Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Johan Santana, part 2

If you've read any of my blogs, namely No Trade Needed, The Cost of Johan Santana and Home Grown Team you may assume I am completely against trading for Johan Santana. The reality is that I'm completely undecided. Half of me wants to build a team from the ground up, half of me wants to contend with the Angels in 2008.

Here are some new developments:

Earlier this evening SI's Jon Heyman was the latest to link Seattle to Johan Santana, along with the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels and Mets. I'm going to go ahead and rule out both LA teams, as they surely do not have the resources to obtain Miguel Cabrera/Tejada and Santana. The Mets may not have enough to offer.

Although the article completely lacked any Mariner details, he did go into proposed Yankees and Red Sox deals. The Yankees are trying to center a package around outfielder Melky Cabrera, starting pitcher Phil Hughes plus one other player. Did I read that right? I assumed, based on the rumors that it would take the Mariners Adam Jones, Jeff Clement and Brandon Morrow to get Santana, that a Yankee deal would start with Robinson Cano and include both Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. The Yankees are rumored to have deemed Chamberlain untouchable, but do you really believe anything the Yankees say? If not Chamberlain it's going to be Ian Kennedy. If the season started today Hughes, Kennedy and Chamberlain would all be part of the Yankee rotation, according to Yankee skipper Joe Girardi.

According to Heyman, the Twins were seeking either of starters Clay Buchholz or Jon Lester to go along with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury from the Red Sox. The Sox are hoping they can keep Ellsbury and pawn Coco Crisp off on the Twins instead. Boston may be able to make this work with Buchholz and Crisp, or Lester and Ellsbury, they just have to decide who's more important.

What strikes me as odd to both these deals is that Minnesota is asking for pitching. I was under the impression that the Twins were well stocked in the starting pitchers department, so there may be something to the Boof Bonser to Tampa Bay or the Matt Garza to Tampa Bay for Delmon Young rumors, originally thought to be complete speculation.

I can see a Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz +1 trade working out, but there's no way a Melky Cabrera, one Hughes or Kennedy +1 should ever work. Just the rumor has outraged Twins' fans and has had Yanks' fans salivating. Such a trade would be an absolute steal for Steinbrenner and company. If that trade works, then there may be hope for the Mariners. Maybe there's a chance we wouldn't have to give up 3/4 of our top major league ready prospects. 1/2 sounds a little better. Sure, a deal including Wladimir Balentien, Ryan Feierabend and Jeremy Reed may be a stretch, but there is hope. I believe that if Wlad had the ability to play center field we could ship him off instead of Jones, and unfortunately Jeremy Reed probably isn't good enough with the stick to perk Minnesota's interest.

The original deal brought up by Larry LaRue was Adam Jones, Jeff Clement and Brandon Morrow. What if you could make the deal happen with only two of them? How about holding Clement back? Some may say that Clement is the least valuable of the bunch, but I beg to differ. If you look back at my Jones/Clement Value blog, you will see that it is much harder to find a player of Clement's caliber than Jones'. I would be all for this trade if you could get the Twins nodding their head about Jones, Morrow and Feierabend, or something close to it. Feierabend could be traded out with any of Rob Johnson, Jeremy Reed, Sean White or Jon Huber. (I've given up on the hyperlinks to player pages, here is the Seattle 40-man roster.)

The only problem with trading for Johan is the Mariner outfield. If you trade Adam Jones, who plays right field? Wladimir Balentien might be ready, might not, we really won't know until Spring Training. Jose Guillen appears to have both feet out the door and may be nearing contracts with Kansas City or Baltimore. Jeremy Reed had his shot and blew it, twice. You could trade Richie Sexson for Jay Payton, but then where's your offense? It would make things interesting, but if you can get Johan Santana for just two of your top prospects it's probably worth it. The bottom line is you don't know what you'll get from Adam Jones, Brandon Morrow or any other prospect. You do know what you'll get from Johan Santana: 5-7 Cy Young caliber seasons, depending on how long he re-signs for. Johan's average season over the past few years is about the same as Barry Zito's best year. Think about that, then think about whether the contract is worth it.

Now, before anyone gets too excited about the possibility of this happening, there is this possibility: The only reason the Twins are considering such a poor offer from the Yankees is because Johan Santana will only drop his no-trade clause for New York. If Santana is deadset on pinstripes then it would all make a lot of sense, but there has been nothing on whether that is actually the case.

Sorry for the flip-flop in opinions! If it takes Adam Jones, Jeff Clement and Brandon Morrow I'm more than a little skeptical, but if you can make this deal happen for less than that I am all for it.

Additional sources: Yankees, Twins discuss Santana
Geoff Baker: Countdown to Nashville JO-SAN

1 comment:

Dustin said...

The Red Sox have already put Bukholtz (sp?) and Ellsbury on the untouchable. They are one of the few teams who mean it too. They just won a World Series. They won't need anything, and shouldn't mess with anything.

Read my latest blog on Mariner Nation. It's about why the 3 prospects are expendable.