Ed Wade to Return to Philly

Via CSN Philly:

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:

(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.

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16 comments

  1. John M

    December 20, 2011 10:06 AM

    I think Mike Arbuckle should get the credit for the good drafts. Do we think the Astros drafted well with Wade there? What about Kansas City over the last few years? I’d say the Astros farm is a disaster, while the Royals are thought very highly of (and Arbuckle is in KC, while Wade was running Houston).

    I am NOT feeling like Wade will be of any help to the Phillies.

    Happy holidays, Crashburn Team. You guys make being a fan even better. Thanks!

  2. Greg

    December 20, 2011 10:44 AM

    Well, at the very least, the job could be a “Thanks!” for Lidge, Oswalt, and Pence. Say what you will about him, but he never stopped trying to help the Phils- even from Houston.

  3. Brad

    December 20, 2011 11:59 AM

    I always thought Wade deserved a hell of a lot of credit, so I’m glad he’s back. Also, I think calling the 2001-2005 Phillies “woeful” is pretty lame–they were in the mix till close to the end of every one of those seasons (except maybe 2002), and played some brilliant baseball along the way. I very much enjoyed being a fan then.

  4. Bret C

    December 20, 2011 12:48 PM

    I’m not impressed by this move. Wade was not a good GM imo. Arbuckle did a steller job which he’s also done in KC where I now reside. Wade has the Stros in terrible shape as far as I know. I’m not sure what he brings to the table other than we keep him a year and then send him out to another franchise to ‘steal’ their talent, read Oswalt, Pence. How do the Stros give up a perennial all-star STILL under contract for single A/AA talent? I think you have to get a teams top 5 farm system prospect that’s close to cutting his niche at the pro level. I thought we got Pence rather cheap!

  5. Bill Baer

    December 20, 2011 01:00 PM

    Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, and Domingo Santana are not chopped liver. Wade made out well in the Pence trade.

  6. taco pal

    December 20, 2011 01:36 PM

    Thanks for the links, Bill.

    To all the people saying that Wade deserves no credit for the draft picks because they were Arbuckle’s decisions – I’m sure that if Arbuckle had made bad draft picks, you’d all be saying that Wade deserves no blame for it for the same reason, right?

    Of course you wouldn’t, which is why it’s so dishonest for you all to make that argument. Arbuckle worked for Wade. Arbuckle had the authority to make decisions on draft picks because Wade delegated that authority to him. Arbuckle retained that authority because Wade approved of the job he was doing and listened to him. If the man at the top deserves blame for anything his underlings do, then he deserves credit for anything his underlings do too. Anyone who denies credit to Wade based on Arbuckle is flat wrong.

  7. John M

    December 20, 2011 01:52 PM

    Taco Pal, excellent point. Wade deserves credit for the wonderful hire and retention of Mike Arbuckle.

    My point wasn’t that Ed Wade made all bad decisions, only that he should not be credited with the draft picks made. If he was really the brains behind the picks, the Astros farm would be loaded. Instead, the KC farm is loaded (for the first time in a LONG time).

    Also, I don’t think Wade fleeced the Phillies. I think he got value out of the trades he made with the Phillies. He may be an excellent trade negotiator.

  8. Rob SJ

    December 20, 2011 01:53 PM

    This was a surprise to no one, right? Amaro has always been very open about giving credit to Wade (for building the team Gillick inherited, not for the perceived sweetheart trades from the Astros). I always assumed they would bring him back in some capacity when he was inevitably fired in Houston. Baseball seems very open in that way to having former executives come back in nebulous positions – unlike the NFL where this would be very unlikely to happen IMO. The Phillies now employ at least 2 former GMs (Wade and Gillick) and 1 former manager (Green), in addition to their current GM and Manager. Odd business, you would think GMs woudl be hesitant to do that kind of thing due to the possible power struggle, but doesn’t seem to be the case. Not that Ed Wade could ever be a threat to Amaro, obviously he could never be the Phillies GM again.

  9. John M

    December 20, 2011 01:54 PM

    Sorry. Had an issue with the browser. I meant to add the following:

    My issue with the Wade hire is that he has been hired to scout and help in arbitration planning. I’d be OK with it if he was solely for arbitration (maybe, I don’t know his record in such things), but I am unsure his scouting is any good.

  10. Jeff T

    December 20, 2011 03:09 PM

    To say Wade was a horrible or even bad GM is hyperbole. He got us to the cusp of the playoffs but just couldn’t get us in. I liken him to Norv Turner. A good second bannana or assistant, but not someone you want in charge. I, for one, am very happy to welcome him back to Philly in a lesser role. Now if he convinces RAJ to trade for a middle reliver at the deadline all bets are off . . . .

  11. Phillie697

    December 20, 2011 08:25 PM

    @taco pal,

    Everything you said is true, but I’m not interested in figuring out whether Ed Wade deserves any credit for anything he has done in the past, just what he will do in the future for the Phillies. The Arbuckle comments are relevant because if HE was the one with the eye for talent, even if Ed Wade was smart to listen to him before, there ain’t nobody for him to listen to now. In other words, credit or not, if Arbuckle was the man, then Ed Wade will be just a waste of space this time around.

  12. Professor59

    December 21, 2011 11:50 AM

    The GM’s job description has absolutely nothing to do with drafting. You might want to give him credit for not trading away those future stars, or for keeping Arbuckle around, but that’s about it. His trades and mid-season acquisitions failed more often than not. His hiring is just an old-boy-network thing, nothing more.

  13. Phillie697

    December 22, 2011 09:58 PM

    Ah sh*t… The Nats just got that arm that I was afraid they’d get. If they sign Prince they’re going to make my prediction come true and be truly scary…

  14. John M

    December 23, 2011 11:55 AM

    Professor – The GM’s job has nothing to do with drafting? Are you kidding? GM’s always have approval rights and final say on ALL draft picks. If that’s not part of the job, then the guy is not a GM.

  15. John

    January 05, 2012 01:03 PM

    I guess Ed was the “GM to be named later” in the Hunter Pence acquisition.

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