Sunday, January 20, 2008
How Does the Mets Package Stack Up?
The latest on Santana, courtesy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, is that Twins officials have privately said that they expect Santana to be dealt by Spring Training. The article also says that while the Red Sox and Yankees are still involved, the Twins have showed the most interest in the Mets offer lately.
That Mets offer includes Carolos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber and Deolis Guerra. The only problem is, most baseball fans I'm sure have little to no idea what kind of prospects those players are. And it doesn't help that respected prospect rankings by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus aren't due for another month. But thankfully, there's John Sickels of minorleagueball.com.
Sickels is the author of The Baseball Prospect Book. He looks at the top 20 prospects in every organization, and assigns them letter grades based on their value. When trying to compare trade packages made up mostly of prospects, these simplified prospect ratings can be very useful.
The Mets package for Santana is rumored to consist of Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber and Deolis Guerra. The Twins are attempting to get the Mets to add Fernando Martinez to the deal, but they aren't the one with leverage in the situation. The Twins have to unload Santana, they don't have the monetary resources to retain him.
So what kind of prospects are the Mets offering? Their package includes three pitchers in Deolis Guerra, Kevin Mulvey and Phil Humber. Guerra received a rating of B+, making him the highest rated player in the package. But he's yet to pitch above the Single-A level. Molvey and Humber received grades of B and B- respectively. And both of them are likely to begin the season in Triple-A.
Carolos Gomez is the only position player in the deal. Sickels rated him a B prospect. He's kind of a toolsy outfielder with average plate discipline and little power.
So what's the positive of the Mets package? It offers more pitchers than any other package. All four players offered in the deal will also be cost controlled for many years to come. By accepting the Mets offer, the Twins would also be dealing Santana to a team outside of the American League.
On the other hand, the players in the package have virtually no major league experience. And none of the players that the Mets are offering have true star potential. There's no great position player or pitching prospect.
This makes it almost the opposite of the Red Sox package. The Red Sox are offering the package with the most major league experience when compared to all other packages available for Santana. And the Red Sox are also offering a package which has the most high quality talent out of any package available.
The Red Sox package of Ellsbury, Lowrie and Masterson contains two grade A- position players and a grade B pitcher. Or if the Twins want more major league experience and a wider range of players, they could go for the Red Sox package of Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson. That package could potentially fill two rotation spots, the Twins need for a center fielder, and their need for a middle infielder who can actually hit.
Based on the talent available in the deals, I find it hard to believe that the Twins would prefer the Mets package based on the return alone. But the Twins would likely prefer to deal Santana to the National League. And Santana would prefer to go to the National League as well, where he'd likely dominate weaker hitting competition.