Let’s go for it.
Let’s stop acting like bridesmaids.
Let’s bring Johan Santana to Queens.
As recently as a month ago, I was captaining the charge to keep our prospects and tell Johan to take his ridiculous extension demands elsewhere. After all, no pitcher is worth that many everyday players. Right?
For some reason, in this case, I’m changing my tune a bit. Perhaps it’s because of the Yankees and Red Sox losing interest in Santana. Perhaps it’s because pitching is such a desperate need at Shea. Naaah.
The only thing that is making me rethink this possible deal is the Mets’ own history.
Our friends at Metsblog posted an interesting tidbit this morning:
According to Joe Christensen of the Minnesota Star Tribune, the Twins have told the Mets they can have Johan Santana if they add OF Fernando Martinez to their current offer of OF Carlos Gomez and RHPs Deolis Guerra, Kevin Mulvey and Phil Humber.
Christensen writes that while the Yankees and Red Sox both remain in the sweepstakes, “Ultimately, the Mets might be the best fit.”
Christensen speculates that Santana is looking for a five- or six-year contract worth at least $20 million per season.
(The full post, with Matthew Cerrone’s comments, can be viewed here.)
That is an awful lot to ask for one guy, much less a guy that can only contribute once every five games. On paper, this trade would make as much sense as shaving with a cheese grater.
But let me throw out a few other names for you:
Shall I continue?
For every Scott Kazmir and Jason Isringhausen (who wasn’t even good until he went to the bullpen) there is a Tyler Yates and Mike Bacsik. Yates remains a hyped-up bust. And I think we all know the only reason Bacsik’s name will be anywhere near Cooperstown.
In short, only on a team like the Mets — a team that is, for better or worse, built to win now — does this trade proposal make sense. And while cynical Mets fans (I don’t know of any, do you?) will anticipate a Kevin Mitchell-like explosion from the likes of F-Mart and Gomez, there stands a very good possibility they will never develop at the major league level.
Martinez is showing signs of becoming a five tool stud, but so did Jay Payton. Scouts think Gomez has the chops to become a speedy All-Star, something they once thought about Esix Snead. Deolis Guerra is one of the latest guys to earn the “golden arm” label — an honor once bestowed on Jerrod Riggan and Yusmeiro Petit. Let’s face it, Philip Humber is unlikely to magically turn into Johan Santana. That is, unless the Mets make this deal.
You get the point.
The Twins must be salivating right now. With the Yankees and Red Sox seeming to distance themselves from the negotiations, they can take advantage of a Mets front office that has been hibernating all winter. Though they might not get their Ian Kennedy or Jacoby Ellsbury, I’m sure all the extra talent the Mets are willing to include will do. Add in the extra extension the Mets seem to be ready to make, and you have a very positive outlook for Santana and the Amazins.
Minnesota must also be thinking that they would be ripping off the Mets. And Mets fans will probably feel similarly, should the deal go down. But if it does, when fans get past the sheer numbers of it all, only one proven player will have changed zip codes — a player that would sit very nicely in a rotation with Pedro, Perez, Pelfrey and Maine. A player that perhaps won’t even cost us Mike Pelfrey or Aaron Heilman. A player that could finally make all the boasting of “Next year is now…” become a reality.
Sure, Johan is a starter, meaning he can only help intermittently. Likewise, he could blow out his rotator cuff on Opening Day, while the guys we traded represent Minnesota in the ‘08 All-Star Game.
And Jessica Alba could be carrying my baby.
If Mets’ fans have learned anything about modern day baseball, it’s that there are few guarantees, fewer prospects that live up to hype, and no reason to think about possible futures when a World Series can happen now. The price is high, but is holding on to prospects worth the risk of passing on the best pitcher in baseball? I would hate to see Mulvey, Humber and Pelfrey turn into a modern day “Generation K.” Or, in this case, “Generation Y.”
As in, “Why didn’t we make that trade?“