Exhibit 4,622 Why Ruben Amaro is a Moron

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Jose de Jesus Ortiz, who is not Irish, writing for the Houston Chronicle under the headline Singleton move a reminder of how the Astros won the Pence trade:

With first baseman Jon Singleton on the way and reportedly locked up for at least five years and hard-throwing righthander Jarred Cosart already an important part of the starting rotation, it’s pretty clear the Astros won the Hunter Pence trade.

The best of the bunch the Astros received, however, may be the kid who hasn’t even reached the majors yet – Class AAA Oklahoma City right fielder Domingo Santana. Furthermore, OKC reliever Josh Zeid has performed well while shuttling between Houston and OKC in the last two seasons. Barring something unforeseen, Santana will make it four major-leaguers in return for Pence.

Santana, a 6-foot-5, 224-pounder from the Dominican Republic, has usually been one of the youngest players at each minor-league level. He’s 21 now at OKC hitting .292 with nine home runs, 36 RBIs and an .858 OPS over 58 games. It wouldn’t be surprising if he’s up in the majors this year.

Pence has done quite well for himself too, so it was a win-win situation for him and the Astros. The Phillies, however, are now 24-30 for last place in the NL East. They are now at about the same stage that the Astros were in when they sent Pence for the four prospects.

🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

Santana was indeed a throw-in. In fact, it took more than two weeks to complete the deal and, if I recall correctly, there was some contention between Ruben Amaro and Ed Wade over the player to be named later. So Rube just threw in someone whom Bob Brookover called potentially “the organization’s best outfield prospect.”

I’ll admit, I loved the Pence trade at the time; it was the right move to make. Pence, a right-handed hitting corner outfielder (which the Phillies very much needed than and still need now), made the Phillies better. He put them over the top, making them far and way the best team in baseball. Unfortunately, the playoffs happened in 2011, and in 2012, injuries to Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and ostensibly Roy Halladay, and Amaro’s inability to build a baseball team, proved too much for the Phils to overcome. So, they traded Pence and Shane Victorino at the deadline. Trading Victo, who was in the last year of his contract, made sense. The Pence trade didn’t. He was the Phillies’ youngest core player, still reliable (yet flawed) and was under team control for another year, through 2013. There was no real reason to move him, and since the prospects the Phillies got in return haven’t amounted to much yet, so far the deal(s) looks like an unmitigated disaster– both trading for Pence and trading him. And it doesn’t help that he went on to win the World Series.

Related: The time I watched a game with Ruben Amaro and Ed Wade.

H/T to reader Joe

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18 Responses

  1. Let’s just get Sean Brace in the clubhouse. He’ll get this team back on track!!
    Then as BOB from GLENMOORE says, get Mikey Miss to leave his job at 975 and give him the GM role at the Phillies. He’s so knowledgable after all.

    1. The worst part is that PhuturePhillies is reporting that Santana was left on the player to be named later list in error and he got nabbed.

      Ed Wade built the 2008 champions and owned Ruben in those trades.

      May be time to revise conventional wisdom, huh?

      1. Your post is spot on. Ed Wade got villifed and was handcuffed by the owners so called “small market” mentality. He was forced into the Schilling and Rolen deals. I agree I would take Ed over Reuben right now!

  2. when did “the mush” Ed Wade come back into the fold with the Phillies?
    ever since he did, we’ve gone into the tank. we finally had success after he left the organization completely and ever since they brought him back its been a free fall to the bottom….
    wtf….get him and amaro out of here!!!!

    1. Most of what you are saying is wrong. Wade built the core that won the World Series. Then, in Houston, he fleeced the Phillies out of most of their top prospects in the Oswalt and Pence trades. Shoot, even the Lidge trade, which was a success, got the Astros Bourn, who was an all-star with them. Wade’s return to the Phillies has nothing to do with their decline. In fact, i doubt he actually has any actual duties now, probably just an office and a member of the “phamily” salary.

  3. You left out the most damning part:
    “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.”

    1. Exactly, it was a complete shock when that PTBNL was Santana. No one could believe the Phillies would give up Singleton, Cosart AND leave Santana to be plucked. Awful awful awful.

  4. Cosart and Singleton with both be studs. Cosart already is developing into a really good pitcher.

    The trade would’ve made sense if they kept Pence. They didn’t. So it makes absolutely no sense.

    I take this all the way back to Jayson Werth. They should’ve just paid him and been done with it, imo.

  5. The Pence trade was not the right move at the time. Stop with your revisionist history Kyle. The phillies were the best team in baseball all season and they were on pace for 100 wins BEFORE THE TRADE. Anyone who knows anything about baseball knew that Ruben gave up WAY too much and the last thing they needed to do was add a guy who was going to get huge arbitration raises up to $14M. Don’t blame it on the injuries. Ruben fucked up big time on this. It was never the right move.

  6. Letting werth go is what set all these horrible knee jerk reaction trades up. The guy was considered the best RF in MLB at the time and was a huge part of their chemistry. So they let him walk because they mis-evaluated Dom brown to replace him. So now he panics and trades for pence giving away top prospects. This shouldve shown ownership he was overmatched.

    So when the team starts declining and pence is soon to be arbitration eligible, he once again mis-evaluates browns ability and they trade pence for much less than they originally gave away.

    This should’ve been his last move and been fired. Any time a GM makes knee jerk reactions to try and make up for past failures mistakes, ownership has to take notice.

    Very similar to holmgren.

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