Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Let's Go Mets
2008-01-29 14:00
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Our boys cross town have put an end to the Johan Santana saga. Mr. Santana won't be pitching for the Yanks or the Red Sox (thank goodness) but for the Mets. Here is the breaking story.

2008-01-29 14:05:41
1.   bobtaco
But will Johan approve the deal? What kind of extension will he get?
2008-01-29 14:08:22
2.   Simone
Better the Mets than the Red Sox. I can live with this trade.
2008-01-29 14:10:53
3.   OldYanksFan
Best trade for the Yankees in a long time!
2008-01-29 14:19:43
4.   tommyl
But what will Hank have to talk about now?
2008-01-29 14:22:08
5.   cult of basebaal
wonderful, wonderful news ... our long national nightmare is over ...
2008-01-29 14:22:43
6.   cult of basebaal
well, on second thoughts, not that long national nightmare ... just this one
2008-01-29 14:38:18
7.   ms october
1 sounds like 6 years,

2 agree, the mets are still the mets - the red sox would have been scary with johan and beckett.

4 you don't stop a champ like hank.

2008-01-29 15:01:59
8.   mehmattski
Reportedly, Johan turned down a 5 yr/$100 million extension with the Twins. So he's looking for more than $20 mil/year. Wow.

I don't know anything about Mets prospects. Can someone put it in Yankee terms for me? Is Gomez/Humber/Guerra/Mulvey equivalent to Kennedy/Melky/Horne/Betances?

2008-01-29 15:04:13
9.   Chyll Will
Whew! Now I have something to actually talk to a Mets fan about >;) Hank can talk about his favorite crewcut!
2008-01-29 15:09:51
10.   Chyll Will
Maybe the first two on each side compare, but who knows about War and Mulvey... I'm of the mind that Gomez and Humber are potentially really good, but were rushed.
2008-01-29 15:13:21
11.   mehmattski
On the other hand, posters on River Ave Blues and Baseball Prospectus are slamming this trade for Bill Smith. Apparently the four Yankees guys I listed 8 are better than what the Twins got, as was any Lester-based Red Sox package.

Hey, remember when PeteAbe had a huge rant about how you can't substitute a whole bunch of meh prospects in place of a couple awesome ones? Cause that's what the Mets just did. I'm getting the impression that Hughes + Melky alone would run circles around what the Mets gave up.

2008-01-29 15:16:49
12.   underdog
The Twins waited too long, and basically had to grab some good but not great prospects rather than get nothing. Sigh. Well, the Mets better hope that Santana stays healthy for a few years or it could also be a 140 million dollar boondoggle for them. Still, I think the Twins should've gotten a bit more. You think the Yanks were being asked for more? Consider what the Twinkies were once asking the Dodgers for Santana - vs. what they ended up with.
2008-01-29 15:19:02
13.   wsporter
I didn't think this would happen till at least July and if then at that. Good for the Metsies. I can exhale now that the Sawx didn't get him and that the Sir Phil and IPK are still with us. It looks like Ca$h still has a little juice in the org. :-)
2008-01-29 15:24:47
14.   ChrisS
8 The Mets have a rather weak farm system (and now much weaker) since the Twins pilfered their #2,3,4 and 7 prospects.

Carlos Gomez is a toolsy player with speed, power, and Ks - though not many walks. He's 21 and played 58 games for the Mets last year. BasbeallAmerica had him at #3.

Phil Humber (25) checked in at #7 after Tommy John surgery and seems like a decent K:BB guy, but he's only had one year back from surgery.

Kevin Mulvey ranked at #4.

And Deolis Guerra, a young power arm, ranked at #2.

It doesn't really stack up with their request for the Yankees' #1 MLB-ready pitching prospect, their starting CFer, and their 2nd best pitching prospect according to BA.

Just a hunch, but I think Hughes and IPK will have much better careers than anyone the Mets sent the Twins. There wasn't a Kazmir that was moved in this deal.

2008-01-29 15:28:04
15.   51cq24
i'm glad the sox didn't get him and that we didn't give up hughes, but i'm sorry this package is bullshit. gomez is not a huge prospect by any means. mulvey may be a 3rd starter if everything works out. humber has been hurt and disappointing. and guerra supposedly has a good fastball but is young and raw and hasn't put up particularly good numbers. i'm shocked the mets got him without having to give up fernando martinez.
2008-01-29 15:28:09
16.   wsporter
8 11 I think our farm is better at the top and deeper as well so I don't think the prospect rankings quite translate. I'd drop it down a little, not far but a little, to find a corollary from our organization. I think Lombardi is guilding the lily with that list.
2008-01-29 15:28:12
17.   ChrisS
14 Just to add, that Olney (if we can trust him) said that the Twins were asking for Hughes and IPK.

The Twins stayed at the table as long as they could, but no one was buying at such a high price.

I'm very happy that Hughes and IPK will be in camp with Joba in mere weeks.

2008-01-29 15:31:14
18.   Elliot
8 Gomez is sort of Melky heading into 2007? Five tools, really projectable, looked awfully overmatched in the majors in limited duty. Humber is three years removed from TJ surgery and looked half-decent in AAA at age 24 this year, but doesn't project as a front of the rotation guy. Mulvey is going to be good; he's not overpowering but he's got four pitches and big-league gumption. He won't be more than a number-three type, but he's very likely to reach his potential. Guerra is an 18-year-old in A ball with a world of potential, but he's years away.

As a Mets fan I'm thrilled with the deal. We kept F-Mart (our only hitting stud) and Pelfrey (still more projectable than any of the three we gave up) and added the best pitcher in baseball. Omar could easily have panicked in December when Hughes and Lester were being thrown around, but he waited it out and reaps the rewards today.

2008-01-29 15:32:58
19.   Elliot
Meant to include in my previous: Obviously the Mets plummet to maybe the worst minor league system in baseball, but we've got a good amount of already-proven young stars that will buy us time to restock the system. I'm a big prospect guy but sometimes you just have to swing for the fences.
2008-01-29 15:37:13
20.   Sarasota
I'm thrilled that we get the chance to see Kennedy and Hughes develop as Yankees....... Way to go Cashman for holding out!!!!!
2008-01-29 15:42:55
21.   Adrian
It's a bad time to be in the NL East if you're not the Mets. I guess this sort of makes up for Black September. Sort of.
2008-01-29 15:45:15
22.   Chyll Will
21 What's the outfield look like right now? Beltran and who else?
2008-01-29 15:49:21
23.   ChrisS
Against the DH-less NL, Santana could put up some sick numbers.

It could get ugly for the Yankees in the NY press if Hughes has a typical age 22 season while Santana drops a 2.05 ERA and 250+ Ks.

2008-01-29 15:50:36
24.   Shaun P
Hooray! Phil stays! Time to buy a jersey! =)

22 Alou and Church. Endy C and Angel Pagan to backup. Of course, there are some teams with so many OFs and not enough spots (LAA and DC come to mind) that the Mets can probably grab someone in ST with no trouble if need be.

This is a big steal for Omar, because he keeps F-Mart, while Smith is left hoping that the arms develop.

If the Twins really wouldn't pay to keep him, I suppose this deal is better than 2 picks in the '09 draft. You figure any team that signed Johan was likely to be in bottom 30 of the 1st round, and the Twins are notoriously cheap when it comes to low 1st round picks, so its possible this is a better haul than the picks would have brought.

2008-01-29 16:02:24
25.   standuptriple
How do you think Morneau and Cudduyer feel about this deal?
2008-01-29 16:14:02
26.   Alex Belth
2008-01-29 16:15:46
27.   Alex Belth
I like the way David Pinto put it: "Shea should be a great park for Johan. Imagine the best parts of Jerry Koosman and Sid Fernandez combined." That's a pretty cool combo. Nice call.
2008-01-29 16:30:51
28.   ChrisS
Pete Abe is already sharpening his knife:

"This deal could determine whether Brian Cashman remains the GM of the Yankees. If Santana becomes the ace of the Mets and leads them into the World Series, Cashman will have a lot of explaining to do to Little Stein.

Me? I'm interested to see what Phil Hughes turns out to be. It would seem the Yankees are indeed serious about developing their own players."

2008-01-29 16:33:37
29.   Raf
11 Some of the commenters @ waswatching are slamming Smith as well. USS Mariner is taking a different approach, slamming Bavasi for attempting to give up too much for Bedard.

26 I would think downright mad, given the moves the Tigers have made.

So, shall the Yanks start making overtures for Nathan?

2008-01-29 17:25:24
30.   williamnyy23
the Twins would have almost been better keeping Johan, trying to win this season and then pocketing two draft picks (which, considering the Twins scouting ability, might actually yield better prospects than the quartet acquired by the Mets). The fact that the Twins didn't get Martinez makes the deal even worse. At least he stands out as a blue chip prospect (Guerra might emerge as one, but again, is he better than a number pick right now)?

From the Mets standpoint, this deal is a no brainer. They desperately needed to erase the misery of last season and Santana catapults them to the top of the NL. Now, 3-4 years into the deal, the picture might not be as rosey, but the Mets are a now team.

What makes Smith look worse is that either of the packages originally offered by the Yankees and Red Sox would have been superior. Assuming both teams would have been willing to part with the rumor names when they first surfaced, then Smith bluffed...and lost.

Apparently, the Yankees and Red Sox each decided to pull back from their original offers. So, I'd imagine both Cashman and Epstein are pretty happy today. The Santana anvil is no longer hanging over their heads, so now each man can put the final touches on their 2008 rosters.

At some point, I am sure we'll all question failing to get Johan (especially if he has a great season, while Hughes struggles to gain his footing), but ultimately I believe this decision sets the Yankees up better for the future.

2008-01-29 17:27:51
31.   williamnyy23
8 My best guess would be Horne (Humber), Marquez (Mulvey), Austin Jackson (Gomez) and Betances (Guerra).
2008-01-29 17:32:26
32.   williamnyy23
29 If the Twins will be reasonable, Nathan would make tons of sense. You can't give up much more than a Marquez type though because Nathan is clearly a rental.
2008-01-29 17:38:53
33.   RIYank
30 Good way of putting it -- that Epstein and Cashman are both happy today. And me, too. It's really the Best Case Scenario, as far as I'm concerned: we don't part with any of our young pitching or Melky, the Sox don't get Supernatural, and in fact he's traded out of league. Sweet.
2008-01-29 17:41:42
34.   RIYank
11 mehmattski, I don't think he's looking for more than $20M/year. He just wants more years, and the Mets are apparently willing to go for at least six.

12 Underdog (if you're still hanging around), what did the Twins ask for the Dodgers? I don't know anything about Mets prospects, but it sure looks like the actual package is substantially below what the Sox and Yanks were talking about.

2008-01-29 17:47:51
35.   seattleyank
31 I was opposed to including Hughes for Santana, but that's a deal I could have supported.
2008-01-29 17:59:15
36.   jkay
Hughes vs Santana in interleague play!
2008-01-29 19:18:10
37.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Guerra is the best of the lot. he's very young and has a ton of projections. but at this point he hasn't really transferred it into complete skills, he touches mid 90s at times but usually sit around lower 90s. he's change is good but inconsistent and his curve is developing.

He could be the next great pitcher. or he could be the next great bust. or he could be anything inbetween.

Gomez is a interesting player. from the looks of him he looks like a potential slugger. and he's REALLY fast. but he hasn't transfered it into skills. i think the Coco Crisp comp isn't right. Crisp is a much smaller player, and Melky Cabrera compares much more reasonablly to Crisp.

best case Gomez turn into Carl Crawford with a little more HR pop I guess. though I kinda doubt it. he just feels a lot more like a (maybe slightly better ) Juan Encarnaion type

Mulvey is a pretty useful guy. he's not going to be awsome but is unlikely to bust. Humber is in the same boat but has fallen a lot to the point that I can't say he is completly bust proof.

2008-01-29 19:37:40
38.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
God what a steal. I think 31 feels about right. Or, perhaps IPK + volume.


Smith clearly waited too long, overplayed his hand, and didn't sufficiently factor in the notion that Santana would veto a mid-season deal. He played brinksmanship and lost.

Yes - one or more of the 4 may bloom into something special. But . . . I won't hold my breath.

Overall I'm relieved - he didn't go to the Sox, and we keep the 3 horsemen of the apocalypse.

2008-01-29 19:50:27
39.   ocyankee
Yanks waiting for CC to become available after this season, and holding chips for a trade at Texeira in July. Kudos to Cashman for resisting the temptation of Santana. I am an OC resident where Hughes played ball and he is the real deal.

2009 rotation:

CC, Joba, Hughes, Wang, Brackman

2008-01-29 21:49:21
40.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wow, get the fuck out of here!

How 'bout those Mets, eh?

Good for them!

And good for us that we sort of get the best of both worlds: we get to watch him on a regular basis without having had to give up our own guys.

I'm excited.

Nice job, Metsies.

2008-01-29 22:10:18
41.   weeping for brunnhilde
This bit's cute. Torii Hunter: ""I know he's happy, too, because he really wanted to go to the Mets. He's always wanted to swing the wood. He can hit."
2008-01-30 05:19:19
42.   Sliced Bread
This just in from ESPN:

Citing "best interests of baseball," Selig & Mitchell block trade of Johan Santana to NY Mets. Order Twins lefty to next highest bidder, Boston Red Sox for AA prospects to be named later... story developing...

2008-01-30 06:02:36
43.   williamnyy23
37 Your point about Guerra is exactly why this was a bad trade for the Twins. With so much uncertainty involved with the "upside" guys in this deal, you could argue their value is not that much greater than a 1st round draft pick. Looked at in that light, the Twins essentially traded one year of Santana AND Two first round picks for Guerra, Gomez, Mulvey and Humber. I wonder how those on that list would rate against a 1st round pick next season (keeping in mind that even late first rounders have increased in value as signability concerns have allowed talent to drop).

39 I am sure C.C. will be very interested in the Johan negotiations. If he breaks the bank, that will likely price Sabathia out of the Indians pay scale. Then, if you are the Yankees, you root for the Indians to stay in the pennant race so he isn't traded and then back up the truck (which would be filled with money not going to Santana. If, in 2009, you have Kennedy, Hughes and Sabathia in your rotation, then not making the Santana deal looks even better, even if Johan stays true to his Cy Young form. Think about that for a minute…would you deal Hughes, Kennedy, Melky and Sabathia for Santana? Of course not…that's why the real evaluation of the Yankees decision can't take place until more events shake out.

As for Texiera, his being with the Braves is a good thing because they should be competitive to stay in the race, and are probably unlikely to sign him. With $80mn set to come off the books in 2009, the Yankees could be in a prime position to do some FA shopping to supplement the core they maintained by not making the Santana deal.

2008-01-30 06:11:57
44.   3rd gen yankee fan
Like the rest of you, I'm thrilled that we get to see what we have in Hughes/IPK/etc and that Santana is away from the Sux. But the silly Royals fans in my office are taunting me about it. Man I can't wait for our boys to blossom...
2008-01-30 06:22:36
45.   horace-clarke-era
This is a good morning to be young and a Yankee. Let's play two? Oh. Switched ballclubs there.

Best case, to my mind, might have been Twins backing off Phil and accepting a prospect package akin to the one suggested here as about the equivalent of the Mets. Next best is what just happened (pending a contract, which surely will get done). We did NOT want to see him in Boston for the next buncha years. This IS the best starter in the game right now, and still in his 20s.

I remain concerned about starter-management this year, though, with the kids on short leash, and wouldn't be unhappy if they found a league-average 3rd-4th starter to switch to swing man for the year after. I haven't done my homework to check who might be out there for that.

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