A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Feeling Lazy/Johan

I'm not in the mood to think much today so I will just rip others off instead.
    I know some of you crave daily Johan Santana updates...today we've got a blurb from Charley Walters:

    The Twins say they're not panicking while holding out for the best deal for Johan Santana. But word within baseball circles is that offers by the New York Yankees (no more Phil Hughes) and Boston Red Sox are diminishing by the week. Best bet now for a trade of the two-time Cy Young Award winner appears to be with the New York Mets in a deal that would not include fast-rising hitter Fernando Martinez.

    Yikes - from those solid Yankee/Red Sox offers to a Martinez-less Mets package? If that happens then I would say Bill Smith overplayed his hand. Kat O'Brien recently talked to Smith, but wasn't able to get much out of him. She believes the Yanks, Red Sox, and Mets "all retain some interest."

Also in regards to the topic, people never quite understand when Keith Law and others say you are only paying the Twins for one year of Santana. However, Vince Gennaro goes over it in some detail laying out why Johan simply does not or did not have the value of Dan Haren despite being the best pitcher in the universe.

Free agents own their rights, so virtually all value accrues to the player. At the other end of the spectrum is a player such as Miguel Cabrera, who is under team control for another two years. The Florida Marlins were able to extract value from the Detroit Tigers because the Marlins were passing along control of a valuable asset. The Twins are caught between those two scenarios. Santana is only one season from free agency, so much of his value is shifting from the team to the player, yet the Twins seem to be pricing Santana as if he has two or three years remaining until free agency. This trade is basically free-agent signing with a tariff tacked on – a payment to the Twins in the form of promising low-salaried prospects in exchange for the right to sign Santana to a long-term contract without a bidding war.

If Santana had the patience to enforce his no-trade clause and insist on playing the final year of his contract in Minnesota, he could get all the spoils next offseason by becoming a free agent rather than sharing his bounty with the Twins. The Twins are demanding a substantial tariff for the right to pay Santana market wages. In effect, they're asking the team to pay twice. And in this case the tariff may cost nearly as much as the goods.

This is why Omar needs to stand pat in not giving up Fernando. People may look at the Mets offer of Gomez, Guerra, Humber, and Mulvey and think it is not all that great, but people need to understand what the Twins are actually giving up and the overall risk involved on the Mets end if they end up taking Santana on.

One factor working in favor of a trade is the Twins' unwillingness to pony up the dollars to sign Santana to a long-term deal, which eventually could prompt them to lower their demands. On the other end of the deal, a team desperate for Santana could ignore the dramatic financial value created by developing front line pitching internally and take on the injury risk associated with giving a long-term deal to a starting pitcher who has averaged 228 innings over the past four years.

I think it is safe to chuckle when people claim the Mets are not giving up enough. If you look at the big picture, the Mets are giving up quite enough and by some estimations too much. The Yankees were reluctant to give up Hughes and spare parts and the Red Sox package was an extremely good one giving the circumstances. The Mets deal might not fit into their '08/'09 model, but it certainly can turn into a good deal. We just will not know if it is or is not for a few year from now.

* * *

  • The White Sox continue to buy relievers and Octavio Dotel will be in their 2008 bullpen. A two year deal for a set-up man for a fringe team may seem excessive, but Kenny is always going for it.

    I would have loved Dotel on the Mets, but the bullpen picture is fairly full right now and I understand why they stopped at Matt Wise and their Rule 5 pick Steven Register, who was just moved into the bullpen last season.

  • It is early in the year, but my friend already tossed out what might be the quote of the year. Usually when I go out on Mondays, I stay out too late and get too drunk resulting in a bad day at work. Last night marked a night of steel resolve and a hard deadline. The end result was me not being hung over and ready to work. I wanted to commend my friend on his wisdom.

    Me: You are a wise man.
    Friend: how so?
    Friend: My ass hurts today from buffalo sauce. I don't think that's a trait of a wise man

    Perhaps I overestimated his intelligence.
  • Labels:


    Anonymous Anonymous said...


    I would be blown away if we could snag Santana and not give up F-Mart. That is pure greed on my part though because I think if FMart is not involved then they may just hang onto Santana and take the draft picks.

    11:15 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Take the draft picks? I have to disagree unless they truly thought they could snag a World Series this year, which I do not think they can in any way.

    They AL is just too strong and their division is too strong. For one, they save his $12.5 this year, which does count for something. Two, they get a late first rounder and a sandwich pick. Guerra and Gomez alone are potentially more talent than any prospective late first rounder/sandwich pick they would be going for.

    Mind you, they are not going for any Porcello's should they drop. Three, they get Mulvey and Humber on top of that. We can argue all day about their value, but they are certainly on par with a Sandwich Pick and have some upside. They certainly project as a #3/#4 type (especially in Mulvey's case) and Humber can certainly be a viable arm in the rotation or the bullpen.

    It is all about extracting value and I think they stand to gain more in terms of talent from the Mets than the 2009 draft.

    11:37 AM

    Anonymous orangeandblueblood said...

    If you have not read the article on the economics of Santana trades it is worth a read. I got to it on a link from Metsblog (Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball). It explains why a Santana trade is potential money loser for the Red Sox and Yankees. Which is probably why they seem passive. It is barely a good economic deal for the Mets, but they won't hit the luxury tax threshold so it looks OK (at least in 2008). I totally agree with Mike's comment above, the Mets prospects are better than the Twins will do if Santana goes to free agency. Especially when you figure his suitors would be the same teams going after him now, so the first round pick will likely be from #22 to 30. Also, with the number of innings logged on Santana's arm there is real risk for the Mets in signing him. I don't see the Yankees parting with Hughes or Chamberlin and the Red Sox have the least to gain from Santana from an economics perspective. Acquiring Santana changes the Mets position from equal to or slightly better than the Phillies to clearly better but at a very high price. Since the Santana news is constantly being repeated I'll repeat my perspective, pull back Humber, Guerra or Mulvey and add a lower level prospect. The Twins would still make out better than a 22 to 30 pick and sandwich round pick in 2009. If we don't get him 2008 will still be an exciting season to watch and the Mets will still have a strong shot at winning the NL East. Even if the Mets add Santana I don't know that they jump ahead of the NL West teams so he doesn't make the Mets clear cut favorites for the NL Pennant.

    I'm not sure what will be more fun as a fan, seeing Santana pitch for the Mets and having them bring in free agents to fill holes in the future or seeing an outfield of Gomez, Beltran, & Martinez with guys like Maine, Pelfrey, Mulvey, Humber and Guerra on the ML staff over the next several seasons.

    12:49 PM

    Anonymous gbaked said...

    the problem the twins are having is the exact reason the o's should trade Bedard right now.

    1:27 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Didn't I link to that one today? I yanked it off MLBTR as they had it the other day.

    It is a great read and it should put the entire trade into perspective as to why the Mets are giving up more than enough without including Fernando and why the Twins are slightly off their rocker with their initial demands. Not that I can blame anyone for initial demands, but you get the idea.

    22 on the low end...I expect the Mets to pick higher this year due to the increased comp in the NL West. I fully expect them to have the best record in the NL....did I just jinx them?

    We agree on the three and the lower level prospect, but I would rather keep a pitcher and send Gomez. Just my thoughts....

    1:29 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    the problem the twins are having is the exact reason the o's should trade Bedard right now.

    Right...Jones, Morrow, Tillman???? Doubtful you would get the same deal for Santana as your would for Bedard. The Orioles need to work out a deal this year or else they will be in big trouble.

    People like to look at the Haren deal as a barometer for the Santana deal and it just is not. Neither is the Bedard deal. People are quick to point out the Mets failed package to the Orioles, but that package would be MORE likely to net Santana than Bedard. Not saying they would have taken it or it made sense, just that Bedard has more value.

    1:31 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    If the blurb about the deals getting worse by the day are true then Smith certainly overplayed his hand but at the same time, it must be udnerstood that technically Johan is being traded for ONE SEASON! There is no gaurantee of an extension.
    It's simply one season and it doesn't matter if he's the greatest pitcher in the world, it's ONE SEASON! And I don't buy that idea that its essentially a "tariff" whatever, it's one season. Who's to say he likes where he ends up?

    If that's true, Smith should just wait till the trading deadline, you'll get a desperate team to trade top notch talent for him. I know I'd be more willing to trade Fernando Martinez on July 31st if the Mets are like 1 game back and Pelfrey, Humber, and nobody else has stepped up.

    Speakign of Buffalo Sauce/Wings, your friend is right! I hate bars that have 10 cent wings night because... well I have alot of Wings and then my ass hates me the next morning. I don't think I"ll ever learn my lesson.

    2:46 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well, the extension will be guaranteed in the sense that the deal is contingent upon a deal being struck.

    No one would make that deal w/o the deal being in place. That being said, it is still not the Twins piece to own. They own the one year and the ability to offer a non-heated battle for his services.

    The Mets still pay market price from 2009 and beyond which negates a lot of the value. The Mets need to give up talent, just not as much as Mr. Smith wants.

    If that's true, Smith should just wait till the trading deadline, you'll get a desperate team to trade top notch talent for him.

    Really? Would he be able to get Gomez, Guerra, Mulvey, and Humber at that point or something equivalent? Maybe...MAYBE he can get a B+/A talent, but it's doubtful he gets more than one.

    Also, a lot of the guess being discusses now will have established themselves as part of the current run (Hughes, Mulvey?, Humber?, Lester, Ellsbury) or had their stock drop more (Pelfrey, Humber, Gomez, Lowrie????) or will have shot through the roof making them off the table (F-Mart?). I doubt the deals would be getting better.

    There is just no reason for me to believe Johan will sign an extension when he is so close to free agency and NO ONE is going to sell the farm for a rental player. When is the last time a rental player made a difference? 99% of the time they do not. Beltran made a difference for the Astros and that is the biggest example I could find since he essentially carried the team.

    Smith's best offers are right now.

    I don't think I"ll ever learn my lesson.

    They are tast and hard to refuse.... $0.20 QUALITY wings and $3.00 pints of any tasty beer you want is as unbeatable a deal as you can find in the city.

    2:57 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Where in the city do you go to?
    I'm tired of bringing pain to my stomach and ass in Queens. I wanna hurt them big city style!

    Oh and btw... Cloverfield? AMAZING movie! Very well done.

    3:05 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    1849 is the bar. The converstion for wings starts and ends there. Sauce on the side is the 'people in the know' thing to do in regards to these wings.

    I want to see Cloverfield...but There Will Be Blood is atop my movie list right now.

    3:11 PM

    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    I wouldn't mind overpaying for Santana, but I agree that the deal that was out there had the Mets giving up too much young pitching, they need to hunker down, they are in the driver's seat, not the Twins.

    If a great talent slides to 22 - 30 in the draft, the Twins may pass on them, due to signability issues.

    Just a thought: Would keeping Register on the roster all year be any worse than having Aaron Sele or someone like him with the team?

    3:41 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    regarding Steve Register, it depends on what kind of stuff he has. If he's been unlucky and unsucesful with a 92-95 mph pitch and one more plus pitch then he's worth while but if he throws like Brian Lawrence then sayonara!

    4:26 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    If a great talent slides to 22 - 30 in the draft, the Twins may pass on them, due to signability issues.

    Right. So they are looking at potentially a $1.5m guy and a $900k to a $1m guy, which we are essentially giving them four of.

    In no way is the '09 draft better, which Smith needs to evaluate. Of course, Amen if he wants to go for it and he honestly thinks he can do it. I think it makes NO sense to wait until the trade deadline for a better deal. There simply will not be one out there.

    RE: Register...he did get 37 saves at AA. Would someone even let a B. Laurence do that? I have faith he owns a mediocre fastball.

    4:30 PM

    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    The longer they take to trade johan the less they will get, if he comes up lame in spring training they may get nothing, if there is no window to sign him long term before the trade is consumated they will be SOL. They should stand firm on whatever there last offer was.

    7:34 PM

    Anonymous Deolis in '10 said...

    1849 huh, that's right around the block.

    I would love to see the Twins wait till the trading deadline to finally move Santana. The offers that they would get compared to now (and the reaction of the Twins fans would be classic).

    Also no offense, but Cloverfield was by far one of the worst movies, I have ever seen in my life. No plot, climax, resolution, character development...nothing. I would say it is a personal opinion, but multiple in the theater last night said "that f*cking sucked" at the end.

    Anyways, I say Omar takes a vacation, cause there isn't much he can do that will make the NY fans happy. Let's just go to battle with our squad and see what happens.

    8:08 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I thought Cloverfield was a really good movie.
    And not all movies need a resolution. I mean did anyone complain when Pirates of the Carribean 1,2, and quite possibly 3 didn't have a resolution?
    Did people hate the original Star Wars for not having a resolution until 6 years later? no...
    THe reason I liked it so much was because it was great acting and I like the exploration of how human beings act during really messed up situations.
    As far as the character development, I guess in a sense, but by the end I started to give a shit about them, so I dunno maybe I'm a softie but I felt the job was done.

    At the end of the day, I'm in the minority as most people hated the movie but I felt it was because they couldn't understand it. To me all the things people are complaining about is the whole point of the movie. It's a movie about people in a fucked up situation. I also liked War of the Worlds which most people hated...

    2:35 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Steve, they should stand firm and I think waiting this long hampered them. I agree with Olney (though that is rare these days) in that neither team really wants to give anything up for him, but are afraid of the other one getting them.

    If they both had their way, the Mets would get him and they would never see him again unless the unlikely even they meet the Mets in the WS.

    So you are saying Cloverfield is a rental for me. Got it.

    1) There Will Be Blood
    2) Juno
    3) No Country For Old Men
    4) Sweeney Todd

    That's what I would like to see in that order...Cloverfield is off. What the fuck is up with that Pirate Vegatable movie?

    9:39 AM

    Anonymous most boring off season ever said...

    Rumor that Bill Smith farted yesterday remains unconfirmed, but I bet he doesn't use buffalo sauce as a lubricant!

    Aardsma would be a good sign/minor trade by the Mets.

    Keep F-Mart; the Twins will eventually cede (though Pollack or Pullup or whatever his name is should just offer $20 - $22 million over five and keep the guy at this point.)

    10:58 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    but I bet he doesn't use buffalo sauce as a lubricant!

    Can you use a vinegar-based substance as anal lubricant? Sounds painful.

    Aardsma would be a decent sing for sure.

    Pohlad...and yes. With the next stadium and pretty decent team right now, why not? Of course if Liriano does not come back strong, he screwed up. He is hanging a lot on an injured arm.

    Of course, so am I with Pedro, but he at least came back and showed something.

    11:12 AM


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