In which I weigh in way too late on the whole Santana brouhaha

December 4th, 2007 → 11:17 am @ // 6 Comments

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been strangely quiet as of late – and that silence has continued even after my return from a glorious, two-and-a-half-week trip to Southeast Asia. (I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: nothing says romance like reading a bio of Pol Pot on your honeymoon.) I’ve avoid my usual laundry list of excuses.

I will, however, say this: I’ve always been reticent about jawing off when I have no real idea what I’m talking about…and such is the case with all of the sundry Santana trade permutations. I don’t mean the specifics of a possible trade — no one knows those except for Theo, Bill Smith, and Brian Cashman. I mean that I don’t know enough (and what’s more, haven’t done the work) to be able to make any kind of responsible or intelligent observations about whether this or that scenario makes sense. I don’t have the drilled-down numbers on Jacoby; I haven’t run the projections on Santana; I sure as hell don’t have any sense of what the pool of pitching talent is like in next few amateur drafts; I don’t know where else the Sox (or the Yankees) would spend that $130 mil or so it’ll likely take to lock up Santana…well, you get the idea. And even if I did have all of this info and even if I had done all of this work, I still would be so many light years behind where the Sox front office is in terms of brainpower, man hours spent hunched over spreadsheets, cumulative knowledge, and on and on, that it would be silly for me to start soapboxing about why this or that scenario makes sense.

Which leaves me with…emotion. Emotionally, I don’t want to lose Jacoby, and this is even after the wife grew besotted with him after a recent lunch they shared together. Emotionally, I’m in love with homegrown teams. Emotionally, I want to go into battle with a roster that includes four homegrown players (Youk, DP, Jed Lowrie, and Ellsbury), two guys that the Sox should rightly get credit for growing (Tek and Papi), and a couple of hired guns (JDD and Manny). Emotionally, I want Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz and Papelbon and Manny DC and yes, even Craig Hansen to round out a rotation that’ll be anchored by Beckett and Dice-K for the next half-decade or so. Emotionally, I’m nervous about paying a premium for a pitcher’s post-30 years. And, dare I say it, emotionally I find something a little, well, gross, about the prospect of the Sox going out and buying the best left-handed pitcher in the game to augment what’s arguably already the best rotation in baseball.
But the Sox front office doesn’t get paid to traffic in emotion – and thank goodness for that. Emotion would have ended up with Nomar and Pedro still collecting paychecks from Yawkey Way and, in all likelihood, with a 90-year championship drought.
At the moment — at 10:02 am on December 4 — it sounds as if the Sox are actually close to a deal, one that would keep Ellsbury in Boston and send Lester, Lowrie, and Coco to Minnesota. (Sigh. Coco. I still love the guy.) If it happens, it could be a great deal. And if it happens, it’ll be worth paying attention to what happens to Lowrie down the line. Plenty of times, those third names that no one has ever heard of end up turning into pretty good players. It was Lester, after all, who was headed to Texas four years ago as part of the aborted Manny for A-Rod deal…

Anyway, if that deal does go down, the Sox will have to be the pre-season favorites…through, say, 2010. As an NL exec told Jayson Stark, a rotation that consisted of Beckett, Dice-K, and Santana, to say nothing of Schilling and Clay “Oh No-No You Don’t” Buchholz, “might just be the best team in the history of the frigging universe.” It would also complicate Tito’s job. Seriously: which of these guys do you sit down to tell he’s going to be a fifth starter?


Post Categories: 2007 Hot Stove Season & Coco Crisp & Jacoby Ellsbury & Johan Santana & Jon Lester

6 Comments → “In which I weigh in way too late on the whole Santana brouhaha”


  1. Gee

    10 years ago

    Well said.

    As for Coco, although I’ve always liked the guy, I’ve gotten resigned to his imminent departure. It seems he’s never come back to being the hitter he was — much less the hitter the Sox thought he would become — after the finger injury. I do love to watch him in CF, though.

    To what extent is the tipping point for this deal — if it proves real — the fact that we win the game of keep-away from the Wankees? Is that really so critical any more? It’s not like the Y’s are a Santana away from being at the Sox’ level. They aren’t that close; still less so without Hughes, Cabrera and whoever else they’d deal.

    Reply

  2. joe zero

    10 years ago

    Seth, I agree with many of the points you’ve raised here… and none resonate with me more than the gross spectacle of the Sox buying the best left hander in the game… at perhaps $20-25 million per year… while approaching age 30! ‘Buying’ Pedro and Manny, to me, were about making our Sox credible and competetive in the face of late 90’s/early 2000’s Yankee dominance. We’re on top now, and brimming with young, promising pitching talent (no Mike Nagys, Jeff Sellers or Ivy Washingtons here). But this acquisition is just so excessive, it makes me think we’re becoming a bit too much like the Yankees. Even if the Yanks had won the Santana sweepstakes, the Sox would still have rejoinders… ‘it’s not the end of the world.’

    Reply

  3. rog

    10 years ago

    Sorry, that’s loser talk. Last year when the Yankees were 17 games out, I actually felt sorry for them and I thought that the season would be really boring if the Sox won another title without much of a challenge in the AL East. After they came back late in the year to challenge for first place and make the wild card, I didn’t feel that way anymore. The Yankees have no problem stepping on the Sox throat and beating them down, robbing them and knifing them (to use violent metaphors.) Having a GREAT pitching staff for the next 5-7 years is not a bad thing…in fact it’s what Sox fans have been waiting for since 1918. You can’t win without being dominant, sorry. If you must feel the need to be a pathetic underdog, I suggest you move to Chicago and root for their National League club. They still have bad ownership, a horrible manager and ancient ideas about how to run a baseball club. When the great triumvirate of Henry, Werner and Lucchino bought this team they undid the Sox’ biggest curse: bad, nearsighted, cheap ownership. I don’t even live in Boston anymore but it seems to me that a fan base who roots for the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots shouldn’t have anything to whine about. Sorry, it doesn’t make any sense.

    Reply
  4. […] Also in Red Sox news, a couple of you have pinged me on the prospect of trading for Minnesota’s Johan Santana, and rather than bore you with a thousand tedious words of my own, I’ll simply point you to Seth’s piece on the subject as it’s more or less an accurate representation of my views on the matter. […]

    Reply
  5. […] The good news is that I trust our front office – as I would not trust some others, say Houston’s – to have thought about all of this in far more detail than I ever would or could. As Seth put it: I will, however, say this: I’ve always been reticent about jawing off when I have no real idea what I’m talking about…and such is the case with all of the sundry Santana trade permutations. I don’t mean the specifics of a possible trade — no one knows those except for Theo, Bill Smith, and Brian Cashman. I mean that I don’t know enough (and what’s more, haven’t done the work) to be able to make any kind of responsible or intelligent observations about whether this or that scenario makes sense. I don’t have the drilled-down numbers on Jacoby; I haven’t run the projections on Santana; I sure as hell don’t have any sense of what the pool of pitching talent is like in next few amateur drafts; I don’t know where else the Sox (or the Yankees) would spend that $130 mil or so it’ll likely take to lock up Santana…well, you get the idea. And even if I did have all of this info and even if I had done all of this work, I still would be so many light years behind where the Sox front office is in terms of brainpower, man hours spent hunched over spreadsheets, cumulative knowledge, and on and on, that it would be silly for me to start soapboxing about why this or that scenario makes sense. […]

    Reply
  6. […] But it’s ridiculous to say that Ye Olde Towne team was never interested. Any package that includes either Jon or Jacoby is clearly a serious one. (For the record: I was never in favor of a Santana deal. […]

    Reply

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