Johan Santana Rumors Still Persist, Should We Give Them What They Want?

An article by posted on December 28, 2007

All off season long, we kept hearing about how there was so little interest in any Mets prospects. Less than a month ago we even traded our one time jewel of the system, Lastings Milledge, for a couple of serviceable players who are what they are.

We are being told that the Mets do not have the prospects to make a deal for a pitcher like Erik Bedard or Johan Santana, and yet both pitchers are still wearing the same uniforms they ended the season with.

I would love to see either pitcher throwing fast balls for the Mets next season, but I’ve already moved past that notion a long time ago. Was I too premature in writing off the idea of either of the pitching for the Mets in 2008?

The following appeared on ESPN.com in an article by Jason Stark…

The Twins continue to stay in contact with the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets and Mariners about a Johan Santana deal. But those talks have moved so slowly it’s now possible a Santana trade may not get done "for several weeks," according to one source with knowledge of the discussions.

The most surprising aspect of those talks to some baseball people is that the Mets remain in the mix. It may be because the Twins would like to move Santana to the National League if possible. But while the Mets have made a four-for-one offer built around center fielder Carlos Gomez, indications are that the teams remain far apart.

It’s believed the Mets offered Gomez, two of their three best young pitchers (Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber and Kevin Mulvey) and another prospect for Santana earlier this month. But according to one source who has spoken with the Mets, the Twins want the Mets "to rip up their whole farm system" for Santana.

Another source said he believes the Twins countered by asking for all three pitchers, along with Gomez and much-ballyhooed outfield prospect Fernando Martinez. The Twins originally asked for Jose Reyes. But one baseball man with knowledge of those talks says that possibility was dismissed "a long time ago."

How badly would you love to see the Mets win a World Series while playing their final season at Shea Stadium?

Bad enough to give up five of the Mets tops prospects to see Johan Santana in a Mets uniform for the next seven seasons?

Tough questions to answer aren’t they? Since Omar Minaya took the control of the team, the Mets have not had one minor leaguer grab an everyday job as a hitter in three years. They have not had one pitcher make any significant contribution or grab a regular rotation spot or bullpen assignment in three years either. In today’s game, three years without any help coming through your system is almost unheard of, but yet that is exactly what the Mets have gotten from their system. Of course that doesn’t include all the ones that got away like Brian Bannister, Heath Bell, Matt Lindstrom, etc. But when you consider that the Mets have nothing to show for any of those players, it makes you wonder what is going on with the state of the Mets Minor League Operations?

My point is this…

If we can finally use whatever talent we have in the minors to get a pitcher like Johan Santana who is only 28 years old, shouldn’t we do it? It’s not like our system has produced any fruit for this team in the last three years anyway…

Maybe the cost of waiting will expose a guy like Carlos Gomez to the point that we end up trading him to the Nats for someone like… well like Brian Schneider and Ryan Church. Things can change fast in this game. Last year we thought we had it all with Pelfrey, Humber and Milledge, and only one season later they are not even regarded as top prospects anymore.

Now those names have been replaced by Carlos Gomez (2 HR, 12 RBI, .232), Fernando Martinez (AA – 4 HR, 21 RBI, .270) and Kevin Mulvey (AA – 11-10 3.32). Neither of these players have established themselves in the minors, let alone the majors. Each of them are no different than any prospect on any team. Lot’s of potential, but none of it realized. Lot’s of talent, but a work in progress. You’ve heard it all before…

Maybe if I looked at Fernando Martinez and saw 32 HR, 97 RBI, I’d be like wow, we can’t trade this guy. But, I gotta tell you, aside from all the Mets hype… I don’t see anything that gets me excited.

Compare Carlos Gomez to his contemporary Jacob Ellsbury who hit .323 and stole 41 bases and had an OPS of .811 in the minors and then gets called up and hits .353 for the Red Sox with 3 homers and 9 stolen bases without getting caught. Now that gets me excited.

What exactly are we really giving up if we were to offer these guys for Johan Santana? Will any of them ever sniff an MVP Award or Cy Young Award like Santana consistently does? Maybe if our farm system had produced anything remotely close to Joba Chamberlain, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitski, Jonathon Papelbon, etc. in the last three years, I’d look at it differently. But when the cupboard is dry and somebody offers you a lifetime supply of free groceries for it, shouldn’t we take it?

I don’t even know how to feel about it. Maybe I’m just so frustrated by the lack of contributions from the farm over the last three years… What do you think about the farm system, the quality of our prospects, and of course Johan Santana?

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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