.

Personal speculation here, but with the Padres nearing a fire sale and Randy Wolf going through a particularly strong stretch, he could make sense for Houston and come at a reasonable price. Wolf is 5-4 this season with a 3.83 ERA through 84.2 innings, and has posted a very nice 75:26 K:BB ratio so far. Even more appealing for the home-run prone Astros, Wolf has allowed a sparkling 0.74 HR per nine innings. His numbers away from Petco, however, are far from impressive, having posted a 5.31 ERA through 40.2 innings. Surprisingly, more of his home runs (4) have been allowed at Petco than on the road. Any other possible thoughts?

Posted by Steve Adams

Ed Wade: Houston’s New Rocket Man

"Houston, you have a problem" was probably the initial reaction anyone who follows the Phillies, or baseball for that matter, had when they heard that the Houston Astros had hired Ed Wade to be their new general manager.

Wade was fired from that same post in Philadelphia two years ago after failing to compose a team to reach the playoffs — and brutally suffering for it publicly — during his eight year tenure in town (1997-2005).

Even a few years out from Wade, the Phillies’ last October appearance dates back to the mullets and beards of 1993.

But that’s another story.  The issue at hand is whether or not Wade is a good hire for the Astros.  That’s hard to say unless you were one of the lucky fans chosen at random to sit in on the interview process, but it is possible to judge Wade’s history with Philadelphia and then consider if his strengths and weaknesses are suitable to the Astros’ needs.

If you scan the field at the start of a Phillies home game, you’ll see that six of the starting "everyday eight" were acquired under Wade’s watch, and they make up the most potent lineup in the National League

  • Pat Burrell was drafted, developed, and, for better or worse, signed to a long-term contract.
  • Shane Victorino was acquired in the Rule 5 draft.
  • Jimmy Rollins, a strong contender for this year’s MVP award was developed and signed to a bargain of a long term contract.
  • Another MVP candidate and the best second baseman in baseball, Chase Utley, was drafted and developed under Wade and signed to a long term contract under Wade’s successor, Pat Gillick.
  • First baseman Ryan Howard was drafted and developed well enough under Wade to win a Rookie of the Year award and then an MVP award in the two years since Wade left.
  • Rookie starting catcher Carlos Ruiz was signed by Wade as a 19-year old out of Panama.

Wade also drafted the Phillies’ three best pitchers: Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, and Brett Myers, and at one time, traded away their worst, Adam Eaton, only for him to be re-acquired under Gillick’s regime. Let’s not forget, before he was general manager, Wade campaigned hard within the Phillies to trade for Bobby Abreu before anyone knew who he was (Kevin Stocker was the "bait" that eventually landed him).   That’s quite a nucleus, no doubt about it. [An aside:  Critics will point out that one of Wade’s assistant GM’s, Mike Arbuckle, who’s still an assistant in Philadelphia, was responsible for acquiring that nucleus, not Wade.  That might be true, but consider these two points: even if Arbuckle did acquire all of that talent, Wade was smart enough to let him do it, and second, when general manager vacancies arise, Arbuckle is almost never a name that comes up, at least not publicly.]

After that nucleus however, the bullet points in Wade’s resume are a little harder to come by.  In ballyhooed off-season moves, Wade acquired Jim Thome, Billy Wagner, David Bell, Eric Milton, Kevin Millwood and Andy Ashby, none of whom were able to get the nucleus over the hump and into the playoffs.  Prior to that he got very little in return for Curt Schilling and Scott Rolen, both players having made it clear they wanted out of Philadelphia.  The best piece from both of those deals, Placido Polanco [apologies to all of you who still think that some day Vicente Padilla is going to finally "get it"], was eventually dealt to the Detroit Tigers, where he’s flourished, for Ugueth Urbina (currently playing as number 283948 in the Venezuelan Penal League) as a rental in 2005.

Other water that flowed under Wade’s bridge were several trades where the Phillies gave up several forgettable minor leaguers (to name a few: Taylor Bucholz, Eaton, Elizardo Ramirez) for several forgettable relievers (to name a few: Todd Jones, Terry Adams, Mike Timlin) and his penchant for handing out no-trade clauses in contracts, an obstacle Gillick has had to deal with on numerous occasions.

The trend is clear:  Wade was able to develop a very fine nucleus, one that is scoring runs for the Phillies in bunches, but was unable to add the necessary supporting pieces, even after he was given an adequate budget to do so in the later years of his tenure.

In other words, Houston, he’s shown he can get you to the launch pad, but don’t hope for the moon.

Tom Goyne is the author of Balls, Sticks, & Stuff ("Phillies, Eagles, golf, and other matters of great importance…") and maintains the Phloggers’ Pheeds page, a source for the latest commentary from around the "phlogosphere"..

Ed Wade Hired As Astros GM

Jayson Stark confirms it: Ed Wade is the new Astros GM.  Wade came in for his second interview today.

The Phillies promoted Wade to GM in December of 1997, and fired him in October of 2005 after the team failed to reach the playoffs during that span.

An attempt to compile some of Wade’s bigger moves (I’ve yet to form an opinion on his overall performance):

  • 12-23-97: Traded Mickey Morandini to Cubs for Doug Glanville
  • Failed to sign J.D. Drew; drafted Pat Burrell first overall in 1998
  • 11-19-98: Traded Ricky Bottalico and Garrett Stephenson to Cardinals for Ron Gant, Jeff Brantley, and Cliff Politte
  • 11-13-98: Traded Jerry Spradlin for Chad Ogea
  • 5-5-99: Traded Paul Spoljaric to Blue Jays for Robert Person
  • Drafted Brett Myers 12th overall in 1999
  • 11-10-99: Traded Steve Montgomery, Carlton Loewer, and Adam Eaton to Padres for Andy Ashby
  • 12-7-99: Signed Mike Jackson to be closer (spent entire year on DL)
  • 7-12-00: Traded Ashby to Braves for Jimmy Osting and Bruce Chen
  • Drafted Chase Utley 15th overall in 2000
  • 7-26-00: Traded Curt Schilling to Diamondbacks for Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee, and Vicente Padilla
  • 7-29-00: Traded Gant to Angels for Kent Bottenfield
  • Drafted Gavin Floyd 4th overall in 2001
  • Fired Terry Francona, hired Larry Bowa
  • 2000: Signed Ricky Bottalico, Rheal Cormier, and Jose Mesa
  • 1-29-01: Signed Paul Byrd
  • 6-5-01: Traded Byrd to Royals for Jose Santiago
  • Drafted Ryan Howard in 5th round in 2001
  • 7-27-01: Traded Chen for Dennis Cook and Turk Wendell
  • Signed Terry Adams
  • 7-29-02: Traded Scott Rolen for Bud Smith, Mike Timlin, and Placido Polanco
  • Drafted Cole Hamels 17th overall in 2002
  • 2-20:02: Signed Bobby Abreu to five-year, $64MM extension
  • 11-24-02: Signed David Bell to a four-year, $17MM contract
  • 12-3-02: Signed Jim Thome to a six-year, $85MM contract in December 2002
  • 12-20-02: Traded Johnny Estrada to Braves for Kevin Millwood
  • 2-3-03: Signed Pat Burrell to a six-year, $50MM contract in February 2003
  • 11-3-03: Traded Brandon Duckworth, Taylor Buchholz, and Ezequiel Astacio to Astros for Billy Wagner
  • 12-3-03: Traded Carlos Silva, Nick Punto, and a PTBNL to Twins for Eric Milton
  • 12-9-03: Signed Tim Worrell in December 2003
  • Drafted Greg Golson 21st overall in 2004
  • 8-9-04: Traded Elizardo Ramirez, Javon Moran and Joe Wilson for Cory Lidle
  • 12-3-04: Traded Felix Rodriguez to Yankees for Kenny Lofton
  • 12-8-04: Signed Jon Lieber to a three-year, $21MM contract in December of 2004
  • 12-13-04: Selected Shane Victorino from Dodgers in Rule V draft
  • 5-14-05: Traded Marlon Byrd to Nationals for Endy Chavez
  • 6-8-05: Traded Placido Polanco to Tigers for Ugueth Urbina and Ramon Martinez
  • 6-13-05: Signed Jimmy Rollins to a five-year, $40MM extension in June 2005