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Tag:Ed Wade
Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:45 am
 

Wade re-joins Phillies, prepared for backlash

By Matt Snyder

Former Phillies and Astros general manager Ed Wade is back with the Phillies, this time in a scouting capacity. He will be a major- and minor-league scout while also helping with arbitration cases, the team announced Tuesday.

But that's not really why we're writing about it. No, this story is only interesting because of a quote from Wade.

"I'm prepared for the remarks that I only traded with the Phillies so [Phillies general manager] Ruben [Amaro, Jr.] would give me a job if I got fired," Wade said (Zachary Levine via Twitter).

Now that's funny. Does Wade listen to Houston sports talk radio or read message boards? Sure sounds like it.

Wade is close friends with Amaro -- in fact, Philly.com notes Wade is the Godfather to one of Amaro's daughters, but that hasn't been the problem for Astros fans. Wade has also traded Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence to the Phillies over the past several seasons in three different trades, making it kind of a running joke amongst many baseball fans.

Hey, at least Wade is ready to take the flack.

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Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:07 am
Edited on: December 8, 2011 1:11 am
 

Astros hire Luhnow as new GM

By Matt Snyder

DALLAS -- The Houston Astros have made their big move of the Winter Meetings, which is hiring a new general manager. They have decided on Jeff Luhnow, according to the ballclub's official Twitter feed. A formal announcement will be made Thursday.

Luhnow has been the Cardinals vice president of amateur scouting and player procurement for the Cardinals since September of 2006.

“We are very pleased to have Jeff as the new General Manager of the Houston Astros,” Astros CEO George Postolos said in a statement. “Jeff is the perfect fit for the Astros because of his track record in scouting and player development during his eight-plus seasons with the Cardinals.

Astros transitions
“The Astros strive to develop one of the best systems in baseball and create a consistent winner at the Major League level. Jeff has the knowledge, skills and experience to lead the baseball operations efforts at all levels and help the Astros achieve this vision. Jeff has a demonstrated the ability to inspire and motivate staff in the front office and out in the field. He was born and raised in Mexico and his bicultural background will be an asset in recruiting players from Latin America and developing the Hispanic market for Los Astros.”

Dave Gottfried, who was the assistant GM under former GM Ed Wade, had been serving as the interim general manager. He was never a candidate to get the full-time job, though.

The hiring ends a 10-day search by Postolos and new owner Jim Crane.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:36 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 11:53 pm
 

Levine, Hunsicker candidates to watch for Astros

By Matt Snyder

With Ed Wade reportedly set to be given his walking papers Monday by new Astros owner Jim Crane, the ballclub will be searching for a new general manager very soon. With Houston favorite Andrew Friedman likely out of the running, Thad Levine is an early candidate to watch, sources have told CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler.

Levine, 40, is the assistant general manager for the Texas Rangers, a position he's held since 2005 -- when Jon Daniels was hired as the youngest GM in baseball history. The Rangers' brain trust has put together back-to-back American League championship clubs, and this was an organization that had previously never won a playoff series, so Levine is obviously well-groomed to take over a ballclub of his own.

Also, per Knobler, don't rule out Gerry Hunsicker. He currently works with Friedman as an executive for Tampa Bay, but still has a home in Houston. Hunsicker was the Astros' GM from 1995-2004, presiding over/setting up a period of time that easily qualifies as the best in franchise history -- when the Astros went to the playoffs six times in a nine season span and also made their only World Series appearance.

There's no way of knowing how quickly Houston would want to hire a new GM, considering the firing of Wade hasn't actually happened yet, but the Winter Meetings start in a week, so it would behoove them to make a very quick hire, if possible.

Finally, on the managerial situation, Brad Mills will not be fired, reports Richard Justice.

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Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:13 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 10:43 pm
 

Can Astros land Andrew Friedman? Doubtful

By Matt Snyder

With the seemingly inevitable dismissal of general manager Ed Wade set to reportedly take place Monday, the Astros are soon to be looking for a replacement. One name sure to be bouncing around the rumor mill this week? Tampa Bay Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

This isn't like the Cubs' courtship of Theo Epstein, nor is it like when the Cubs were rumored to be interested in Friedman. No, this is different.

Friedman actually has roots in Houston, and even the Astros, to a certain extent. He was born in 1976, in Houston. He graduated from Episcopal High School, in Houston. He played baseball at Tulane University in New Orleans, just as his father did, which is about 350 miles from Houston. He supposedly grew up an Astros fan.

So it makes sense, right?

Well, yes it does. Only it's very unlikely to happen. Friedman loves his job in Tampa Bay and is very unlikely to leave it, even for his hometown, sources told CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler.

People surely won't stop thinking about the match until a new Astros GM is hired, but keep in mind it is a complete longshot.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 1:54 am
 

Astros fire GM Wade, president Smith

By Matt Snyder

In news that is hardly surprising, the Houston Astros are making major changes to the front office, including the dismissal of general manager Ed Wade. Club president Tal Smith -- who has been with the club for 35 seasons -- has also been dismissed. Sources have told Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com that Smith was told via phone he was fired.

Crane is going to meet with the front office Monday morning. Per Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, Crane and club president George Postolos have meetings set with both the baseball and business sides of operations. Assistant general manager Dave Gottfried is now the interim general manager, but is not a candidate to be the new GM.

"With the change in ownership, we would like a fresh start in baseball operations," Postolos said in a statement. "We have told Ed Wade and Tal Smith that we are making a change. We recognize their dedication to the Houston Astros. We thank each of them for their significant contributions and many years of service to the Astros, and wish them our very best as they pursue new opportunities.

"The search for a new General Manager begins immediately. We are searching for a candidate who has the knowledge, skills and experience to build a winner and a strong commitment to player development in order to sustain success. Our goal is to consistently compete for a championship, and we know the first step towards that goal is to develop one of the top farm systems in baseball. We will hire the best candidate available to achieve our goal."

The smart money is on a quick hire, considering the Winter Meetings begin in just one week. Not that a hire will take place before then, it's just an illustration of how much the Astros are now behind other teams in looking for front office personnel for the 2012 season.

Houston General Manager
All the ingredients for a change were in place. First of all, the 2011 Astros were the worst team in franchise history, going 56-106 and finishing with the worst record in baseball. There also isn't a ton of help on the way from a relatively barren farm system. Next, new owner Jim Crane is taking over for Drayton McLane. With a change in ownership and a team that basically needs to start over -- especially since they're headed to the American League West -- it is the perfect time to bring in a new regime.

Wade, 55, was named the Astros' GM in September of 2007 and under his watch the Astros have gotten progressively worse. Not only did they trade away long-time fan favorites Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman, but they went from 86 to 56 wins in just four years. Wade was previously the GM of the Phillies, but was fired after the 2005 season.

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Posted on: November 19, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2011 11:56 am
 

Astros' Brett Wallace released by Dominican team

Brett WallaceBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Astros' struggles on the field didn't end when the 2011 season was over, as first baseman Brett Wallace was released by Dominican Winer League team Leones del Escogido this week, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Wallace played in 20 games for Escogido, hitting just .173/.366/.327 with two home runs, going 9 for 52 overall with 16 walks and 16 strikeouts. He hasn't played since recording a sacrifice fly for Leones on Nov. 13. The team also has the Giants' Brandon Belt as a first baseman. Belt is hitting .312/.405/.495 with three home runs in 26 games.

Former big-leaguer Moises Alou is Escogido's general manager. 

Wallace hit .259/.334/.369 with five home runs in 115 games for the Astros in 2011. The former first-round pick of the Cardinals was sent to A's in 2009 as part of the trade that brought St. Louis Matt Holliday. He was later sent to Toronto and finally to Houston in return for another prospect, Anthony Gose, in 2010.

The Astros sent Wallace to the minor leagues in August, where he hit well at Triple-A Oklahoma City, after losing the first base job to Carlos Lee.

His winter league performance won't hurt his standing with the team, general manager Ed Wade told the Chronicle, but it can't help his confidence going into 2012.

"He has to come in and win a job," Wade told the newspaper. "Same as if he had hit .400."

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 4:00 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 4:21 pm
 

Which other GMs could be on the way out?

Ed WadeBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Jim Hendry is the first general manager out heading into this offseason, but it's unlikely he'll be the last. What other GMs could be on the move?

Here's five possibilities ranked from most likely to least likely:

1. Ed Wade, Astros: A new owner often means a new general manager, and if the sale to Jim Crane ever goes through, Wade can expect to find himself on the way out with current owner Drayton McLane. Not only do the Astros have a shot at a historically bad season, there's little hope on the way. That said, Wade did get a nice haul for Hunter Pence, but Pence was still under team control for two more years. The trade of the team's best player wasn't a popular one. 

2. Andy MacPhail, Orioles: Hendry's predecessor with Cubs hasn't had much success in Baltimore, either. MacPhail has the title of "President of Baseball Operations" but is in effect the general manager… for now. MacPhail was hired in June of 2007 and since he's taken over the team has gone 285-413 and lost at least 90 games in each of his three full seasons at the helm and the team is on track to reach that mark again.

3. Jack Zduriencik, Mariners: Zduriencik made a splash in his first season as Mariners general manager, putting together a team that surprised everyone by going 85-77. As good as 2009 was, 2010 was a disaster. Zduriencik was praised by many (myself included) for his offseason moves leading up to the 2010 season, but the Midas touch was gone. The signing of Chone Figgins and trade for Milton Bradley turned out to be disasters, while Ken Griffey Jr. clashed with manager Don Wakamatsu and retired mid-season. The Mariners started 2011 off well, but since their last day at .500 on July 5, the Mariners have gone 10-16 and went from 2 1/2 games out to 18 games behind the Rangers in the American League West. Furthermore, Zduriencik angered many in the organization after denying knowledge of the criminal past of reliever Josh Lueke, who was part of the Cliff Lee deal last year.

4. Neal Huntington, Pittsburgh: Speaking of former darlings, Huntington was the toast of baseball at the All-Star break. The Pirates appeared to be on track to end their string of 18 consecutive losing seasons. Since sitting alone in first place atop the NL Central on July 19, the Pirates have gone 7-20 and sit 14 games back just a month later. There were rumors that Huntington was close to an extension earlier in the season, but recent events could mean instead of a raise for 2012, Huntington is looking for a new job.

5. Brian Cashman, Yankees: While the others on this list may be getting pink slips, Cashman could decide to leave on his own. Former owner George Steinbrenner was infamous for his quick temper and firing employees, but his sons' signature move so far was the undermining of Cashman by signing reliever Rafael Soriano after Cashman said the team had no interest in the former Rays' closer as a setup man for Mariano Rivera. Cashman had a rough offseason with the negotiations with Derek Jeter and Rivera, and could also look for a new challenge to show that he's not been successful only because of the Yankees' deep pockets. Basically, he could be sick of being the GM of the Yankees and decide to move on.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 20, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 11:05 am
 

Pepper: Harper struggles early in Double-A



By Matt Snyder


Bryce Harper is the top prospect in all of baseball. He has prodigious power and a huge outfield arm. Low-A ball proved no match for him this season, as he hit .318 with 14 home runs, 46 RBI, 19 steals and a .977 OPS in 72 games before being promoted to Double-A. But he's still only 18, and is having a rough transition to Double-A.

Through 10 games, Harper is hitting .171 with a .237 on-base percentage and has yet to record an extra-base hit (Nationals Journal). He also looked overmatched at the Future's Game. So what does this mean?

Not a damn thing.

He's 18. Making the transition from the lower levels of the minors (Rookie ball, Low-A, High-A) to the upper levels (Double-A, Triple-A) is the toughest transition for a player this side of when they hit the majors. He even skipped a level. Plus, 10 games is hardly a representative sample from which to draw conclusions and he started slow in Low-A. It's possible he tears up Double-A pitching starting next game.

If we can say anything definitively, maybe it's that this is good for the fans clamoring for a quick Harper promotion. He's going to be special in a Nationals uniform, just not in 2011 and probably not 2012 either.

NOT SATISFIED: After trading Tuesday night for infielder Jeff Keppinger, Giants general manager Brian Sabean said he was working on "something much bigger" before the move and that he's not done making an effort to improve the badly flawed offense (Extra Baggs).

GMs ON HOT SEAT: Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports breaks down some general managers who may be out of a job by the time we turn the page to next season. The ones he lists on the hot seat are Ed Wade of the Astros and Jim Hendry of the Cubs. I'd argue pretty vehemently both should be canned immediately, so no shock there. Also of intrigue, Rosenthal says Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Rays GM Andrew Friedman might step away from their current posts. It would be interesting to see how quickly each is snatched up by other teams.

TROUBLE ON THE HOMEFRONT? Before Tuesday night's loss to the Padres, the Marlins had won nine of their last 10 games, but not everyone was happy. Left-handed reliever Randy Choate was pulled from the game Monday after falling behind 2-0 to a hitter. Yes, in the middle of an at-bat. Considering Choate had struck out 23 lefties and walked just before the game, he felt his track record should at least allow him to finish the hitter. McKeon disagreed and yanked him, saying he was "out of sync." The two reportedly talked, but Choate was still upset. (Fish Tank blog)

IRRELEVANT NO-TRADE CLAUSE: Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano told reporters he didn't even know he had a no-trade clause. Then he said he'd be willing to waive it if it meant he could play for a contender. Of course, Soriano is owed about $61 million through 2014 and considering his age, how quickly he has regressed and his current level of production, there's pretty much no way anyone is giving much for him. The guess is he's stuck in Chicago -- and, for the record, Soriano did say he was happy in Chicago and wanted to win there. (Chicago Sun-Times)

BEDARD'S RETURN DELAYED: Erik Bedard's return from injury has hit a snag, and he'll be pushed back. He's likely going to need a simulated game before thinking about a rehab assignment. This is big news, because we're approaching the trade deadline and a healthy Bedard was likely to be a pretty solid trading chip for the Mariners. He still might go, but his injury history will be a sticking point for potential suitors. (Seattle Times)

BLYLEVEN ON Twins: Bert Blyleven will be enshrined in Cooperstown this weekend, as a new member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. MLB.com has a lengthy story in which Blyleven reflects on his time with the Twins. One thing that jumped out at me is how Blyleven was drafted out of high school and promoted to the majors after just 21 starts and at the age of 19. If that happened nowadays, how much would we have to hear about the Twins "rushing" him to the bigs? Just something to think about.

IKE'S SEASON STILL IN QUESTION: Earlier Tuesday, a story about Ike Davis saying he feared he was done for the 2011 season broke, but then later Tuesday he changed his tone a bit. There's still a question on if he'll be able to get his ankle healed and make it back on the field, but Davis wasn't ready to rule anything out: "I'm not throwing the towel in," he said (ESPN New York). "I'm going to do everything I can to get healthy. And if I don't, I can't really do anything. My body is just not right. I'm working hard and I want to get back on the field."

ANOTHER RIPKEN: Cal Ripken Jr.'s son, Ryan Ripken, is going to play in the Under Armour All America Baseball Game at Wrigley Field next month. The young Ripken hit .353 as a junior this season and the first baseman is fielding scholarship offers from several colleges. Fortunately, Cal is not pushing his son to baseball, saying he just wants Ryan to do whatever makes him happy (Associated Press).

HOMETOWN DISCOUNT: Padres closer Heath Bell is one of the biggest names being thrown around in trade talk, but he's actually willing to take a "hometown discount" to stay in San Diego. The problem is, he's not likely to have that choice. The Padres are in rebuilding mode, and he's their most attractive trading chip. (Sports Radio Interviews)

TEAM FOR SALE: The Dodgers aren't the only team in financial danger out west, as the Padres' Triple-A affiliate will be put up for sale if plans for a new stadium aren't finalized soon. There were plans for a 9,000-seat stadium in Escondido, but the funding for the stadium is now unavailable in the new state budget. Padres CEO Jeff Moorad said he is still holding out hope that things get worked out before the end of the year. (SignonSanDiego.com)

WANG BACK SOON: Nationals starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is scheduled to make one more Triple-A start before joining the majors (Adam Kilgore via Twitter). For more on Wang's return to the majors, check out my short article from this past weekend.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com