Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Johan Santana Moves to New York

A deal was reached Tuesday to send Johan Santana to the NY Mets, pending a physical and an extension agreement.

A move to the NL and Shea Stadium should only help Santana's value in 2008. The Mets scored the 10th most runs in 2008 with 804, 86 more than Minnesota did, an average of half a run per game. With greater run support, Santana should see more opportunities for wins, though there isn't any obvious bullpen upgrade with his new team. The lack of a DH in his new league could mean a few more strikeouts for Santana in 2008, so numbers comparable to his 2006 season shouldn't be out of reach.
Minnesota received four prospects in return for the best pitcher in baseball, none of whom were New York's best major league-ready pitching or hitting prospects. The only names you should know for 2008 are outfielder Carlos Gomez and righthander Philip Humber, both of whom could start the season in the big leagues. Gomez has speed, with 12 stolen bases in 58 games in the big leagues last year, and 17 stolen bases in AAA as a 21 year-old, also in 2007, so keep an eye on him as a source for SBs if he wins a starting job. Kevin Mulvey, RHP, has a shot to make the rotation in spring training, but he's a longshot as he's only pitched 6 innings above Double A. The fourth player in the deal is righthander Deolis Guerra, ranked by Baseball America as Mets 2nd best prospect. He's 18 with no experience above Single A, so it will be a few years before he's ready to make the team. It doesn't look like Minnesota got the best package they could have for two-time Cy Young winner, though time will tell.
All in all, it looks like Santana is still a first-rounder and should be the first pitcher taken in any draft. Congratulations to the Mets for getting an ace, which strengthens their rotation from top to bottom as a result.

- Keith Law with ESPN analyzes the deal and finds that the Twins gave up a premium player for less than a premium price.

- Tristan Cockroft takes a look at the fantasy ramifications and points out Santana's stellar interleague numbers.

- Rob Neyer says that "Santana will dominate the National League like Greg Maddux did in the mid-1990s and Randy Johnson did five years later."

- Eric Hz of Fake Teams believes that with a full season worth of ABs, Chris Gomez will steal 40+ bases.

- Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus projects Santana's numbers in 2008 with the Mets.

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