January 11, 2008

Shea Nation Roundtable: Thoughts on a Possible Santana Trade

Welcome to the first Shea Nation roundtable discussion, where we ask everyone in our network a question regarding the hottest topic relating to the Mets (or baseball) at that time. Of course, right now, other then the ever-dangling cloud of Performance Enhancing Drug usage, the biggest story in baseball concerns star pitcher, Johan Santana, of the Minnesota Twins, and where he will be pitching when the season starts in 3 months.

I posed the following 2 questions to our fellow bloggers, and their responses follow below. We want to also open this forum up to our loyal readers, so please feel free to answer these same questions, and email them to this site so that we can create a second post including YOUR thoughts on these topics.

Without further ado...here are the questions:

1.) What do you think would constitute a "fair" trade with the Twins to acquire Johan Santana, in light of what the Red Sox and Yankees' have allegedly offered?


2.) Would you pull the trigger on a Santana deal if it meant giving up Guerra, Mulvey, Humber, Heilman, Martinez and Gomez?

From Robert C. Milelli (Shea Nation):

Hi all, here are my answers...btw I love this idea of the round table post.
1) To be honest with you all, I believe that Fernando Martinez is as good as Ellsbury and Hughes, he just falls short because he isn't major league ready. I'm sure they would want Gomez as well because he showed he is quick and plays great defense and may be able to fill in for them next year in the loss of Torii Hunter. Of course, they would want pitching prospects, probably three of them too. They wouldn't want Pelfrey, he probably has no value to them. I would think they would ask for Humber Guerra and Mulvey. They would want all three because oftheir history with injuries already. In my opinion I would hate to give up both outfield prospects, the pitchers I really wouldn't care about. Guerra is the only one I am attached to. Both outfield prospects are great and to obtain Santana, I guess I would have to say yes to this five person trade if we could sign him to a 7 year deal, considering the pitchers will never make an impact like Santana does and will continue to do. I feel It's more of a trade for Martinez and Gomez.

2) It's funny you ask this question, because I have high regards forHeilman. I totally rule out the possible starter material with him now, but he is such an asset to our bullpen. I don't think Heilman is a clutch pitcher, being that he gave up many big home runs last year, butI think he was the best pitcher next to Wagner in our horrific bullpen.By giving him up, you are giving up the guy who would bridge the way forSantana to get to Wagner, which on the year could cost him 3-5 victories. That's for your would be best starter. Imagine it beingPedro who has a rough time getting into and past the sixth. We have a pitching staff that needs its bullpen and without Heilman, I can't see us doing much better even with Santana. Plus, I think my fair trade ofthe other five players is giving up way too much already and that was tough to make. So no, I do not think this is worth it and would not go through with it.

From Don Kachuba(Gets By Buckner):

1.) Mulvey, F. Martinez, C. Gomez, Humber
2.) yes
(A man of few words - LOL! Guess he wants some Santana!!!)

From Dave @ Metslifer.com:

I completely agree with Joe D. Santana is THE best pitcher in baseball. You're going to have to overpay to get him. He's the kind of investment that you're willing to overpay to get. I think the package of Mulvey, Heilman, Gomez, Guerra and Humber/Pelfrey is decent but they should throw in one more prospect or a Ryan Church type of guy. I wouldn't however give up FMart & Gomez but any other prospect combo would be an option. The Mets are in need of another corner outfileder in the coming years as Alou is on his last leg and Ryan Church is not exactly a formidable option. Gomez or FMart could be the Mets RF or LF for the next 10 years. We should hold onto one of them.

From Andrew Vazzano (The 'Ropolitans):

1.) I don't think there can ever be a "fair" trade for either side. One team, most likely the Mets, will seem like they are grossly overpaying to get the talents of one great player and possibly a few other mostly meaningless players. The Mets will have to sacrifice so much young talent to get him, but I can see F-Mart, Heilman, and Humber. OR Gomez, Heilman, Humber and Guerra to throw us over the top of other teams.

2. Adding that 5th guy (Pelfrey / Humber / Mulvey most likely) makes it way too expensive in my eyes, and I would not pull any trigger. It would be a different story if it was for a position player, but for a guy that plays every 5th day, I just can't constitute it in my mind. Cool idea, hope it works out.
-Andrew Vazzano

From Joe D (Mets Merized):

Hi guys,

Here are my answers...

1. There is no such thing as a fair trade for Santana. Whoever gets Santana is going to overpay and it will be far from fair in my opinion. As to what I think a suitable Mets offer would be, I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to attain his services with the assumption he signs the seven-year deal he is asking for. I would have no problem trading four of our prospects as long as it does not include both Gomez and Martinez. The Mets have had three dozen pitching prospects that they have labeled phenoms, and yet you have to go back to 1984 and Dwight Gooden for the last time one of them panned out. So I would have no problem giving up Pelfrey, Humber, Mulvey and Gomez/Martinez for Santana.

2. There is no way I would give up all of that for Santana. First of all we could get him for a lot less than that. I wouldn't give Heilman up so quickly... I put more stock in guys that have proven themselves in the majors rather than prospects. Heilman has been a huge asset for us in the bullpen.

I hope you guys all had a great holiday and Happy New Year to you all!

Joe D

From Kyle Debussey (Mets Prospects)

1. In order to get Johan the Mets will need to give up 4 to 5 prospects. I am convinced that Gomez and Mulvey will be in the trade. There a number of players that can take the next two/three spots like Martinez, Pelfrey, Humber, Smith, Guerra, and a number of other prospects. If the Mets gave up 4 of their top prospects it would be fair or 5 with a few B level prospects.

2.) My biggest concern would not be giving up Martinez and Gomez but instead it would be parting with Deolis Guerra. I really like Guerra. He is just as young as Martinez in High A with a ton of potential. His record wasnt great but he had a pretty good era with a good amount of strikeouts. As much as I want Santana I truly believe giving up our top 4 prospects, Humber, and Heilman is just to much. If their was one less player in the deal such as Heilman than I would pull the trigger.

From John Young (Shea Nation):

1.) It’s hard to constitute a fair trade for Johan Santana who is by far the Pedro Martinez of this decade. The Twins are in need of a centerfielder and a spark plug at the top of the order to replace Castillo who they traded to the Mets mid way through last season. I’m still trying to figure that one out. So in regards to a fair trade would have to center around Carlos Gomez. The Twins know how desperate the Mets are and are going to exploit that weakness to try and drain their farm system. A fair trade, to me, would have to resemble something along the lines of:

Carlos Gomez, Mike Pelfrey or Philip Humber, Aaron Heilman and Joe Smith

2. I think I would have to pull that trigger for the simple fact that the Mets have two first round draft picks and a sandwich round pick. Besides that, we have all seen how fast Omar can stock the farm with the signings of Gomez and Martinez who have turned out to be the focal point of the twins. In order to get the most dominant pitcher of this decade, you have to take a blow somewhere. Look at the Diamondbacks and the hit they took when they traded the A’s for Dan Haren and he isn’t as accomplished as Santana by all means. This trade has to get done at almost any cost and there is always going to be the next big thing in any team’s farm system, so pull the trigger and hit the road Omar. We will need to fill those holes.

From Jonathan Elfenbein (Shea Nation)
1.) I think an offer of Gomez, Mulvey, Humber and Heilman should really be enough. I don't like the idea of trading Heilman, but that would have to be very attractive to the Twins because it allows them to seemlessly trade Joe Nathan for additional, high-level prospects. Gomez can step in for Hunter on a team that isn't going to compete this year, and be allowed to blossom while facing major league hitting and has at least as much upside as Ellsbury, if not more. Humber and Mulvey each are interesting prospects- Humber has a lot to prove to get back to the lofty status predicted for him when he was originally drafted, and remember - he IS still coming back from major (Tommy John) surgery, and needs time still to recover, and Mulvey is anxious to show that he has what it takes to be a major leaguer. This is more than the other teams are offering, and would go a longer way to solving the holes in the Twins' organization.

2.) Giving up both Martinez and Gomez in the same trade, along with a Guerra/Mulvey and Heilman/Humber combo (4 or 5 in total) is not an acceptable deal to me, unless we are getting back a top outfield or first base prospect in return. Alou is in the last year of his career, and Delgado is in the last year of his contract, and most likely neither one will be in a Mets' uniform in 2009. I know that it's easier to find offensive help in these two areas than it is to find a top-line pitcher, but I think the holes that this deal leaves in the Mets' organization are too big to make a deal of this nature for "just" Santana (although if it were anyone else added to the deal except Martinez from our farm system, I would say "full speed ahead" in a heartbeat!)

From David Rubin (Shea Nation):
First of all, thanks to everyone who sent us their opinions, and I think we've really seen a nice slice of what the Mets' fan community believes as to what would be a fair trade in our efforts to acquire Santana. Before I give you my opinions, again, if you are reading this, email us your thoughts and we will post a reader's roundtable some time within the next few days.

1.) I think an offer of Guerra, Gomez, Mulvey, Humber and Mike Carp would be an interesting one for the Twins. You'd have a longer term, higher ceiling starter in Guerra, someone to replace Hunter now who will grow into a star in Gomez, 2 starters who could be either "2's" or "3's" in their rotation (okay, 4's at wort), and a potential power hitter who might be better suited for the A.L. and who could spell Mourneau once in a while. I would even go as far as to add Joe Smith, if we could get back a bullpen prospect, even if it's someone who is 19 or 20. Omar is going to restock the farm system with this years' draft, and if Mr. Wilpon is willing to shell out the $140 million for Santana, as he's been quoted as saying, why wouldn't he be willing to give Omar another $10-$14 mil to sign additional talent from the Dominican (like Martinez and Guerra)? I really like Guerra, and for that matter, Gomez and Mulvey, but you will NOT get a top pitcher without having to give up a TON in today's market- look at what the A's received for Dan Haren, someone who has had ONE year of success in the majors!! This IS Johan Santana we are talking about, and he would be the first number one starter, in his PRIME, that we'd have since Doc Gooden! Think about THAT for a moment... Additionally, I wouldn't be against putting either Ruben Gotay or Endy Chavez into such a deal, as it would give the Twins some major league-ready talent and replace the departed Hunter and Castillo in their line-up immediately. We'd HAVE to take out either Gomez or Martinez at that point!

2.) If we HAD to add Martinez to this deal, a week ago, I would have said "NO WAY!" Now, being closer to the time when pitchers and catchers report, and looking at who else might be available within the next 2 years, I say we MUST pull the deal on this trade, NO MATTER WHAT (short of adding Reyes or Wright, Maine or Perez) and just get it done! I want to wear my Santana jersey to Spring Training this year, and it's getting a bit too close for my liking for a deal not to be done. I think that adding Santana allows us to really feel like we have the chance to go all the way this year, like we hope for now but realize we just might not have all the necessary pieces in place to do so. Santana makes all of the remaining pieces disappear, and makes us the favorite, in my opinion, in the National League! As Star Trek's Captain Piccard used to say, "Make it so!!!"

And that wraps up our first official roundtable - we hope you liked reading all of our thoughts, and we can't wait to hear from you!

Happy new year and may it include happiness, wealth and health, and a whole lot of Santana!!!


Mike Rustage said...

I just can’t see the Mets giving up all that talent to get back one player, even thought that one player is Johan Santana. Anyway a fair trade to me would be Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber, Mike Carp and Kevin Mulvey and for question two, I don’t think that would be a good move for the Mets to trade away all that talent.

Anonymous said...

Well with the current lineup that the Twins are asking for, I think a fair trade is now off the table .

Nick said...

What else is there to say but nice job guys in completing the first ever round table of all your blogs and I hope to see more in the future.

Robert said...

I would consider a trade of Gomez, Mulvey, F. Martinez, Heilman and Guerra if the Twins threw in Nathan to the Santana trade, then it would be a fair exchange. The Twins get a lot of our top prospects and we get an Ace and a future closer when Wagner leaves.

Anonymous said...

When you sit and think about Santana, you can only think of a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a dominant pitcher in his prime. Of course we are going to have to pay him out the wazoo, but that shouldn’t stop Omar because the Wilpons have already put their stamp of approval on this matter. Do it at all costs.

Anonymous said...

why was the author for Mets4life not included in the first SHEA NATION ROUNDTABLE.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Mets should make this trade. I think that as a compromise the Mets should throw in not only Martinez (and the four others) but another prospect in return for Joe Nathan and Johan. This is a great compromise because of the six prospects we give up, in all probability, only two of them might be able to perform successfully on a major league level. Therefore the Mets are getting two proven pitchers in this deal instead of just one. Also, I think that the Mets should try to find a way to leave Gomez out of this trade because the Mets are all about speed, and I don't think that the Mets should give up the fastest player in the game. Also, the Mets are also relieving the Twins of both Nathan and Santana's payroll for next year, which equals over $20 million.