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When the Philadelphia Phillies traded for Houston Astros right fielder Hunter Pence, the Phillies agreed to give up four minor leaguers ... one of whom wasn't decided upon at the time. Reportedly, the clubs agreed on a list of players, with the Astros making a final choice on the 15th of August.
Santana's not exactly a Grade A prospect; in 96 games this season, he's struck out 120 times with only 23 unintentional walks.
That said, he just turned 19 and he's otherwise held his own, with a .269/.345/.434 line. Santana might never play in Houston. But his youth and his numbers suggest a high ceiling, and the Astros need to stockpile high-ceiling young players as they attempt to dig themselves out of this Pit of Despair.
The prizes in the Pence trade were pitcher Jarred Cosart and first baseman Jonathan Singleton. But Santana adds some needed depth to the organization's farm system.
Earlier Friday evening, the Philadelphia Phillies finalized a four-player traded with the Houston Astros to land Hunter Pence. Going the other way are Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid and a player to be named later. Was this the plan all along? Let's ask Astros GM Ed Wade:
Ed Wade said he didn’t know #Phillies were the best match for Pence until "about 10 minutes before we finalized the deal."
As for the PTBNL, Jayson Stark reports that the Astros will select from a list of players in the low minors. It won't be a top prospect, so it won't change the balance of this trade from wherever you think it currently is.
The Phillies landed Pence because they were comfortable giving up the necessary talent, while their division rivals in Atlanta were not. Ken Rosenthal says that the Braves were reluctant to meet the Astros' demands, which included two of the Braves' four top pitching prospects. The Braves are a more conservative organization than the Phillies are, for better or for worse, and the difference in philosophy was put on display.
The saga's all over, and once again, Ruben Amaro has gotten his guy. For the time being, Pence will replace Domonic Brown in the Phillies' starting lineup, and Brown will get sent to triple-A so he can play every day.
Courtesy of Baseball Reference, here's a statistical look at the three prospects the Philadelphia Phillies sent to the Houston Astros in exchange for outfielder Hunter Pence. The Phillies sent the Astros $1 million in the deal, and the Phillies will still send a player to be named later to the Astros.
BREAKING: Hunter Pence removed from Astros' game, headed to Phillies in blockbuster.
Buster Olney notes that Pence was seen shaking hands and hugging his former teammates in the dugout after receiving word while the Astros were in the middle of a game against the Brewers in Milwaukee. Pence was 0-for-1 in the game with a pop-out in his final at-bat with the Astros.
Pence was a 2nd-round pick in the 2004 MLB draft, and he made his debut with the Astros in 2007. He played 680 games for the Astros, good for 29th on the franchise list between Derek Bell and Morgan Ensberg. There's some sort of hidden message in that last factoid, but I'm not smart enough to figure out exactly what it means.
The Hunter Pence sweepstakes might be over. From Ken Rosenthal:
The names that have been rumored to go to Houston have been Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton. Cosart is a 21-year-old right-handed pitching prospect, and Singleton is a 19-year-old first baseman doing well in A-ball. There were rumors of a third prospect as well, but now Rosenthal thinks that the deal might have been sweetened a bit:
Source: #Astros will get Singleton, Cosart and 2 players to be named from #Phillies for Pence. PTBN not major prospects
The players to be named might not be major prospects, but Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, and Cole Hamels aren't prospects anymore, if you really want to read between the lines. Jayson Stark notes that Vance Worley is not in the deal.
The trade is done at this point, as Singleton was pulled from his game with Clearwater, Pence was pulled from his game with the Astros, and in an interesting twist, Astros minor leaguer J.D. Martinez was pulled from his AA game on Friday, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
The only thing everyone is waiting for is official word of exactly who is involved.
So many updates, with so many things changing, yet so many things staying the same. What do we have for you now? What we have is Jon Heyman reporting that Hunter Pence is "very likely" to get traded before Sunday's deadline.
Sources: #Phillies, #Astros progressing toward Pence deal.
And finally, Jayson Stark reports that any Pence deal with the Phillies is likely to be a two-team trade, as opposed to the three-team trade that's been rumored as a possibility.
You got that? Pence will probably get traded. If Pence gets traded, he will probably go to the Phillies. There is no guarantee of either, and the Braves continue to sniff around. As per a recent update, a Phillies trade for Pence reportedly will not include Domonic Brown.
It was reported the other day that the Astros turned down a three-player package from the Phillies including Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Astros accept a similar package, with a more interesting third player. They're not going to do better than that unless somebody goes absolutely insane, and people who are absolutely insane generally don't end up in positions of power. In America.
There's a sense out there that if #phillies sub domonic brown for singleton and include cosart they might land pence
Domonic Brown was good enough to hold back in the deal for Cliff Lee. Domonic Brown was good enough to hold back in the deal for Roy Halladay. So finally giving Brown up for Hunter Pence seems a little anti-climatic, even if Pence is under contract (for a lot of dough) through 2013.
But the fears were allayed just a few hours later, with Buster Olney reporting thusly:
As of 5:15 p.m. (EST), NL source says the Phillies have no intention of putting Domonic Brown in a deal for Pence.
And the sound you heard was the collective exhale of Phillies partisans. But Heyman isn't letting Phillies fans totally off the hook, saying the Phillies are still in the lead for Pence.
The internet sentiment was against a Cosart/Singelton trade for Pence, but after the Brown rumors were floated as a brilliant smokescreen, maybe that swap wouldn't seem so bad after all.
There are rumors out there that the Phillies are considering sending away Domonic Brown so that they can get their hands on Hunter Pence. That would be nutballs of them.
It seems like our last dozen updates on Hunter Pence have involved the Phillies in some way, and there's a reason for that: the Phillies are intent on landing an offensive upgrade, and after missing out on Carlos Beltran, they've turned their attention to a younger, more expensive alternative.
seems like philly will do whatever it takes to land pence. may even try to involve 3rd team to get it done.
And more, from Jayson Stark:
So that leaves the Phillies, who have made Pence far and away their No. 1 target. But because the Phillies and Astros haven't been able to agree on players beyond the Phillies' initial offer, other clubs reported Friday they're now exploring potential three-team deals to put the pieces together.
I'm not going to say the Phillies are desperate, because they aren't; they do, after all, own baseball's best record. But from the sounds of things, they're going to exhaust every last possibility on Pence. The Astros reportedly turned down an offer that included the Phillies' best hitting prospect and their best pitching prospect, but one figures they can't possibly be looking for much more than that.
Why are the Phillies so far out in front of these negotiations, you ask? Because other teams have dropped out and because, while the Astros like pitching and therefore like what the Braves could offer, the Braves are reluctant to part with their abundant riches. Buster Olney:
There continues to be zero enthusiasm within Atl org. about giving up any of the core 4 pitching prospects-Teheran, Vizcaino, Minor, Delgado
Joel Sherman confirms that the Braves don't want to give up what the Astros want. So boring, those Braves. So boring and responsible.
The consensus as we approach the trading deadline is that the Houston Astros’ Hunter Pence is going to be traded, and the leading candidate is the Phillies. Friday morning, SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweets that the Phillies might have to up their ante to get Pence:
There’s a sense out there that if #phillies sub domonic brown for singleton and include cosart they might land pence. #tradedeadline
Yesterday, it was reported in this StoryStream that the Phillies would not include Domonic Brown in any Pence deal, and indeed, that would seem to be somewhat self-defeating; Pence may have more major league experience than Brown, but Brown is only 23 and still has considerable upside. So if that’s the holdup, there may be another suitor for Pence:
Sources: #Reds on #Astros’ Bourn as well as Pence. Bourn FA after ‘12, Pence after ’13. Pence is #Phillies’ to lose.
The Reds may be rapidly falling out of contention after being swept by the Mets this week; they trail three other teams in the NL Central and are 6.5 games out of first place. But if they are also interested in Pence, the price could be driven up for the Phillies, or indeed any other team in the hunt for outfield help.
The Philadelphia Phillies missed out on Carlos Beltran, but they've focused their attention on Houston Astros outfielder Hunter Pence. Pence is a right-handed-hitting, middle-of-the-order hitter who would slot in well between Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. And according to Ken Rosenthal, talks are "coming to a head."
This is serious. First a team has to have internal discussions before checking in on a player. Then they start scouting the player thoroughly before he becomes a target. After he's a target, the team can have serious interest in him. Serious interest can lead to a team making a push for the player, and if everything goes right, things can come to a head. This is how
babies trades are made, and it's beautiful.
So the Astros and Phillies are in advanced talks, but there are a couple of potential snags. First is that Rosenthal says the trade will have to be finished by Friday or the Astros are moving on. The second snag is that the Phillies will need to give up a pretty sweet package of prospects -- including their #1 hitting prospect (Jonathan Singleton) and their #1 pitching prospect (Jarred Cosart). Domonic Brown would not be in any deal, according to Rosenthal.
Nothing is imminent, and the Braves are still hoping they're in the mix, but it seems like the Phillies have the upper hand.
All right, so earlier on Thursday it was suggested that the Braves were the only team still in on Hunter Pence. Jon Heyman said that the Phillies had dropped out after the Astros turned down an offer, and at that point it looked like Pence would stay put.
Well hold on to your hats, because now we have reports saying just the opposite! Ken Rosenthal:
As many as eight clubs on Pence, including #Phillies, #Braves. #Astros listening.
And to add to that, Jayson Stark:
Instead of there reportedly being little pursuit of Pence, there is now reportedly broad pursuit of Pence, as teams who missed out on Carlos Beltran set their sights on another top-of-the-line outfielder.
Pence owns a 130 OPS+, which is the highest mark of his career. And unlike Beltran, he wouldn't be a rental, since he's under team control through 2013. For that reason, he has a much higher price tag, of which other teams are very aware. But they'll keep trying to find common ground with the Astros, because Pence would be a huge boost, both now and down the road.
The Hunter Pence situation seems to be somewhat akin to the Ubaldo Jimenez situation. Both players are available, in that their teams are not opposed to making a trade, but both players are also unavailable, in that their teams are asking an incredible price.
The Astros reportedly turned down a substantial offer from the Phillies that included top prospects Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton. If you believe Jon Heyman, then, the Phillies have since backed off and begun looking elsewhere. Who does that leave? Does that leave anybody?
#phillies seem to have all but given up on pence after big offer rejected. #braves last team in on pence.
So the Braves seem to be the only team still sniffing around. It makes sense, given that they could badly use the offensive help and that they were in on Carlos Beltran, and they definitely have the necessary prospects to build a good package. But as we saw with Beltran, the Braves are reluctant to give away young talent, even if it brings big talent back, so at this point it doesn't look like Pence is going anywhere. The Braves might change their minds, but I wouldn't count on it.
A few days ago, it seemed like the Houston Astros weren't particularly interested in trading Hunter Pence. Now though, with a Carlos Beltran trade between the Mets and the Giants all but official, teams that were interested in Beltran are turning their attention to other players, Pence included. Ken Rosenthal says the Braves are in the mix, and Jon Heyman says the Astros have turned down a fairly substantial offer from the Phillies:
#astros rejected philly's singleton, cosart and 3rd piece bid (@jaysonst had bid) for pence, #redsox, #braves tried, too.
The "singleton" is Jonathan Singleton, a 19-year-old 1B/LF ranked by Baseball America as the No. 39 prospect before the season. He's a highly desirable prospect, and a good centerpiece for a deal. The "cosart" is Jarred Cosart, a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher ranked by Baseball America as the No. 70 prospect before the season. That's a mighty package, and still, if Heyman's report is true, the Astros don't think it's enough.
Pence will probably stay put, as the Astros have little incentive to move him and as such are setting sky-high demands. Teams are reluctant to pay what the Astros want, despite the fact that Pence is terrific. Still, the situation could change in a hurry. The Astros have not received their last Pence-related phone call, and somebody may yet budge.
The Philadelphia Phillies would like to add a right-handed outfielder, and Hunter Pence is the best right-handed outfielder actively on the trade market. There was no way that we were going to get through the trade deadline without a Phillies/Pence rumor. And, hey, what's that on the horizon? From Ken Rosenthal:
Sources: Phillies most aggressive on Pence. Red Sox have inquired, tough finding match. Braves not currently involved.
Pence isn't just having a career-best season; he's under team control through 2013. It's quite likely that his trade value will never be higher ... but he really is the best option for a team looking for a productive player who won't be gone after the season ends.
While it's unlikely that the Phillies would trade outfielder Domonic Brown in a deal for Pence, it's the most likely deal that could include Brown. It's more realistic that the Phils would give up one or two of their top prospects, like Jonathan Singleton or Jarred Cosart. Considering that Pence probably won't help Houston win much over the next couple of seasons, but he certainly would do so for the Phillies (or Braves and Red Sox, who were also named in Rosenthal's tweet), so it's easy to see how the two teams would match up.
The Atlanta Braves are looking for an outfielder, preferably a right-handed-hitting outfielder. Jordan Schafer, Eric Hinske, and Nate McLouth -- all left-handed hitters - were all shuffled in and out of the outfield when Martin Prado was injured. Even though Prado is back from the DL, he's mostly playing third base with Chipper Jones out.
There are cheap fixes -- Josh Willingham, say -- but then there is a chance to go big, as the kids are saying these days. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution thinks the Braves could be in on the best right-handed outfielder on the market:
Braves have not ruled out making offer for Hunter Pence, contrary to some reports.
With Pence under control for 2012 and 2013, he's a long-term solution as well as a short-term one, but one that will cost a team some serious prospects in trade.
Also, Chipper is returning on Monday, which likely pushes Prado back to the outfield. That would leave Jason Heyward and Prado at the corners, with Schafer and McLouth in center. Do the Braves think that Pence or Heyward could man center field? It's an interesting fit. We'll just have to assume that Heyward's going to Houston in the deal.
The Braves are six games back in the NL East, but they have a healthy four-game lead in the Wild Card standings.
The Houston Astros are indicating that they might trade Hunter Pence, who isn't a free agent until after 2013. What kind of deal could they get?
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