While spending an enjoyable spring vacation at home for the week, I devoted part of my time to watching the beginning of Spring Training and reading about the positional battles that have been going on in the New York Mets camp.
It seemed that nothing solid had happened as of yet, but then again, it was the beginning after all.
Then, on Saturday, I found myself preparing for a job interview when my phone buzzed. The message was from the Team Stream: "Mets Sign RHP Kevin Mulvey to Minor League Deal, According to ESPN."
"Kevin Mulvey," I thought to myself, "Wasn't he traded for Johan Santana?" Turns out he was. He, along with a cacophony of supposedly prized prospects, was traded to the Minnesota Twins for the then-Cy Young contender.
I will admit that, while my expertise lies in baseball prospects, I have not been following the career paths of said players traded for said star. That is, until now.
So how has each player turned out since the deal four years ago? Let's go ahead and examine each of their careers.
The four prospects included in the deal were Mulvey, outfielder Carlos Gomez, pitcher Philip Humber and pitcher Deolis Guerra. Of the four, three have cracked the big leagues, while one still plays in the minors.
None are All-Stars, nor have they played in a World Series game. Also, none have played at the level where they were once hyped, and only one has stayed with the Twins since being traded.
Now, let's delve deeper and reflect on their individual performance. We start off with Mulvey.
Kevin Mulvey: Mulvey was drafted in the second round of the 2006 draft out of Villanova. Highly touted and crafter of a perfect game while in college, Mulvey was a top-ten prospect for the team. After he was traded to the Twins, he spent another year in the minors before making his big league debut in 2009.
Mulvey was nothing special in Minnesota, and was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks shortly after, although unofficial reports claim that he was effectively traded for Jon Rauch, who was traded to the Twins for a player to be named later.
Mulvey was also not impressive in Arizona, and after spending a year with the team, he was designated towards the end of the 2011 season and released before Spring Training this year. His Triple Crown stat line is an 0-3 record, a 7.90 ERA and 19 strikeouts.
Carlos Gomez: Carlos Gomez was signed out of Venezuela, and was one of the Mets' highly touted prospects. Reports had claimed that Gomez was actually faster than former leadoff hitter Jose Reyes.
After doing impressive work in the minors, Gomez was called up in 2007. When the season ended, Gomez was expected to earn a starting spot in the outfield, but when Santana was offered, he, along with his teammates, were traded.
Gomez won the starting center field job over prospects Denard Span and Jason Pridie, and immediately blossomed. In two years with the club, he was regarded as a speed demon and impressed manager Ron Gardenhire. Among his Twins highlights was a cycle against the White Sox.
Gomez became expendable at the end of the 2009 season, and ended up being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for JJ Hardy. Since then, he has become a reliable fourth outfielder, sharing the position with Nyjer Morgan, and possibly Norichika Aoki.
Phil Humber: Phil Humber was part of the famed 2003-2004 Rice Owls' pitching rotation along with current Rays starter Jeff Niemann and draft bust Wade Townsend. Of the three, Humber was drafted the highest, with the third overall pick, behind then-Old Dominion pitcher Justin Verlander.
Humber was highly rated, yet it wasn't until 2007 that he played a full year of pro ball. Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Humber made his major league debut on September 24th, 2006, and was on the team's playoff roster.
However, Humber contributed to one of the worst collapses in baseball history when he was given the call to start a crucial game against the Washington Nationals.
Needless to say, he lost, and the Mets were eliminated from contention on the final day of the regular season.
Humber was then traded to the Twins, where he played a total of five games with the team before being designated.
Humber then caught on with the Kansas City Royals, and notched his first win there on August 5th. Afterwards, he was waived by the Royals and signed with the Oakland A's, then later signed by the Chicago White Sox. Humber became a starter and posted a 9-9 record with a respectable 3.75 ERA.
As of now, he is still pitching for the Sox, and is expected to remain in the rotation.
Deolis Guerra: Guerra was signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela. With the Mets, he was named on the 2007 Futures game roster on the World team.
Guerra was then traded to the Twins and started with the Fort Myers Miracle. After two seasons with the Miracle, he was promoted to Double-A New Haven, then, midseason, to Triple-A Rochester. Guerra is currently on the Twins' 40-man roster.
The question is: Who got the better of the deal?
One could argue the Twins, because they still have Guerra, who is likely going to make the team at least by late 2012. One could argue the Mets won, because Santana had a great 2008 season, a good 2009 and an okay 2010, and is on track to rebound from a season spent on the mend.
Not only that, but they do have Mulvey back, and could potentially develop him into their next Jason Isringhausen reclamation project.
In my opinion, the Mets won. Santana did well in three seasons with the team, and all but one prospect traded to the Twins are gone.
Nonetheless, this was by far one of the biggest trades in Mets history, and hopefully, we will get more out of Santana in the coming year.
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