Johan Santana + Roy Halladay = Championship

An article by posted on October 7, 2009

You’ve heard it again and again and again… Great pitching wins championships.

While the Mets spend the next few weeks pondering over what went wrong, I urge them not to waste too much time looking backward. Jeff Wilpon, Fred Wilpon and Omar Minaya have each already stated that they are committed to putting a championship team on the field in 2010.

Additionally, they held firm to the theory that they built Citi Field to house a team that revolves around pitching, defense and speed. If that were really true, than why was Johan Santana surrounded by number five pitcher fodder from opening day on?

Did they believe that a big park would transform a mediocre pitcher into a top of the rotation stud?

That is some predictably bad logic…

If you want a top of the rotation starter, you either draft them when their young, sign them as a free agent, or trade for them. At no time does a pitcher with one or none plus pitches suddenly grow into a Tim Lincecum overnight because you made the walls 18 feet high. It don’t work that way, and it’s shocking to me that Omar Minaya may have believed that. His over-confidence in the vastness of Citi Field led him to believe that:

1. Citi Field would make Mike Pelfrey a bona fide number two pitcher for a championship team. WRONG.

2. Citi Field would hide a host of flaws from Oliver Perez and shave a run off his ERA. WRONG.

3. Citi Field would allow John Maine to ease back from shoulder surgery without a blip. WRONG. 

4. Citi Field would make a 13-15 game winner out of Livan Hernandez. WRONG.

It’s time for some new math…

If money is not an object as was adamantly expressed on Monday by the Wilpons, then open up your coffers and do whatever it takes to get Roy Halladay on this team. Whatever it takes.

I’ve read several other blogs on getting Halladay, and it seems that the prevailing theory is that the Mets do not have the pieces and players to get it done. That’s ridiculous. The number one reason the Blue Jays are looking to unload Halladay is primarily salary relief, and the fact he will not resign with the Blue Jays after this season.

The truth is that the Blue Jays will get less than what they could have gotten for him had they traded him at the deadline this past season.

Also, didn’t we hear that same nonsense about not having enough pieces to get Johan Santana two years ago?

Let each teams GM’s decide what’s enough and what isn’t. Everyone else must stop acting like they have some cosmic insights into every GM’s thought process. Ugh…

I’m not about to start throwing out some silly hypothetical trades at you, mostly because we have no idea what the Blue Jays would want. Only the Blue Jays would know that despite what others may report. All that I’m advocating is that Omar Minaya needs to pick up the phone and begin to lay the groundwork for a trade that will land the All Star right-hander in Flushing.

Halladay has compiled a phenomenal 148-76 won-loss record in his career. That is a whopping .661 winning percentage. Now that is some math I could live with.

He has pitched 25 complete game in the last three seasons, including seven shutouts.

He has already won one Cy Young award in his career, and has finished in the top five in the last four seasons.

Halladay was the best pitcher in baseball over his final six starts, posting three shutouts, four complete games and a 1.47 ERA. That includes a 3-hit complete game shutout against the Red Sox in his final start of the season.

Several rumors surfaced back in July, that the Blue Jays had strong interest in Mets prospects Fernando Martinez, Jenrry Mejia and Bobby Parnell. There was even another rumor that Omar Minaya actually shot down an offer from the Blue Jays, but neither side confirmed or denied it. But as the saying goes, where there’s smoke there’s fire.

Adding Halladay to the rotation, and then going out and signing someone like Joel Pineiro would transform the Mets from cellar dwellers to the top of the heap in the National League.

A starting rotation of Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, Joel Pineiro, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey may actually net the Mets 100 wins next season, even without the addition of huge slugger like Prince Fielder at first base.

But talking about doing it and then actually doing it are two very different things. One way that the Mets can firmly convince fans of their commitment, and also put to rest any lingering doubt about their assumed financial woes, would be to pull off this ultimate stunner of a trade and add Halladay to the rotation.

If the Mets focused on building the best pitching rotation in the National League with the additions of Halladay and either a Joel Pineiro or Randy Wolf, would it really matter anymore if Angel Pagan gets the gig in leftfield?

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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