When you take a look at the proposed deal by the Minnesota Twins to send the AL’s ace Johan Santana to the New York Mets, one thing comes to mind:
Did Kevin McHale make this trade?
Like their NBA neighbor in the Twin Cities, the Twins found themselves just giving away their best player, and will swap the best arm in baseball — a left arm, I might add — for a smattering of decent prospects from the Mets’ farm.
Delving into the numbers of all of the players involved isn’t necessary. Santana is the best pitcher on the planet, and the group of guys heading north for some ice fishing and baseball are rated among the top seven prospects in the Mets’ system by Baseball America. What’s that make them? Among the top 200 prospects in baseball? Ooooohhhhhhhhhh.
What’s certainly more surprising than the Twins getting fleeced in the deal for the best pitcher of the 21st Century is that Santana won’t be wearing red socks or pinstripes. Somehow, after receiving better offers back at the winter meetings in November from both the Yankees and the Red Sox, the Twins decided instead to hold onto their hand a little longer before calling.
The bluff backfired.
Sure, the Twins have more than made out well in recent trades, picking up Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser in the deal for A.J. Piersynski alone. But to give away Santana without getting somebody like Phil Hughes or Jon Lester back?
Heck, at least McHale got Al Jefferson as part of a package in return for Kevin Garnett. Of course, the T’Wolves are struggling to get to 10 wins by February, so maybe we should hold off on singing McHale’s praises.
As for the Mets, look out. Santana joins a rotation that has three hurlers coming back who won 15 games last year, and that doesn’t include the oft-injured but potentially dominating Pedro Martinez.
If New York can just get somebody who can hold onto the leads these guys have after six innings, David Wright, Jose Reyes and Co. will take care of the rest.
The Mets will have to pay a pretty penny for Santana, who holds all the cards in negotiating a contract extension. But what’s a little extra cash when you didn’t have to already mortgage the future?