In their push to win a second World Series since 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies added an All-Star outfielder on Friday night.
The Houston Astros sent Hunter Pence(notes) to the Phillies for two top prospects; right-handed pitcher Jarred Cosart, along with a teammate at high-Class A Clearwater, first baseman Jonathan Singleton.
The Astros also get two lesser prospects to be named later, says Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports who first reported the deal. Also coming back to Philly: $1 million in cash, reports Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.
Pence, 28, came into Friday batting .309/.356/.452 with 11 homers and 26 doubles. He's arbitration-eligible the next two seasons and figures to make between $12-13 million per season until he hits free agency in 2014.
It must have been a bittersweet moment for Pence, who found out he was traded as the Astros played at Milwaukee. He gains 31 games in the standings and figures to play in the postseason for the first time in his five-year career.
Here's what Pence had to say on Twitter:
My time in Houston was Great. I'm extremely lucky to have the time I did, and now because of you I get to chase every players dream
The Atlanta Braves also were among the clubs interested in Pence, the best player on a bad Houston team, who was an All-Star in July and 2009. The San Francisco Giants, who also had been in the market for an outfielder, added Carlos Beltran(notes) from the Mets earlier this week.
Phillies' GM Ruben Amaro found the right combination of prospects without having to include outfielder Domonic Brown(notes), believed by many to be Philly's best young player. Astros GM Ed Wade — who loves to make deals with his former team — gets what he wants by adding two young players for Pence, who won't be as much of a financial bargain during his coming arbitration years.
Coming into the season, Baseball America ranked Cosart No. 70 and Singleton No. 39 among all major league prospects.
And now, Brown apparently is heading back to Philly's minors.
Heyman reports that Brown will report to Lehigh Valley to get at-bats every day, so Raul Ibañez remains the left fielder in Philly. There's nothing more for Brown to prove about hitting Class AAA pitching, but he'll transition to the other side of the outfield and be the heavy favorite to start there in Philly in 2012.
Are there more reinforcements coming for the NL East leaders? Amaro told reporters the Phillies probably are done dealing. Also, will the Astros next deal Michael Bourn(notes) to the Braves, or elsewhere?
What do you think, Stewies? How much better are the Phillies than they were yesterday? Did the Astros get enough for Pence?