Let us say for a moment that the Mets needed to include Gomez, F-Mart, Mulvey, and Pelfrey to compete with the packages of the Red Sox and Yankees for Johan. Of course I have no idea if that is truly even and offer, but Jayson Stark mentioned that the Twins had asked for all of them in addition to Humber. You cannot blame them as you have to start somewhere and leave room for the Mets to negotiate down.
Would that be a remotely intelligent move? I have a hard time believing so. As stated yesterday, Oliver Perez is set to hit the market with The Duque and Pedro. Of course they can all come back, but it would cost close over $35 million to do so on top of the $20 million they are paying Johan and the raise John Maine would be due to get.
Then, you would have to look at the depth of the system and gag just a bit with a complete dearth of talent at the top of the system with the exception of Phil Humber able to contribute meaningfully at the big league level. If you are counting on the three picks of the '08 draft that have not even been picked yet to bolster this team's future, that might be a little optimistic. Those picks need to be a supplement of players already in the system.
Deolis Guerra, Jon Niese, Eddie Kunz, Phil Humber, Brant Rustich, Scott Moviel, Nate Vinyard, Robert Parnell, and a few others are still around, but that would unequivocally be one of the worst three systems in baseball. Three picks, even if they all pan out and the Mets are able to score top tier talent that dropped a bit are not going to change that much. Also, the only meaningful players set to step on a big league diamond before 2010/2011 will be Humber and a few relievers.
Not that I enjoy adding more caveats, but the likelihood of those guys stepping on the field being impact players their first season or two is extremely unlikely which pushes back the time line a bit for them to be a vital part of this team. Of course, that is all predicated upon these guys, who have so far to go, working out. It is scary out there on the free agent market and with more teams having cash and letting less and less talent go, you simply need to be able grow some players. By the time Reyes and Wright are done being cheap, the Mets are set to virtually have no cheap help from within barring anything big going on and they will have plenty of holes to fill.
If you are are not developing, you are not winning. I want Johan and who wouldn't? But it can certainly be argued that the Mets are not in as dire of a need as many think with Pedro, Ollie, and Maine leading the team. They give the Mets a shot to win in a short series and provide a solid foundation for the pitching staff in '08. This 'get Johan at all costs' idea does not resonate all that well with me and the Mets are not quite at the point where they can trade five top prospects for one player, but should strive to get to that point with a few good drafts, holding onto their top picks, and paying out over slot.
Johan makes the Mets favorites, but it is a big gamble and big loss if they do not win it all. It is tough to pass up on a deal like this, but if Omar truly cares about 2009 and beyond, he better tread lightly. I am not saying there is no package the Mets can put together that makes sense both now and long term, but the ones we have heard bandied about that it will take to land Johan are certainly not a positive thing for this team after 2008.
I was not all that huge of a fan of the Garland move, but Williams has put together an interesting off-season if nothing else and definitely made some aggressive moves to cover some holes. At this point, Beane absolutely needs to just rid the team of Blanton and whatever other tradeable commodities there are, but you have to be ok with his current haul so far if you are an Oakland fan. It is never easy to see your team rebuild, but doing it intelligently should cushion the blow.