The Did’s and Didn’ts of Ed Wade
When general manager Ed Wade traded Scott Rolen to the St Louis Cardinals in 2002, the Phills in return received Bud Smith and Mike Timlin and Placido Polanco. Although Smith and Timlin only contributed only to the payroll Polanco became the hard-nosed player and quick fan favorite that we all grew to love.
This in my eyes was Wade’s best trade. Then, on June 8, 2005 his best trade became his two worst trades when Polanco was traded for Ugueth Urbina leaving third base unattended for the next three seasons, and by the looks of it four.
Since 2004, Polanco has played third base sparingly but has a .487 batting average and a .554 on base percentage. And although he would not keep up his offensive performance over the course of an entire season it is more likely that he would keep up his defensive performance. With a .982 fielding percentage at arguably the toughest position in major league baseball, he would have led all 3rd basemen this past season.
Instead we get rid of virus that was on his way out anyway and in return received a .305 career hitter who averages jut shy of 34 strikeouts per year in his 8 full time seasons. And with Burrell and Thome/Burrell and Howard combining to strike out an average over 316 times per season since 2005, Polanco may have likely proved an important asset.
Putting Polanco at third base along with Rollins, Utley and Thome/Howard would have provided quite arguably the best offensive and defensive infields in all of baseball. And, while we are on Thome who hit 47 homers for the Phills in 2003 and 42 in 2004, 24 year old plenum Ryan Howard was busy capping off a minor league year in which he hit .290 with 47 homers.
Two first basemen and only one first base…what is Ed Wade to do. How about wait another year to trade Thome. This way we have to pay $22 million of his contract for the next three years and get Aaron Rowand in return. Not to knock Rowand but the Phills would have received Rowand and (insert any white sox player name) in the off-season, and most likely would not have to pay $6 million this upcoming season for Thome’s contract.