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Astros will be sellers, but “unlikely to trade” Hunter Pence

Jun 27, 2011, 1:50 PM EDT

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Houston has MLB’s worst record at 28-51, which puts them on a 57-105 pace and all but guarantees the Astros will be trying to unload various veterans for any kind of long-term help they can get before the trade deadline.

However, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com “the Astros remain unlikely to trade right fielder Hunter Pence unless new owner Jim Crane is approved before July 31 and orders such a move.”

Pence is Houston’s best player, but he’s also earning $6.9 million this season with a hike to at least $8-9 million due in 2012 and as a 28-year-old with an .820 career OPS he’s hardly an elite hitter. Plus, even if the Astros are somehow able to successfully rebuild in just a couple seasons Pence will be 30 years old and on the verge of free agency by then.

Hanging on to Pence may help appease a frustrated fan base in the short term, but if there’s a contending team willing to pay a star-level price for Pence in trade the Astros would probably be better off in the long term if they can cash him in.

  1. Ari Collins - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    I’m a Pence fan and would love my BoSox to trade for him. Of course, he’s also hurt right now. And it sounds like the ‘Stros may be a bit hamstrung by ownership.

    Should be a fun trade deadline this year, no matter what!

  2. Utley's Hair - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    “Mr. Ed…er…I mean Mr.Wade, there’s a call for you on line 1 from a man who calls himself the ninja, saying something about Hunter Pence, none the richer? Oh, Shawn Chacon is still waiting for an answer about having lunch with you.”

  3. thekingdave - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Trade him at the deadline for the best available deal. He’s peaked and will be on the decline once we’re back in contention, which is at LEAST 3 seasons away.

  4. woodsmeister - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    If I were an Astros fan, I would have absolutely no confidence that if Ed Wade is given the go-ahead to deal Pence that he would be able to pick the best offer out of a group of similar objects.

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    I feel 10 times worse for the Astros fans who have to endure Ed Wade than I do for the Dodgers fans who have to endure McCourt. And I mean that sincerely. Ed Wade is the single worst GM in the history of MLB and I thought he would never get a job again after he left the Phillies but he did.

  6. bamaking - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    I know Ed Wade is nerdy, but he did have some responsiblilty for the rise of the Phillies.
    He drafted Utley, Howard, Hamels, Ruiz, picked up Victorino in the rule 5. Ownership, at the time, refused to pay JD Drew and Rolen and Schilling wanted out. Not a fan of Ed, but I am willing to recognize, and yes, give him props for helping the Phillies win the WS in 2008.

    • CJ - Jun 27, 2011 at 4:38 PM

      Don’t give the man credit for something he didn’t do. Yes, he may have received paychecks from the Phillies during the time that Howard, Utley, etc. were drafted. But no, he did not draft them. Unlike other sports, MLB GMs have little if any input in the names that get drafted, the scouting dept. does. There are simply too many people eligible in the drafts for any one person over a major league team to people to effectively lead the draft. I believe it is Mr. Arbuckle who deserves the credit for those selections, though I may be mistaken.

      Point #2: All the players you mention were not highly touted when taken by the Phils. Credit the scouts who found them, and the coaches who developed them for that success. Even if you insist on giving Wade the credit for those picks, he had NOTHING to do with getting them to the point they are today.

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