ESPN’s Buster Olney kicks off his blog today with his thoughts on Johan Santana. Fresh off a team-record 17 strikeout performance, Santana is a hot topic around baseball. Olney believes Santana trade talk could dominate the offseason. It might be a hell of a winter if Alex Rodriguez hits the open market (though that seems unlikely).
Olney feels that the Twins would be best off trading Santana this winter if they don’t sign him. Studs like Jered Weaver, Clay Buchholz, Phil Hughes, and Andrew Miller could suddenly lose untouchable status if Santana is in play. There’s no arguing that an established, MLB-ready young pitcher like the above-mentioned four is worth significantly more than the two draft picks the Twins could receive after ’08 for letting Johan walk. Terry Ryan would need to acquire a valuable young position player as well, I imagine.
Olney notes that the Twins have made such a deal before with the Chuck Knoblauch trade in February of ’98. The Twins received Eric Milton, Cristian Guzman, Brian Buchanan, and cash back then. They’d do significantly better this time.
I know a lot of folks think the Mets can pull this off, but I don’t know that they have the right mix of players. Here’s my stab at a Santana bounty: Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, and Jonathan Meloan. Reasonable? Ridiculous? Leave your most reasonable proposal in the comments, maybe we’ll vote on the best. And if your favorite team isn’t a great fit, don’t try to force it!