Santana headed to the Mets

January 29, 2008 at 9:53 pm 23 comments

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The New York Mets made a huge move today, possibly making them the favorites in the NL. They acquired the best pitcher of our century in Johan Santana. The greatest thing about the deal is that they didn’t have to give up top prospect Fernando Martinez to do it.

I have been known to be a little rough on Mets’ GM Omar Minaya but this is a deal that shuts me up, for now. I’ve always thought since his days in Montreal that he would turn a team with even a moderate payroll into a champion. He has done nothing but let me down with his trades and most of his signings, until now. I thought all along it would take Fernando Martinez plus the four prospects (Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Deolis Guerra, and Philip Humber) to get the deal done, a combo that Twins’ GM Bill Smith said it would take. That deal would’ve been a bad one in my opinion, because the deal is with the Twins and they only control one year of Santana and that deal would’ve been too much value to give to the Twins for thier one year of property.

Luckily for the Mets they didn’t have to include Fernando Martinez and they only got rid of some moderate “B” prospects. The deal includes a window that ends Friday at 5:00 PM to allow for an extension, something the Mets must do for this deal to go through. I have no doubt Santana will get his $20M+ for 5 years or more because he turned it down for 4 years and the Mets are in a must deal mode.

The thing that blows my mind is that the Twins left better deals on the table. They could’ve had Phil Hughes, Jeff Marquez, and Melky Cabrera from the Yankees or Jon Lester, Jed Lowrie, and Justin Masterson (the best of all the deals) from the Red Sox. Both teams backed down after no deal was made and the Twins got to send the best pitcher to the NL.

Omar Minaya finally made the right move. He held on to the two best young assests he has in Fernando Martinez and Mike Pelfrey and he landed the best pitcher in the game. A good move from a GM who I thought would one day turn a team into a champion. Who knows, maybe this is the year it happens?

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. MikeMcGinnis  |  January 29, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    back on april 27,2007 a few weeks before i joined 3guysandasportspage i stated in my mysapce blog that santana was likely to wind up with either the mets or the dodgers. it was the logical fit for all parties involved. glad to see it happened like this i love johan.

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 29, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    You did call it! I was there, reading your blog about it. Good call Mike! Keep those good calls coming!

    Reply
  • 3. 19  |  January 29, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Jonathan, right on, as usual. And, wow, could this deal make Bill Smith look any worse? Like you said, he passed on better deals, then lost all of his leverage with making everyone wait. Puzzling.

    Reply
  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 29, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Buster Olney said it best when he said it was an episode of “Deal or No Deal” gone bad. He said Bill Smith said no deal and lost the $1M, 750K, 500K, and settled for the $400K. I personally think he got the $200K.

    Reply
  • 5. Brooke  |  January 29, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    High way robbery by the Mets. Great job. I’m just glad he’s not going to the Sox… kind of sad he’s not headed to the Yankees but I am glad Phil or Melky are coming back!

    Reply
  • 6. Charlie Nehl  |  January 30, 2008 at 6:28 am

    Really, for what the Mets gave up, they did get a big steal. I personally think that a fifth player should have been included, maybe not a top notch prospect like Fernando Martinez, but somebody else of that potential in a few years.

    With the Twins doing this, I would put them completely out of the playoff picture, because they have no legit ace of the staff right now. Sure Liriano is coming back, but_nobody_ is effective right after Tommy John surgery. It took Gagne a few years. So, Liriano will be the ace, but not now, not this season. And with also losing Hunter will hurt their run production… big time.

    Reply
  • 7. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 30, 2008 at 7:15 am

    That’s what makes Billy Beane such a great GM. He got 5 of the Diamondbacks top 8 prospects for Dan Haren. That’s the power of trading a player with multiple years left on a contract that is affordable. Beane got a package that was A) bigger than what the Twins got for Santana and B) better prospects in the deal than in the Santana deal.

    I agree Charlie, The Twins have no chance in that division. Not only did they trade Santana and Liriano is coming off of TJ they also traded Matt Garza. It will be re-building mode for the Twins once again.

    Reply
  • 8. Charlie Nehl  |  January 30, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Oh, I forgot they traded Garza away too! They lost Silva to free agency. Think Brad Radke is taking calls? Boof Bonser is the ace now, until Liriano is back, and I doubt he’ll be opening day pitcher!

    Reply
  • 9. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 30, 2008 at 9:56 am

    I think the Twins could still push for .500. I think Kevin Slowey is going to emerge as a very good starter.

    Reply
  • 10. Charlie Nehl  |  January 30, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Yeah. .500 isn’t completely out of the question, but still it’s wrap it up for the year season.

    Scott Baker, has some pretty decent showing last season too, but overall still “meh”.

    Reply
  • 11. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 30, 2008 at 10:34 am

    I agree. They have a bunch of #3-5 starters on that team with their one “ace” coming off of TJ. They have a ways to go to rebuild. They should look into dealing Joe Nathan now.

    Reply
  • 12. Charlie Nehl  |  January 30, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Yup. Might as well get a little outta him as well too before he darts after free agency.

    Reply
  • 13. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 30, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    A team like the Brewers should really offer a top 3B prospect like Matt Gamel for him. They need bullpen help.

    Reply
  • 14. Tyler  |  January 30, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    As a Sox fan, I am actually pretty glad the deal didn’t go down between them and the twins. The red sox have a rotation of Beckett, Matsuzaka, Buchholz, Lester, Masterson to look forward to in the near future, and Jacoby definately is their starting center fielder in 2008. Sure, it would have been a dream to see Beckett, Santana, and Mastsuzaka as your top 3 starters, but there is really no need. If the Red Sox were minus one of those top two starters, I would have clammered for this deal to go down. However; as it is right now, they dont need a number one starter, and they don’t need to spend 100+ million over 7-8 years for a number 1.

    Reply
  • 15. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 30, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I agree Tyler and I think most Red Sox fans agree too. The Sox are in fine shape with their current staff and their curretn farm system. They have Beckett to lock up in another year I believe too so Santana for 6 years at $130M is a little much.

    Reply
  • 16. frank  |  January 30, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    i think with this trade the Mets turn into instant favorites on the weak NL.

    It would be wise of them to maybe keep Pelfry in the bullpen to just keep him facing big league hitters until one of the aging stars like Pedro or El Duque get injured.

    Reply
  • 17. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 30, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    I would even leave Pelfrey in AAA so he gets the innings he needs to develop his breaking stuff and command.

    Reply
  • 18. Aaron Boynton  |  January 31, 2008 at 9:27 am

    As a Red Sox fan, I am thrilled. The Sox didn’t need Santana.

    Reply
  • 19. Nik the Russian  |  January 31, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Good decisions all around. Mets needed him, the other teams needed to keep their farm systems well groomed. This adds depth to the starting rotation and as a result strengthens the bullpen. We could start the year with 2 aces, 2 number 2’s and a number 3 starter in our rotation… not bad.

    I just hope they don’t guarantee him more than 23 mill a year for 6 years… that’s about his value…

    Reply
  • 20. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 31, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I wouldn’t call Maine, Perez, or El Duque #2 guys. Maine and Perez are #3 guys, maybe. El Duque is a #5, maybe a #4. But the rotation is a good one.

    Reply
  • 21. Erik  |  January 31, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Mets did a great deal here, it makes up for the collapse, the months of picking up ex-devil rays who couldn’t cut it in Tampa… No Offense was meant. I think of all the players the mets traded for Santana, Guerra is the one guy that could turn into a special pitcher. Gomez was a nice player in limited action and if he can get on base that kid can fly. I think it was a major coup by the Mets. Santana must’ve put deadlines on the Twins and Bill Smith was hamstrung. Boy do the twins miss Terry Ryan now! I think trading him out of the division was a major reason he went with the Mets deal.

    Maine is a good #3 guy , Perez is a 5 and El Duque is a health concern. Which is probably why Kyle Lohse is still in the picture. Giving Pelfrey another season in the Minors to season. The Bullpen addition of Wise along with Heilmen should be decent. Mets are still the second best team in the NL East. Phillies are a solid club and them getting Feliz although they went to two years should still be the favorite in the division.

    Reply
  • 22. Brittney  |  February 3, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Is Peter Gammons on drugs?? He really thinks Johan Santana is the best pitcher on the planet! I’d take Josh Beckett over Johan Santana anyday. I really don’t think they’ll do anything with this trade,to be perfectly honest. I find it fascinating that the Mets fans think they’re going to win it all before the season even starts. They have no idea what’s coming to them from Atlanta and Philly,so it would be best if they just shut their mouths.

    Reply
  • 23. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  February 4, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    The thing that scares me about Santana is that his velo was down and he finished the year with an ERA over 5 in his last 5-6 start I believe. If he gets hurt the Mets are back to square-one. I do agree with Gammons though about him being the best pitcher on the planet.

    Reply

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