Re-evaluating the Astros Tenure of Ed Wade

Categories: Sports

Hunter Pence is still paying off big time for the Astros.
The Houston Chronicle's Jesus Ortiz made a bit of a noise last week when he reported that former Astros GM Ed Wade ripped off the Philadelphia Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade. Not only was new stud Jon Singleton part of the trade, but so were starting pitcher Jarred Cosart and reliever Josh Zied. But the theft, says the story, was in the acquisition of AAA outfielder Domingo Santana, who was thrown in as the proverbial player to be named later. Santana's excelling in the minors, and there are people salivating over a future Astros outfield of George Springer, Dexter Fowler and Santana.

The thing of it is, Ortiz writes, that Santana wasn't supposed to have been part of the deal. He wasn't supposed to be included in the list of potential players the Astros could choose to complete the trade, and when the Astros saw him, they snapped him up. (The Phillies and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. have vigorously denied the story.)

This has led some to think that maybe Ed Wade was more competent than originally thought by Astros fans. That he was a good guy put in a tough spot by an owner who depleted the minors, didn't want to spend on the draft and was looking to sell off pieces to make the team more attractive to potential buyers. And that put in this losing situation, Wade did the best possible  job he could do.

Singleton, for instance, has been anointed as one of the saviors of the franchise. And he's a Wade acquisition. Then there's one of the other saviors, George Springer, who Wade drafted in the first round in 2011. Jason Castro, the catcher, was Wade's No. 1 draft choice in 2008. Starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel was a seventh-round pick by Wade's regime in 2009, and Jarred Cosart, another starter, was also part of the Pence trade.

Don't forget Jordan Lyles, a Wade draft pick who was flipped to the Rockies as part of the Dexter Fowler trade, or J.D. Martinez, who's now with the Tigers. And the top names on the lips of salivating fans awaiting their major league promotions are Delino DeShields, Mike Foltynewicz and Austin Wates, all Ed Wade regime draft picks.

That's a pretty good haul for a man who was pretty much reviled by all Astros fans (including me). If Jim Crane had just been patient and let Wade do his job, the Astros would've been in fine shape with having to go through the Jeff Luhnow demolition project.

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