Sunday, February 17, 2008

Santana vs. Bedard

Someone somewhere on this stupid blog asked about a breakdown of the Santana trade vs. the Bedard trade. Since I have nothing better to do this afternoon, and there isn't any basketball on until Duke/Wake at 6:30, I'll see what I can do.


They are both 28, actually being born only 8 days apart, so age is no factor. Santana has been one of the best pitchers in the majors, if not the best, for the past five years. Bedard made a major leap into the upper tier of pitchers this season, after steadily improving for the past four seasons, lowering all his metrics year vs. year for that period, topping out with a 3.16 ERA (146 ERA+), .212 OAV, and 11 K's per nine. Compare that to Santana's 3.33 (130), .225 OAV and 10 Ks per. Add in Johan atrocious HR rate this season, and Bedard may have had a better year - although Santana pitched more innings, 219 vs. 182.

This was clearly Johan's worst season since becoming a full-time starter, and he still finished fifth in Cy Young voting, while it was Bedard's best season, and he tied Johan for fifth. Looking at the contracts they signed after the trades, where Bedard went for 1 year at $7 million and Johan went for 6 years, $137 million, Johan is prohibitively more expensive. Johan had a no trade clause, while Bedard did not. I didn't really get this at first, but after looking into it, it appears there are many reasons why Bedard would be more attractive to certain teams. Of course, if they aren't able to hammer out a long term deal with Bedard, it becomes a very costly trade on their end. Bedard should get somewhere in the $100 million range, so certainly not cheap, but not Johan money and he could end up being every bit as good for the rest of their careers. But I doubt it.


OF Carlos Gomez to the Twins vs. OF Adam Jones to the Orioles.

Gomez comes to the Twins and is instantly their number 1 prospect. The bad news is that he wasn't the top Mets prospect, but was #2. Adam Jones was not only the #1 prospect in the Mariners system, but was ranked the #44 prospect in the Major Leagues last season, and, if he hadn't played in the majors too much, would be in the top ten this year (Gomez is ranked 65 this season). Jones is known as a five-star, while Gomez is a four-star. Both have limited time in the majors, where Jones hit .246/.300/.400 in 65 at bats last season and Gomez hit .232/.288/.304 in 108 at bats. Similar, but in the minors Jones hit .314/.382/.586 while Gomez hit .281/.350/.423 in his last full minor league season. Hitting isn't everything, and Gomez is faster, steals more bases, and is generally known as a top flite fielder, but it's pretty clear any way you look at it that the best prospect traded in either deal was Jones.

I forgot to include this when I originally typed it up, but in case the previous paragraph hasn't depressed you enough, the Mariners were supposedly interested in Santana, but pulled out when the Twins asked for Jones. Great.


P Deolis Guerra to the Twins vs. P Chris Tillman.

Guerra immediately becomes the number 2 prospect in the Twins' system. Guerra dominated A ball two years ago, but had trouble adjusting to the jump up to high A. He has pitched in 23 games in high A (22 starts) lasting a total of only 97 total innings - yikes, that's awful - and last season in 21 games there had an ERA of 4.01 and a WHIP of 1.17. He's generally regarded as an excellent prospect, ranking #79 in the top 100 prospects list. He's only 18 years old, and could climb the list, or flame out.

Chris Tillman ranks #44 on the list, and is similar to Guerra since he also got a bit rocked in high A ball, though scouts love him, and is only 19. He's a step ahead of Guerra, however, because Guerra has a great changeup but needs to develop other pitches, while Tillman already has an excellent fastball and curveball. That, as well as ranking 35 spots higher on the top 100 list, give the edge here to the Mariners as well.


P Phil Humber and P Kevin Mulvey to the Twins vs. P Kevin Mickolio, P Tony Butler, and P George Sherrill.

Neither Humber nor Mulvey are anything to get hyper about. Both rank as three star prospects and project to back of the rotation types. They have each had some minor league success, and will start the season most likely in AAA. I expect both to get a shot with the big club at some point, but neither will become a star. Humber is the #5 in the Twins organization, Mulvey is #8.

Mickolio and Butler are a step below Humber/Mulvey, with Butler a two-star prospect ranking 8th in the Mariners system, with Mickolio not ranked in the top 11. Butler is a big lefty who can throw 94 mph, and could develop into a star level pitcher some day. Mickolio isn't expected to be much.

At this point, it looks like the Twins win this category, but the difference is in the third pitcher, reliever George Sherrill. Sherrill is thirty, has been in the majors for four years, and certainly isn't considered a prospect. What he is, is a shut down middle reliever who really came into his own last season. In 46 innings, he allowed 28 hits while striking out 56, with an ERA of 2.36 and a WHIP of 0.98. In 128 career innings pitched, Sherrill has allowed just 10 home runs. It may seem weird that a crappy team like the Orioles would want a middle reliever, but if they're smart, they'll turn around and deal Sherrill. If he can even come close to repeating his numbers from last season, he'll be a valuable commodity at the trade deadline and could net the O's yet another prospect.

So, in conclusion, this sucks.


alex said...

"Gomez comes to the Twins and is instantly their number 1 prospect"
Out of curiousity, where is this based off of? I know John Sickels (who is a minor league baseball guru of sorts) has Gomez as the 6th best prospect in the Twins system, while Guerra is #1 and Mulvey is #3. Oh, and Humber is #8.

So yeah, what are you using to rank these prospects?

WWWWWW said...

Using Baseball Prospectus, specifically these rankings:

Updated January 30th. That's really surprising that they differ by that much, especially on Gomez.

alex said...

Interesting. I just realized that I didn't link to it before, but the numbers given in my post were taken from here: (also posted on the 30th).

It'll be interesting to see how Baseball America ranks their system when it comes that time for them to update their top 10 lists. Their current one is updated as of 1/24/08, but that's before the Santana deal was done so it doesn't reflect it.

WWWWWW said...

Thanks for the link