Yesterday Dan, after some inspiration from Bob Klapisch, tossed around the idea of trading Santana. I was surprised Dan wasn't booed out of town, a few readers even supported the idea, but the very thought terrifies me.
Let's look at two big trades in Mets history to see what Santana might be able to return in a trade.
Seaver Model: the Mets could in theory get back a 25 year old left handed pitcher coming off a 14 win season, a 24 year old starting outfielder and a 24 year old starting second baseman. On paper that looks promising, three ready to go players all young an inexpensive. However, I've lived through that and it's awful. None of the prospects panned out. The Yankees went about their business of going to the World Series in 1977, 78, 80 and 81. The Mets drew 788,000 fans in 1979. You can't roll your eyes and say that was a different time because they drew 2.6 million in 1970.
Santana Model: using a more modern example, here's the kinds of players you can get for Santana. Carlos Gomez, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra. Anyone pumped yet?
Now let's play it out.
Suddenly on Twitter the beat reporters start mentioning Santana has been traded. WFAN annnounces a press conference at 1pm. The fans go bananas.
The press conference: a reporter asks if the Mets are in financial trouble. They say no. Nobody believes them. Omar starts to explain how we're gonna love "this kid Henderson" and tells us "Zachry won 14 last year, Santana only won 13." Some talk about how young the team is and how the Mets are built for the loing haul. Can anyone imagine Omar coming out of that press conference looking good?
Now the Mets are heading into the season with Murphy, "Doug Flynn", Reyes & Wright...someone catching, "Steve Henderson", Beltran and Francoeur. Marketing tries (once again) to sell a young hustling team. The ticket office calls you to ask if you would change your mind about your 15 game plan. You renewing?
Opening Day. The Yankees hang a pennant, the Mets send their ace...who?...to the mound. Pelfrey? Marquis? "Zachry?"
Unlike 1977 there's now a 24/7 news cycle. WFAN, online newspapers, twitter, blogs. Plenty of ways for fans to get down on the team. Another class of 7 year olds decides they are Yankees fans.
Killing the Mets for sport would be fun for the media for a while. It was fun during Buddy Harrelson, fun during Torborg, and even fun last summer when the injuries got beyond ridiculous. Them May 15th rolls around and there's not much to talk about in Flushing. No buzz on the team, no excitement and no ace. The Yankees can cover the back pages all summer long until November, and then the football teams carry the winter. There's plenty to talk about in this town other than a 78 win team.
Let's go back to Seaver. What got the franchise out of the funk? Was it Keith Hernandez? Nope. Nobody really cared about Hernandez in 1983. Sure we thought it was a steal, but it would be like adding Michael Jordan to the 2009 Nets.
What revitalized the franchise in 1984 was that another ace came along. Everything started with Gooden. Every 5th day you knew the team would win, and it allowed another young stud named Darling to quietly be his Koosman.
Trading Santana would send this franchise into a bad bad spiral. All it would do is make us sit tight waiting for the next Seaver or Gooden to roll along. Mathematically we're due for one...it has been 25 years since the last one (wow, that just hit me as I typed it). I'm not going to hold my breath.
You've got an ace. An ace is rare. Keep him.
Now if you think you could get a lot for Beltran or Reyes....
Shannon, I really hope you're not thinking of letting Reeys and or Beltran go. Despite last seasons injuries they are in their prime abd because of last year other teams would be reluctant especially with Beltran and his 17 million per.
Lets get Holliday or Bey, Brandon Phillips and Aaron Harang from the Reds, add a Gil Meche or Jason Marquis and see where that gets us, or go back to my "fix it" article and we'll work from there.
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