Was Domingo Santana On The Pence PTBNL List By Mistake?

Were I a reputable reporter with sources within the Phillies organization, I would try to get a quote from someone in the Phils’ Front Office and add it here, whether confirmation, denial, or obfuscation. As I’m not, I will just put this out there with the caveat that this is an unnamed/unknown source and hasn’t been, as far as I can tell, corroborated by anyone. It sounds like it was mentioned in passing on 97.5 the other day as well, (as mentioned by Steve in the comments yesterday), though I can’t find it on their website. Anyone who has a link to that, please share it. Either way, click through to this Monday report from Houston Chronicle beat writer Jose de Jesus Ortiz:


This is the relevant quote: “In spring training, a Phillies official admitted that Santana wasn’t actually supposed to be on the list that was given to the Astros to pick from to satisfy the final piece on Aug. 15, 2011.”

If true, I don’t know that it’s a damning indictment of anyone in particular, so much as it is a huge foul-up. Not sure how you add a player you don’t intend to add to a list except by sheer negligence in creating and proofreading the list. They should have sent the list over to PP so we could tell them not to include Domingo Santana. They should probably just do that from now on. Someone with a F.O. contact let Ruben know I said we’re here for him, ok?

And thanks to Steve for pointing this out to us. I had missed it completely. Perhaps many of you had not and I’m just too deep in the draft this week.

53 thoughts on “Was Domingo Santana On The Pence PTBNL List By Mistake?

  1. at what point does this become a fireable offense? We are completely thin at outfield now and Santana would be pushing Biddle for our #3 prospect. I am absolutely fed up with this shit. I live 10 minutes from Minute Maid park. Maybe ill go watch our team for a few years and come back in 2017.

    1. I was thinking of buying an Astros hat I already check there box scores and minor league affiliates more than the phillies right now. I still check the phillies minor leaguers more often but the big club and its management can suck it. I live in SF and it is a big kick to the groin area every time I see Hunter Pence on TV advertising the Giants and there best in the league record. I think to myself Houston got some young kids with a future , SF got Pence a borderline allstar every year and the phillies well the phillies got fleeced , but atleast those things are warm in the winter

    2. A lot of people considered it a fireable offense even when we thought he was included on purpose.

  2. Sure would be ironic if Santana ends up being the toolsy outfielder that works out.

    Of course, that might not be coincidence.

  3. Somehow Leandro Castro was involved in all the talks and may have been the PTBNL, then his name was taken out…maybe injury or something.
    An honest mistake on the part of a intern in the FO.

        1. “I know that I don’t have out go out and go 2 for 4 every night and make my batting average look good,” he says. “My name’s going to be in the lineup. I know if I don’t have a good game, if I go 0 for 3 but turn an at-bat into a walk and get on base for a guy and score a run, that’s a valuable thing.

          I’ve been places before where you 0 for 3 with a walk, and you felt like it was a scuffle. The next day you come in, and you’ve got a hitting coach breathing down your neck talking about adjustments you need to make in your swing.”

          -Brandon Moss

          Wonder which organization he’s talking about…

  4. Well, I commented on this yesterday, but I’ll just reiterate: without knowing anything beyond what is reported here, I do find the departure of Chuck LaMar one month after the Pence trade to be an interesting data point. I feel like the only explanation we ever got for that strangely abrupt departure was a completely bizarrely sourced column by Bill Conlin, which I was never sure wasn’t completely made up. (I don’t make that accusation lightly–but if you go back and read that column it is really strange.)

    That said, I’m also a little unsure about the sourcing on the Chronicle thing. One Phillies official said this in passing–was that some random scout talking out of his ass at the buffet table or something?

    Actually, come to think of it, Ed Wade is now a Phillies official, isn’t he? Seems like there’s a good chance that he might be someone who might be on chatty terms with an Astros beat reporter. Which would add a whole other level of credibility to it.

    Anyway, point is, we don’t know a lot about this information or where it came from. Still, if true it is absolutely crazy.

  5. Incidentally, as much as this report confirms my priors, I’m (mostly) withholding judgement until there’s confirmation.

    Not that it makes much difference whether it was intentional or unintentional. Either scenario reveals incompetence.

  6. Between this and losing a draft pick by pulling the gun on Papelbon a week too early, the Wetzler debacle, Amaro is the definition of incompetence.

  7. A few people were asking why we are so negative all the time on this site. This. This is why.

  8. PS, f%^& Amaro, get his ass out of here Montgomery. Its time. I don’t trust Amaro with a rebuild. He’ll f$%^ it up again and again.

  9. A mistake of this magnitude is utterly incomprehensible. However, it now makes sense of this utterly bizarre PTBNL. In the entire time I’ve been following baseball I don’t recall a PTBNL of Santana’s magnitude being exchange so long after the trade date. It’s hard to be more incompetent than Ed Wade but, apparently, Amaro and his team are.

  10. Ugh.

    That said, let’s not overlook the fact that Santana has a 28 percent K-rate in AAA, which is actually good for his career average. It’s not going to get better in the bigs. Are there players with that much minor league swing-and-miss who have gone on to prolonged success in the major leagues?

    1. Don’t know the answer to your question, but keep in mind that he’s only 21. He’ll always strike out a lot, but he could spend this whole season and the next two in AAA and still be considered age appropriate. So I think it’s possible that he can adjust and get his K-rate down to a more manageable number.

      I looked at his career splits by month. This might be a good sign for him; it seems like he strikes out less as he adjusts to each level. K rate by month since 2011:

      April: 34.1%
      May: 29.2%
      June: 29.6%
      July: 27.6%
      August: 22.7%

      1. Keeping in mind that some of the best arms are promoted as the year goes on, and he’s been almost exclusively a one-level-per-year man, (save the Lakewood experiment in 2010), that’s still very depressing. Thanks a bunch. *cries in a corner*

    2. Adam Dunn is one. I don’t know if there are many others..I just found that from a quick search of this year’s K% leaders.

  11. Just want to take an informal poll here.

    When the Phillies are even average or not very good but have exciting players, I’ll probably watch at least 60-70 percent of the games (meaning the game is on, and I’m basically watching it, unless something else very specific is going on in my life). When they are really good, the number probably approaches 80 percent.

    Right now, I check into the games on occasion to see the score (and confirm my worst suspicions) and will probably watch more when Asche returns or brings up some prospects we care about, but I’m really not watching the games. I never thought any team I would ever root for could be as offensively inept as the horrible hitting Mets teams I watched as a kid in the 70s, but I was wrong – this team is just as bad and they are even worse at the fundamentals. And FYI, I love Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee but they ain’t Tom Seaver.

      1. I went to the last two games in DC (as I live here now) and typically catch them when they are in town. But I’m getting closer to not bothering anymore (despite how much I like booing Werth).

        The fundamentals of the team are off, save a few veterans. So to spin this as a prospect-based response, our young players look lost on the field. There really isn’t anything to root for right now until there is a total regime makeover.

      2. I have been turning them off more frequently as of late, which is something I haven’t done since 2009 when Lidge would come in.

        I just pay the barest bit of attention until the other team scores, then I tune it out until they score some more runs. After that, I find a game on my PS3 and watch that.

      3. Since 2007, I watched between 80% and 90% of all innings. Now I watch about 50% of innings for about 60-70% of the games.

      4. Catch, sorry to be hall monitor, but this really seems like a clear case of a question you should ask on the general discussion thread. But since it’s here: I’ve taken to checking twitter before checking the score or turning on the game, I can usually tell whether it’s worth watching by the general level of beat-writer misanthropy.

  12. Comedy. That’s the word for how the Phillies are run.

    Instead of checking that list thoroughly before submitting it to the Astros, Montgomery, Amaro, Looper et al were probably having fun running around the office and squirting one another with seltzer bottles.

  13. I agree that his K rate may not translate well into major league success, but I would certainly rather have him (and the rest of the players in the Pence deal) than not.

    I was wondering what it would take to get Michael Taylor back from the A’s. He’s not on the 40 man. He continues to hit decent at AAA with solid BB and K rates and some power and speed. He hasn’t done well in the majors, but he’s had very limited chances and he’s still only 28.

  14. A story like this is in all honesty equivalent to a paper cut on a bloody stump. This franchise is proving again and again it cannot evaluate and develop talent, and, when it does hit on one, it is so careless that it mistakenly trades him to another team. Yet even if the Pence trade didn’t happen — if none of the trades since Amaro took over happened, and we allowed the young players to take over through attrition — where would we be right now?

    CF: Gose
    SS: Villar
    1B: Singleton
    C: D’Arnaud
    LF: Brown
    3B: Asche
    2B: Hernandez
    RF: Taylor

    P: Hamels, Kendrick, Happ, Cosart, Drabek

    Would anyone really feel confident with that core for the future?

    1. We would still have Utley and Rollins and Ruiz and Lee and could have still signed Burnett. I mean, it’s not the greatest team but it would make for a way more hopeful future than the one we have at the moment.

      1. The scenario jettisoned vets when their contracts expired. The point is that the organization no longer seems capable of drafting and developing even replacement level players.

        All of the one-time Phils prospects in the above lineup have graduated to the majors at one point or another. They are names that have at one time sat at or near the top of the org’s prospect rankings. How many of those eight position players have positive WAR for their careers? One. Anthony Gose. (Singleton is likely to be an above replacement level player). All the others are below replacement level players.

        I have high hopes for Crawford and Franco, and to a lesser extent, Biddle and Quinn. But I had similar hopes for many of those other players as well. I’m really losing faith that this organization has any idea of what its doing when it comes to scouting and developing talent.

        1. Yeah, I see that that was an “if we let the veterans go” scenario but I don’t really see the point of that since it’s not how organizations are run, assuming they can afford to keep their players. I bet if you look at any team’s top prospects list and did the same thing, you could look back on it in 5 years and see a bunch of holes, just because most prospects flame out.

          Most of those guys are still so young. Villar, D’arnaud, Hernandez, Asche. It wouldn’t exactly be surprising if a couple of them became solid players.

          1. You’re probably right. My frustration at the dearth of quality prospects graduating to the big leagues from the system is beginning to turn me into a pessimist. Hopefully the draft cheers me up. 🙂

    1. Yeah, he’s an interesting guy for sure. No idea whether he has the full skill set for a GM job. And it’s a moot point – not the kind of hire that our ownership group would make.

    2. I’d make a hard pitch to Thad Levine who is Assistant GM to Jon Daniels with the Rangers. I love some of their approach to moves (especially amateur player acquisitions) and he also seems to ‘get’ the PR side of things as well and not talking down to the fandom.

      He went to college and played ball at Haverford so there’s a local connection there before getting a masters from UCLA.

  15. The mistake wasn’t making the trade. The mistake was trading Pence away. He is exactly what this team needs. A right handed bat with high OB% and an OPS over .800 and good defense.

    Pence played GREAT for us in 2011. His OPS was friggin .954 for us. He had a 5.4 WAR in 2011. There were only 16 hitters in all of baseball with a better WAR that year. Only 6 outfielders with a better WAR that year.

    Guys, if you have ever run a business before, you know that you have to make hard decisions. a hard decision is one in which you don’t like the options, but need to make it anyway. RAJ didn’t want to trade these prospects. But he DID want to win the WS. And if we didn’t run into the Cards, actually Carpenter, we probably would have won the WS and this would be a moot conversation.

    So I don’t blame him for the deal regardless of what the prospects do. But I do blame him for trading Pence away in 2012 and getting crap in return. Pence has been awesome in 2013 and 2014. The guy can play!

    1. It would not be a moot point even if we had won the world series. We were already a very good team at the time of the Pence trade and the way I looked at it, whatever marginal increase in our odds of winning a world series Pence offered was not worth the high cost. I didn’t feel any more strongly about that after we lost to the Cards and I wouldn’t have felt any less strongly about it had we won the world series (unless Pence was truly the difference maker).

      It would also not be moot because this story says that Santana was included in the trade accidentally. Regardless of how you feel about the trade otherwise, how can that not piss you off?

  16. Yes, and can you believe that they traded away Ryan Sandberg also???

    Other than to allow the complainers to complain, how the players traded in the Pence deal are doing in Houston doesn’t much matter anymore. They are gone and a site dedicated to future Phillies should move on.

    Either they don’t pan out and the Phillies FO is full of idiots who can’t evaluate draft talent or they become stars and the Phillies FO are full of idiots who can’t evaluate minor league talent.

    V1 above is exactly right, the greatest mistake Amaro made was trading away a very good RH OF with power, not making the original trade.

    1. Just like we look at the stats and track record of our prospects, we do the same for the guy who is choosing the prospects.

      It would be myopic to do otherwise.

  17. I remember when they said Cozart, I thought, oh no, then Singleton, I thought; you’ve got to be kidding. Zeid was a unknown to me, but then they had the “player to be named later” attatched to the story. I thought, well Houston must need a minor leageu filler and didn’t decide yet. When Santanas name was announced, I felt they had thrown the future away for the immediate.

    Pence was/is a good player but I thought he was looked at as a 1 yr rent a player from the time of the trade. He had one yr left on his contract.

    From memory, I thought there were complaints about his defense and personality fitting in. But, based on performance, he would be better than anything they’ve had since and should
    have been a keeper.

    Cosart, Singleton & zeid seemed high price for a 1 yr player with the freedom to walk after the second yr. I can believe that there might be truth to the report that he wasn’t intended to be on the list.

    I’ve also noticed the tendency for his strikeouts to decrease as the season goes on, and possibly it’s an indicatiin of a concern about that part of his game. He could become a dominant force, or just another 25 homer 150 strikeout guy.

    1. Pence had 2 full years left on his deal, at what would have been pricey Arb numbers, but not outrageous. They sold a year and 3 months of that for Joseph, Rosin and Schierholtz, whom they non-tendered because…um…yeah….they’re bad at running a baseball team?

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