Monday, December 31, 2007

Red Sox/Yankees Trading Game

I keep asking myself to stop writing about Johan Santana. It's unlikely that he'll become a Mariner, but he still manages to take up about 15% of my offseason posts. It all comes down to the fact that there is absolutely nothing to write about in baseball between Christmas and New Years, but it's always fun and easy to speculate about the best pitcher in baseball.

I have no idea why the Minnesota Twins are even bothering trying to trade Johan Santana to the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees.

Everyone knows Boston doesn't need him. They just swept the Colorado Rockies in the World Series last season without him. Boston already has a solid rotation filled with the likes of Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield, not to mention young studs Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz competing for the final spot, so why would they need to deplete their farm system in order to get Johan? Sure, the current Red Sox rotation with the addition of Johan Santana would assure playoff dominance, but the real reason they are persuing Santana is no secret. If Boston didn't get involved, Santana would already be trying on his new Yankee uniform, improving their team dramatically. Ideally Boston would just like to drive up the price so that the Yankees bow out, which almost worked, but I think they would indeed go as far as acquiring Santana just to ensure that the New York Yankees miss their man.

The Yankees do actually need Johan, but they are unwilling to give up the players Minnesota craves. The problem is this: as soon as the Yankees up their offer the Red Sox will do the same, and it appears that Boston can offer better packages. I can seriously see the Twins getting tired of the game and looking elsewhere.

The New York Mets and Seattle Mariners are the other two teams that come to mind still vying for Santana's services. If the Twins' front office truly did get sick of dealing with the Yankees and Red Sox I would think that the New York Mets would be the favorite. They've got some good young players they could send to Minnesota, and it would be a smart move for the Twins to move Johan Santana to the National League so that they wouldn't have to run into him in the playoffs for the next 5-7 years.

It would also be a good move for baseball. The National League already added Dan Haren this offseason, and adding Johan Santana would start restoring the balance of the two leagues. The more dominant pitchers there are in the National League, the more dominant hitters will be required. Currently most of the great pitchers are in the American League, meaning most of the great hitters (especially power hitters) are in the AL as well, but that's not what this post is about.

The point of this post is to bring up the possibility that the Minnesota Twins could give up on Boston and New York and move on to the other teams. If this happens it would be good news for the Mariners, because we've got some good players to offer and might be able to get a deal done with players like Jacoby Ellsbury and Phil Hughes unavailable. The Mariners are still in talks with Minnesota, so who knows what could happen. Jayson Stark mentions that a deal could take weeks, and as Spring Training approaches I could see rookie Minnesota GM panicing and moving Santana to the team who makes it easiest for him. That team could be the Mariners.

Who knows... [Jo-San]

View all Bleeding Blue and Teal posts related to Johan Santana JO-SAN


Dustin said...

The only thing in this post I disagree with is that the Mets are a better suitor. You later mentioned that the GM is a rookie who may panic, and who knows, he may panic enough and not see this.

However, the Mets have nowhere near the prospects the Mariners do to pry Santana away from the Twins. They already traded Millege, who is the outfield prospect that the Twins would have asked for. The Mariners have what the Twins need. Adam Jones, to replace Hunter. Clement to replace Mauer, Morneau (expiring contracts and who knows if they can resign both), or the DH spot, or even catch if they move Mauer. We would have to most likely offer Morrow, who could anchor the back end of the rotation, since they would have lost two pitchers to the Mariners.

I don't know what Bavasi is thinking. Up the damn offer.

claude said...

Do you really think adding Santana will make the M's better than the Angels this season?

We'll still have Ibanez running around aimlessly in LF and possibly an equally inept defensive RF (replacing Jones). I don't think we should part with Jones and Morrow to add a pitcher even a great one like Santana when that move still won't make us the best team in our division. But I suppose if we were able to get Santana that we would likely work out a contract extension giving the team a larger window to put a contending team on the field to go along with Felix, Santana, and our bullpen.

Dustin said...

So you think keeping a hit or a miss like Jones and Clement will make us better? Santana is the established ace that the Mariners haven't had since like 2002 when we had Freddy knowing he was the ace. Since then, we haven't had an effective ace. Moyer had his run, but Santana is more of the prototypical ace. He is dominant. Moyer was just above-average.

I honestly think that the Mariners would be the team to beat if we add Santana and an adequate outfielder. And honestly, Ibanez isn't as bad of an outfielder as people say. He's clutch, to say the least. The biggest plays coming at the biggest times seem to find him, quite often actaully.

Anonymous said...

You nailed it on the head towards the end of your comment, Claude. Adding Santana would give us a 5-7 year window to create a championship team. Adding him would make us much better for 2008, but i'm not sure if it will be enough to compete with the Angels next year, and the Wild Card will be tougher to win next year with the additions the Tigers have made. Adding Santana would improve our odds next year, but would really benefit us down the road.