Changing Our Evil Ways, Hopefully.

So, let’s keep in mind that all of this is still pending a physical and the inking of a contract extension that would probably make him the highest paid player in baseball, but right now it looks like the New York Mets completely fleeced the Minnesota Twins in trading for Johan Santana — not even having to give up Fernando Martinez or Mike Pelfrey, meaning Bill Smith is now competing with Kevin McHale in the minds of some Minnesota sports fans for incompetence. Essentially, Smith had better deals from the Yankees and the Red Sox on the table and decided to stay in, thinking he would get the $1,000,000 case. Michael Rand argues this isn’t necessarily the case, though — more highly touted prospects in the deal from the Yanks or the Sawx doesn’t translate to them panning out, and Larry isn’t buying that a Johan-led Mets team would be better than the Diamondbacks, never mind a WS winner.

Essentially, the Mets dealt away much in the way of prospects to swing this deal, and it doesn’t look like there’s another Scott Kazmir situation in this group as far as that goes. The need to make a major deal has kind of been hampered by memories of Kazmir being dealt, although I wonder if he would flourish in NYC as well as he’s done in Tampa obscurity. The rules of big-name-star-trading economics determine that teams trying to unload their best talent are lucky to get 50 cents on the dollar in return, and we’re not going to know if the Twins got even that for a few years. The Red Sox offer including Jacoby Ellsbury and either Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz should have been the end of this — Smith never should have held out for both. Ellsbury showed his worth in the World Series, and both pitchers have shown the beginning of valuable careers (especially Buchholz and his no-no.)

Barring anything unseemly, Santana will lead a staff of Pedro Martinez, El Duque, John Maine, and Oliver Perez — with Pelfrey as the sixth starter — and if Santana doesn’t pull a Zito and lose his stuff, the Mets might actually be able to hold off a historical collapse. It would be nice if the team had somewhat better options at the corner outfield positions and a bullpen that inspired more confidence, but while I may tempt fate by saying so, it’s still just the Phillies we’re dealing with here in the division — the schizophrenic Phillies who have bigger issues with starting pitching after Cole Hamels and lost a solid hitter in Aaron Rowand to the Giants.

Yeah, I’m optimistic — who wouldn’t be? — but I’m going to hold off on the declarations for a bit. We found an upgrade to take Tom Glavine’s place in the rotation and may complete a deal for a pitcher with serious Hall of Fame potential down the road, but I’m still gonna be wearing my “Ya Gotta Bereave” shirt for a little bit longer.

Mets strike deal with Twins, extension away from Johan Santana [NY Daily News]
Bill Smith’s Deal or No Deal Journey [Simon on Sports]
Wednesday (the talkers’) edition: Wha’ happened? [RandBall]
Johan Santana Does Not Make The Mets A World Series Winner [Larry Brown Sports]

Photo: NY Daily News


One Response

  1. Hmmm… I agree he could have gotten more earlier on, but at this point it appears that the Sox/Yankees offers were no longer on the table. I’m becoming more and more optimistic about the deal as times goes on (not feeling good about it, mind you), but perhaps that is just me trying to cope with it.

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