Twins, Santana & Prospects
I won’t delve into things too much. I feel that the Twins got their asses handed to them, plain and simple. The prospects returing are nice, certainly. But when one weighs the options.
Below is a selection from prospect guru John Sickels.
Carlos Gomez has a great glove and great speed, but I am still very uncertain about how his bat is going to develop. His on-base skills and power are sketchy, and I think he needs a good dose of Triple-A. I gave him a Grade B in the book, and while I think he will be a useful player, I do not buy into his status as a future star just yet.
Phil Humber will probably be in the rotation. I gave him a Grade B- in the book. Right now he looks like a fourth/fifth starter to me, a guy with good command and inning-eating ability, but not a future ace. It’s possible that he will get more of his stuff back another year removed from Tommy John, but it’s also very possible that what you see is what you get here. If I were the Twins I’d stick him in the rotation and see what happens.
I’m more impressed with Kevin Mulvey, a Grade B prospect who could end up being somewhat similar to Kevin Tapani. He’s got above average stuff, above average command, and while I don’t think he’ll turn into a direct Santana replacement, I like him a lot as a possible number three starter. I like him better than either Humber or Gomez at this point. I’d like him to get 10-15 Triple-A starts before pushing him into the rotation, but that timetable could be accelerated.
Deolis Guerra is the wild card here. The youngest guy in the trade, and with the highest upside, he could turn into a dominating number one starter. Or he could blow his arm out. His minor league numbers aren’t particularly impressive, but he held his own at age 18 in advanced Class A. If I were the Twins I would try to slow down the pace here, and I’d return him to the Florida State League for the first half of ’08. I don’t know what they will do in reality. There may be some pressure to rush him. He’s a Grade B+ prospect but a year from now he could as easily be a Grade C+ as a Grade A, depending on health and development.
I can’t really disagree with anything that he’s said. Humber projects as a back-half of the rotation starter (which the Twins have a plethora of in their minor league system).
Mulvey is better than his ERA signifies, as he was the victim of some defensive butchering in AA. (only 56 of his 74 runs were earned). I’d like to see some more K’s at the AA level, although you have to respect the miniscule 4 HR in 150+ IP.
Deolis Guerra couldn’t even get into a bar in Canada until the first month of the regular season. One has to like a then 18 year old holding his own in the Flordia State League (High A).
Gomez had a good short stint in AAA this year and hasn’t done much in winter ball. He’s harder to project because he’s so young. As Sickels states, a good chunk of time in AAA should give everyone a clear picture of what Gomez is going to become. He’ll be only 22 throughout the 2008 season.
This isn’t the worst package in the world. It’s built with a selection of younger talent that probably won’t be ready to really contribute until 2009 or maybe even 2010.
To myself at least the fact is that the Twins still had a year of Santana under contract. If the packages with the Yankees & Red Sox disappeared then they would assuredly be offered again near the 2008 trade deadline. Does anyone truly believe George would idly stand by and allow the Red Sox to acquire Santana in a late July pennant race? Don’t think so.
A package with either of those two teams would have yielded prospects that could have contributed in a positive manner right away. Now the Twins will play the waiting game.
This, along with the trading of Garza puts the Twin in a position of missing a true ace going forward. The loss of Silva (a deal that I certainly wouldn’t have matched) leaves the Twins with Baker, Boonser, Slowey (16 HR in 67 MLB innings), Humber and others. Looks like the AL Central will be a two team race this season.