Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Contemplating Lefty Heaven
2008-01-29 15:55
by Mark T.R. Donohue

A few thoughts on Johan Santana's apparent move to the NY Mets:

1) The Twins accepted a package of prospects that ran, interestingly enough, 3-4-5-6 in the Mets' organizational rankings from last year's Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

2) Much more exciting names were supposed to have been involved in the deals that Minnesota turned their noses up at some weeks ago at the winter meetings. Someone who doesn't follow baseball all that closely might read between the lines and assume some sort of backdoor incentives from the league were involved in getting this deal done and encouraging at least a little reverse movement after the mass exodus of talent from the AL to the NL. But stories all offseason suggested quite strongly that neither Boston nor the Yankees were particularly excited about giving up their best young pitchers (pitchers who themselves may or may not be somewhat overrated due their mere status as the top Yankee and Red Sox farm arms) and indeed were only involved in the bidding to assure that the other didn't land Santana. If all that is so, Mets GM Omar Minaya played his cards correctly by waiting out the big fishes and getting Johan at an everybody-else-in-the-league price, not at a Yankees/Red Sox premium.

3) Assuming Santana passes his physical and starts on Opening Day for the Mets and then proceeds to start every fifth day for New York after that, he will face the Rockies at Coors Field Sunday, May 25th. It is imperative of course that Clint Hurdle arrange his rotation such that Colorado's own star lefty can face off against the current paragon of the form. Jeff Francis vs. Johan Santana pitching a day game? It's the closest thing many of us on earth will ever come to lefty heaven, which is more patient and polite (not to mention 1/8 as crowded) than regular heaven but has a lot of clumsy people, prefers on the whole not to drive a manual transmission, and has a surprising concentration of former pitchers who tend to overindulge on ambrosia and babble madly about fire trucks and/or international banking conspiracies.

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