Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Darth Santana

Assuming Santana agrees to a long term deal (seeking 6 years and $150 million) and passes a physical, the Mets just acquired the best pitcher in baseball. And in doing so, they may have shifted the balance of power in the NL East a bit further to the north.

You don't need me to tell you how good he is or how this totally sucks for the Phils, but he is and it does. Big time. Question is, what can we do about this? Voodoo doll? Call Jeff Gillooly? What if we all combine our tax rebates and offer Santana more than $150 million to NOT pitch? I'm going to wrap my head around a bottle of tequila and brainstorm. Open to suggestions...



Sean said...

Here's an idea. I'm on the Robotics team at school (read:I'm in the nerdiest nerd club of them all). What if we build a machine taht outpitches Darth Santana, and sign him to a huge contract for the Phillies? It would have to bat also...

Ryan said...

I can't even say, let alone type them here, all the swear words that came to my mind when I first heard this news. Crap!

Corey said...

sean, you didn't build this guy, did you?

furiousBall said...

I'm going to pee in some balloons when the Mets come to town and throw them at Johann.

Mike said...

Where do I send my tax rebate check?

Jarex said...

I guess this means we'll keep Helms around to start in place of Howard when Santana starts.

In practical terms, the Mets just added about 8 more wins than last year (figuring Glavine won 13, Santana is good for 20+, whether they're his wins or NDs the Mets wind up winning); So the hope is that the Phillies are also 8 wins better than last year.

Of course that doesn't answer the "how" part of the equation.

BloodStripes said...

A voodoo doll sounds good. On opening day just rip his arm off.

SirAlden said...

Relax Santana was 15-13 last year
with a pretty good team.

They gain 4 on Glavine, Feliz is a plus 4 games says Bill James with his glove, and we win by one game 93 wins to the mutts 92.

Harry sings "rubber tree".

Jarex said...

I still say Santana is good for closer to eight on account the NL, as a whole, is a weaker hitting league and probably has more "pitcher friendly" ballparks.

Hats off to the GMs for reporting this late in the day story. The blog that never sleeps.

Haute.Rec said...

Let's take a deep breath and focus on the words of our wise center fielder..

GM-Carson said...

SirAlden, I'm sorry but your optimism should not apply in this situation.

I guess Santa Clau, the Easter Bunny, and Mike Tyson are real after all (based on my comment from yesterday's post).

GM-Carson said...

What pisses me off even more about this Johan trade is that the friggin' Twins could have gotten better packages from both the Yanks and BoSox but waited too long...a-holes!

Corey said...

the mets should make santana a closer. that way he can pitch in 3-4 games per week and not just one...

GM-Carson said...

True dat Corey!

GM-Carson said...

More bad news for Phils- (MLBTR)
Stark: Howard Not Likely To Accept Deal Similar To Pujols
In a recent blog post, Jayson Stark notes that everybody should be paying close attention to the Ryan Howard arbitration case and speculates that Howard and the Phillies are much farther apart that the $3MM difference in their arbitration numbers. In fact, the distance between the two sides can be measured as the difference between Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez.

Stark says:

The Phillies renewed Howard at $900,000 last year--precisely the same amount Pujols got from the Cardinals the year before he was eligible for arbitration. Next up, the Phillies will no doubt offer Howard a long-term deal that mirrors the seven-year, $100 million contract Pujols signed with the Cardinals in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

That might sound reasonable from afar. But there is no chance --zero--that the reaction to that offer...is going to sound anything like: Where do we sign?

A-Rod is more what this particular family has in mind.

The $7MM arbitration figure offered by the Phillies is the same amount Pujols made in the first year of his contract extension (his first arbitration-eligible season). The biggest argument against the Pujols comparison is that the Cardinals signed their young record-breaking slugger to a 7-year, $100MM contract in 2004, and there has been an explosion in baseball revenue in the last four years. The Phillies would argue that Howard's numbers, while historic, are not equal to what Pujols accomplished in his first three seasons. The Phillies appear to be trying to balance performance against inflation.

Stark does not go so far as to say that Howard is seeking $250MM, but does speculate that it would take seven years and at least $150MM. If Stark is right, and the two sides cannot work out an agreement prior to the arbitration hearing, this could get ugly.

GM-Carson said...

In no way does Kyle Lohse compare to Johan Santana, but I'd like to think Gillick is working on a deal for Kyle right now as is microscopic retaliation move.

GM-Carson said...

GM-Carson will sadly no longer be with us, as of last night he had perished due to the news of Johan Santana going to the hated Mets. Donations for flowers can be sent to his address:
666 Styx River
Hellbound, WV 00000

SirAlden said...

From the ashes rise the Phoenix GM-Carson.

GM-Carson said...

SirAlden- in a week where we sign the highly debate Pedro Feliz, the Mets acquire one of the best if not THEE BEST pitchers in baseball...that's a cause of a minor panic at least right?

GM-Carson said...

More Johan news- although he's a lefty, lefties actually have a higher OPS off of him in his career- .654...which isn't high. Basically he dominates all hitters.

He can also handle the bat, with only 4 whiffs in 31 careers at bats (maybe Howard should take lessons) and a .258 average.

Bob D said...

No panic. He pitches once every 5 games. The pitchers behind him are in decline or been injured often. The Phils staff has some of the same issues but with Hamels, Myers, and Kendrick they have a solid top 3. Santana and Pedro provide a solid top 2 with question marks behind them.

But our secret weapon is Pat the Bat as he will likely welcome Sanatana with his trade mark against the Mets 2Hr 5RBI game in thier first meeting.

GM-Carson said...

John Maine is still young and is already good, but will likely improve. Pedro is injury prone, but he's a smart pitcher that will still get you out. Ollie Perez is a headcase, but when he's "on" he's very good. Orlando Hernandez is older than the dirt in my back yard, but he's still decent, especially for the bottom of the rotation. Rumor has it, that the Mets are still considering signing Lohse or Livan Hernandez...oh crap!

GM-Carson said...

Paul Hagen runs through some possibilities for the likely-to-be-traded Wes Helms: Marlins, Rays, Twins, Giants, and A's.

Jacobin said...

The Mets getting Santana makes me sick. I hope he will not continue to pitch as well as he did for the Twins, but that's probably just being pathetic hopeful.

Could we make a deal for Erik Bedard now before Seattle getw him?

SirAlden said...

SirAlden- in a week where we sign the highly debate Pedro Feliz, the Mets acquire one of the best if not THEE BEST pitchers in baseball...that's a cause of a minor panic at least right?

Right. However...

If one is a student of Medieval Battles, one knows that whoever
breaks at a moral check, flees the
field even with Superior Forces.

Look at the big picture here, I believe that the Phillies will score equal to, or more runs this year. An extra month of Utley, Howard, and Victorino.

Next teams will score fewer runs against the Phillies this year. Regression to the mean, new arms, Gold Glove Fielding at 2 new positions: Centerfielder, and Third base. The Phillies have arms in the minor they actually can bring up if one or two is doing well (that was not true that year), and FUNDS to buy and trade during the season.

I also believe the Mets will regress in run production.

Prior to the Santana Trade this was my handicapping of the field in the NL EAST:

Phillies 40%
Braves 30% (Last Year's Pythagorean Winner of the NL EAST)
Mutts 20%
Nats 8%
Marlins 2%

After the Santana Trade here is my handicapping of the NL EAST

Phillies 35%
Mutts 33%
Braves 25%
Nats 6%
Marlins 1%

Remember the Mutts Corner Outfielders, and Catcher are

Feliz and Delgado were a wash last year.

I will take Rollins, Utley,
Howard, over Reyes, Wright, Beltran.

Maine, Perez, and Hernadez all wore down big time in the second half last year. We will not see 30 Starts of Eaton if he is not healed and his strikeout payoff breaking pitches do not break.

Meyers, Lidge, Gordon, Romero, Madson all must step up. We have a great team, with minor leaguers who could get hot. The Mutts have only 2 guys, in the Minors of any note.
1 hitter and 1 pitcher.

~ Paddles GM-Carson back across the River Styx ~

"Good to have you back buddy, we and the Phillies will need you".


SirAlden said...

"Oh and GM-Carson, thanks for taking me to that HOT Strip Club and buying me that drink, in Hades, West Virginia, before I paddled you back across the Styx".

"Boy oh boy when they said you get crabs for bumping uglies with the Hades, WV girls, they were not just talkin' - these crabs look like they just came out of the Chesapeake!".

Risque Indeed.

GM-Carson said...

SirAlden- you never cease to amuse/amaze me with your comments on here.

I'd really like to see Helms traded now. I don't care what for or to who, just so that he's gone and not a burden come spring training.

GM-Carson said...

The more time I have to digest the Pedro Feliz signing the more I like it. I don't think he's a fantastic player, but he does help this club for defense alone and the limiting of Manuel's "who do I play/switch" decisions is key too. Also, I have to think that his stats will slightly improve with a better supporting cast around him and a more kind home field for hitters.

GM-Carson said...

From my homeboy Jayson Stark on ESPN.com-
If Johan Santana was good enough to carry a team to a World Series by himself, the Twins would have played in about five of them already. But now that we've got that away, no sane human would dispute that Santana is a contract extension away from changing the face of the NL East.

Two days ago, the Phillies were the clear-cut favorites in this division. It's safe to say they aren't anymore. But does that mean the Mets are a lock? Not necessarily, according to the baseball men I surveyed in the last 24 hours.

The case for the Phillies

This may come as a shock to all residents of Queens, but we did find several bright, rational NL executives who still pick the Phillies.

Remember, they did outscore the Mets by 88 runs last year, whomped 82 more extra-base hits and drew 92 more walks. In fact, if you go around the diamond, how many positions are there where the Mets are definitively better than the Phillies? I'd give the Mets two -- third base and center field.

The Phillies also catch the ball better. And would it really surprise anybody if the Phillies' top two starters -- Cole Hamels and Brett Myers -- won just as many games as Santana and Pedro Martinez?

Finally, keep in mind the reason that one NL front-office man picked the Phillies -- depth. The Phillies were deep enough last year to survive injuries to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Hamels, Myers, Shane Victorino and Flash Gordon. And the Mets obliterated their system to make this deal, leaving them with "not much of an underbelly" if they have injuries. And everybody has injuries.

The case for the Mets

In case you hadn't noticed this, Santana is merely the best pitcher in the whole solar system. He's a franchise-changer, a season-changer, a league-changer.

Since 2003, the year he moved into the rotation, the Twins went 105-47 (.691) when he started, and only 335-323 (.509) when anybody else started. In other words, they played like a 112-win team when Santana pitched -- and like an 82-win team when anyone else pitched.

Now drop that guy into the middle of a team like the Mets -- a team that had an ERA a half-run lower than the Phillies' last year without him -- and you have a staff that one NL executive now ranks with the Padres' as potentially the best in the league.

The verdict

First off, just because we're having this fun little debate, it doesn't mean we're writing off the Braves. But the either-or format in the Hot Stove Heaters constitution means somebody has to get lopped off this discussion. So hold your e-mails. Thanks.

Now, back to the debate. I think this is a close call, but Santana represents such a gigantic upgrade over Kyle Lohse, Livan Hernandez or anyone else on the Mets' Plan B list (let alone their pre-Johan roster), he personally swings the balance of the division.

Just the fact that he's left-handed -- and last year had nearly twice as many strikeouts (62) as hits allowed (39) against left-handed hitters -- makes him Ryan Howard's and Chase Utley's worst nightmare. Then add in the fact that the Mets didn't give up anyone of major significance in 2008, and the Mets have to be the pick. But feel free to differ.

That's why we're here.

Jarex said...

I really really love the Phillies' offense - apparently Stark does too. I think Feliz's defense helps lower a few ERAs. I also think the addition of a full-time 3rd basemen gives Chollie more potential moves (not to say he'll know what to do with them).

The whole Santana thing feels like this: it's like getting too drunk one night, waking up shit scared 'cause you think you did or said something stupid then finding out the thing you did/said wasn't all that bad. Now that the hangover is gone, I say Congrats to the Mets and their fans, but Santana doesn't make up for your shoddy defense and other various holes.

GM-Carson said...

I'm glad some Phillies fans aren't ready to jump off a bridge, well not without a bungee cord at least. Santana makes me openly weep, but you're right in that he doesn't single-handedly assure the Mets the NL East.

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