On July 29, 2011 the Phillies traded prospects Jon Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid and a player to be named later to the Houston Astros for outfielder Hunter Pence, the presumed final piece to the puzzle for the Phillies to make a World Series run.
That didn't happen.
The player to be named later in the deal came from a list of prospects the Phillies provided the Astros. Houston decided in August 2011 to take outfielder Domingo Santana.
Pence played well for the Phillies in 2011 batting .324/.394/.560 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 54 games but the team wasn't sold on Pence as a long-term option in the outfield following 2011. Phillies chairman Bill Giles told Whiz Wit in spring of 2012 the team was "still evaluating Hunter" as far as his future in Philadelphia - not exactly what you'd like to hear less than a year after trading some of your top minor league prospects for the guy in which you're not sold.
The Phillies traded Pence to San Francisco for Nate Schierholtz, Seth Rosin and Tommy Joseph. Right now, Joseph is the only player who remains in the Phillies organization.
Singleton made his Major League debut last week and signed a long-term deal with the Astros, who obviously feel he is their future first baseman. Cosart burst onto the scene last summer going 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He has returned to Earth a bit this season going 4-5 with a 4.16 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Zeid had been split the last two seasons between Houston and Triple-A Oklahoma City pitching well for both out of the bullpen.
Now what about Santana? The 6'5", 225 lbs. rightfielder is batting .292/.368/.485 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs this season for Triple-A Oklahoma City. The 21-year-old was the No. 8 prospect in the Astros organization, a stacked farm system, according to Baseball America and rightfully so. He has hit 23 and 25 home runs in each of the last two seasons in the organization.
The worst part of all of this for the Phillies is they need outfield help and they didn't even mean to trade Santana in the first place.
The Houston Chronicle's Jesus Ortiz reports the Phillies did not mean to trade Santana. The outfielder was not supposed to be on the list of players sent to the Astros for them to pick according to a Phillies official.
This might happen more often than we realize but this seems a little outrageous to me. Isn't there someone there proofreading the list sent to the Astros? Can/will something like this happen again? Answers to these questions are tough to get as the Phillies have not responded to the report with an official or unofficial statement.
It's further proof of the ineptness of some of those making the deals. This is only going to add fuel to the fire of people who want general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. fired. I guess a small sliver of positive news is the Phillies didn't want to include Santana so they at least evaluated him as a good prospect? Maybe? I know, I'm stretching.
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