Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Look at the Santana Trade

This was a very interesting situation a few years back.

Santana was forcing a trade. He had one year left on his contract and the Twins needed to decide whether to trade him or keep him for one year and then let him walk.

The Twins decided to trade him to the Mets, though some people think that the Twins should have taken Boston's or the Yankee's offer. I am going to break this down.

To start, nobody knows if the Yankees or Red Sox actually made offers. Santana's value was lower because Santana was not only forcing a trade, but Gardenhire also wanted a trade done because he didn't want Santana's attitude on this whole situtation in his clubhouse. Santana also had a no-trade clause, so he took away all the leverage that the Twins had.

Another reason that the Red Sox and Yankees didn't want Santana anymore was because Santana was showing a decline in velocity. This was a big warning sign.

So because of that, the Twins traded for four of the Mets top prospects. Though prospects are just what they are: prospects. Just because they didn't get as much as the Orioles did when they fleeced Seattle (Bedard trade) doesn't mean that it was a bad deal.

Lets break this whole trade down though real quick:



Kevin Mulvey>>>> Jon Rauch
Carlos Gomez>>>> JJ Hardy
Deolis Guerra (Top pitching prospect, 20 years old in AA)
Philip Humber (Now a free agent)

So in return the Twins now have Jon Rauch, who was amazing for us toward the end of last season. It seems as if he was the only person the last month+ of the season who could hold a game for Nathan. JJ Hardy was an All-star SS and can hit 25 homers 80 RBIs. Yes, he had a bad 2009 season, but it looked as though he wanted out of Milwaukee. Maybe that is why his stats were down, though that will be found out next year. Finally, Deolis Guerra, still has talent at only 20 years old and could easily be a #1 to #2 starter in the next 4 years.

If the Twins would have done the trade with the Yankees or Red Sox, they would have gotten:

Ellsbury (His defense in center field this year was sub-par, -16.5 UZR.)
Lowrie (Can't hold down the starting short stop job..)
Masterson (Traded to the Indians, though did pretty bad...)
Bowden (Ok prospect, #3-4 Starter ceiling though.)


Lester (Ace for Red Sox right now, turned out to be a good player..)
Crisp (Yuck)
Lowrie (See Above)
Bowden (See Above)


Hughes (3+ era in the bullpen? This is someone who was supposed to be a top starter...)
Cabrera (Ok batting average with ok defense? The Twins already have their hands on Delmon Young)
+an ok prospect.

So after looking over that, the only deal that would have been better was the Lester deal, and that is in hindsight. Remember he was coming back from cancer. No one knew if he would come back great or not. Also, note that the Twins did not really want to trade Santana to someone in the American League as then they would have to face him. That in itself is a good reason why they ended up trading him to the Mets.

I personally think that having Jon Rauch, JJ Hardy, and Deolis Guerra is much better then having any of the other packages (excluding the Lester deal).

What do you think?