clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Benny Santiago Making a Comeback?

As "ROR 1FAN" pointed out yesterday, apparently Benito Santiago wants to play in the Major Leagues again. Weirdly, his top two choices are Texas and Philadelphia, because, well... no one's really sure.

"I bring a lot of energy to a staff," said Santiago, a career .263 hitter in 20 Major League seasons. "Just talk to Jason Schmidt [with whom he was a teammate in San Francisco from 2001-03]. My experience brings a lot to those guys. Everywhere I've played, the team ERA has gone down. I've been doing the job with young guys for a long time, and my pride has always been as a catcher. I can help these guys be someone in the future."

Santiago's last really meaningful season (in the most liberal sense of the term) was probably his 2004 campaign with the Royals, when he hit .274/.312/.434 in 183 PAs. His last game with the Royals came on June 18, 2004, a memorable 10-4 Royal routing of the Phillies. Benny went 1-2, was hit by a pitch, and blasted a key two-out, three-run homer off Paul Abbott in the first inning. When he was hit by a pitch in the 6th inning, the immortal Kelly Stinnet replaced him, and Santiago never appeared with the Royals again.

KC eventually sent him to Pittsburgh, a key movein Littlefield's quest to field a 75 win ballclub. The Royals recieved Leo Nunez in return.

Here's what Christina Kahrl wrote when Allard signed Benny, back in 2004:

Santiago and Stinnett aren't All-Stars, but they're a significant improvement over the Brent Mayne/DiFelice combination from last season.

... And when Benny was shipped to Pittsburgh?

The more significant moves are the two trades. Getting rid of Benito Santiago is never the sort of thing that really harms you; he's a placeholder for lack of a better option, and getting a live arm from the Pirates for him now that the job will belong to John Buck makes sense. Even if Buck struggles, last summer's pickup of Justin Huber gives them a viable alternative, so why keep Santiago?
Of course, little did we know that Justin Huber would become pond scum not worthy of any playing time, and that we'd eventually be in the Jason LaRue market thanks to a marked inability to believe (perhaps rightly) that John Buck is possible of more than two OPS months over .650 a season.


p.s. MLB Trade Rumors has a nice summary (roster, salaries, etc) and prediction of the Royals winter up. Its worth reading.