Wednesday, January 30, 2008


After months of reading and listening to rumors about Johan Santana and where he'll be playing this season, we finally know.

At least we're pretty sure.

If the Mets can reach a contract agreement with the lefty ace he will be headed for Queens.

In exchange, the Twins will get outfielder Carlos Gomez along with a trio of pitchers: Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra.

Three important things here for the Tribe.

Santana is no longer in the AL Central, he didn't go to the Red Sox or Yankees and we will finally see just exactly what kind of money it will take to nail down an ace in today's market.

That's information that will undoubtedly impact the Indians' talks with their own ace, CC Sabathia.

So just who are these guys the Twins got and will they come back to haunt the Tribe a few years down the road. Based on the reaction in today's New York papers it sounds like the Twins did not come away with the store.

On the (NY) Daily News' blog Touching Base, Jesse Spector runs down just who each player is and what he will likely bring to the table.

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects list ranked Guerra, Gomez and Mulvey 2-3-4 in the organization, with Humber at No. 7.

Guerra, an 18-year-old righthander from Venezuela, was 2-6 with a 4.01 ERA for Single-A St. Lucie, but held opponents to a .240 average and had 66 strikeouts in 89.2 innings while compiling a 1.51 groundout-to-flyout ratio. Eighteen is a very young age for the Florida State League, and while Guerra didn’t thrive, to be able to survive is impressive. It’ll be a while before you hear about him in Minnesota, though.

We learned last summer what a joy Gomez is to watch as he stole 12 bases in 58 major-league games. The 22-year-old still has some work to do as a hitter, but he should be able to battle Craig Monroe for the Twins’ everyday center field job.

At 22, Mulvey was expected to perhaps compete for a spot in Flushing this spring after going 12-10 with a 3.20 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A last year. It will be interesting to see whether the Twins immediately put him in the rotation or have him start in Triple-A for a little more seasoning. If it’s the former, Mulvey could be a contender for AL Rookie of the Year honors.

Humber, who turned 25 in December, was 11-9 with a 4.27 ERA in Triple-A last year, and struggled in one start and two relief appearances in the majors. He should be part of Minnesota’s rotation this year, and the Twins will need him to come along quickly.

Four nice players, certainly, but considering that the Twins were talking about Phil Hughes with the Yankees and Clay Buchholz with the Red Sox, Minnesota fans have to walk away from this deal shaking their heads.

In his column today John Harper of the Daily News quoted a unnamed A.L. scout:

"The Mets gave up some solid prospects, but there's no can't-miss in there."

And then there's this from Joel Sherman of the New York Post:

The Mets did not include a player who projected to make their Opening Day roster nor one that is likely to even make that of the Twins. "The Mets had to do this," one AL executive said. "These are prospects who have a good chance to fall by the wayside while in the NL next year Santana is going to have a 1.90 ERA."

The Twins obviously like this Met group, particularly Gomez, a lot more than most of the industry. ... "I don't like what the Mets gave them at all," an AL executive said. "Look at it this way, I am glad those four guys are in our league and Santana is in the NL."

Losing these four, as much as I like Gomez's talent, is unlikely to sink the franchise. It was one thing for Brian Cashman to hold his ground on Hughes, because the Yankees gave up on kids such as Hughes for much too long. Hughes should have been a deal-breaker. Gomez, Humber, Mulvey, Guerra are not. Not for Santana.

Of course we won't know until three or four years from now, but it appears the Santana ordeal has ended in the best possible way for the Tribe and the rest of the A.L.


moose said...

The indians lost 5 wins a year with santana leaving the AL central I think the yankees and red sox definitely probably offered better deals - yes I am looking at a 7 year $130 plus for santana. if the giants gave zito $126 for 7 what will santana get it. he will strike out more players cazause he will be facing a pitcher once every 3 innings.

good twins - long season for you

moose said...

casey and julio - now we are cooking !!!!