Posted by Kevin Durso
One of Ed Wade's biggest free agent signings was bringing Jim Thome to Philadelphia in 2003. Wade returns to the Phillies as a scout after being dismissed as GM of the Astros after the 2011 season. (Courtesy of pjstar.com)
The longest-tenured Phillie, Jimmy Rollins, is back for three more years in a deal that was finalized yesterday. That ensures that a band of longtime Phillies' stars: Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels, will remain together for at least one more season.
That band of players was all formed under the GM term of Ed Wade, who also had a huge impact on the 2008 World Championship team that featured Pat Burrell, Brett Myers and Ryan Madson, all players Wade drafted, and also Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett, two players Wade traded to the Phillies as GM of the Astros.
In recent years, Wade made even more deals with his former team. Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence came over in mega-deals with the Astros, and Wade was the one behind the Astros' negotiations for Phillies' prospects such as J.A. Happ, Michael Bourn, Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and Anthony Gose.
Now, the former Phillies' GM, who was relieved of his duties as Astros' GM at the conclusion of the 2011 season, is rejoining the team that he helped build to built it some more. Wade now joins the Phillies' scouting system.
This is a great move by the Phillies, who owe much of their success to draft picks Wade made. The list of names is impressive: Rollins, Utley, Howard, Hamels, Burrell...all of them were key players in the team's first championship in 28 years. With the Phillies' goals still set on winning, but also remaining a constant contender in the National League, Wade is back to assist in adding young talent to an aging Phillies' team. Their current team has the potential to be winners for the next few seasons, but beyond that, the current minor league talent will need to fill the void.
That's what Wade's job is here, as he will join the Phillies' scouting team helping to build the Phillies' future. After succeeding at that once, Wade will get a welcome return to do it again.
UPDATE 12/20 10:45 a.m.:
Ed Wade had some comments for the Houston Chronicle and Zachary Levine:
As to when Wade got the invitation to re-join the Phillies organization:
“Ruben contacted me as soon as I was let go and asked me if I would have some interest,” Wade said. “I said ‘let’s put this in neutral for a while’ but we talked a couple more times since then.”
Addressing the elephant in the room that Wade's many dealings with the Phillies may have been underhanded:
Many Astros fans and others have joked or otherwise suggested that his dealings with the Phillies stemmed from his past there or a chance at a future there. Wade has insisted they were all the best baseball decisions, and he recognizes the criticism.
“That certainly will be insinuated,” Wade said lightheartedly. “I’m prepared for the remarks that I only traded with the Phillies so Ruben would give me a job if I got fired.”