This afternoon, my email box and IM's were all triggered by a one second blip on the atomic clock. Well, not literally, but the instant the deal for Johan Santana was announced, it would be inevitable that I weigh in.
You see, some people, their blood is red, some real rich society folks are said to have blue blood. Passionate Mets fans like me, have Blue and Orange Blood (with occasional black trim).
So, USA Today reported the deal: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2008-01-29-twins-mets-santana_N.htm and I have to say, I am happy with it.
It boils down to proven quantity vs. prospects. How many 'can't miss' guys actually did? I can name a few - Brien Taylor, Todd Van Poppel, Paul Wilson, David Clyde, Joe Charboneau, etc. It is especially tough when it comes to pitching prospects and that's what the Mets gave up. I think of it as a Deal or No Deal....Here you are offered a lot, but what's in the case? Not sure. Take a sure thing and that is what Santana is. He is going to be a catalyst player and get the wins where we fell short last year (read into this: Mike Pelfrey -- who I was very high on...the jury is out, but skeptical).
Santana's #'s are mind boggling -- AND, HE'S ONLY 29!!!!!
So, let me throw this out...how many were shocked when Glavine left? I wasn't. After that debacle of the last game of the year in '07 when he gave up like 7-8 runs in 1-2 innings (see, I'm scarred on that as I can't -- or refuse -- to remember the nightmarish specifics). Glavine would have been a pariah. Santana makes up for that and more.
Torri Hunter, a long time Twins teammate said this in the USA Today article:
"The Mets are not only getting a Cy Young winner," Hunter said, "but an absolute bulldog who's great in the clubhouse. He's going to dominate that league. They're going to absolutely love him in New York."
How cool is that?
Let's take a quick look at Santana's stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/santajo02.shtml 8 years and a winning percentage of .679; Two Cy Young Awards (2004, 2006); 1381 K's in 1308 innings; etc. I don't want to get too rosy, but do want to point out a chink in the armor - he surrendered 33 HRs to place first on the list. Paradoxical if I must say so myself.
Lets dip back to what the Mets gave up -- all solid minor leaguers. I will make a prediction that 1 of the pitchers will have a stellar career. 1 will wash out and one will be average. As for Carlos Gomez, that is something to ask the Magic 8 Ball.
Thanks for reading. The sound of bats striking balls is only a few weeks away in spring training