Now that it's official, and the greatest pitcher in baseball today is on the trade block, why aren't my belovedly mediocre Texas Rangers (whom I love second only to the Atlanta Braves) in the mix for Johan Santana? I've said it before and I'll say it again, but when you have a chance to get a true ace (sorry Millwood, but you're a two at best) you take it. Even though the cost may be steep in terms of money and prospects, you take it, because true aces are hard to find.
Yes, the cost for Santana will be steep, even borderline prohibitive. Should the Rangers get him, they're looking at probably 6 years and $120 million just to keep him. They've got the money, including the $7 mil per year subsidy Tom Hicks was paying out of Me-Rod's contract in New York. Question is, do they have the players? I believe they do.
Most analysts assume the Twins would want Eric Hurley in any Santana deal. He's the Rangers' best young pitcher. But looking at what Minnesota needs (CF, 2B, SS, 3B, C) I think there's a way Texas can get Santana without having to give up Hurley: include Ian Kinsler in the deal.
I know this is an unpopular idea, but Texas can develop young second basemen much better than young pitching, and Minnesota needs one after trading Castillo to the Mets last year. And Kinsler's a couple years from free agency so he won't cost as much.
Texas' next move could then be trading Gerald Laird to Boston for Coco Crisp, then sending Crisp, Edinson Volquez and a catching prospect (Taylor Teagarden?) to Minnesota to complete the deal.
Let's run that down again. Kinsler, Volquez, Crisp, Teagarden. Add another prospect (Elvis Andrus? John Mayberry Jr.? Thomas Diamond?) and you've got a fairly strong offer.
Yes, it's a lot, but the Rangers farm system is flush with talent. And everyone know that in order to get something, you have to give up something. And I don't mean the 5-year $90 million Arte Moreno gave up to get Torii Hunter in Anaheim. You can bet your snootchie bootchies I know what he was smoking when that deal got done.
Until Next Time