It’s been rumored in numerous places that the Yankees final offer for Johan Santana included Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and a prospect. Some places say Jeff Marquez was involved, others say it was Marquez and another prospect — MLB.com reported that Mitch Hilligoss was in the deal at one point.
Whatever the deal was, how is any combination of that not enough? It certainly isn’t that the Yankees are going down the tubes and needed Santana to survive, it’s far from that. But what team couldn’t use Johan Santana?
But in any event, it’s widely believed that the Twins took a lesser offer from the Mets instead. And I’d have to agree to an extent.
There isn’t one player in that deal that is definitively ready for a full season in the big leagues this year. Humber and Gomez are the closest of the bunch, but Humber has yet to re-gain the lights out stuff he had before Tommy John surgery and Gomez didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his first stint at the highest level, hitting just .232 in 125 at-bats.
But you can’t say either player is an absolute lock to play in the big leagues this year. Best case scenario, Gomez sees some regular time in the outfield, and Humber ends up in the back end of your rotation.
Mulvey, who grew up a Mets fan, would be best suited to spend his 2008 season in Rochester, home of the Twins Triple-A affiliate.
And Guerra, who spent all season in High-A ball despite being just 18 years old, will likely throw the majority of his pitches in a New Britain Rock Cats uniform.
With what the Yankees were reportedly offering, the Twins would be getting two players who were definitively ready for Major League play right now. Nobody who’s ever seen him pitch has any doubt as to what Phil Hughes is capable of, and he’s shown glimpses of that at the big league level so far.
As for Cabrera, he’s been a regular big leaguer for the past two seasons now, so there’s really no question he could have been an everyday guy in Minnesota.
Perhaps the issue with the deal, at least in the Twins eyes, was with the depth of it. But Jeff Marquez is highly regarded in baseball circles, and has the numbers to prove it — after all, he did lead the Eastern League in wins with 15. I’m not drinking the Jeff Marquez Kool-Aid just yet, but it’s hard to argue with what he’s accomplished so far.
As for Mitch Hilligoss, the scouting reports I’ve seen on the kid have all been impressive, and I think everyone knows about his lengthy hitting streak with Charleston last year. You could easily see him in Trenton this year, no doubt about it.
So where was the issue with the New York Yankees offer? And what possessed them to take the Mets deal?
Nobody knows how this deal will ultimately turn out, but for right now, it does look like the Twins got robbed.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com