Johan Santana traded to the Mets

Johan Santana - New York Mets


The New York Mets acquire:
SP – Johan Santana

The Minnesota Twins acquire:
CF – Carlos Gomez
SP – Deolis Guerra
SP – Kevin Mulvey
SP – Phillip Humber

Now, who got the better of the deal?
Well, it depends a bit on the prospects here but I will try and break everything down for you.

I will start with Carlos Gomez. This kid has the ability to be special in the Majors. When Jose Reyes (former teammate) admits that Carlos has better wheels than him, you know he is fast. Last year in 125 at bats he mustard up a .232 average, 2 home runs, 14 runs, and 12 stolen bases. These numbers are for sure to increase this year playing in the dome. As well as having outstanding speed, he is an excellent defender. He guards center just like former Twins star Torii Hunter, so Hunter’s defense will not be missed too much. Carlos also has an above average arm, which he will need in the fire power offenses of the AL Central. He is by far the best looking prospect out of the bunch and is a true center piece of a big trade like this.

Deolis Guerra has an electric arm and could turn into a big time pitcher in the bigs. If he gets his velocity up higher he has an awesome change up that is sure to fool hitters no matter what class of baseball he pitches in. Here are a couple of concerns for Guerra. On May 16, 2007 he was put on the shelf for a couple of games with shoulder tendinitis. That is most definitely a warning sign for a young pitcher. Shoulder tendinitis could flare up at anytime if it is not properly healed and treated. Hopefully, for the Twins, he was treated and it will not return in the near future. He projects out to be a number 3 starter at this time. That will obviously fluctuate heavily considering this kid is only 18 years old.

Phillip Humber was once regarded as one of the top prospects in all of baseball. However, he has not really panned out as well as some would have liked. He does have a plus curveball which is always a great thing to have in the majors. A lot of analysts think that he needs to develop his other pitches in order to be at a ceiling of a number 2 starter. I happen to agree. When I watched him pitch while he was briefly in the majors it looked as if he lacked the X-factor that separates the average pitchers from the good pitchers. Phillip is now 25 and is losing time to “get it” in the Majors. There is still time, but it does not seem like he will be much more than a number 3 starter.

Kevin Mulvey is another one of the Mets top prospects. He is not really expected to be much of a factor in the majors at this point but he is 22 and anything can change. In class AA minor league ball he was 11-10 with a 3.33 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 110/43 in 151 innings. He also started one class AAA game and went 6 innings of scoreless ball. He lacks a lot of tools at this point and projects really to a serviceable 4th or 5th starter.

Do I even need to say anything about Johan Santana? He has been the best pitcher in the bigs since 2003. As well as him being completely lights out in the second half of every one of those seasons. Johan’s career ERA after the All-Star Break is a ridiculous 2.79! That is really all that needs to be said. He is lights out when it matters the most and is lights out at the beginning of the season as well. My bet is that he wins the NL Cy Young award for the next couple of years running. Think about it. Someone who picked apart with such ease the great lineups of the AL is going off to the NL now. There is no way that Johan will face a lineup as potent as the Tigers and the Indians in the NL. His success with the Mets has absolutely no ceiling. Santana is simply the best pitcher on the planet and acquiring him is obviously going to make any team better.

I think the winner of this trade has to be the Mets. They are getting, as said, the best pitcher on the face of the Earth. Anytime you get a clear number one starting pitcher who is just coming into their prime, you get the better end of the deal. When this pitcher is a lefty as well, that’s just icing on the cake. The Mets really do not give up much in this trade, in terms of value. Sure, the Twins got four of the Mets top 10 prospects, but it still was not enough. I still ponder why the Twins did not jump all over the Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera trade that was proposed earlier in the trade process. I think in that deal you get a potential number one starter in Hughes with an above average center fielder, which they needed. It just does not add up to me at all. Also, the Red Sox reported offer of a package with Lester or Ellsbury would greatly outweigh the value that they got. However, as bad as I’m making this sound for the Twins, it was necessary at the same time. The Twins could not have afforded to keep Santana next year anyway, and would have lost him for some draft picks next winter.

I could be completely wrong in the long run of who one this trade. The Twins have made a mockery out of some teams in the past with some trades when the Twins looked as if they were getting the worse deal by far. Namely the trade with AJ Pierzynski. That is when the Twins gave up Pierzynski in return for Fransisco Liriano, Joe Nathan, and Boof Bonser. Don’t underestimate the Twins Front Office.

photo courtesy of cbc.ca, under the Creative Commons License

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