Ladies and Gentlemen, We got him!
Well almost, weâ€™ll know for sure some time in the next 48 to 72 hours, a window in which the Mets have to secure the two-time Cy Young winner to a long term extension. The window is realistically 24-48 hours as Santana will need to take a physical and the deal needs to be in Seligâ€™s office for approval by 72 hours. Expect this to get done quickly; and quickly is a fortunate aspect for the Mets as thereâ€™s less time for Fred and Jeff Wilpon to get nervous about spending 150 million on and pitcher and order Omar to try and get Santana on the cheep, thus queering the deal (See: Guerrero, Vlad) granted that was an regime in past days. Just give him whatever he wants, “150 Million over 7 years? Deal, sign here and weâ€™ll schedule the press conference.”
Itâ€™s a great time to be a Mets fan and the first time Mets fans can honestly smile and think “The Mets won” since that horrible last Sunday of September. I was pretty sure that whole “close to a deal” story with Livan Hernandez was a smoke screen to push Minnesota towards the table. And forgive me; Iâ€™m not sold on the Lastings for Church and Schneider deal quite yet, up until now, this off-season has tediously been boring, that is until now.
What still is uncertain (to me anyway) is to why the Mets gave up on Lastings Milledge so soon. The club had to think Lastings was a better fit development-wise to transition into an everyday outfielder role behind Endy than Gomez would have been at this point of their careers. I speculated Church was brought in as a chip to pry Santana loose from Minnesota along with the prospects sent, are they expecting Freddy Martinez to debut this year? I really donâ€™t see Church as our full time rightfielder for the duration of this season. Of course I didnâ€™t see Shawn Green in that role either and Church is a defensive upgrade over Green. Did any of this seem like a preemptive move based on what the Mitchell Report contained and not wanting to resign an aging juicer, thus being forced to deal Lastings for a punch and Judy catcher like Schneider? Did that sentence last a little too long? In 2008â€™s weak market for catchers, I guess I can live with it. LoDucaâ€™s surgery will sideline him for a few months which serves the Nats right for stealing Jesus Flores. I guess it doesnâ€™t really matter anymore and Iâ€™m really getting off topic. Water under the bridge.
How this all went down is starting to become apparent. In part it was Yankee Brassâ€™ predicable overreaction after the Yankees playoff ouster, and the desire to rely on younger players. That should last about a week into the season before Hank and Hal order Cashman to go overpay for “seasoned veterans.” Over in Boston, I donâ€™t think they had a big enough need to add on another 150 million in payroll when their rotation, even with an aging Schilling is still solid. Boston likely desired only to keep the Yanks away from Santana; likewise the Skanks desire to keep Santana out of Beantown. The Twins had to feel the pressure from Santana after balking at their offer as spring training loomed closer, and found the Mets the only team legitimately willing to make a trade.
This is a day, Mets fans wonâ€™t soon forget, the day we acquired the best pitcher in the game through trade or Free agent in team history. I donâ€™t count Frank Viola, Gooden was home grown and so was Seaver, even though technically we stole him from Atlanta. Mike Hampton is disqualified due to an abundance of douchebagginess. You could say David Cone and you have might have a valid argument, but get off my ass and let me enjoy the moment you freaking wet blanket, parade-raining-on-bastard!
I have to give Omar credit for getting this done without giving up Freddy Martinez, an issue I speculated might be a deal breaker. The Twins may be the big losers in this whole sweepstakes for not getting more, but screw them for holding up the Hot Stove for two of the most boring off-season months I can recall in recent memory.
On a bittersweet note, we may feel burned by this trade a few years down the road, but although I though Gomez would be a good player, his ceiling didnâ€™t seem that high, despite his speed. I really never saw much of the other three in the deal, and who knows, they may be the next Drysdales and Koufaxes but theyâ€™d probably, with the Mets luck, turn into David West and Eric Hillman.
I have been in a giddy sense of shock since I heard the news of the trade, though nothing is official, the Mets starting rotation just got a lot more formidable. The addition of Santana also opens up the possibility of Mike Pelfrey as the number 5 starter and El Duque to the bullpen. If Duaner Sanchez can regain his 2006 form (and stay out of Taxi cabs) and Juan Padillia can find any utility, the Guillermo-Mota-free-Mets look to be a much better team in 2008. Iâ€™m not too concerned about first base, Delgado should have a better season, and if Alou can stay healthy and give us 120 games, Iâ€™ll take 42 games out of Endy in Left.
Possibly one of the best things to come out of this trade is that the Mets have a dominate elite lefty in case they, oh I donâ€™t know, find them selves in a must-win situation and need their starter to NOT completely shit the bed and give up seven runs, not even getting out of the first. Yeah Iâ€™m talking to you Tom “I really belong in Atlanta” Glavine, you freaking scallywag, have fun in Atlanta with your stupid Braves; we donâ€™t need you and your mediocre 200 innings anyway. (Boy that feels good) The Mets are coming for the division this year.
Iâ€™ve been walking around with a smile on my face and repeating the phrase, “holy shit, we freaking got him” over and over to strangers all day. At the start of this off-season Iâ€™ve been tempering my optimism for this to happen, drying to avoid the disappointment of another superstar pitcher that got away (see: Oswalt, Roy; Zito, Barry) or the embarrassment of being used as a pawn to drive up the price on Boston or the other New York team. Not this year, partly because of the predicable overreaction after the Yankees playoff ouster, and wanting to rely on the young guys. That should last about a week into the season before Hank and Hal order Cashman to go overpay for a “seasoned veteran.”
I havenâ€™t been this excited about Mets baseball since October 18, 2006!
(Sorry for the rambling post)
Letâ€™s Go Mets!
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This post was written by Dan in Texas on January 29, 2008