The swirling trade rumors in Philadelphia came to an end Friday night when Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made good on his latest grand quest.
Amaro, who has traded for Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt and signed Cliff Lee as a free agent, landed the right-handed bat the Phils have been missing since Jayson Werth left as a free agent. Amaro completed a five-player trade that brought two-time All-Star Hunter Pence to the Phillies from Houston.
"What we're trying to do is address a need we felt was a missing piece," Amaro said. "We believe in our offense as it stands. It's been a little inconsistent, not as consistent as it's been in the past. This gives us a little more balance."
The 28-year-old Pence should provide a much needed right-handed bat to a left-handed laden Phillies lineup. Manager Charlie Manuel said he'll likely plug Pence into the fifth spot in the lineup, behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Pence is expected to join the Phillies on Saturday.
"He's got talent, he's got power," Manuel said. "He's strong the other way hitting the ball. He's a tremendous player, a good player and a hard player, the way he goes about it."
After winning four straight National League East titles, two NL pennants and the 2008 World Series, the Phillies have the best record in baseball. They also have three All-Stars in their rotation and two MVPs in their lineup.
Still, Amaro wanted to maximize on his team's opportunity to win a World Series by adding Pence.
"To be on a team that is trying to give you the best chance to win that they can, it's a lot of fun," Halladay said. "Even if they didn't, you know Ruben (Amaro Jr.) is going to do everything he can to try to make us better, and I think just that in itself means a lot. But I can't wait. We got a good team here, and when you're able to add good players to a good team, it makes it fun."
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