Johan Santana was 15-13 last year for the Twins. An average year for a well-above average pitcher. In the four seasons he’s been a full-time starter, his average year is 17-7, not just well above average, but pretty damn good.
We’re talking stud pitcher. But, is that record worth the $13 million he got from Minnesota last year? Especially considering Oakland spent $2.25 million for Dan Haren to go 15-9?
There are plenty of ways to look at what the cost to the Mets might be for Santana. Not all completely right or wrong. That’s just one of them.
Haren’s body of work is far less than Santana’s, but both pitched for weak offenses. Both the Mets and Yankees figure to score more, and assuming both pitch well, they should have better records.
However, there is no accounting for the league adjustment (although there’s a greater dropoff going from the NL to the AL). There’s also no projecting injury, which is the reason few pitchers get more than four or five years, and with Santana we’re starting at six.
Let’s assume three prospects for starters. Eventually, that could turn out to be three roster spots at reasonable salaries. Eventually, you’ll have to replace those players.
For a team such as the Mets, factoring in potential losses next year of Pedro Martinez, Orlando Hernandez, Carlos Delgado and Moises Alou, that’s four players who must be replaced.
Assuming you give up one or two pitching prospects and an outfield prospect, you’ll have to look at pricey free agents because your farm system is depleted.
Keeping your prospects and salary structure in line puts you in a better position down the road. Giving up a lot for Santana might make you a heavy favorite once every five games, but what about the other four? And, please don’t say anything you get Santana for October because if you fall apart in other areas you won’t see the playoffs.
Theoretically, you should pay less both in prospects and money for Haren, or for that matter, Erik Bedard, which should be the way to go. Post your thoughts here and vote in a new poll on whether the Santana price is too high.