November 22, 2007

Santana declines offer, Hunter agrees with Halos

According to Joe Christensen, Johan Santana has declined an offer of $93 million over 5 years to stay with the Twins. Rightfully so, the starter's agent countered with a deal similar to Barry Zito's 7-year $126 million deal that he signed with the Giants last winter. The Twins are unlikely to commit that kind of money over that length of time (about $18 million annually) so the Twins are now beginning to listen to trade talks involving the two-time American League Cy Young winner.

I think that the Twins and Bill Smith need to start negotiating with him. The team offered a 3-year $45 million offer to Torii Hunter in August and have yet to offer him a counter offer. How about we sit down and see what Johan wants? Is that too hard to ask?

If this is the approach that new GM Smith is going to take, then he's going to wear out his welcome very fast with both Twins fans and also the players/management.

If they sit down, and still can't come to an agreement, which I'm suspecting that we can probably get him at about $17 million annually, then I say that we look into trading him.

A deal that has been coming up in the rumor mill a lot lately is with the Mets, which would involve the Mets trading two of their three prized young outfielders and at least one of their young pitchers and possibly a mid-level prospect or young reserve as well in return for Santana.

The players who I would like to see are:

Fernando Martinez

Martinez is a 19 year old outfielder from the Dominican Republic. At just 19, he could start the 2008 season in AAA after already playing 60 games and having 235+ at bats in AA. He's rated the Mets #1 prospect heading into 2008, according to baseballamerica.com. He has a great arm and is very fast and can cover a lot of field. He is a potential 5-tool player and in my mind, the centerpiece to the deal.

Carlos Gomez

There have been a few reports of the Twins interest in acquiring Gomez to take over center field with the departure of Hunter becoming all the more likely. At just 21, Gomez already made the jump to the Majors. He played in 58 games for the Mets this season and had 125 at bats. He's ready to be an every day starter in '08 and he too is a potential 5-tool player. There are some who think that with his speed and athleticism, he best resembles the Ray's Carl Crawford... only a right handed version. That is very promising for the Twins.

Deolis Guerra

I understand that many probably want someone who can step in right now, but in my opinion, with or without Santana or even Carlos Silva, the Twins have plenty of other options for 2008. Guerra is just 18 years old and is ready for AA next season. He had a great season in '07 as a 17/18 year old in the Florida State League, where he went 2-6 with a 4.04 ERA and 66 strikeouts, but the ceiling is very high on this guy. The Twins would be very smart getting this guy in AA at just 18/19 years old, since the Twins already have enough options at the Major League level.

A few other players that could be possibilities (as substitions for a player already listed) are: Lastings Milledge (Outfielder), Mike Pelfrey (Pitcher), Phil Humber (Pitcher), Kevin Mulvey (Pitcher), John Maine (Pitcher).

But as I mentioned before, I think that the Twins could possibly get a mid-level prospect or a reserve player in the deal as well.

Anderson Hernandez
Hernandez is stuck behind Jose Reyes and Luis Castillo at both second base and shortstop, which means that the Mets could really consider a deal involving him. Hernandez had a successful '07 season in AAA but didn't get much time with the Mets (due to the players ahead of him). In his minor league numbers, he may provide a little bit of "pop", albeit not much (maybe 5-10 at a high). I think he could be a low-risk guy in return who could start over Nick Punto at second base.

Ruben Gotay
Gotay is definitely a better player than Herndanez, but he too is stuck behind both Reyes and Castillo in the middle of the infield. He will get on base more than Hernandez and will help produce runs more than Hernadez as well. Through 2200+ at bats in the minors, he is a .276/.356/.424 hitter. That is compared to Hernadez's .275/.318/.362 through 3000 MiLB at bats.

I think the must-have player for the Twins is Fernando Martinez. He has an extremely high ceiling and is extremely young for his level. If we can get him along with either Gomez or Milledge and one of the pitchers I listed, I would be very happy. Gotay or Hernandez would be nice too, but I could live without them.

Those are the players I want, but this is the deal I realistically see going down:

Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, Mike Pelfrey and Phil Humber. This deal isn't bad either, but I think that the Mets will do anything they can to keep Hernandez, including offering another pitcher in return. This deal would give the Twins two ML ready outfielders, as well as two ML ready pitchers. I don't particularly like that deal, but I too could live with it. The Mets also have enough pitchers that could replace the loss of Pelfrey & Humber.

What do you think? Should the Twins just stick with Johan and look to either deal him later, let him walk or try and sign him?

Hunter agrees with Angels

And as I'm about to submit the post, I found out that Torii Hunter has agreed to a 5-year $90 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. I don't have a ton of reaction to this right now, but I will try to express my thoughts later.

But my first reaction is "wow" and my next reaction is "thank god!" The "wow" is because the Angels weren't ever really rumored as a possible destination, and the "thank god" is because if that's what he's getting, then I'm glad the Twins didn't re-sign him. That's a ridiculous amount of money to toss to a 32 (almost 33) year old center fielder...

Have a great Thanksgiving and a fantastic weekend!

2 comments:

Twin #2 said...

I think the Twins should trade Santana, but I'm not sure the Mets would give them the best deal. I'd rather see them trade him to the Dodgers and get what I think would be better hitting prospects like Kemp and LaRoche, but the Dodgers need hitting, not pitching. Therefore, I think the Mets are the most likely to trade for Santana, with their huge payroll, need for an ace, and Minaya's desire to make a big move after the Mets' 2007 collapse.

Josh's Thoughts said...

I agree. And with the new stadium coming, the payroll is probably more flexible.

But I agree that the Dodgers have the players we want, it's just a matter if they'd actually give them up.

I'd be more than willing to do a LaRoche, Kemp & Kershaw or Loney deal.

If we got Kershaw, it'd give us one of (if not the) best pitching prospect in all of baseball, but if we get Loney all of our offensive holes would be filled (with the exception of Punto at second) and Loney has very good bat which I think is only going to get better.

I just don't know if they'd be willing to do such a deal.