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UPDATE: Phillies GM denies report of accidentally including prospect in Hunter Pence deal

Jun 7, 2014, 12:19 PM EDT

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UPDATE: Jim Salisbury of contacted Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr,. who issued a strong denial of the report:

“There was no mistake,” Amaro said. “If someone said that, they are misinformed because it’s absolutely, unequivocally wrong. It’s false.”

10:37 a.m. ET: Well, this is something.

As you may recall, the Phillies acquired Hunter Pence from the Astros in 2011 in exchange for Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid, and Domingo Santana. Santana was a player to be named later in the deal, but according to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle, it looks like the Phillies traded him by accident. Seriously:

Less than two months after they picked George Springer from the University of Connecticut, the Astros sent Pence and cash to the Phillies on July 29, 2011, for Cosart, Singleton, Zeid and a player to be named, which ended up being Santana. 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.

You see, the Phillies obviously confused their “Don’t Trade Under Any Circumstances” prospect list with “Yeah, Go Ahead And Trade These Guys” prospect list. Common mistake.

Santana, a 21-year-old outfielder who was ranked as the Astros’ No. 8 prospect by Baseball America over the winter, is batting .292 with nine home runs and an .853 OPS over his first 62 games in Triple-A this season. Not only does this trade look potentially really bad for the Phillies, but it’s also embarrassing.

(Hat-tip to Eye on Baseball for the link)

  1. ematusko - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Sadly this is par for the course. Ruben Amaro is the worst GM in baseball, and arguably all of sports.

    • arb927 - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      Don’t forget about my boy Jerry J

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      It’s a 3 horse race between Ruben, Towers and Moore

      • hiflew - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        Don’t leave out Dan O’Dowd. He has been manning the Rockies since 1999 and has been horrible practically the entire time.

    • bodrum53 - Jun 7, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      Ruben Amaro needs to go, how do you get rid of a GM?

      • scotttheskeptic - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        Stop going to games. Cancel your season tickets. Pray to Jobu.

    • jeffkx - Jun 7, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      Chris Antonetti?

  2. arb927 - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Should’ve let Craig write this story… He would have had a blast

    • flyinhighwithvick - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      Don’t worry, he’ll spend all of Monday writing about it.

      • 9foldmuse - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        The drool is probably puddling as we speak…

  3. echech88 - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Why on Earth would anyone in the Phillies ever admit this if it were true? That is among the dumbest things a front office of a sports team can do (the rest of which have also been perpetrated by the same regime)

    • lazlosother - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      It might look worse to say “I did it on purpose, I did I did”.

    • esracerx46 - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      I think it’s more of a way to save face. Would you rather say you didn’t think he was that good of a prospect and risk being perceived as not knowing how to judge talent. Or say you knew he was good and was put on the list as a mistake? Either way…ouch

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      Phillies answered the question of what they would rather be perceived as

      Stupid or Incompetent

  4. tfbuckfutter - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Gotta give whoever made the mistake some credit.

    When the Touchables list is pretty much everyone under the age of 35, you’re bound to overlook the 1 or 2 actual prospects on the list.

    But at least they still have Ronnie Cedeno.

  5. chacochicken - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    I hear Amaro is open to trading Dom Brown for some GITMO detainees.

    • jerze2387 - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      Nah. The way Dom Brown is hitting, thatd actually be a decent deal for philly, so he would never do that

    • dcarroll73 - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      I thought Arizona had claims on all GITMO detainees since they’re GRITTY.

  6. scotttheskeptic - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:04 AM


  7. imnotyourbuddyguy - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Anyone think that the decision to for Amaro has already been made and that they delayed it until after the draft? Maybe they leaked this story after day 1 setting up the inevitable conclusion shortly there after?

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      the decision to fire*

    • phillies816 - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      I honestly don’t think the ownership group will fire him after this year. They too are part of the problem. When the head of the ownership group says if they hit on 30% of their decisions that equates to a .300 average as a hitter and would put you in the Hall of Fame I knew this recent success was all a fluke. Until the owners sell (and they won’t) the mindset of this organization will never change and nor will the results. Many bad years of baseball with a little success sprinkled in every once in awhile. There’s a reason they were the first pro team to 10,000 loses

  8. 9foldmuse - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:11 AM


  9. phillies816 - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Citizens Bank Park is going to be a ghost town later this summer because these idiots clearly have no clue. It’s not just Amaro and the scouts, but the ENTIRE organization. It’s sad to see and to say, but baseball is dead in Philly…again. The only good thing is that tickets will be basically given away on Stub Hub so I can see the visiting players who come to town. It’s like the Veterans Stadium years all over again. Hey maybe they’ll start putting free tickets in Phillies Franks again :)

    • 18thstreet - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      For what it’s worth, when the Phillies came to DC earlier this week, I looked at Stubhub to see about going to a game. The prices were definitely higher — probably twice as much — than they were for an equivalent game against the Marlins in the second week of the season.

  10. eagles512 - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    At this point I’m starting to think Amaro is like Costanza. He just can’t get fired no matter what he does. What a joke.

    • phillies816 - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:32 AM

      How long before the E-A-G-L-E-S chants start up at Citizens Bank Park again?

    • jerze2387 - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      I can just picture him wearing mike schmidts uniform and getting ketchup and mustard all over it

  11. chaseutley - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Dear Major League Baseball,
    Please name Ruben Amaro Jr. as your next Commissioner.
    The Philadelphia Phillies

  12. jsala02 - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Ed Wade got a lot of crap down here for his time as GM, and deservedly so with signings of Kaz Matsui, Brandon Lyon, Pedro Feliz, and drafting Jio Meir before Mike Trout was off the board, but he should get credit for this trade as well as drafting Springer and Castro.

  13. kingjoe1 - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Team ownership has been way to loyal to Amaro Jr. He has taken a world series winning team and turned them into a hopeless mess.

  14. greymares - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    As long as this ownership group is in place and Montgomery is president, Amaro will remain the G.M. as long as he wants. (from a locked in source)

  15. tfbuckfutter - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    So….it wasn’t a mistake? They aren’t sloppy they are just stupid.

  16. ochospantalones - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    This seems surprisingly plausible. Even at the time they made the deal, it seemed very strange that they would include a third high-ceiling prospect in addition to their best hitting prospect and a well-regarded power pitcher, all to get a good but not great right fielder.

  17. drs76109 - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    It’s axiomatic that Amaro is in over his head. But unless the ownership group senses a cataclysic money and/or PR problem from him being there, nothing will happen. This has only happened a few times with this ownership group: once when Giles was forced to abdicate to David Montgomery, one when Montgomery had tio bow to pressure to fire Wade, and most recently, the firing of Manuel.

    Another simple fact is that it is easy to say he must go. The problem becomes who do you replace him with. Everyone wanted Manuel’s head last year – not the bext x’s and o’s manager, bumbling personality, etc. – but it’s not like they are any better under Sandberg. That’s not a knock on Sandberg, who has a pretty bad squad to work with (though you’d have to wonder why he’s take this job with the talent he has to work with). It’s more an admission that Manuel clearly was not the problem.

    There’s no one within the organization that could replace Amaro effectively right now. Green is effectively retired even with the ‘special assistant” title. Manuel has the same title but does not have executive experience. Wade is employed by them but is toxic to the Phillies fan base. The assistant GMs there now are part of the problem so you wouldn’t hire them. The issue relates to their structure and their reliance on preserving the “family”.

    Hiring Bob Boone might be an option. Has had a pretty good executive career and has on field (albeit not terribly successful) experience. Currently an assistant GM with the Nationals. But it’s not an option that would set the world on fire.

    The team will not be sold anytime soon, so don’t bank on that either. The last thing Philadelphia needs is another ownership soap opera like what’s been going on with The Phladelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

    Short of asking Pat Gillick to come back, which I doubt would happen (and I doubt he’s say yes, and oh btw, he’s a senior adv to the president I believe), I fail to see what benefit would be derived from axing Amaro, especially during the season.

    All of this from a ex-pat Philadelphian who still hopes they do well yet having moved to other allegiances.

  18. drs76109 - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Doesn’t surprise me. Ed Wade, the Astros GM at the time, used to work for the Phillies. Sounds like Sandberg to the Cubs all over again (Dallas Green was the GM of the Cubs).

  19. randygnyc - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    It sounds like Obama was involved in these negotiations for the phillies.

  20. fish751 - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Unfortunately, Nothing surprises me anymore with this regime. And the sad thing is they just had another draft. Can’t wait until we get a big league scouting department.

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