It's been seven years since the Phillies employed Ed Wade, but the former general manager was never far from the team's recent success. Wade acquired 11 of the 25 players on the 2008 world championship squad. In Houston, he was a trading partner for three major Phillies deals.

Now, Wade is returning to Philadelphia.

The Phillies have hired him as a special consultant, the team said Tuesday. Wade will scout at the major- and minor-league levels and assist in salary arbitration.

"Ed had a very positive impact on the success we had in 2008," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said, "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."

Wade, 55, was fired as Houston's GM this fall. He still had two years remaining on his deal with the Astros.

He was the general manager in Philadelphia from 1998 to 2005 and hired manager Charlie Manuel in his final season. In addition to acquiring Jim Thome, Shane Victorino, and Billy Wagner, his staff drafted Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Pat Burrell, Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson, and Brett Myers.

With Houston, Wade often dealt with Amaro, a close friend. (Wade is godfather to one of Amaro's daughters.) The Phillies acquired Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt, and Hunter Pence in separate deals with Houston. Currently, four of Houston's top six prospects, as ranked by Baseball America, are former Phillies.

Because of those deals, fans jokingly referred to Wade as a double agent.

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

The last trade was possibly a boon for Houston, since first baseman Jonathan Singleton and righthander Jarred Cosart are ranked first and second, respectively, in the Astros system. Outfielder Domingo Santana is sixth. Those three were dealt for Pence in July.