Phillies: Trade reasoning below the surface

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Franco is the better defender at the hot corner, and the Phillies are trying to make deals involving Santana to keep Franco. Photo by H. Martin/Getty Images.

During the offseason, some Phillies fans and writers like to speculate about the moves in the works by general manager Matt Klentak, but their inch-deep evaluation colors their analysis.


Other realities:       

The Philadelphia Phillies faithful exhibit the same characteristics of most baseball fans. Basically, they influence their own conclusions by their first impression of an acquisition or a decision the front office made for a particular star: Disagreeing more by perception than actuality.


“Never assume people’s motives. It’s the easiest way to find yourself upset over nothing or misjudging people” – LeCrae

When many locals equate dollars with statistics, the result is disappointment because an organization has multiple reasons to add a player. For instance, some fans probably preferred 30 homers for $20 million in 2018, so Carlos Santana based on only one factor didn’t measure up. No second thoughts?

On the other hand, some New York Yankees supporters believe management should have replacements for every position. But doing it with only 15 other roster spots besides the active 25 is, for the most part, impossible. Fortunately, the Phils faithful don’t also hold the execs accountable for injuries.

In the major leagues, a GM’s success rate is much different and less critical than their fans’ take. Basically, they understand their contemporary’s approach to the toughest job in baseball  because they face those same pitfalls.

In Philly, locals complain about a poor signing or a bad trade: real or perceived. And sometimes it begins on the day of the deal because expectations exceed even the newest reality. Translation: Did you know he only –only– averaged 24 home runs per season? Yeah, another mistake!

Looking at the Phillies roster a year ago, any GM would have noticed a right-heavy lineup powerwise. And because they understand rivals would plan on using right-handed relievers to retire Rhys Hoskins and Maikel Franco with the game on the line, those executives would add a left-side bat with pop.

Knowing this also, Klentak had searched the free-agent market, had found no trading partners, and realized Santana was the best of his limited options. He overpaid in dollars but structured a three-summer contract. In the industry, it made sense, but some fans saw it as a reason to fire the GM due to Santana’s flaws.

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