ESPN Radio vs.

January 23, 2008 at 11:54 am 17 comments


My article the other day on Omar Minaya and his ridiculous signing of Endy Chavez and the plethora of bad moves he made got me a conversation with Pat from ESPN Radio Tampa 1470 AM. The debate started with the Chavez signing but turned quickly into the debate of Omar Minaya acquiring Johan Santana. It is a very good debate on both sides, one that isn’t your typical “messageboard” debate where one gets upset and starts taking personal shots you. I hope you enjoy it!

ESPN: That’s ridiculous, Endy Chavez was a huge part of the team that [almost] went to the World Series two years ago. You act like he (Minaya) spent a ton of money on the guy. Give me a break.

JCM: You gotta understand that the differnece between Chavez and Angel Pagan is the salary. Why spend the money on Chavez when you have Pagan at $460K? Besides, Minaya was whining about the spending and how they don’t have the money to go after anyone. He should’ve saved this money. They have 6 outfielders now and a top prospect in Fernando Martinez on the way. This move also will take at-bats away from Carlos Gomez. Again, a bad move. It’s not so much the money it’s the length and the fact that Chavez is a mediocre player at best (my article clearly states that it has little to do with the money).

ESPN: I’m just not sold on Pagan and this is a win now team so I’d rather go with a vet. Not to mention I really believe the Mets will land Santana and I see it taking Martinez and Gomez to get it done. And I’m fine with that. I’ve said over and again this offseason sell the farm for Johan Santana just as long as David Wright and Jose Reyes aren’t anywhere near the farm!

JCM: I think they should hold onto Fernando Martinez and try to get a deal done with other prospects. What people tend to forget is that they are trading with the Twins for one year of Johan Santana. They might want to risk holding on to the prospects and seeing if Santana hits the market next offseason then they should land him. Minaya needs to rebuild the farm system not dismantle it.

ESPN: C’mon man, you have to know better than that. You can’t seriously believe that any team makes a deal for Johan Santana without having an extension in place can you?

JCM: That’s the thing, you’re not trading for the extension. The Twins don’t own the extension rights to Santana. They own him for one year and a team should only have to give up the right package for that one year. The extension is just a bonus if the team can get him to sign one, he may want to test the market for more money.

ESPN: That’s the way these things work. A trade like this never gets finalized without the player and the new team coming to terms on an extension. Santana doesn’t have to take any extension so the trade gets nixed if he doesn’t come to terms with the new team. That’s why you trade with the Twins now because you don’t have to let him hit the open market you can get him locked up without having to get into a bidding war with other teams. There is no such thing as extension rights.

JCM: Hence that’s where the extension rights, or extension window comes into play. You can’t negotiate with a player under contract with another team, it’s against the league rules. If there is no extension window then the deal is made no matter what. The team has a full season to work out an extension. My point is that the “extra” years you sign him to aren’t the Twins years and you shouldn’t have to give up prospects for those extra years. The Mets would be wise to hold onto the farm and only make the offer they put out. The Mets need more than one starter anyway to get over the hump.

ESPN: It is against the rules unless the other team grants permission. Mark my words if Santana gets traded before the season the team he gets traded to will have a contract extension in place.

JCM: I don’t doubt they will, in fact I bet they will. The thing I am saying is that no team should trade their farm for a player with one year on his contract. You are not trading for the extension, you are giving goods to another team for their good, in this case it is a ton of prospects and young players with 5-6 years left that the Twins would control and the Twins only give up one player with one year left to control.

ESPN: While I understand what you’re saying about the Twins only having control over Santana for just this season we both know that’s not how this kind of thing works. Look at the history of trades for guys like this. You have to take one thing into consideration. When a team makes a trade like this they aren’t only getting that one year of control and the opportunity to sign said player to a contract extension, but also the garuntee that they won’t have to compete with another team (The Yankees and Red Sox) to sign that guy. Plus getting him to sign an extension when you are the only team with rights to sign that player assures that nobody will be out there bidding on him just to drive the price up. Sure it’s tough to give up so many prospects but the Mets are a win now kind of team with the new stadium opening up and they need an ace on their staff when they do open it up. Not to mention with more and more people thinking about Omar the way you do in your article it may be more of a win now time for him as well. Again I say sell the farm for Santana if you’re the Mets, just as long as Jose Reyes and David Wright are nowhere near that farm!

JCM: True, they are trading for him so the other teams don’t get him but those other teams aren’t who they are trading with. You shouldn’t have to give up more than what is needed just because other teams might go after him. Is it a good thing that the Red Sox get Santana instead of the Yankees? Yes. Great deal because it means they have him and the Yankees don’t. But you shouldn’t sell the farm for this to happen. The Yankees and Red Sox both realized this and refused to up their offer. Minaya needs to understand this and stay firm with his offer. If Santana is available in July (which I think he might be) and the Mets are contending with a high chance of getting to the World Series then you should way your pros and cons. But I think the Mets need more than one starter and to sell the farm for one starter is a bad idea in my opinon.

…to be continued

The debate isn’t done, this is as far as our emails have gotten. For the record, this isn’t a clash or a heated debate, just a debate amongst professional adults who know and love baseball. Big thanks to Pat Donovan from ESPN radio for reading my article and messaging me to start this whole debate! Be sure to check his show out on 1470 AM in the Tampa Bay area. I appreciate it brother!

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. 19  |  January 23, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Jonathan, please tell me he didn’t say…
    “Endy Chavez was a huge part of the team that went to the World Series two years ago.”

    A-Chavez was not that big of a part of that team. That’s like the idiots who keeping giving Dave Roberts millions of dollars. Roberts didn’t win the series for Boston. He was a one dimensional player who did his job in a clutch situation.

    B-The Mets didn’t go to the World Series two years ago. The Cards did.

  • 2. Charlie Nehl  |  January 23, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    That’s pretty sweet dude. I’d have to say I’m totally on your side of the debate on this one. I think everybody knows that Santana will be testing the market regardless of what he ends up on this season.

    I’ve got a bigger feeling in my gut that he’ll be a deadline trade, unless the Twins are in the race (which i doubt).

  • 3. erik  |  January 23, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Ugh get me a phone … I think I need to set pat straight on a number of things about the Mets. and 19 is Correct on both A and B.

  • 4. erik  |  January 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    The Twins have reportedly spoken to the Mets, Red Sox and Yankees about Johan Santana in recent days.
    The Star Tribune’s LaVelle E. Neal III believes the Twins have stepped up their efforts to make a deal with one of the teams before camp opens. While there’s been plenty of talk lately about the Mets as the favorite, all indications are that they remain unwilling to part with both Fernando Martinez and Carlos Gomez along with three pitchers. Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune Jan. 23 – 1:33 pm et

    Sorry about the repost but Charlie did mention Santana

  • 5. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Not saying I’m right or he’s right, just a similar question thrown at Keith Law the other day:

    Jeff (SF): Why do you keep calling it “one year of Santana?” Any trade would obviously hinge on a negotiation window. And market rate for Santana would be expensive, but the Red Sox and Yankees can obviously handle it. You play to win the World Series, and Santana helps you do that more than prospects who may or may not develop.

    Keith Law: But you’re not acquiring those extra years – just an exclusive negotiating window. You pay market price for the extra years, so if you give up prospects for those extra years, you’re overpaying.

    Woo hoo! I have one person on my side when it comes to arguing trading prospects for one year of Santana.

  • 6. Pat Donovan  |  January 26, 2008 at 5:44 am

    For the record that was supposed to say almost went to the World Series. Just a typo. I know the Mets weren’t in the series.

  • 7. Pat Donovan  |  January 26, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Also I defy you to find anyone who covered or was close to the 06 Mets who would say that Endy Chavez wasn’t a huge part of that team. The guy had a ton of huge hits and played all three outfield positions when needed and stepped in every time the Mets had an outfield injury. He batted .306 and was a huge part of that team. Find me a Mets fan or someone who will say otherwise and I’ll be shocked.

  • 8. Aaron Boynton  |  January 26, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    The Mets official website is reporting that the Mets are close to signing Livan Hernandez. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • 9. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 26, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    I fixed it Pat! Thanks for clarifying. I also agree that Chavez was a big part of that playoff team in the role he played. I would never argued that, but he’s not that player anymore.

  • 10. erik  |  January 27, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Chavez had a limited and very decent year coming off the bench for the mets in 06. However last year he didn’t do much granted he was injured for a large portion of the year. But baseball goes year to year and based on 07 Endy Chavez didn’t deserve the contract he got for 08-09. That is like giving a contract to Bernard Gilkey for what he did in ’96

  • 11. 19  |  January 28, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Come on up to New York and ask some Met fans yourself. There are plenty to choose from.

  • 12. Danno  |  January 29, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Endy Chavez was well worth the money. The Mets can very much afford the money paid to Chavez. The argument that the Mets should have saved their money is pretty much moot, being that they have more money than 30 other teams.
    As for Santana, “selling the farm” is pretty much an inaccurate statement. You’re selling a small piece of the farm, with no guarantees that any of the players being dealt will be stars. Besides that…Minaya’s track record suggests that he simply refuses to wait for a minor leaguer to blossom anyway. Had he been GM for the past five years, I’m convinced David Wright would be playing elsewhere. This is the same GM who has dealt Jason Bay for Lou Collier…and traded Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore for Bartolo Colon. My point is, that if he ‘s going to trade those guys anyway, it may as well be for someone like Santana, rather than doing what he did when he sent Milledge to Washington for Ryan Church and Schneider. MLB would grant the Mets 72 hours to work out a deal with Santana, or the Mets could turn the deal down….they WOULD NOT trade those players until an extension has been agreed upon with Santana. The Mets have a great working relationship with his agent, and the Mets are aware of his demands, so I doubt this would be an issue.
    Just my two cents….

  • 13. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Omar Minaya needs to change his way of doing business. I remember those deals and I knew they would come back to haunt him. The thing is that he is selling the farm. He is giving up his 4-5 of his top 8 or so prospects and this team isn’t a very deep team when it comes to farm systems. Also, the 72 hour window is not part of the deal with the Twins. You don’t have to give up more value for a window that doesn’t belong to the team. The window is a moot point. The deal is with the Twins and that is too much for one year of Santana.

  • 14. Pat Donovan  |  January 29, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Johan Santana is a Met! Of course as I mentioned earlier in our discussion they have a 72 hour window to sign him to an extension before the deal is finalized. Time to give Omar a break my friend!

  • 15. Danno  |  January 29, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    USA Today is reporting it is a done deal, and they do indeed get the 72 hour window. Nice to see him coming to Shea!

  • 16. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 29, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Who is in the deal?

  • 17. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 29, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    It’s for Gomez, Mulvey, Humber, and Guerra. That’s not a bad deal. I’ve been saying all along that it will be a bad deal if Fernando Martinez was included but it appears he’s not.


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