Well, it finally happened. Wild Bill pulled the trigger on Johan. I will say I’m slightly disappointed with this deal. However, there is some upside. We got 4 of the Mets top ten prospects. Carlos Gomez has great upside and should compete for the starting CF job with Pridie, Span, and probably Punto and Cuddyer. Phil Humber won’t become any better than a back of the rotation starter, but those can be a valuable commodity in a pennant race, or as trade bait to another team in a pennant race. Desperate teams tend to overpay for stable pitching, even if it is just a 4th starter. This is especially true in late July. If you check out Gleeman’spost today you can see all the statistical analysis for each of the players we picked up. After reading about each of them it seems that most of them were rushed through the mets system. I think the Twins approach to minor leaguers, and their good coaching staffs at every level will help these players realize their full potential. That is why I think all of them should spend all of 2008, if not longer, at some minor league level. Some claim that Gomez is going to be in center on opening day 2008, I think he has shown he is over-matched right now in the majors. The Twins would be better off signing Corey Patterson or someone for one year. I don’t think Span or Pridie are ready either.
Remember, when the team traded Knoblauch 10 years ago we got a handful of scrubs according to most people. We failed to get the Yankees top prospect at the time, Ricky Ledee. This made many fans angry, but it turned out ok. Guzman and Milton were all-stars, we turned Milton into Silva, who was a solid innings eater for a few years. I think this trade can’t be properly judged for a few more years.
Looking forward to next season I think it will be difficult for the Twins to be worse than they were last year. Young can very easily replace what Hunter did last year. And a chimp could replace what Torii would have done this year, everyone knows he only plays well in contract years. If Liriano is 75% of what he was in 06, not a totally far fetched thought, he replaces Santana’s production. With the emergence of Scott Baker as a legit major league starter, and if the rumors about Boof losing a ton of weight we should have at worst a major league average rotation. Even with Johan for 2008 I don’t think we would have caught either the Tigers or the Indians in the central. Much like the Timberwolves and KG. If they kept him they would be a little better, but still nowhere near the playoffs. So as long as Punto stays on the bench for 2008 and Cuddyer doesn’t play center, we have reason to be optimistic.
Update: I have read this morning that Johan told the twins to trade him by Tuesday (Jan 29) or he would invoke his no trade clause and he would walk after the season. Wild Bill asked the Yankees for Ian Kennedy, Melky, and another top low level prospect, and was denied. The Red Sox refused to move Ellsbury or Lester. So the package we took was the best we could get before Johan’s deadline. Everyone has been saying we should have pulled the trigger a month ago, but had Smith done that everyone would have said “he should have waited a month for a better package”. I like the gamble Smith took. It was not unreasonable to think the Yankees would do something crazy to get Johan, he gambled and lost. I respect that. I’m not sure what TR would have done but I wouldn’t have respected that.2 comments