MLB Trade Rumors: Phillies, Astros Working Towards Pence Deal

The Philadelphia Phillies missed out on Carlos Beltran, but they've focused their attention on Houston Astros outfielder Hunter Pence. Pence is a right-handed-hitting, middle-of-the-order hitter who would slot in well between Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. And according to Ken Rosenthal, talks are "coming to a head."

This is serious. First a team has to have internal discussions before checking in on a player. Then they start scouting the player thoroughly before he becomes a target. After he's a target, the team can have serious interest in him. Serious interest can lead to a team making a push for the player, and if everything goes right, things can come to a head. This is how babies trades are made, and it's beautiful.

So the Astros and Phillies are in advanced talks, but there are a couple of potential snags. First is that Rosenthal says the trade will have to be finished by Friday or the Astros are moving on. The second snag is that the Phillies will need to give up a pretty sweet package of prospects -- including their #1 hitting prospect (Jonathan Singleton) and their #1 pitching prospect (Jarred Cosart). Domonic Brown would not be in any deal, according to Rosenthal.

Nothing is imminent, and the Braves are still hoping they're in the mix, but it seems like the Phillies have the upper hand.

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