Wednesday, January 30, 2008


To the Mets, thank God. It was announced yesterday that the Mets and Twins have agreed on a deal that would send Johan Santana in the game to New York in exchange for four of the Mets top prospects. The deal is pending Santana's agreement to a new contract with the Mets, as well as all players involved passing physicals.

The four players the Mets will send to Minnesota are:

Carlos Gomez - OF
22 years old, good speed, negligible power, decent OBP, hit .286 in AAA New Orleans last year. Played 58 games with Mets, hit .232 in 125 ABs, 12 for 15 stealing bases, 27 Ks and only 7 walks. He's no Jacoby Ellsbury.

Deolis Guerra - SP
19 years old, tall right-hander. Spent all of 2007 in High A St. Lucie. Numbers weren't that good, but at such a tender age and low level of minor league ball, numbers are irrelevant. Was a member of the World Team at the 2007 Futures Game.

Phil Humber - SP
25 years old, another righty. Only his 3rd year in the minors. Went to Rice, where he racked up a 35-8 record and over 400 Ks in 3 years. Won the College World Series title with Rice in '03. Made 25 starts for AAA New Orleans last year, going 11-9 with a 4.27 ERA in 139.0 IP. Struck out 120, walked 44. WHIP of 1.24. Made a spot start and two mop-up relief appearances for the Mets. Threw 7 total innings, allowing 6 earned runs. He's kind of close to Jon Lester, only without the Major League experience. But he has the same upside.

Kevin Mulvey - SP
23 years old, another college boy and righty. Spent most of 2007 in AA Binghamton where he made 26 starts, went 11-10 with a 3.32 ERA, and only allowed 4 homeruns in 151.2 innings. Made one start in AAA and threw 6 shutout innings. Was a member of Team USA in last year's Futures Game. He looks pretty good. But he's no Clay Bucholz. And he's certainly no Phil Hughes.

So looking at this deal, and comparing it to the deals discussed with the Red Sox and Yankees, doesn't it seem as though the Mets got Santana for a bargain? According to Baseball America, these are 4 of the Mets' top 7 prospects, but there's very little Major League experience, and there's nothing really eye popping about any of these guys. So maybe the Twins overplayed their hand by trying to pit the Yankees and Sox in a bidding war, only to have them both leave the table.

That being said, as a Red Sox fan, I can't help but look at this deal and be somewhat disappointed. It's obvious that we could have gotten Santana if we had been willing to give up a bit more. And I think it would have been worth it. Santana, in my opinion, is the best pitcher in baseball. Put him alongside Beckett, Schilling, and Matsuzaka; and you're already in the 2008 ALCS. And he isn't exactly old. He's got a lot of good years left in that arm. I actually think he'll reach the 300 win mark one day.

But I understand where the Red Sox were coming from in this deal. In 2007, the homegrown talent really came to bat. Youkilis, Pedroia, Papelbon, Delcarmen, Bucholz, Ellsbury. It was the big-time acquisitions that fell short of expectations. Drew, Lugo, Gagne, Matsuzaka.

The Red Sox must also have been thinking about their financial situation. This is Manny's last year in his contract, Varitek is on the verge of becoming an offensive black hole, the young stars will be reaching arbitration eligibility in a few seasons, lots of money is tied up in Drew and Lugo.

The Sox will also be needing to fill many small holes in the years to come. Manny's replacement. A possible early replacement for Lugo (while we eat his contract). Lowell and Varitek are old. There's no way Schilling will play in '09. The bullpen is strong at the top but lacks depth. Wakefield will be turning 103 soon. Coco Crisp sucks. And God knows what's going to become of JD Drew. So hanging on to young, cheap talent appears to be a priority for the Red Sox right now, and I can't say I blame them.

But it could be worse. The Yankees could have gotten him. Or, we could be in a similar situation as the Yankees. If the H & H Brothers are anything like their father Georgie Porgie, then they'll obsess over who gets control over the New York Post's back page. And with Santana, the Mets have taken a first step in winning that publicity war.

We all knew the Yankees suck. But now it also sucks to be a Yankee.

Sources: -
The Baseball Cube

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