Before one starts clamoring for Johan Santana, I would just ask you to take a moment and look at your starting centerfielder. Now granted Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy could use some extra seasoning in the minors but, dealing them would've also meant dealing Melky Cabrera and that would've been an even bigger mistake.
Now my opinion on the pitchers is that by sending them down they have the opportunity to fine tune their stuff and perhaps by beating up on some minor league competition, build up some confidence along the way. I'm a big believer that Darrell Rasner, just named International League pitcher of the week, can be an adequate 4th or 5th starter and as much as it pains me to say it they are paying Kei Igawa $ 46 million so at least try to get something out of the guy. There's nothing to say these guys can't be brought back up in early June and perhaps if they weren't limited to a certain amount of innings and were allowed to be stretched out, maybe they'd go six or seven innings instead of three or four like a reliever.
But onto our beloved centerfielder "Leche." Ok so you want to tell me the Yankees could've signed Torii Hunter or someone like him to replace Melky? Fine, but he may be the next Bernie Williams and may already be the best centerfielder in New York.
Thus far in 2008 Melky vs. Carlos Beltran has two less runs scored (17-15), five more hits (24-19), three more homers (5-2), two less RBI (13-11), one more stolen base (3-2), better batting average (.289-.224), lower OBP by one percentage point (.359-.358) and a higher slugging percentage (.494-.412). Mind you the calendar can flip to May and all of this could just as easily go out the window, however people are taking notice.
As for the "Bernie Baseball" comparison, adding up the first three years for Bernie (1993-1995) and Melky (2006-2008): Bernie leads in hits (443-302), runs (240-156), doubles (89-52), triples (14-10), homers (42-20), RBI (207-134), stolen bases (33-28), Melky has struck out less (140-258), Bernie walked more (189-109), both batting averages are fairly even.
Though Bernie did seemingly take off with his power numbers in his "third year" of 1995, he was 26, Melky is still only 23. In any event the one player the Yankees may be estatic they didn't trade for Johan Santana is wearing number 28.