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  • 20 Twins Trades: Goodbye Johan

    Ok, I'm going to need a second. It's just... it's hard to talk about this one. I mean... it's Johan. He was my favorite... PLAYER! BLAHAWAAWA! I'm sorry. I'm sorry! I can't do it! I'M JUST SO UPSET. I MEAN, HE'S JOHAN SANTANA, WHY DID THE TWINS HAVE TO TRADE HIM AWAY?!? ...

    YOU'RE CRYING! ...

    NO! JUST LEAVE ME... I DON'T NEED TO BLOW MY NOSE! OH JOHAN, WHY?!?!?


    The Trade: BREAKDOWN!

    The Minnesota Twins traded Johan Santana to the New York Mets for Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra.

    Johan Santana is the greatest. Santana was fantastic for the Mets from 2008-2010. He was robbed of the Cy Young Award in 2008, much like he was robbed in 2005. He should really have four Cy Youngs. Four! There were some signs of decline in 2010 and then he missed all of 2011 with an injury. He returned last season but succumbed to another injury in 2013 and may need to retire at the age of 33. That makes me a sad panda.

    ~~~

    Originally posted at Kevin Slowey was Framed!
    I also wrote about the Carl Pavano mustache trade earlier this week.
    You can read it here.

    ~~~

    Carlos Gomez seemed like the kind of guy who might round the bases the wrong way, if you just let him do his thing. He was an exciting player though. He flashed power and speed and was always an excellent defender. Humber and Mulvey were nothing special and have done nothing special. Nope, neither guy has done anything special ever. Especially Humber. Nothing special. Guerra was viewed as the crown jewel of the trade, but has yet to pitch an MLB inning and it is looking more and more like he never will.

    So, that's all a bummer.

    How did I feel at the time?

    Awful. We all knew this trade was coming. In fact, it had been a long time coming. Santana was upset as far back as the second Luis Castillo trade, which was as hard to swallow as the second Bald Bull was to knock down. The rumors had been floating around for such a long time and so many different players were involved that it almost seemed like it would never actually happen. Of course, with Santana's contract running out, time was running out on getting value for one of the best pitchers in Twins' history. I felt awful, but I moved on. But man, sanding that Santana tattoo off of me hurt like crazy.

    Why make the trade?

    We all remember this trade and the hoopla vividly, so I'm not going to bombard you with quotes. I did find some good stuff from this ESPN.com article that was written just prior to the trade actually occurring:

    "If Santana agrees to a deal -- and it is thought he will seek a six-year, $150 million contract -- then he also would have to pass a physical. In return for Santana, the Twins would receive center fielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra -- a package which some talent evaluators believe could be the fourth-best offer that Minnesota received during this process."

    In the Wild Card era, the fourth-best team usually makes the playoffs. So there. In reality, the Twins delayed this process so much that some of their Johan suitors dropped out. Which is exactly what you want in a bidding war.

    Mets third baseman David Wright was ecstatic about Santana possibly joining the team "If it's true, obviously, you're getting arguably the best pitcher in the game," Wright said, according to AP.

    Is it possible that Bill Smith made this trade entirely with the focus on making David Wright happy? If so, that certainly changes my perception on how successful this trade was.

    David Wright aside, perhaps the other packages were filled with garbage:

    In early December, the Yankees had offered a package built around pitcher Phil Hughes and center fielder Melky Cabrera, and the Red Sox talked about two separate deals, one built around left-hander Jon Lester and the other around center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, with pitcher Justin Masterson and infielder Jed Lowrie prominently involved.

    Well, I've never heard of any of those players, so clearly this article is stupid. If we're going to be serious, the Twins should have taken the Lester package. He's been up and down, but he is also the closest to Santana that the Twins could have received in return. Hindsight is nice. So is opportunity:

    With Santana gone, there is a big opening in the Twins' rotation. Francisco Liriano is on track to return after missing last season following elbow surgery, but Carlos Silva signed with Seattle as a free agent, leaving youngsters Scott Baker, Boof Bonser and Kevin Slowey as the starters with the most experience.

    What we didn't know when this article was written is that the Twins were planning to sign Livan Hernandez to join those studs in the rotation. Of course, that signing directly lead to the Great Chocolate Bunny shortage of 2008, so it wasn't a total win.

    We've read about how this trade will affect the Twins' rotation, but how will it affect Joe Mauer?

    "Joe Mauer's job, and my job, just got a lot tougher," backup catcher Mike Redmond said. "We're going to have to work a lot harder to help these guys out the best we can."

    Upon completing this sentence, Redmond took his pants off, put his cup on his head like a tiny beret and went and took batting practice. Just like he did every day.

    Analysis

    Disgruntled superstar trades kind of suck. First, there is a limited market for such a devastating and therefore, expensive player. Second, the other team knows that the trading team is desperate to move the unhappy player and can make low-ball offers. Finally, unhappy players are often unhappy for legitimate reasons. In this case, Santana was upset that the Twins were cheap and only thought of the future. In some ways, he was right, although the Twins did offer him $20 million per season on a couple occasions.

    Therefore, the player packages were going to be prospect heavy and were going to come from just a few teams. The Yankees had some fun prospects, but apparently none that fully intrigued the Twins. The Red Sox had two elite prospects, but rightfully did not want to part with both. The Dodgers were offering Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, but the Twins passed. That's not true, but I definitely remember it that way and lie to people about it to this day. In the end, the Mets offered three starting pitching prospects, one with very high upside, and an outfielder who could "go get it." The package was reasonable, but the players didn't pan out at all. Very sad.

    The impact of the trade was felt immediately in 2008 as the Twins lost to the White Sox in Game 163, thus missing the playoffs by one game. You will never convince me that having Santana on that 2008 team wouldn't have added at least one win to the Twins' total. Never!

    Who won the WAR?

    Santana with the Mets: 15.2 WAR
    Gomez with the Twins: 2.6 WAR
    Mulvey with the Twins: 0.0 WAR
    Humber with the Twins: -0.1 WAR

    WAR won by the Mets!

    One Analogy Summary

    Say you have a hundred dollars and you want to cut down to smaller bills. One friend is going to give you two fifties. One friend is offering five twenties. Another friend is offering a fifty, a twenty and three tens. One friend is offering you a twenty, a used postage stamp, Kevin Mulvey and some sidewalk chalk. Which deal do you take?















    And yes, I am aware that Philip Humber pitched a perfect game. I like jokes.
    This article was originally published in blog: 20 Twins Trades: Goodbye Johan started by Brad Swanson
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Twins Daily Admin's Avatar
      Twins Daily Admin -
      Carlos Gomez seemed like the kind of guy who might round the bases the wrong way, if you just let him do his thing.
      Brilliant.
    1. SpitefulRabbit617's Avatar
      SpitefulRabbit617 -
      When Johan signs back with us after the Mets drop him, he'll still beat out Guerra in getting (back) to the show. Trippy huh?
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpitefulRabbit617 View Post
      When Johan signs back with us after the Mets drop him, he'll still beat out Guerra in getting (back) to the show. Trippy huh?
      I would be ok with this.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Johan wanted to be sent to a team that might increase his endorsement value, so it was basically either coast. Plus, the teamaahd to be in a position to payout nearly $150 million in long-term salary.

      The Twins did what they usually do, offer $90 million or so over 5 years (including the current season, I believe).

      We first heard about interest from the Red Sox. The Red Sox didn't want to aprt with Ellesbury. I think one offer was Lester, Coco Crisp, Masterson, Lowie and Bowden. Now that would've been a nice package. Except the Twins were looking at Lester being too expensive and CoCo not being the centerfielder of their dreams (although they did have Span in the chute).

      There were rumors that the Red Sox would part with Ellsbury, but the Twins wanted Bucholz or someone of that ilk in the deal, along with prospects.

      The Yankees offered with Hughes and Melky and a couple of prospects. The Twins wanted Kennedy thrown in as one of the prospects. Hughes was acting like Prior or any number of other guys who felt that going to the Midwest was sealing his death.

      I think the Yankees and Red Sox were just jostling the Twins, hoping one or the other would make a mistake and trade the wrong set of players for Johan.

      It is my understanding that the Twins originally wanted Pelfry and hot low minor league outfielder (Rodriguez or someone, who ended up with the Astros and flamed out). Instead they got Humber who was basically out of options, Gomez, who needed another season in the minors (really, yes), Mulvey and Guerra (who stillaahs hope, little hope, but hope).

      Of course, if the Twins had let Gomez stay in the minors and Pelfry had been a part of the original deal...maybe it would look a little better. The Twins got fleeced. And what did they spend the savings of $20-25 million a year on is the bigger question.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Mets third baseman David Wright was ecstatic about Santana possibly joining the team "If it's true, obviously, you're getting arguably the best pitcher in the game," Wright said, according to AP.

      Is it possible that Bill Smith made this trade entirely with the focus on making David Wright happy?


      I LOL'd.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      If the Twins were making the choice between the hypotheticals in the summary, it would come down to how highly regarded the sidewalk chalk was by the Twins scouting department. Only statheads would worry about whether the numbers added up.
    1. Pius Jefferson's Avatar
      Pius Jefferson -
      I know it was Billy Smith in charge of the trade, but did anyone really believe they turned down Kershaw and Kemp?
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Pius Jefferson View Post
      I know it was Billy Smith in charge of the trade, but did anyone really believe they turned down Kershaw and Kemp?
      No...it was Kershaw, Kemp, and Loney. Smith would've had to throw in Duensing.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Pius Jefferson View Post
      I know it was Billy Smith in charge of the trade, but did anyone really believe they turned down Kershaw and Kemp?
      Kershaw/Kemp was speculated, but Santana had a no trade and said he wanted to go to the east coast. The Dodgers were never an option.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rosterman View Post
      Johan wanted to be sent to a team that might increase his endorsement value, so it was basically either coast. Plus, the teamaahd to be in a position to payout nearly $150 million in long-term salary.

      The Twins did what they usually do, offer $90 million or so over 5 years (including the current season, I believe).

      We first heard about interest from the Red Sox. The Red Sox didn't want to aprt with Ellesbury. I think one offer was Lester, Coco Crisp, Masterson, Lowie and Bowden. Now that would've been a nice package. Except the Twins were looking at Lester being too expensive and CoCo not being the centerfielder of their dreams (although they did have Span in the chute).

      There were rumors that the Red Sox would part with Ellsbury, but the Twins wanted Bucholz or someone of that ilk in the deal, along with prospects.

      The Yankees offered with Hughes and Melky and a couple of prospects. The Twins wanted Kennedy thrown in as one of the prospects. Hughes was acting like Prior or any number of other guys who felt that going to the Midwest was sealing his death.

      I think the Yankees and Red Sox were just jostling the Twins, hoping one or the other would make a mistake and trade the wrong set of players for Johan.

      It is my understanding that the Twins originally wanted Pelfry and hot low minor league outfielder (Rodriguez or someone, who ended up with the Astros and flamed out). Instead they got Humber who was basically out of options, Gomez, who needed another season in the minors (really, yes), Mulvey and Guerra (who stillaahs hope, little hope, but hope).

      Of course, if the Twins had let Gomez stay in the minors and Pelfry had been a part of the original deal...maybe it would look a little better. The Twins got fleeced. And what did they spend the savings of $20-25 million a year on is the bigger question.
      From what I remember reading, there was question whether or not the Red Sox even had an offer on the table and that this was a rumor to drive up the Yankee's price. We tend to forget that when we talk about this trade. IF that package was actually available, then the Twins messed up big time. The word though is if.
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