Image credit: © David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners acquired RHP Gregory Santos from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for RHP Prelander Berroa, OF Zach DeLoach, and a Competitive Balance Round B draft pick.
Santos’ professional career began in 2016 pitching for DSL Red Sox 2, back when most teams didn’t even bother to name their rookie league affiliates. Though that team would make the semifinals on the back of a 48-22 record, Santos is, to this point, their only big leaguer, and he wasn’t close to the top-performers list, walking 26 and striking out a mere 25 in 41 innings. A year later, with the Red Sox having collapsed their title-winning and semifinalist DSL affiliates into one team, Santos not only made the roster but excelled to the tune of a 0.89 ERA in 30 ⅓ innings, with slight improvements in the K and BB columns. This was sufficient for him to be the second piece moved from the Red Sox to the Giants in exchange for Eduardo Núñez, along with Shaun Anderson (who San Francisco later traded for LaMonte Wade Jr.).

In my brief research of articles written about this trade, it was difficult to find any information on Santos, other than a collective astonishment about his 82.1% ground ball rate. Grant Brisbee’s trade review for McCovey Chronicles, for instance, confesses to being written before the names of the prospects were even known. They were just “two pitchers,” later updated as Anderson and Santos. What it does make mention of is that the Red Sox wanted Núñez for the third base vacancy opened by the release of Pablo Sandoval six days earlier, who was already back in the Giants’ minor league system. More relevant to this trade six is a note in the Red Sox team directory: Brian Bannister, having joined his first front office in Boston in 2015, was promoted from Director of Pitching Analysis and Development to Vice President of Pitching Development for the 2017 season. (Is that a promotion? Director to Vice President doesn’t sound like a promotion to me. If you google “President of Pitching Development,” there’s not even another title that comes up except Bannister’s.)

Innocent enough stuff, sure. Bannister could reasonably claim to not have much influence on one pitcher in a different country, and could certainly claim to not have much input on trades.

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