Did the Phillies Accidentally Trade a Prospect? – Phillies Nation

Did the Phillies Accidentally Trade a Prospect?

There have been numerous reports around the Internet claiming that the Phillies accidentally traded a prospect in the 2011 Hunter Pence deal.

Domingo Santana

In exchange for Pence, the Houston Astros received Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid, and a player to be named later, who turned out to be Domingo Santana. Singleton made his Major League debut last week after being given a 5-year, $10 million contract.  Cosart has found his way into the Astros’ rotation and Zeid remains a pitching prospect.  In Triple-A, Santana is batting .297 and may soon find his way into the Majors. Now, Santana has become the question of the trade.  According to reports, Santana was not on the list of players that the Astros were able to choose from.

Reports are saying that the mistake was made on the Phillies part, and they never intended to let Santana go. With the Phillies’ poor play and with Santana about to be the third player in the Pence deal to appear in the Majors, the trade may be receiving more attention than it should.

Ruben Amaro Jr. has denied the mistake, claiming Santana was needed to complete the deal:

“We didn’t want to put [Domingo] Santana on the list but we had to to get the deal done.  There were several prospects we didn’t want to part with in that deal but we were trying to acquire the best right-handed hitter on the market and that was the price. I understand we’re going to get picked apart because we haven’t had success for a couple of years, but this is not true.”

“There were three names that they had to have.  There was a list of three or four more guys from which they could choose one. I think they wanted more time for evaluation. Santana was on the list because Ed [Wade] asked for him to be placed on the list. There was no mistake.”

It all comes down to who got the better end of the deal. The Astros received four top prospects who are about to make an impact in the big leagues, while the Phillies got one year and a playoff appearance out of Pence.

What do you think? Was this an honest mistake on the Phillies part, or do you believe Ruben Amaro Jr.?



  1. Double Trouble Del

    June 8, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    If there wasn’t an existing pattern of ineptitude I might agree with RAJ. But the record speaks for itself. Also, what’s worse, mistakenly trading Santana or consciously adding him to an already hefty lot of prospects?

    • Wade Foraker

      June 8, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      + 1!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Manny

      June 9, 2014 at 6:07 am


    • wbramh

      June 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      But when you mention records, what has Santana really done to top Supernatural back in 1999?

      • Tom in South Philly

        June 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm

        I agree Supernatural was really good. I heard the Cleveland Indians just re-activated him from the DL after a concussion. Its a little funny because you would think someone would get into a musical career AFTER their baseball career, but Carlos Santana has done it the other way around.

    • The Original Chuck P

      June 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      This makes me sad… it also made me go back and revisit some of the posts that were swirling back in July 2011… a lot of people were on the negative side of any deal. The logic was that we were already in first place with the best record in baseball when the trade was made so there was really no NEEd to do anything. Of course, others were in the camp that said we absolutely needed a RH bat and that any and all prospects other than Brown were expendable in order to win now. Most were not too keen on dealing Singleton and more were upset once Santana was named as the PTBNL… had we known that Pence would have been shipped out in one year, I think more would have been upset.



  2. George

    June 8, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    The “hones”t mistake was making the trade at all. Some of Amaro’s trades have been bad, but the Pence deal takes the ultimate prize. If you put those other bad trades together, they wouldn’t even come close to swapping four highly rated prospects for a good, but not great, outfielder.

  3. Andrew from waldorf

    June 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Did Ruben the moron intentionally sabatoge the whole team?

    If you put someone in to destroy a franchise he could not top Ruben.

    If you intentionally ruined a team youd not be as good as Ruben.

    Because youd get lucky.

    He never even is so bad hes good.

    He just sucks.

  4. wbramh

    June 9, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Singleton? Singleton? Singleton?
    Not the same Singleton who had a HR in his 1st MLB game and a grand salami tonight?

    • jeff orbach

      June 9, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Ruben traded Singleton because he was upset that he wasn’t Ken Singleton who had retired years previously. See it used to be his favorite baseball card……he thought that as he was well over 50 he finally had enough minor league experience to be called up.

      • wbramh

        June 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm

        Personally, I’d take a chance and try to lure Kenny out of retirement. In his last full year of 500 or more plate appearances in 1983 (age 36) he had a .393 OBP; that’s .045 higher than the highest OBP among 2013 Phillies’ starters.

        As for Kenny’s somewhat advanced age, us 66-year-olds stick together.
        We’re still capable of performing every day.. right up until the moment we’re carried off the field by medics.

  5. Bruce

    June 9, 2014 at 12:40 am

    I don’t rely on unnamed sources and not accepting Ruben Amaro’s adequate explanation, Besides, the subject matter deals with a minor league “prospect” who has yet to pitch in the majors. The ‘mistake” from my perspective is trading a productive hitter with power and can hit for average (.289 BA in less than two years with Phillies). I know Pence is not complaining (smile) as he is enjoying his time in SF and helping the division leading Giants.

    • Scotty Ingerton

      June 9, 2014 at 9:28 am

      If you’re referring to Domingo Santana, he’s an outfielder. The common consensus among scouts across the league is that he’s going to be a very good one too. He certainly has more potential than any outfielder in the Phillies’ organization right now.


  6. DavidE

    June 9, 2014 at 1:13 am

    I doubt it was a mistake. Trading Cosart actually looked a lot worse last year. Last year, he looked like a top pitcher. This year he doesn’t look that great as he has given up 61 hits and 31 walks in 67 innings.

    Look, there are always bad deals made when a team makes midseason trades. Larry Anderson for Jeff Bagwell. Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz. One of the goals of the trade was not only to get Pence but to keep him the Atlanta Braves from obtaining him. I don’t think it was a great idea to get Pence but those things happen when there is a lot of competition for a player.

    Regardless, the Phillies can’t worry about it now. What the Phillies have to do is capitalize on free talent. What I consider free talent that the Phillies have acquired in the recent past is Shane Victorino (Rule 5) and Jayson Werth. Marlon Byrd was free talent for the Mets last year.

  7. Ray

    June 9, 2014 at 2:16 am

    Although Ruin Tomorrow, Jr. did give way too much in the trade, my problem wasn’t that he made the trade. My problem is that he let Hunter go and received so little back. The Phils sure could use him now. But anyway, most other GM’s would have swung a better deal. Tommy Joseph? Really!?!? How bad is this organization at judging talent? They don’t even know what they have in their own farm system. Sorry, I defended him for many years but it has finally become embarrassing.

  8. Dave

    June 9, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Amaro makes all the wrong moves. Scott Kazmir is 7-2 with an ERA of 2.20. He could have been picked up by anyone. Instead, we passed and signed Roberto “I can only go 4 innings” Hernandez. Brandon Moss is tearing it up again for the 1st place A’s. My guess is that Amaro will trade Ruf at the deadline for some chips and guacamole and he will go on to hit 30 home runs for his new team next year. We will keep Brown because and Revere as part of the worst outfield in baseball. I hope that Papelbon will be traded since he is about the only guy outside of Hamels and Utley that will bring you anything in return.

  9. Mike in NJ

    June 9, 2014 at 8:49 am

    If Pence was still on the team, or if Ruin had gotten anywhere near as much back for him as he gave up, it wouldn’t really be an issue. How much better would the offense look with Pence in there and Gentile Ben or Dom Brown not there?

    Ruin took over a WS champ with a mid level payroll and healthy farm system, and in 5 years turned them into a last place team with a bloated payroll and decimated farm system. I can’t imagine the suits at Comcast are going to sit by and watch their 2.5B investment circle the drain much longer. Ownership may not give two s%!^$ about the fans calling for change even if the stadium is empty, but I bet Comcast execs making a few phone calls will get things done!

  10. Mike

    June 9, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Lets not forget…Amaro was taken to the cleaners on this trade by ED WADE!!!! The same guy notorious for making trades such as Gio Gonzalez and Gavin Floyd for a broken Freddy Garcia (who they didnt even get a physical on), Bobby A for a bag of baseballs, Scott Rolen , and the Curt Shilling deal!

    • schmenkman

      June 9, 2014 at 9:31 am

      Um, Mike – the first two trades (Gio/Floyd and Abreu) were by Pat Gillick.

      What you meant to say about Wade was that he was largely responsible for the 2008 championship team.

      • George

        June 9, 2014 at 10:01 am


        I sometimes wonder why you take the time to reply to the terminallyu clueless. But I’ll add a little to your comment, anyway.

        Rolen and Schilling had pretty much demanded to be traded, so Wade had very little choice in the matter. Abreu was traded because management realized it was time for the team to change gears and put new clubhouse leadership in place. It was a good decision; the Phils’ record improved almost immediately, to the point that they became late season buyers, instead of mid-season sellers. To blame any of the current team’s troubles on Wade is flat-out wrong.

  11. Mike

    June 9, 2014 at 10:08 am

    My apologies, you are right about 2 of those trades. I got my years mixed up. I agree Wade was responsible for alot of the core being drafted, along with the departed Mike Arbuckle. I also agree that Rolen and Schilling demanded to be traded, but you still dont give them away. My bigger point was, he was taken to the cleaners by Ed Wade, a guy who might have been able to build a team through the draft, always got hosed in a trade!

  12. wbramh

    June 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Incidentally, there’s no truth to the rumor (I’m starting) that the blowback from the Houston trade has sent Ruben off on a campaign to seek the death penalty for personal marijuana use.

  13. Lefty

    June 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Looking back, the trade itself was clearly a mistake -accident on the Santana kid or not.

    But I’d look like a fool here to lie, I loved the trade when it was made. I loved it and had arguments with former PN writer Michael Baumann, who panned it, right here on this board. I obviously only knew about the three players, Cosart, Singleton and Zeid, and assumed the PTBNL would be nothing but filler.

    At the time, I knew very little about Zeid, and there was simply no chance Singleton would have played for the team until 2017, so I did not feel he was a great loss. The Cosart part smarted a bit, but you can’t expect to get something good in trade for something bad, gotta give up good players or there is no trade. Sometimes I think people forget that.

    Anyway I was quite happy when they made the deal so I can’t really criticize now. As for whether or not they made the mistake in question, I don’t know enough to indict anyone. I’d have to throw it out as “inconclusive”.

    • wbramh

      June 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Lefty: The indictment shouldn’t be against fans who believed the trade was a good one at the time. Fans want a championship and we have to assume that the scouts, coaches and managers know far more than we know. That they’re looking at these kids beyond a day to day or even season to season set of numbers. They are the professional evaluators. To trade 4 young players with potential in an already thin system – and trade them for a short-term rental is pretty steep.

      Even a 102 win team has little more edge than a 90 win team once they enter the playoffs. In the case of Phillies that year, Ruiz, Howard, Polanco had terrible series against St. Louis and Pence had a .211 BA with an unspectacular .286 OBP. While Pence performed well for them during the regular season, the team was going to make the playoffs with or without him. I’m just not convinced he was worth the gamble for the playoffs. Obviously, the addition didn’t get them past an inferior St. Louis team. Ben Francisco and his $1.1 million may have done just as well or better. Ben drove in 3 RBI in just 2 at-bats while Hunter drove in 4 RBI in 19 at-bats.

  14. Ken Bland

    June 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    The curious point about this that strikes me is what difference does it make? Does it prove a certain someone is more incompetent than they seem if it happened? Doubtful.

    If I’m gonna get worked up over the current fiasco, bigger fish to fry are worth the focal point. This story broke 3-4 days ago. Haven’t read one piece on it. I just don’t see where it matters. Failure was already failure, incompetence was already incompetence.

  15. Ken Bland

    June 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I gotta get one word in defending Amaro. He signed Sweeny. Say what you want about Rube, that was a killer signing. Any team that had Sweeny wear it’s uni did right by me.

    Still well under .300 Monty’s Mendoza line, but a move worth recollecting since few people are as bad as they seem, and that’d be my contribution toward Rube’s + move.


  16. wbramh

    June 9, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    A starting pitcher and Revere’s defensive replacement in one.
    What more could you ask for?

    “FORT WORTH — Pepperdine’s Aaron Brown threw 118 pitches to catcher Aaron Barnett Sunday evening.
    But it was his 119th throw to the plate, which came from center field, that could’ve been his most important. Brown, who moved to the outfield after starting on the mound, ended a TCU rally in the eighth inning with a strike to home that erased the tying run on a two-out single from Keaton Jones.”

  17. wbramh

    June 9, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    And the day after pitching Pepperdine to a win, Brown already has one home run and a double halfway up the wall in the 3rd and deciding game of the super regional series with TCU.

  18. Mike in NJ

    June 10, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I think I’d be more comforted if it was true that it was a clerical error over the other possibility that this organization continues to be totally inept at evaluating talent.

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