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oh-crap-johan-santanas-a-met | January | 2008 Articles

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Oh, crap. Johan Santana's a Met.

on .

Well, it appears that our nightmares have come true, and the New York Mets managed to replace Tom Glavine with a slightly better left-hander named Johan Santana. The thought of him chewing through NL hitters in roomy Shea Stadium is enough to give anyone the cold sweats. Two conditions: first, he has to pass a physical, and second, he has to agree on a multiyear contract extension with the Mets. Both of these things will happen. The sky hasn't completely fallen, I guess. The Mets gave up Deolis Guerra, Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, and Phil Humber, which means they don't have a whole lot of farm system left. However, they still have Fernando Martinez, and they still have Jose Reyes, so they managed to stick to their guns and make the Twins blink. To tell you the truth, if I was the Twins I might have preferred the prospect haul the Mariners agreed to send to Baltimore (which Peter Angelos, being a clueless meddler, still hasn't okayed): Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, and George Sherrill. But still, the Twins got most of the cream of the Mets' farm system, and in return the Mets get the Best Pitcher in Baseball. He's 28, and already has 2 Cy Youngs and two more top-5 finishes. Since 2004, when he became a full-time starter, he has more wins and strikeouts than anyone else in baseball. Maybe he's damaged goods -- his ERA in the second half last year was over 4.00, and he gave up 4 or more runs in 4 of his last 7 starts -- and he has pitched more than 900 innings in the last 4 years. That's a lot of mileage. Keith Law expressed concern that some of Johan's struggles might be attributable to arm trouble. Still, until he posts a WHIP above 1.10 or ERA above 3.33, which he hasn't done since he became a starter, rumors of his demise will have to remain greatly exaggerated. We'll only face him a couple times a year, unpleasant though they may be. But he immediately elevates the credibility of their pitching staff, and even if Pedro never throws another pitch for them, John Maine reverts to the pitcher he was in the second half, and Oliver Perez turns back into Jorge Sosa, they'll have a bona fide ace and by far the best pitcher in the division. As long as they have David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Reyes, their offense will be no slouch either, though facing Brian Schneider 4 times a game is a rather pleasant thought. Anyway, they have a pretty good team, and they got better. I wish the Twins could have traded him within the AL, but they didn't. I guess it just means Mets fans will be even bitterer when they collapse this year.

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