Saturday, February 2, 2008
Now that the Johan Santana deal is official, we can only wait and see how it plays out. Obviously the Mets are the winners, acquiring Santana for just four unproven prospects. But, how much better are they? Yes, Santana could easily give them twenty-wins next season, but I highly doubt that Oliver Perez, Orlando Hernandez, and John Maine can put up the same numbers as they did last season. Also, adding Brian Schneider behind the plate doesn't make them that much better, it probably makes them worse if anything. Delgado's numbers continue to decline and I expect him to miss more time that he did last season. The rest of the infield is solid but it is not better than the Phillies. The outfield is not much to talk about either, especially because Moises Alou failed to play in over 100 games the past two seasons. Yes, Beltran is a great center fielder and will probably put up similar numbers, if not better than last years; but, it is hard to picture Ryan Church doing as well as he did last year, which still was not great. The bullpen was a surprise last season early on but melted down towards the end of the season. I think teams will have a better idea of what they are capable this season which might hurt them down the road. It is very possible that the Mets will win the division, but it is just as possible that it could go to the Phillies or Braves.
In return, the Twins got four prospects: Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra. Gomez has the most upside of them all and will probably be their starting center fielder. Personally, I think they do what the Brewers did with Ryan Braun to make sure that he is really ready before giving him the everyday job, but that is just my opinion. In four minor league seasons, he has hit .278 with 18 HR with a .339 OBP. Those numbers don't look too impressive, but free-lance scout Jonathan Meddart tells me that "he has the potential to be an All-Star." He went on to compare him to Steve Finley, but he could be way off if he lives up to his fullest potential. As for Humber, he was once the Mets top pitching prospect but has failed to show what he can really do. In three minor league seasons he was 18-19 with a 4.11 ERA, but has pitched successfully at each level. Personally, I think he could be a back end of the rotation starter, but nothing more than that. Kevin Mulvey will probably see the MLB action this season, and I do not see him turning into any ace. Deolis Guerra only has two professional seasons under his belt, and is 9-14 with a 3.28 ERA in that time. Many believe he has the highest ceiling of all the pitchers acquired, but he has a long way to go and I expect him to make it by 2011 or 2012. So will these guys really make a significant difference to help the Twins? Probably not. So what can they to improve in the future? Trade Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer as they get closer to free agency? That might happen, but with the Tigers and Indians fielding teams like they have, I doubt the Twins will have much say for the next couple of seasons.