Phillies acquire OF Pence from Astros
Almost exactly 24 hours after Carlos Beltran played his first game with the San Francisco Giants, another All-Star outfielder switched teams.
The Philadelphia Phillies reached agreement Friday on a trade for Houston Astros right fielder Hunter Pence, Phillies senior vice president and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. confirmed Friday night.
The Astros will receive Class A first baseman Jonathan Singleton, Class A right-hander Jarred Cosart, Class AA RHP Josh Zeid and a minor leaguer to be named. The player to be named is not considered a major prospect. The Phillies also received cash considerations.
Philadelphia had been seeking an impact outfield bat for weeks. Pence, 28, is expected to take over for rookie Domonic Brown as the Phillies’ everyday right fielder. The move makes sense for next year, as well: Pence and Brown will start in the outfield corners following the expected departure of left fielder Raul Ibanez as a free agent.
Pence, already a two-time All-Star, entered Friday with an .828 OPS and 11 home runs in 99 games with Houston this year. Earlier this season (May 19-June 13), Pence had a 23-game hitting streak, batting .406 (39-96) with four home runs and 19 RBI during that stretch.
Now, the focus turns to whether the Phillies’ chief competition in the National League East — the Atlanta Braves — will make a move to counter. The Braves also attempted to acquire Pence from the Astros, sources say. Pence, in fact, is precisely what Atlanta officials have been looking for — an athletic corner outfielder who is under control past this season.
A source said the Astros wanted two of the Braves’ top four pitching prospects, plus another young pitcher the Braves regard highly.
The Braves are believed to be considering other outfield upgrades, including B.J. Upton of the Rays, Michael Bourn of the Astros, Carlos Quentin of the White Sox, Ryan Ludwick of the Padres, and Josh Willingham of the A’s.
The Pence trade may not be the only deal Houston makes this weekend. The Astros have several more trade candidates on their roster, including Bourn, left-hander Wandy Rodriguez and right-hander Brett Myers.
Singleton, 19, was batting .282 with nine home runs and 47 RBI for single-A Clearwater. He was selected by the Phillies in the eighth round of the 2009 draft.
Cosart, 21, was 9-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) for Clearwater. He was selected to the USA roster of the All-Star Futures Game this season and was originally drafted by the Phillies in the 38th round in 2008.
Zeid was 2-3 with two saves and a 5.65 ERA in 21 games (11 starts) for double-A Reading. The 25-year-old was a 10th-round selection by the Phillies in the 2009 draft.