Its official, Johan Santana is now a member of the New York Mets.
On Tuesday Jan. 29, 2008 the Minnesota Twins dealt the former Cy-Young Award winner to the Mets in exchange for four minor league prospects. Carlos Gomez, Deolis Guerra, Philip Humber, and Kevin Mulvey will join the Twins farm system while Santana will instantly become a superstar in the Big Apple.
When you look at this trade, there are really four winners when all is said and done with. The big winner is of course, the Mets. Mets GM Omar Minaya has not been afraid to dish out the cash when the talent is available. We saw this when he signed Carlos Beltran to a long-term deal, and we see it again with the $140 million he will be spending to keep Santana in town for a while.
With this trade, the Mets skyrocket in the NL power rankings and are the favorite in the NL East without question. Santana has averaged 18 wins over the past four seasons, so if you add that onto last years win total of 88 games, it’s very possible that the Mets could win over 100 games in the 2008 MLB campaign.
The next frontrunner in this trade, believe it or not, is the Minnesota Twins. By getting rid of Santana, they free up a lot of money that they can now use to shop the free agent market with. The organization also gains four young prospects, two of which already have some big league experience. Minnesota also made sure to send their former ace to the National League, which means he can’t hurt them during the regular season, except in the rare occasion of an inter-league match up.
So, who else could possibly be a winner in this trade? That’s simple, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.
Immediately following the 2007 World Series Championship, the talks began to stir about what AL East powerhouse would land Santana to make their starting rotation the best in baseball. Both teams were very interested, offering different packages that included young and talented players of the likes of Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury, Phil Hughes, and Melky Cabrera. The two teams were serious about acquiring Santana, but at the same time wanted to make sure their offer was just a little better then the others.
With Santana going to a National League team, both Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and Yankees GM Brian Cashman can breathe a sigh of relief. So can all American League left-handed hitters for that matter.
Besides Santana, the Mets starting rotation features another former Cy Young Award winner in Pedro Martinez, and one of the all-time greatest performing pitchers in October in Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez. The combination of power (Santana), finesse (Martinez), and experience (Hernandez) puts the trio among the leagues toughest 1, 2, 3 pitching rotations.
Regardless of how Santana pitches, it will be an exciting year of baseball in New York, and for the first time in a long time it looks like that the Mets are the clear favorite in their respected division, while the Yankees are not.
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