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.
H/T to reader Joe