Archive: November 27th, 2007

Brocail Off the Market

Rumor has it that Doug Brocail has signed a contract with the Astros, which will be announced on Tuesday.

Oh, that’s right … we really don’t care.

In other news, Kerry Wood signed a one-year deal to remain with the Cubs; the presumption is that he’ll be a candidate to close, with Ryan Dempster moving back to the starting rotation. Though it might have been nice to see a pitcher with Wood’s talent on the Mets, there didn’t appear to be any interest whatsoever out of Flushing, and Wood seemed determined to return to Chi-town. That said, the Wood signing is something of a positive for the Mets, in that the Cubs now likely won’t be going after any other middle relievers on the market that might interest the Mets (i.e., Octavio Dotel, David Riske).

The latest “buzz” is that the Yankees and Twins are working on a deal involving Johan Santana. My assumption is that the Yanks would have to part with at least Philip Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and Melky Cabrera — and some pundits are guessing that Robinson Cano could be part of the package. If I’m Brian Cashman, that deal is a no-brainer — Hughes doesn’t look like the #1 ace everyone hyped him to be, and the ceilings of both he and Kennedy are questionable. Such a trade would be somewhat similar to another Twins deal that sent a Cy Young lefty to New York about twenty years ago — the Frank Viola trade to the Mets.

On July 31, 1989, the Twins sent Viola to Flushing in return for Rick Aguilera, David West, Tim Drummond, Kevin Tapani, and Jack Savage (Savage was actually a PTBNL). Back then, West was about as bright a prospect, if not brighter, than Hughes is today. Similarly, Tapani was comparable to Kennedy, and Aguilera was seen as a guy who was probably good enough to be a fourth or fifth starter on any team in MLB other than the Mets, who at the time had a 5-man rotation of Dwight Gooden, David Cone, Bobby Ojeda, Ron Darling, and Sid Fernandez (wow … those were good days for pitching in Shea!). Though the Mets toyed with Aguilera as a closer, he wasn’t supplanting 26-year-old fireballer Randy Myers anytime soon, and thus was expendable. The rest is history — Viola was 38-32 in two and a half seasons as a Met, Aguilera went on to become one of the AL’s most dominant closers and save 311 games, Tapani had a 13-year career as a solid #2 / #3 starter, and David West accomplished what can be most accurately described as “bupkis“.

I digress …

So if the Yankees do in fact pull off the deal, the Twins would suddenly have an excess of young starting pitching, which could help the Mets (can you say, Matt Garza for Lastings Milledge?). Additionally, I’d imagine that if Melky Cabrera goes north, then Andruw Jones becomes a Yankee almost immediately — does anyone else fit quite so perfectly in centerfield for them with Melky gone?

Further, if the Yanks and Twins do not come to terms, you’d have to think that either the Red Sox or the Mets are next on the waiting list. Are the Mets willing to send Mike Pelfrey, Philip Humber, Lastings Milledge, and a fourth prospect to Minnesota for Santana? I sure hope so. Problem is, I’d guess the Twins would also ask for John Maine or Oliver Perez, and/or Aaron Heilman. Unless they’re willing to add Joe Nathan and one of their young arms to the deal (Garza? Scott Baker?), I’d have to pass.

By the way, and speaking of Yankees, I haven’t heard anything on Luis Vizcaino. Wouldn’t he be a nice arm to add to the bullpen? Yes, I realize he’s been “Torre-ized”, but he might be related to Gumby and have no problem throwing another 80 games in 2008.

Completely off topic, Chris Snelling has been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. I believe this is the 18th time he’s changed teams in the last ten months, and wonder why the Mets have been left out of the fun? I hope Omar hasn’t been banished from the “in” group.

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