ED WADE certainly has heard the jokes.

Brad Lidge. Roy Oswalt. Hunter Pence.

At times, it seemed as if he was helping his former team more than his current one while the general manager of the Astros.

"I'm prepared for the remarks that I only traded with the Phillies so Ruben would give me a job if I got fired," Wade lightheartedly told the Houston Chronicle yesterday.

Well, Wade was fired in November with 2 years left on his contract - caught up in the ownership change in Houston - and now is back with the Phillies as a special consultant to the baseball operations department.

Wade will assist in salary-arbitration consultation, while also scouting at both the major and minor league levels.

Wade was the Phillies' general manager from 1998 to 2005, when he was fired and replaced by Pat Gillick. He spent a year with San Diego in scouting before being hired by the Astros.

"Ed had a very positive impact on the success we had in 2008 and his experience and knowledge will be a solid addition to what I feel is as good a baseball operations staff as there is in the game,'' said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., who was an assistant GM for Wade.

Wade said Amaro contacted him as soon as he was fired.

"I said, 'Let's put this in neutral for a while,' but we talked a couple more times since then," Wade said.

In his final five seasons as Phillies GM, the team went 426-383 (.527), the sixth-best record in the National League.

During his time as Phillies' GM, Wade acquired players such as Jim Thome, Shane Victorino and Billy Wagner, and the team drafted Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Pat Burrell, Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson and Brett Myers.