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One ace, four prospects, $137.5 million, and a blockbuster trade no one is happy about

Feb 7, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT


I have a guest column at Baseball Prospectus today looking back at the Johan Santana blockbuster trade four years later to see why the Twins would have been better off trading with the Red Sox or Yankees instead of the Mets and how it turned out horribly for everyone involved:

Lose-Lose Situation: Revisiting the Johan Santana trade

It’s a lengthy article and I think you’ll enjoy it, but mostly the 15-year-old me who obsessed about anything and everything Baseball Prospectus is pretty much losing his mind right about now.

  1. sometogethernow - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Nice article.

    I might have liked to see you revisit the arguments for both the Twins and the Mets NOT making the trade they eventually made, especially the Twins, since I recall reading some pretty credible arguments at that time for retaining Santana if they couldn’t get a really elite trade return.

    Also, have the Mets not gotten any insurance help for Santana’s contract?

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    I can’t even imagine if the Twins got Lester and Masterson instead of the crud they ended up getting from the Mets. Minnesota would have been one very powerful team.

  3. phukyouk - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    So the team that won in this whole trade was the Yanks? By not making the trade they were able to acquire Granderson for Jackson?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      Don’t forget, Cashman made the gamble that CC would be available the following year. So the choice was Santana for prospects and a huge contract, or CC for just a huge contract.

    • surefooted1 - Feb 7, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      You could say they got Granderson and CC for Jackson, Coke et al and cash (haha that reads funny). So yea, they could be considered winners.

  4. sdelmonte - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    The Mets got some good years out of Santana. It’s not like his injury was something you could predict. And he might yet return and pitch. Really, the only problem here is the size of his contract, and had the Wilpons managed their money better, this would just be a nuisance.

    On the whole, I think this is far from the worst deal the Mets or any other has ever made. The real lessons here are: 1) you take a risk with prospects; and 2) you take a risk giving pitchers long contracts.

  5. weaselpuppy - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Austin Jackson is a rich man’s Carlos Gomez?wtf?

    nope, no Tiger hater there….why don’t you and Bill Simmons get together and crap on Joe Louis’ grave and get it over with…

    • kopy - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      What’s wrong with that statement? Jackson and Gomez are both fast center fielders with plus defense that often put the ball in play, but take way more Ks than BBs when they don’t, and also have the ability to hit HRs once in a while. It’s just that Jackson is better at it.

  6. Bryz - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Jackson (career): .271/.331/.387, .321 wOBA, 7.7 BB%, 26.1 K%, 6.8 UZR/150

    Gomez (career): .243/.291/.357, .292 wOBA, 5.2 BB%, 22.5%, 16.1 UZR/150

    Skill sets are similar, Jackson is overall better except strikeouts and UZR/150, and you’re complaining about the comparison? As far as I’m concerned, it’s accurate. Jackson is a rich man’s Carlos Gomez, Gomez is a poor man’s Austin Jackson.

    • Bryz - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      Meant to reply to weaselpuppy….

      Edit function.
      Edit function

  7. Ben - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Congrats on getting published in BP, Aaron! Totally cool.
    I think it’s a pretty clear-cut win for the Mets, in retrospect. It also makes me sad as a Twins fan to see the kind of prospect packages that moved around this winter for pitchers who aren’t of the caliber Santana was. Then again, those pitchers moving around all had more service time.

  8. pmcenroe - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    the real bummer is with looking back on all the recent playoffs loses for the Twins then to think what could have been in 2008 if they would have just held on to Santana and collected the prospects when he walked. They would have won the division instead of losing the 1 game playoff to Chicago and would have completely avoided the Yankees in the playoffs. Who knows what would have happened but it still stings a bit thinking what might have been..

    • Ben - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      Knowing the Twins, they wouldn’t have drafted anyone worth a damn anyway.

  9. pmcenroe - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    **collected draft picks not prospects

  10. Jonny 5 - Feb 7, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Aaron, I assume your bucket list is now complete. Baseball prospectus AND SGT. SLAUGHTER!!!! Duuuude…

  11. btwicey - Feb 7, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Facinsting. I still love u twins :)

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