What If The Deal Was For Johan Santana AND Joe Nathan?

An article by posted on January 11, 2008

While we are all growing weary of the staggering amount of Johan Santana posts throughout the Mets blogosphere, let me offer a post with a twist.

No, it’s not a rumor. No, it’s not anything I read anywhere else. It’s just a notion I’ve concocted and wondered about. While there is an enormous amount of debate on whether the Mets should give up five of the team’s best prospects in exchange for the superstar left hander, what if the Mets countered with a different proposal?

What if the Mets were to somehow manage to convince the Twins to include Joe Nathan in the deal? Please, don’t debate the reality of something like this happening, that’s not the intent of this post. It is just a hypothetical trade with no basis in reality whatsoever.

If the Mets were able to get Johan Santana and closer Joe Nathan in exchange for Fernando Martinez, Carlos Gomez, Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey, should they jump on it?

Joe Nathan is 32 years old and is arguably one of the best closers in baseball. Last season he saved 37 games while posting an amazing 1.66 ERA. Fluke season? Not on your life! In the last four seasons he has posted ERA’s of 1.66, 1.58, 2.70 and 1.61, while saving 171 games. 

With Nathan on the team, the Mets get an upgrade over Billy Wagner and can use Wagner as trade bait in exchange for a couple of top prospects to help rebuild the system. Or, you can convince one of them to set up the other or split saves as Nathan is a right hander. Nathan is a free agent after the season, but may prove to be an excellent replacement for Wagner for 2008 and beyond with an extension. Nathan loves New York and in fact graduated from SUNY – Stony Brook. He is four years younger than Wagner and while Billy’s numbers and career is in decline, Nathan has shown no signs of slowing down.

The Twins who are admittedly in rebuilding mode, would be relieved of the financial weight of Nathan’s contract while infusing the system with a slew of top prospects.

Sounds crazy, but in theory it may have lasting benefits for both teams. Of course the Mets get a young ace who would lead the rotation through 2014, and a dominating closer who can replace Billy Wagner when his contract expires.

Like I said earlier, this is just pure speculation on my part but I don’t think it would be too far fetched to consider it a possibility. I repeat there is no need for analyzing it beyond the facts that I have outlined here. My question is simple…

If Nathan were included in the deal, would it change the opinion of the naysayers who say five prospects for Santana alone is too much? Would adding Nathan to the deal sway your opinions? 

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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