Tag Archives: New York

Santana Contract and Physical Finalized

Johan Santana took his physical examination in New York today and passed. The contract terms were finalized as a six year deal with a team option for a seventh year. The last year could become guaranteed based on performance marks. The total value of the contract could exceed $150 million.

Of course, the value of this contract seems ridiculous. The only method to determine Santana’s value is based on players with similar skills that have recently signed contracts. The closest source of comparison is Barry Zito and his 7 year $126 million contract. That had to be the starting point for the negotiations. In the end, the total value of Santana’s contract is relatively reasonable.

It’s not often that a team gets a shot at a 29 year old two-time Cy Young Award winner. As a matter of fact, it almost never happens. Most of the top performing pitchers that are still in their prime playing years (28-32) never get to free agency. Just look at the Padres contract extension with Jake Peavey. The Mets had to jump at this opportunity.

Even though the Mets will be married to Santana for longer than they probably wanted to be, I believe that it’ll be looked at a successful trade for the Mets. They have plenty of revenue to start with, their own TV station, a new stadium next year, and several big salaries are going off the books after the 2008 season: Delgado, Pedro, Alou, El Duque, and Billy Wagner goes off the books in 2009.

The Mets are in a position of financial flexibility from my perspective. Nice job Omar!

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Santana Rocks!

He’s here… and at a reasonable price. The Mets didn’t have to give up Fernando Martinez or Mike Pelfrey. This could work out to be Omar Minaya’s crowning achievement. Obviously, having the Wilpons checkbook helps but he still had to work the Twins down to four promising young players.

The Twins won’t know if this deal worked out for them for a few years. They have a new stadium coming too, but Carl Pohlad doesn’t empty the safe for players like the Wilpons do. Carlos Gomez should start in centerfield and Phil Humber should get more than a look for a spot in the rotation. I’m still surprised they couldn’t get more out of the Mets though.

I’ve read that the Mets are hesitant to offer Santana more than a five year deal. I think they have to look at the Barry Zito deal with the Giants, and then up the ante a little. The Giants set the bar pretty high but the Mets can exceed anything the Giants can do financially. Zito got 7 years for $126 million.

You’re in luck if you have tickets for opening day… Johan Santana vs. the Marlins in Florida. I’m sure tickets are available for that one. Maybe not for long though.

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Briefly on Steroids

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It’s incredibly disappointing to find out what a central role the Mets organization has played in the ongoing steroid scandal. I understand that when large sums of money are involved people will go to great lengths to get their hands on it. That’s what this whole scandal comes down to.

I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of the steroids names and stories. The Mets players, former players, and former employees were deeply involved, if not central figures in this situation. That’s the worst part of this as a Mets fan.

On the bright side… we still have the whole HGH scandal to look forward to when reliable tests are developed!

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Waiting for Godot… or Santana

The waiting for Johan Santana seems to have reached the truly gaming stage. He isn’t signing with the Twins. We know that… he already turned down their initial offer. They just can’t afford to keep him.

The richest franchises in baseball are lurking in the weeds. The Mets, Red Sox, and Yankees are the only teams rumored to have any interest in meeting his salary demands. We don’t know exactly what those demands are, but it’s safe to assume that he’ll want Barry Zito money. Something in the neighborhood of 7 years and $125M would be about right for him. Who else could afford that? The Dodgers and Angels… maybe.

I say keep waiting. The price will go down after the season starts. The Mets have enough starting pitching to get things started, but will need to make a trade before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. I’m okay with Perez, Pedro, Maine, and El Duque. Maybe Pelfrey or Humber can work their way in as well. It’s not enough to scare the best teams in the league, but it can get us started.

Until then we’re stuck waiting for Godot. The pitcher that never comes.

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Cubs Deal Precursor to Another Trade?

You may have seen that the Mets reacquired Angel Pagan from the Cubs today. He was sent to the Cubs two years ago for cash. The Mets traded two minor leaguers to get him back.

This could very well be a precursor to another deal in my opinion. Having Pagan back could give the Mets the flexibility they need to trade Carlos Gomez.

The outfield is pretty crowded now with Beltan, Alou, Church, Gomez, Chavez, and Pagan. They all won’t be on the 25 man roster.

I’m thinking this frees up the Mets to move Gomez + to the Twins for Santana. We’ll see…

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Your 2008 right fielder is…?

Shawn Green’s departure to free agency has left an opening in right field for 2008. I would love to see some combination of Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, or even Fernando Martinez (if he’s ready) take over the position successfully. There’s nothing better than farm system talent taking over a position and producing. I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

There are some intriguing possibilities on the free agent market. Jose Guillen from the Mariners is free. He’s also a major league loose cannon, and has a history of causing major disturbances with management, teammates, opposing teams, and anyone else that he encounters. He’s also a serious offensive force. Last season for the Mariners he hit .290 23HR 99RBI’s and he’s got a big time arm in right field. That would be a huge improvement over Shawn Green. Green could barely hit the ball out of the infield and stumbled around defensively for most of the season. Of course, Guillen has also allegedly purchased steroids illegally. But that’s never stopped the Mets before (Guillermo Mota).

My choice for a free agent right fielder… Barry Bonds. That’s right, I said Barry Bonds! Yeah, he’s old and another alleged steriod user. He also appears to be a real jerk. The question that you have to ask yourself is: do you want to win a championship or not? Bonds is a free agent, he hasn’t been suspended for anything. I guess that could happen depending upon the results of his federal indictment. But this guy can hit like nobody ever has before except maybe Babe Ruth and Alex Rodriguez.

Sign Bonds to a one or maybe two year contract. It still leaves plenty of playing time for Milledge/Gomez because Barry won’t play every day. Even on the days that Bonds doesn’t start, wouldn’t you like to see him coming off the bench to pinch hit against right handers?

If you think that you’re taking some moral high ground by disagreeing with me, you’re wrong. Were the 1986 Mets a bunch of Boy Scouts… Gooden, Kevin Mitchell, Strawberry? No, but you loved them anyway.  And you’ll love the way Bonds can knock the lights out of the scoreboard in right field too.

Bonds

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Hot Stove Report

Omar Minaya Omar Minaya

I haven’t posted to the site in quite a while. I started a new job in July and didn’t really have a chance to regularly update the site. That’s changed now! It’s time to get back to Mets business.

The off-season leaves some holes open in the Mets roster. Primarily, second base and catcher. The possibility of Glavine not coming back leaves a spot in the starting rotation open as well.

Second base: News reports have it that the Mets have been wining and dining David Eckstein in Greenwich. He would move from short to second and most likely hit number two behind Reyes. Keep in mind that the Mets already signed Marlon Anderson and Damien Easley, both of whom shouldn’t play every day but would be fine for short periods of time. I’ve never been a fan of David Eckstein, and the talk is that he wants a four year contract. That’s too much in my opinion. I’d rather see the Mets look at Mark Loretta for a one or two year contract. He could hit behind Reyes and with a little more power than Eckstein. I saw enough of Luis Castillo last season to know that he isn’t close to the player he was with the Marlins. The Mets shouldn’t even consider signing him again.

Catcher: Ramon Castro signed for two years. I love that signing. He’s a fantastic bench player! Yorvit Torrealba seems to be the Mets top choice to handle the majority of catching. There really aren’t any great free agent catchers out there this off-season. I don’t want LoDuca back, and I don’t think the Mets do either. LoDuca talks too much and produces too little. He’s also in his mid-thirties, the typical decline years for catchers. Jason Kendall, Michael Barret, and Jason LaRue are the other free agent possibilities. The Mets could probably get Ramon Hernandez in a trade from the Orioles if they wanted to go that direction. It would depend on how much the Orioles want for him.

Starting Pitcher: I have a feeling that the Mets might be thinking about trading for a SP. The free agent list isn’t great. Assuming that Glavine doesn’t come back, and I really hope he doesn’t, the logical possibilities would include: Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Livan Hernandez, Kyle Lohse, and Jon Leiber. There are some stretches that we could look at too. We know how Rick Peterson likes to work with “project” pitchers. The fee agents that come to mind are: Tony Armas, Matt Clement, and Wade Miller.

The bottom line is that last season is finished, forgotten, and the historic season ending collapse is over. It’s time to think about who will be reporting to camp in February.

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