Baseball is a business. That bulletin is coming as big news, for some reason, in Minnesota. Today, Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman characterized the players the Twins received for Johan Santana as stiffs no 5th grader has ever heard of before. The obvious question, which nobody seems to be asking in the wake of the Santana trade to the Mets: if you don’t know who they are, how do you know they’re stiffs?
I get the whole “we’ll miss Johan” thing, but Coleman refers to the trade as Carl Pohlad giving the fans the finger with an “Ol’ Scrooge play.” Maybe. But it also ignores the fact that an “Old Scrooge play” is what got Santana on the Twins roster in the first place. It’s also worth noting that Johan Santana was the one who set the deadline and it was Johan Santana who decided he couldn’t make ends meet on $13 million a year. So why is Carl Pohlad the bad guy?
Over at The Hardball Times, a blog for people who really do know how baseball works, Victor Wang pulls out the calculator and dives into the long-term ramifications of the trade (Remember: Santana is signing a 7-year deal with the Mets and 7 years from now, Santana is not going to be a 29 year old).
… the Twins were not ripped off as many claim. However, I would not say that the Twins won the deal outright, as the raw prospect value numbers show. When we include the four factors mentioned above into our evaluation, I would say that the Mets come out as slight winners; the extent of their edge depends on what happens with the contract negotiations with Santana.
If I were a Twins fan, I would be slightly disappointed by the fact that the rumors of the Boston and New York proposals did not come true. Still, the Twins did come away with good value in this trade.
For the record, Johan Santana asked for more than $20 million a year, and didn’t think once about what his leaving would mean to Minnesota’s 5th graders.