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January 29, 2008

Mets Trade For Johan Santana

Via Bob Nightengale:

The New York Mets have agreed to a trade for two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, giving up four prospects to acquire the left-handed ace of the Minnesota Twins, according to two high-ranking Twins officials with knowledge of the talks and a person close to Santana.

The deal is pending the Mets and Santana reaching agreement on a six- or seven-year contract extension and that Santana passes a physical; they have been granted a 48 to-72-hour window to do so. Santana has a no-trade clause that he will waive if agreement is reached on a contract extension.

The Mets paid a high price in prospects to land Santana, agreeing to send the Twins outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.

Give the Mets credit. They had a dire need and plugged it with one of the best in the game. They were not afraid to part with prospects. And, they're not afraid of Santana's salary demands.

Kevin Mulvey and Phil Humber should be decent big league pitchers some day. But, Deolis Guerra is a baby. Anything can happen with him. Carlos Gomez? Yes, he can run and he can field. But, will he hit in the majors? How's his attitude?

To me, this would be as if the Yankees traded Ian Kennedy, Jose Tabata, Alan Horne, and Dellin Betances for Johan Santana.

Yes, that's a steep price, when you think of it this way. And, it's a gamble.

Obviously, the Mets were willing to take that gamble - and the Yankees were not. Six years from now, or maybe sooner, we will know which team was smart to take the position (that they did) on this one.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at January 29, 2008 05:30 PM

Comments

Good - maybe now we (Hank) can all move on.

Posted by: Pete [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 05:24 PM

From a prospect standpoint Steve, the package you gave as comparison is vastly superior to the talent the Twins receieved in this deal.

Kennedy and Humber aren't close, even though the former Rice star was the higher draft pick. The only thing Humber has better is more velocity, but his vast injury history cancels out any benefit of more fastball.

Tabata and Gomez are different types of players, with Gomez probably being much closer to AJax than Tabata. Also, Horne's stuff if much better than Mulvey. Dellin is also a much higher ceiling talent than Guerra, if just due to the superior velocity.

So, if you wanted to compare packages, the offer would have to be more like this.

Kennedy, AJax, Marquez and Jario Heredia for Johan Santana.

I can't think of many Yankee fans who wouldn't make this deal. The Mets got there man for a package of players that really weren't going to help them for a while. Great deal for the boys from Shea.

Posted by: EricSanSan [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 05:55 PM

To me, this would be as if the Yankees traded Ian Kennedy, Jose Tabata, Alan Horne, and Dellin Betances for Johan Santana.
--------

Yeah, exactly like that, except Kennedy is five BILLION times the prospect and pitcher Humber is (man, it's not even CLOSE; Humber has pitched like crap in the majors and minors since his TSJ), Horne is better than Mulvey and Tabata has a lot more upside than Gomez. Deolis Guerra -- well, I'm not going to crack on an 18 year old, but his numbers aren't exactly special (but Betances missed almost an entire year, so I guess it's a wash).

I'll give the Mets credit for this: they were in the right place at the right time, and they improved their team. This is a deal they would make in an eye-blink because they're not giving anything up. Those players mean nothing to them. Gomez can't hit, Humber has stunk post-TJS, Mulvey was merely okay in AA, and Deolis Guerra is going to be 19.

The Twins are getting NOTHING back. Both the Yankee and Red Sox deals were better. Mulvey and Humber aren't anywhere NEAR the pitchers Jon Lester and Phil Hughes are. Lester and Hughes ALONE are better than the entire Mets package.

Bill Smith profoundly failed here. This is a totally lopsided deal, even if the Mets sign Johan to a six-year, 120-million-dollar contract. Great move by the Mets -- improving their team greatly while selling off their "top" prospects -- players that would hardly rank in the top farm systems in baseball.

Mets fans will bitch and whine about the price, but this was a no-brainer.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 05:58 PM

The fair comp for this deal from the Yankees would be: Horne, Marquez, Melky and Zac McAllister. And that's being kind, because Horne/Marquez are better than Humber/Mulvey since Humber never recovered from his TJS. He doesn't throw with much velocity, Eric. He's 88-89 now.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 06:02 PM

Obviously, the Mets were willing to take that gamble - and the Yankees were not. Six years from now, or maybe sooner, we will know which team was smart to take the position (that they did) on this one.
===========================================
Nonsense. I don't see any correlation between what 30 other teams didn't do and what the Mets did here. Each team operates with its own set of guidelines. The Yanks were being asked to give their #1 pitching prospect, a player who rates much higher than the Mets' own #2 overall prospect (Guerra). To try and draw such a simple comparison is why you've gotten stuck on this whole "Cashman Sucks" thing.

Six years from now, the only thing you'll be able to tell about this deal is how it worked out for the Mets. It's got nothing to do with the Yankees, Red Sox, or anyone else. And, for the record, even if the Mets suck for the next six years, it was still a great trade.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 06:11 PM

Mulvey and Humber will never be as good as Andy Benes.

Posted by: jonm [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 06:14 PM

"To me, this would be as if the Yankees traded Ian Kennedy, Jose Tabata, Alan Horne, and Dellin Betances for Johan Santana"

Not even close.....none of the guys the Mets gave up would have been considered a top 10 prospect on the Yankees. You are not giving the Yankees farm system enough credit.

Posted by: Melland [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 06:21 PM

I think they, to quote my mother, "bit their nose to spite their face" with this deal. The yanks and redsox both offered better deals, even if Hughes was not included. Since they could not get the players they wanted from th AL teams, they shipped him to the mets, where they will not have to see him.

Posted by: dave [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 07:38 PM

I knew as soon as I made that comment about the Yankees package, that the Yankees blinders crew would come after me.

Look at it this way:

John Sickels Top 50 Hitting Prospects for 2008:

25) Jose Tabata, OF, New York Yankees
49) Carlos Gomez, OF, New York Mets

John Sickels Top 50 Pitching Prospects for 2008:

10) Ian Kennedy, RHP, New York Yankees
36) Alan Horne, RHP, New York Yankees
23) Deolis Guerra, RHP, New York Mets
32) Kevin Mulvey Mets, RHP, New York

Not in the Top 50's: Phil Humber & Dellin Betances. But, clearly, Humber is closer to being a big leaguer.

Horne and Mulvey are a push. So, for the 13 slots that Kennedy has on Guerra and the 24 slots that Tabata has on Gomez, you get Humber over Betances. That's pretty close for me.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 08:24 PM

Steve,
Tabata dropped because of injury. The guy did hit .309 with a broken bone in his wrist. There is no reason for the minor league pitcher of the year to be rated #10. All he did was go up to the majors and pitch well. Plus the Yankees get bad ratings all the time.

Posted by: Joe F. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 08:37 PM

Horne and Mulvey are a push indeed. Horne has better stuff but older and scarier injury history and iffier command.

Humber is nowhere near Kennedy. Kennedy has destroyed the minors in one year and done well so far in the majors at a younger age too.

Gomez and Tabata are hard to compare. safe to say that i would rather have Tabata though. younger. less serious questionmarks. better potentials.

As for Gurrea .. he's a projection guy. I think he's probably the make or break guy in this deal. he might turn out to be nothing or he might turn out to be Liriano the second.

It's pretty clear that the Yankees could throw out a comparable / better package anytime they want. but that a. they didn't really want to and b. the Twins probably wanted to see Santana out of the AL and c. maybe they REALLY like Guerra / Gomez .

Posted by: Yu Hsing Chen [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 08:49 PM

I knew as soon as I made that comment about the Yankees package, that the Yankees blinders crew would come after me.
================================================
Nonsense.

Kennedy isn't just "13 slots" above Guerra, he's also a big leaguer. As you always love pointing out about Hughes, you just don't know what the kids will do. So you're telling me that it's "just" 13 slots when talking about an 18 year old who hasn't made it above High-A ball?

Sure, we as Yankee fans know Kennedy better than we know Guerra. But you're looking at rankings and not looking at the context of those rankings. After all, you're giving Humber the benefit of the doubt over Betances because he's "closer to being a big leaguer."

Consider that the Twins started out talking about Cabrera/Ellsbury/Crisp as their replacement for Torii Hunter and Hughes+Kennedy/Lester as their replacement for Santana and you can see now that the Twins settled for much, much less. Their initial goal was to plug their roster with cheap, young talent that was MLB-ready. Now they're punting 2008 and possibly 2009 for the hope that Guerra might be ready in 2010.

As for Gomez/Tabata, you can turn the tables on me and say that Gomez's ranking shouldn't count against him. And all I'll tell you is that he pulled off a .735 OPS in 1291 MiLB AB's.

It's not Yankee blinders. I don't think you'll find too many people who would say that the Twins did better than they could've done had they been willing to work with New York or Boston in early December.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 08:52 PM

Well, MJ said everything that needed to be said. And anyone who compares Humber (injury-prone, getting old and on the verge of no longer being a prospect) and Mulvey (who hasn't pitched above AA) to Ian Kennedy (who torched the minors and pitched well in the majors) doesn't know the players.

Plus, no offense, Steve, but I can't believe what a hypocrite you are. You say "Kevin Mulvey and Phil Humber should be decent big league pitchers some day." Humber hasn't been good since his surgery and frankly it would be a shock if he stuck in the majors as a starter. Mulvey had a decent -- repeat, DECENT -- year in AA (3.32 ERA, but a low strikeout rate). Phil Hughes, on the other hand, was unhittable in AA at a younger age (giving up only 72 hits in 116 innings, striking out 136 with a 2.09 ERA), and you wouldn't give him an INCH. You questioned and insulted him the entire time and trotted our your list of failed prospects, saying his numbers meant nothing. But Mulvey, of course, with his season at AA which wasn't half of what Phil's was, clearly "should be decent big league pitchers some day."

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 09:34 PM

And it wasn't Yankee blinders; it was a bad comparison. None of the Mets' prospects compare to your man-crush Ian Kennedy.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 09:35 PM

Either way, as long as he didn't end up in Boston, the Yankees came out of this one okay. Like a lot of people, I was ambivalent about the prospects and money combo it was going to take. Am looking forward to watching the kids get a crack at a beatable Red Sox team for a full season.

Posted by: ChrisNewcomb [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 09:50 PM

As a Yankee fan, I am thrilled Santana went to the National League and the Twins got a package of questionable talent. There is little evidence that Gomez can hit in the majors. He has two plus qualities; he is young and he is fast. Other than that, his minor league OPS is .738. He has demonstrated little power (2 home runs in 140 ABs at New Orleans) and his best OPS (.777) was in the PCL, a notorious hitters league. Nor has he demonstrated particularly good plate discipline. His minor league career line is .278/.339/.399.

No doubt the Twins may make out well. Gomez is young enough to develop into a good player. The pitchers may pan out. But not one is an ace prospect, nor have any experienced any success in the majors. You would like to see even young pitchers strike out lots of minor league batters, but none of them are particularly impressive in that regard.

The Twins settled for the worst of the deals we have been hearing about. If the Yankees could have gotten Santana for Horne, Marquez, Betances and Brett Gardner, I would have been thrilled, and the Twins might have been better off.

Posted by: Bob R. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 10:05 PM

One more point. The Mets did not sacrifice one player who had any impact last year or who was likely to have any in 2008. Even should the prospects they gave up develop, it was not likely to be for the Mets in 2008 when they are vying for a pennant.

Both the Yankee and Red Sox reported offers included at least one or two players who were regulars in 2007 or expected to be regulars in 2008. Whether Hughes and Melky or Crisp and Ellsbury or Lester, each team was giving up two players from the 25 man roster, and not simply reserves either. We may still question whether the Yankees ought to have dealt Hughes, Cabrera and more to get Santana, but there is no way to consider the Mets package anywhere near equivalent in terms of next year's expected contributions.

Posted by: Bob R. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 10:25 PM

baileywalk - with all due respect, weren't you the guy (?) - - and, yes, I KNOW you're the guy - - who said that Pavano was going to be a stud for the Yankees in 2007 and that TJ Beam was going to be the next great Yankee reliever?

And, you want to be the person who sells me on the greatness of Phil Hughes?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 10:26 PM

~~~I don't think you'll find too many people who would say that the Twins did better than they could've done had they been willing to work with New York or Boston in early December.~~~

And, I agree with that.

Hughes, Melky and Horne would have been a much better package than what the Mets gave up.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 10:33 PM

Whatever, dude. Great counterargument. Avoid the criticism and come back with a childish attack. Oooh, oww, it hurts so much.

I never said Pavano would be a stud. I said what was true: when healthy, he ate innings and was a good, solid three. I didn't believe, and still don't believe, that he was scared to throw a baseball. I stand by that. He got hurt again and he's gone.

I believed T.J. Beam was going to be good, as did many others.

I'm man enough to say I was wrong on both. Have you ever been man enough to face your own bullsh-t and take anything head-on?

Not really. Which is why you didn't answer why Mulvey should be a decent major-leaguer while Hughes was just a hope and a dream.

Explain away the hypocrisy. Or maybe you want to bring up -- for the millionth time -- that I once defended Carl Pavano or expressed admiration for a guy who dominated AA and AAA hitters (oh, where was my head at liking THAT sort of guy)?

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 10:36 PM

In a remarkable interview at mlbtraderumors.com, Brian Bannister commented on the role of randomness in baseball. Nearly anything is possible. Nobody knows for certain that Hughes will be a star. Of course, nobody knows for certain that Santana will remain one.

In my judgment, based on what I have seen, read and looking at past performance, I think the Yankees were right not to deal Hughes, Cabrera and more for Santana, and I think the Mets were incredibly fortunate to get him for the package they sacrificed. I may turn out to be entirely wrong, but based on what we know now, I cannot see a reasonable counter-argument to the claim that Smith accepted less in the Mets' deal.

As a matter of fact, I had almost precisely the same view of the Pavano deal that Baileywalk did. I do not think that makes my views in this case any less credible. After all, I also thought the Yankees were wrong to deal Drabek for Rhoden or Bahnsen for McKinney, and I do not claim that proves I am a good judge.

In any case, to emphasize the uncertainty of any of this, here is an excerpt from an article at "The Hardball Times". I do not think the deals themselves are comparable, although there are some similarities, but it does highlight the point that reasonable expectations are not always fulfilled.
__________________________________________
"Jan. 10, 1991: The Baltimore Orioles traded pitchers Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling and outfielder Steve Finley to the Houston Astros for first baseman Glenn Davis.

The next time someone asks you, in reference to a proposed gambit of some sort, "What's the worst that could happen?," I suggest your answer might be, "the Glenn Davis trade." Because this trade was the very essence, the Platonic Ideal, of the worst imaginable outcome for Baltimore GM Roland Hemond.

The deal turned out so catastrophically, hilariously rotten for the O's that, as the years have passed, many folks have taken to describing it as bad in theory as it was in practice. But to do so is unfair: While it was seen as fairly risky, no commentator at the time declared it a giveaway. The truth is there was a healthy possibility that the trade would turn out just fine for Baltimore, or at least no worse than a break-even. For the results to become as ghastly as they did required, well, every element of the deal to turn out just badly as it possibly could, and the odds against that were of course very long indeed.

It's important to understand just what kind of a power hitter Davis was. He wasn't at all the mid-tier guy a cursory look at his raw stats, particularly from a post-scoring-boom perspective, might suggest. Davis's stats were doubly depressed, by having a couple of his best years in the unusually low-offense seasons of 1988 and 1989, and also by playing half his games in the Astrodome (57 percent of his NL home runs were hit on the road). He was a one-dimensional hitter, but he was damn good at the one dimension: Under many other circumstances, Davis would have produced multiple 40-homer, 100-RBI seasons.

So even though he'd been limited to 93 games by injuries in 1990 (while still putting up an OPS+ of 143), the guy Hemond was trading for (and Astros GM Bill Wood was trading away) was a serious stud cleanup man who was just turning 30 years old.

For such a talent, it wasn't extravagant to offer up a package of two young pitchers, neither of whom had yet achieved major league success, and a 26-year-old slap-hitting center fielder. Young pitchers are the least reliable performers known to mankind; they fizzle out all the time. And 26-year-old outfielders who've put up an OPS+ of 79 through 750 major league plate appearances have "journeyman" tattooed across their foreheads. What's the worst that could happen?

Well, this:

- Your serious stud cleanup man is utterly decimated by a string of injuries, and is finished as a major leaguer within three unproductive years.
- The first young pitcher immediately blossoms, putting together three straight 200+-inning seasons in which he's in the top 10 in strikeouts all three times, and the top 10 in ERA+ twice.
- The second young pitcher develops into a six-time All-Star, a three-time Cy Young runnerup, a winner of more than 200 games and a serious Hall of Fame candidate.
- The slap-hitting center fielder blossoms into a good line-drive hitter and then develops power, and becomes a five-time Gold Glove winner with more than 300 homers and 300 steals in his career."

Posted by: Bob R. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 11:00 PM

And to think that the Stros flipped him for Jason Grimsley...

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 11:06 PM

I believed T.J. Beam was going to be good, as did many others.
----------------
He had one good year, but it's hard to notice that he spent far too much time @ A-ball

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 11:08 PM

this is a win for everyone except Minnesota. they take the worst of the 3 deals, the Mets get maybe the best pitcher in baseball w/o losing FMart, Pelfrey or Heilman, and the Yanks and Sawx keep him away from each other.

Posted by: Travis G. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 11:12 PM

it looks like Bill Smith wanted to either A. fleece an AL team, or B. get as much as possible from an NL team.

there's no other way to explain it, bc i believe the Yanks could easily top this offer w/o including Hughes, e.g. Kennedy, Horne, Melky, McCutchen, or something like that.

Posted by: Travis G. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 11:15 PM

~~~ Have you ever been man enough to face your own bullsh-t and take anything head-on?~~~

Any and every time I've written something, and it's turned out to be not true or turned out different than I thought, I then wrote that I was wrong. And, I'll keep doing that.

But, for now, there is no fact that shows I'm wrong on this - unless having an opinion the opposite of yours means that I'm automatically wrong.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 11:17 PM

He had one good year, but it's hard to notice that he spent far too much time @ A-ball
===
Hard NOT to notice that he spent far too much time @ A-ball...

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 11:19 PM

it looks like Bill Smith wanted to either A. fleece an AL team, or B. get as much as possible from an NL team.
___

I think Smith misread the dynamics of the market, and as a result, misread the proper time to accept the best offer he was going to get.

In other words, the Yankees and Sox never got into the bidding war that he had hoped. Instead, their initial offers were their best offers.

When he finally realized that, their best offers were no longer on the table.

Posted by: Rich [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 11:38 PM

This trade immediately brings to mind something that I believe Steve has brought up in the past (although I'm not sure).

For the past two or three seasons, pretty much when Cashman started retooling the minor league talent pool, teams have been making ridiculously steep trade demands on the Yankees. I'll read the rumor mills, and compare what the Yankees are supposedly offering, and its often a better talent package than someone another teams offer, but the deal falls apart because it doesn't include one of the top blue chip prospects. I remember feeling that way after seeing the Sox offers for Santana, and a few other times that I can't recall off hand.

Is it possible that having good home grown talent actually makes it more difficult for the Yankees to make trades? Its certainly an enormous amount of pressure: if you trade the blue chips, and they player doesn't work out, you're a goat. If you trade them, and they develop into studs, your a goat. And if you don't include them, trades fall apart. I know Cashman isn't the favorite person on this blog, but I wouldn't want his job for a day (well, a day maybe, but that's about it)

Posted by: Ken [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 11:39 PM

But, for now, there is no fact that shows I'm wrong on this - unless having an opinion the opposite of yours means that I'm automatically wrong.
----

Where did I say you were "wrong" here? I said I thought you were misinformed about the Mets' and Yankees' prospects and that your comparison between this and a supposed Yankee deal was way off.

And you still haven't said why Mulvey should be a good major-leaguer and Phil Hughes had not proved anything yet.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 12:12 AM

Hard NOT to notice that he spent far too much time @ A-ball...
----

He spent three years in A-ball because they continued to use him as a starter even when it was obvious he was a reliever, and that killed a year of his development. But when someone, even at 25, getting his first taste of AA throws 42 innings with an 0.86 ERA, and then continues the success at AAA, that gets me excited.

But, you know, in reality I'm just an idiot that couldn't see, like everyone else, including all those that follow and write about the minors, that he was in A-ball too long. Damn me and my imbecility.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 12:17 AM

Amazing article by Klapisch on the trade. Apparently the Twins were willing to make a deal WITHOUT Hughes (for Kennedy, Melky and another "top prospect"). If anything shows you what the true value of the Mets' prospects is, this is it. They don't say who that third name would be (Austin Jackson? Alan Horne? Jose Tabata?). But it is interesting that the Yankees didn't even think about it. It's obvious they wanted no part of Santana.


--

This was late Monday night, about 12 hours before the Mets would pounce upon their most dramatic trade in recent history. Twins' general manager Bill Smith, in a panic to move Johan Santana, called the Yankees and admitted surrender: Phil Hughes was no longer a prerequisite, he said. Instead, the Twins asked for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera and a top prospect. Would the Yankees still be interested, Smith wondered?

The Yankees considered the idea, but only briefly and not seriously. Their passion for Santana started waning as far back as December, when Andy Pettitte announced he was returning to the Bronx. The Yankees' internal straw vote was unanimous: The Twins had waited too long. On Tuesday Yankees' GM Brian Cashman told Smith he was passing on the deal, prompting the Twins to call the Red Sox. Equally devastating news awaited. Both Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester were unavailable.

The Red Sox, in lock step with the Yankees, had essentially backed out, too.

That left the Mets, who after hearing from Smith didn't allow themselves to be bluffed. GM Omar Minaya held firm, insisting the Twins would have to live without Fernando Martinez. As a result -- and thanks to the Twins' grim realization that they were without options -- the Mets made off with a heist of mammoth proportions. They inherit the major league's best left-handed pitcher, one who's a lock to dominate National League hitters, without giving up a can't-miss prospect.

...

Actually, it was a perfect storm of good fortune for the Mets. Not only did they exploit Smith's weakened bargaining position, but they benefited from the Yankees and Red Sox' synchronized caution. Talk about long shots. Who would've thought the AL East's two powerhouses would become so rational at the same time? Major league executives say Smith will rue the day he chose not to jump on the Yankees' offer of Hughes, Cabrera, Class AA right-hander Jeff Marquez and a prospect of their choosing. That was Dec. 2 and all Smith had to do was say yes.

Incredibly, he waffled. Within 24 hours, Pettitte told the Yankees he intended to pitch again in 2008, prompting the team to reconsider the deal for Santana. Suddenly, Hank Steinbrenner started listening to his brother Hal and Cashman, both of whom pleaded their case for financial restraint. Little by little, Hank Steinbrenner's craving for Santana diminished; the longer Smith held out, trying to leverage the Yankees and Red Sox against each other, the closer he came to dooming the best deal he could've made for Santana.

Indeed, one talent evaluator said that of all the combinations made available to the Twins, Tuesday's swap was the fourth or fifth best. Smith undoubtedly will tell the Twins' fan base that this was the best he could've done under the circumstances. It was either accept the Mets' swap on their terms, or lose Santana to free agency after this season.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 02:34 AM

baileywalk, read that this morning... if it is true, and GM Smith was willing to talk about a trade without Hughes in the deal and BC didnt pull the trigger, it's very disappointing... that was the chance to go for the throat.

Cashman, and the Yankees, have been able to win these games of chicken recently; holding out for Abreu, waiting to sign Damon, etc. This would have been another case where Cashman won the game of chicken... he knew his offer was more than enough, and he just sat on it... but i think to a fault, he's fell in love with these prospects who he's been so closely tied... when you take a step back, to see that you could have had a starting rotation of Johan, Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, and Moose with Joba in front of MO for 2008, and then been able to slide Joba into the rotation for 2009, how do you say no?

and I'm still waiting for Steve here to explain his Humber comment, too... its inexplicable.

Posted by: TurnTwo [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 09:05 AM

Steve, like or not, when you take such a strident stance against Cashman without making a compelling case to your audience, well, then your arguments are always going to be viewed through that prism. In this case, I think you are correct to say that the future careers of the rumored players involved in the Yankee deal will determine the intelligence of this move (or lack of move). That’s perfectly fair. Of course, I would maintain that there are also more pieces to the puzzle. Let’s assume that the Santana contract prices Sabathia out of the Indians price range, but the Tribe can’t trade him because they are year long contenders. Well, then the Yankees will have a boat load of money to throw at his feet. If the Yankees do sign Sabathia, then they will have basically traded C.C., Hughes, Kennedy and Melky for Santana. Clearly, that’s a much better move the Yankees.

As for the quality of the package involved, using slots from John Sickles isn’t exactly gospel, but even still, I don’t think you can underestimate the difference in the rankings you provided. Surely, you don’t think the gap between each slot is equal? As with most rankings, the difference between each slot likely increases as you move down the list. So, Kennedy at #10 is much higher than Guerra at #23, not to mention one prospect is major league ready and the other wont be for another 2-3 years. Similarly, Tabata at #25 is much higher than Gomez at #49.

I am not even sure why you are arguing this point anyway. The Yankees could have easily put together 2 or 3 comparable packages, but it seems as if the Twins were demanding more from the Yankees and Boston. The reason for that is partly a reluctance to keep in the league as well as a realization that their systems are much deeper. I am sure if the Mets had better prospects than these four, the Twins would have held out for more. Instead, they let the Mets hold back their top gun (Martinez), as they did with Joba and Buchholz, and then settled on the next best.

Posted by: williamnyy [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 09:53 AM

But, you know, in reality I'm just an idiot that couldn't see, like everyone else, including all those that follow and write about the minors, that he was in A-ball too long. Damn me and my imbecility.
==================
It's ok, recognition is the first step to recovery... Are you serious? C'mon.

Fact is that if he were to amount to anything, he certainly would not have spent 3 years at varying levels of A-ball starting/relieving. Especially with an organization as conservative as the Yankees. His ceiling is RHRP, which is fine, but nothing to get too excited about. I wish him nothing but the best in the Pirates organization.

You really need to relax.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 10:12 AM

~~and I'm still waiting for Steve here to explain his Humber comment,~~

Bogged today. But, I will get back on this - promise.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 12:40 PM

Steve

I am surprised you havent called for Cashman's head for missing out on Johan. I think I am starting to jump on the hating Cashman bandwagon when I found out he had the opportunity to make the deal for Santana for Kennedy, Melky and a prospect. If that is for real, we may live to regret not doing that deal.

Posted by: Ference [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 12:43 PM

~~~Any and every time I've written something, and it's turned out to be not true or turned out different than I thought, I then wrote that I was wrong. And, I'll keep doing that.~~~

Steve, I can't believe you're taking the comment of you being childish.."Boooohoooohoooo"

You always admit when you're wrong, right? That's why you always link back to the posts where you are wrong...oh wait.. :)

Posted by: Mara Jade [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 12:50 PM

Raf, I was joking... sort of.

On Beam: I wasn't the only one who liked him; at the time, he was one of the best relief prospects the Yankees had -- go read the scouting reports. He didn't go from AA to AAA to the majors for NOTHING.

As for chilling out: dude, you contradict 99 percent of what I say on here. I actually get a kick out of it. I'm waiting for the day you contradict me after I've agreed with you.

It's not just contradiction; it's dismissal. But I seriously don't care. Just this time around, you're basically saying I was a dumb-ass for not noticing the obvious (though I would counter that most people did not see the "obvious" and assumed Beam had a future with the team). I recall even the biggest cynic of all about RHRP, Steve Goldman, called him a good prospect.

Apparently the worst thing about liking and promoting Beam is that Steve has it as his trump card to every argument. "You know, Steve, I really like this Obama guy." "I'm supposed to care?! You liked T.J. Beam!" "Hey, Steve, this water stuff? It's wet." "Wet? What? I'm supposed to believe the guy who liked T.J. Beam?!" It's always a lot of fun.

Because liking T.J. isn't as bad as gagging on the nether region of Alberto Gonzalez, of course.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 12:51 PM

I think I am starting to jump on the hating Cashman bandwagon when I found out he had the opportunity to make the deal for Santana for Kennedy, Melky and a prospect. If that is for real, we may live to regret not doing that deal.
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Ference, I don't think it's that simple. Let's assume for a moment that it was Kennedy/Melky/Marquez/another prospect. Sure, that trade doesn't include Hughes. But it does include Melky. And while Melky could certainly be traded back in December when Rowand/Hunter/Cameron/Bradley were available replacements, it's much harder to trade your opening day centerfielder on January 30th when all those potential replacements are already signed. Now it would come down to Corey Patterson or Scott Podsednik. Can you imagine the uproar Cashman would endure if he opened up the season with one of those two guys in CF?

The Mets didn't give up a single player that was projected into their 25-man roster. Maybe Gomez would've made the team as a 4th/5th outfielder to battle for time with Endy Chavez. But otherwise, the Mets didn't weaken their roster with this trade. The Yanks, by contrast, would've been giving up an everyday player in Melky. Not the same thing.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 01:55 PM

I think that Hal and a few others told Hank that the team could not afford Santana. The $1 billion new stadium, the ridiculous A-Freud contract. As well as the deteriorating economy (as predicted by me over a year ago, right here). The tip of the economic downturn is just now in sight, where it bottoms is anyone's guess, but cutting interest rates is like pushing on a string. Last thing the Yankees needed was Hank giving a blank check to Santana.

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 02:30 PM

Just this time around, you're basically saying I was a dumb-ass for not noticing the obvious
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If I came across that way, I apologize, as that wasn't my intent.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 02:57 PM

Wow! Don predicted the deteriorating economy over a year ago right here. Steve, you're going to need to change your blog's focus.

How come you chose this venue? Wouldn't it have been more patriotic to have informed the FED and the Treasury Department?*


* Don, If you're a member of either the FED or the Treasury Department and you did let them know about the downturn before telling a group of Yankee geeks on a website I apologize. I realize you have to keep a low level of visibility.

Posted by: Basura [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 02:57 PM

A-Rod compared to Sigmund? Whoa.

Posted by: Rich [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 04:17 PM