Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Polls Are Closed: What's Your Opinion On Santana?

The polls are now closed and well over 100 people have spoken. The second most popular selection in the poll was that neither Red Sox package of prospects was worth giving up for Santana. But 26 more voters (and 50% of the voters overall) said that they'd give up the Lester, Lowrie package for Santana. Only 9% of voters, however, were willing to give up Ellsbury and Lowrie in a package for Santana.

And I have to say that I actually agree with the results. While I would much prefer that the Red Sox keep Ellsbury, I would be happy with dealing Lester, Lowrie, Crisp and Masterson for Santana. I'm fully aware that Santana will come with a steep price tag, and I expect Lowrie to be a pretty good middle infielder for years to come. And Lester could potentially be a front of the rotation starter who costs more than $25 milllion a year less than Santana. But the addition of Santana to a Red Sox rotation consisting of Beckett, Matsuzaka, Schilling and Buchholz, is just too exciting to pass up. I don't think it's realistic to expect even the best of pitching prospects to be as good as Santana. A pitcher of Santana's caliber only comes around once an era, not once every few years.

If the Red Sox were to acquire Santana, I wouldn't expect him to put up 2004 numbers. He's not going to put up a WHIP of 0.92 facing AL East hitters in Fenway Park. And I doubt that Santana will ever strike out 265 batters in a season again. But I would expect Santana to be one of the best three pitchers in the American League over the next five years. And that would give the Red Sox an absolutely lethal pitching rotation.

Of course, Santana would take up quite a bit of payroll. And there is a rather high risk in taking on a six or seven year contract with any pitcher. Just Thursday, Buster Olney said that he heard from a talent evaluator who suspects that Santana might have a health issue. But that is of course speculation at this point. Most talent evaluators probably have a different explanation for Santana's sub-par season last year.


Anonymous said...

hey guys just wanted to let you know that you don't have to post under the same name.. Maybe you want it that way, but if you didn't know you can make the second writer a contributer, and you both can post under your own names..

Just so the readers (like me) know who is who :D

Royal Rooters said...

Thanks for the tip. I might make a separate name for Michael later. For the record though, this is Ethan and I'm usually the one who responds to comments. As of now, Michael usually writes articles, and contributes ideas for the site. He's a lot busier with work than I am so he contributes as time allows.

Marc said...

It looks like a solid choice from the Red Sox fans.


Josh's Thoughts said...

I see why Sox fans would rather do that deal, but coming from a Twins fan pov, I would still like to see Ellsbury in the deal.

I'm "warming" up a little bit to Lester, however I still don't see him being a top of the rotation starter that a deal centered around a pitcher should be.

Ellsbury, Lowrie, Masterson and a 2nd tier prospect would be more than enough for me.

Of course, I don't see the Red Sox really in it anymore as I'm with most fans who thinks their mostly in it to lure the Yankees to offer up more. I do think they had some intentions of grabbing him (they wouldn't dangle Ellsbury if they didn't), but I don't see them as favorites anymore.

In fact, I'm almost in the thought that if the talks with the Mets don't progress, that Johan will be in a Twins uniform for the entire season.

Royal Rooters said...

Thanks for your input Josh. The Red Sox talked about throwing Ryan Kalish into the Lester, Lowrie deal but I doubt they'd throw in anyone else into the Ellsbury, Lowrie deal.

According to Baseball America the Red Sox have the second best farm system in all of baseball. And a deal including Ellsbury, Lowrie and Masterson would give the Twins three of the top five prospects from that farm system (again according to Baseball America). The Red Sox aren't going to make that deal any sweeter.

I doubt the Red Sox are in it to drive up the price for the Yankees. They've been the frontrunner for the majority of the time and they remain interested even as the Yankees have begun to pull out of talks. The Yankees have taken their offers off the table, yet the Red Sox are still offering their two packages.

There's been a lot of talk about the Mets lately, but who knows if the Twins really favor their package of prospects. The Twins were reported to favor the Yankees package and were close to a deal with them. Then the Twins reportedly favored the Red Sox package and were close to a deal with them. Now the Twins have reportedly favored the Mets package for some time, but they haven't accepted their package either.

I doubt the Twins will keep Santana. They can't afford the five or six year deal he'll require after 2008. And if they don't trade him, they'll only get two sandwich picks for him when he leaves for free agency. I think they have to trade him and they're trying desperately to get the Yankees, Red Sox or Mets to up their offers. But I think those three teams realize the tough position that the Twins are in and I doubt they'll up their offers.

When a Santana trade was first speculated, their was talk that the Twins could get a package with Wang and Cano. But I doubt the Twins will get anywhere near that kind of a package for Santana. I hate to say it, but I think Twins fans will ultimately be a bit disappointed by the return they get for Santana. It doesn't look like there's any team out there dying to acquire him.

Royal Rooters said...

*there was talk

Josh's Thoughts said...

You're right. It's sad, but true. Santana's value is very low right now and many fans will truly be upset with the return for him. Even if it included a package of both Lester & Ellsbury or Hughes & Kennedy, fans would still be upset.