Mets did not win Santana trade.

I read a blog posting this morning that claimed the Mets won the Johan Santana trade, based on the talent given up, but lost the contract extension. This couldn’t be any less accurate or more naive.

SANTANA: On the hook for three more years.

While it is true the players surrendered didn’t amount to much on the major league level and Santana did have several productive years, one cannot separate the trade from the contract because they are linked. The trade was made because Santana waived his no-trade clause and agreed to a six-year extension.

Translated: There would have been no trade without the contract.

I wrote at the time the Mets overpaid for Santana both in terms of players – not that it matters now – and in money. That has proven to be correct.

The market for Santana was Boston and the Yankees, and the Mets only became involved only after both those backed off because of the Twins’ demands. When the deal was made Omar Minaya admitted Santana came back to them.

In essence, the Mets were bidding against themselves, something Minaya also did in the contracts for Francisco Rodriguez, Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo and several others.

The contract of $137.5 million over six years was excessive for Santana because of the accumulated innings on his arm and he had a previous arm injury. Six years is a gamble for any pitcher at any time because of the fragility of the arm, shoulder and elbow. Too many things can go wrong and the team ends up paying from damaged goods.

I believe, as I did then, the Mets misjudged the market and overpaid for Santana. While he did win for the Mets, he was injured at the end of every season and required surgery. The Mets already paid for one season and received nothing, and it is possible they could be on the hook for three more years.

Any trade is a gamble, but this one the Mets lost. That is, unless Santana makes a full recovery and pitches – and wins – for a pain-free three more years.

Anybody want to take that bet?

3 thoughts on “Mets did not win Santana trade.

  1. One thing I was wondering is one of the players the Mets traded for Santana was Philip Humber. While Humber finally had a decent year as a White Sox in 2011, he has mostly been a disappointment as the third player taken in the amateur draft. I remember before that draft, the talk was how Jared Weaver was a top prospect and how teams were wary because Scott Boras was his agent. The Mets and other teams bypassed him and Weaver has been pretty good. Penny wise and pound foolish? Do the Mets not remember how in 1965 they won the lottery for Tom Seaver because they were only one of three teams willing to match the contract he signed with Atlanta that was voided as past the deadline?

  2. I disagree.

    We gave up what turns out to be nothing for the best pitcher available who was a true number one.

    He immediately made our rotation one to be reconned with. He has heart and determination. I think his competitiveness is a major cause of the injuries. It is up to the team and manager to manage the player and they are at fault for his issues.

    He took the first season hard and laid it all out from the cold Spring till he got hurt in order to will the team into the post season. I wish we had more players who cared about winning. He is my hero, if for no other reason than his will to win. To bad his teammates do not share his motivation.