A major league baseball source has confirmed that former general manager Ed Wade will be rejoining the Phillies’ organization. Though no official announcement is planned, Wade will have an unspecified role in the team’s scouting department.
Most fans remember Wade as the architect of the woeful Phillies teams of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. With Wade at GM between 1998-2005, the Phillies won at roughly a .500 clip, winning 643 games and losing 652. With each passing year, Wade’s tendency to focus on aging middle relievers as a panacea irritated fans as his teams perpetually finished in second or third place.
What often went unnoticed was Wade’s guidance of the Phillies’ farm system. Here’s a look at who the Phillies drafted by year:
- 1998: Pat Burrell (1st, #1), Jason Michaels (4th, #104), Ryan Madson (9th, #254), Geoff Geary (15th, #434), Nick Punto (21st, #614)
- 1999: Brett Myers (1st, #12), Joe Saunders (5th, #156), Marlon Byrd (10th, #356)
- 2000: Chase Utley (1st, #15), Taylor Buchholz (6th, #175)
- 2001: Gavin Floyd (1st, #4), Ryan Howard (5th, #140)
- 2002: Cole Hamels (1st, #17)
- 2003: Michael Bourn (4th, #115), Kyle Kendrick (7th, #205)
- 2004: J.A. Happ (3rd, #92), Lou Marson (4th, #122)
- 2005: Josh Outman (10th, #307), Vance Worley (20th, #607)
(Also note that Wade brought Shane Victorino to Philadelphia via the Rule-5 draft, although he did offer to return the center fielder to the Los Angeles Dodgers at one point.)
The Phillies’ scouting department as a whole deserves a ton of credit for putting together what is still the core of the Phillies’ team, but it couldn’t have happened without Wade at the helm and that is something that should be highlighted more often when discussing Wade’s legacy. One does not draft that many good players consistently year after year accidentally, especially when the picks get gradually lower and lower due to the team’s incremental improvement.
Wade is back in Philly and we should welcome him back with open arms. He will be in a position that plays to what seems to be his greatest strength, and that can only be a good thing for the Phillies.