Report: Phillies Trade Top Prospects For Hunter Pence

From Ken Rosenthal:

Sources: #Phillies close to acquiring #Astros’ Pence. Deal expected to be completed tonight.

And Jon Morosi:

Singleton and Cosart are in the Pence deal, source says.

Make no mistake: this is an insane price. The Phillies just gave up their top hitting and pitching prospect (both ranked in the Top 50) to acquire an above average outfielder, but by no means a great one. As Marc Hulet noted over at FanGraphs earlier today, the Astros are receiving a similar return to what the Blue Jays received when they traded Roy Halladay to the Phillies -- but Hunter Pence is no Roy Halladay.

Of course, this deal does make the Phillies a better team in the short term, and they have such a deep payroll and farm system that they don't have to worry about trading away prospects. They also have added motivation to win now, as their team is structured around aging veterans that could start to decline in a year or two (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, etc.). If Pence can help put them over the top and win a World Series, he was definitely worth the acquisition.

That said, the Astros have to be very pleased with the return they're getting on Pence. Two top 50 prospects is a great return, and the Astros are also receiving two PTBNLs in the deal. Considering their farm system has been one of the worst in the majors in recent years, Cosart and Singleton will be welcome additions.

As for the B.J. Upton rumors, this deal should only help the Tampa Bay Rays, as it raises the price for outfielders. There are fewer teams still on the market for a bat, but Atlanta is out there and motivated to make a deal, and now there aren’t many other options for them to pursue. At this point, they’re probably the Rays’ best shot for an Upton trade.

UPDATE: From Zachary Levine, Houston Chronicle:

The Hunter Pence trade is official. Pence and cash to Phils for Singleton, Cosart, Josh Zeid and a player to be named.

For more on how this trade affects the MLB trade market, see Daniel Russell's piece here.

For more on the Rays and the trade deadline, follow SB Nation Tampa Bay on Twitter or Facebook.

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