No, this little event is not exactly a “sports upset” per se, but the news Santana would be leaving the Twin Cities certainly was upsetting, especially for one particular blogger. Santana was traded to the New York Mets yesterday and pending the acceptance of a long-term contract, it looks like Johan has pitched his last game in Minnesota as the Twins fell victim to Major League Baseball’s business as usual method.
Because of some unfortunate labor agreements, smaller market teams like the Twins (who were once asked to be contracted, lest we forget) are having a hard time keeping their “home grown” stars when said star gets close to free agency. The idea, because these “lesser” franchises don’t have the disposable income the big market teams do, is to trade these stars before their free agent period in order to get some value in return.
And that’s exactly what happened with Santana and the Twins. However, did the Twins get anything in return for trading MLB’s best pitcher? No, not really. Over at Babes Love Baseball, Sooze has a great write-up on the prospects the Mets had to give up for Santana and to put it mildly, she doesn’t seem that impressed:
Wait… who? Exactly. Congratulations, Mets fans. Apparently, Bill Smith was
bribed threatened convinced that those four — a motley crew, as Mel called them — added up to one Johan Santana. Let’s just say I hope there’s some cash thrown into the mix, and at least the Twins will only have to face him during Interleague Play.
As you can see, the excitement is overwhelming. At Twins Geek, there’s much more in this vein:
The package that the Twins got from the Mets illustrates this. Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber and Kevin Mulvey are duplicates of half of a dozen pitchers in the Twins organization. Deolis Guerra might be special, but hasn’t made it anywhere near the upper levels of the minors. And it isn’t clear that Carlos Gomez, who headlines the package, is a significantly better prospect than Jason Pridie. He’s certainly not someone that Twins can count on before 2009.
So what does this do for the Mets? Are they now the favorite to come out of the National League? Well, if they can avoid season-ending collapses… If you looking for reactions from Mets fans, check out the MetsBlog and the NY Post’s Mets blog.
As for me, this little episode personifies why I’m still at odds with MLB. Smaller franchises shouldn’t have to be punished just because a prospect came up from the organizational ranks and turned out to be a stud, only to ship him off the market with the most money.