As if things could not get any worse for the Philadelphia Phillies, a report surfaced on Saturday that one of the Houston Astros’ top prospects was essentially given to them by the Phillies due to a “clerical error.”
Domingo Santana, the ninth-rated prospect in all of baseball, was not supposed to be on the list of players in a “player to be named later” list in the Hunter Pence deal, but was included by mistake either by a clerical error or GM Ruben Amaro Jr. The explanation given by Amaro could not have made Phillies fans feel any worse. Amaro said the team meant to put Santana on the list from the start. That’s kind of like saying, “no, it wasn’t a mistake. We’re that dumb.”
With the Phillies’ fans already skeptical of Amaro possibly overseeing a rebuild of the team that will surely come before the MLB trade deadline, this could not have been reassuring news.
Santana, a 21-year-old outfielder, is having a big season in Triple-A baseball. Just before the 2011 trade deadline, the Phillies acquired Pence from Houston for pitchers Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid, along with first baseman Jonathan Singleton and a player to be named later.
That player turned out to be Santana and, whether it was a clerical mistake or a GM mistake, it was a mistake nonetheless. Santana is hitting .292 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs and projects as an impact major leaguer. Singleton already is in the majors after hitting 14 homers and adding 43 RBIs in Triple-A.
Pence is no longer with the Phillies and is a major cog in the San Francisco Giants’ drive for the playoffs. Clearly, those teams are better off with guys who once wore Phillies uniforms than the Phillies are with the guys currently wearing them.
Either Amaro or his secretary is responsible, and with the majo-league team floundering, it adds further insult to what already has been a brutal season.