I Told You So: Why the Yankees STILL Don't Need Santana

Jeremy KaufmanSenior Analyst IApril 15, 2008

            During the baseball off-season, I released an article that explained my reasoning as to why the Yankees shouldn’t trade for Johan Santana. As expected, the article was met with a massive amount of discontent by my readers, both Yankee fans and non-fans alike, as they proclaimed that only an idiot would not consider making the trade. However, two weeks into the baseball season, I can’t help but say I TOLD YOU SO!

            Thus far, Johan Santana has a 1-2 record with a 3.05 ERA. While those numbers wouldn’t be too disappointing for most major league starters, I’m sure that the Mets didn’t plan on paying Santana over 20 million dollars a year in order to earn a losing record. Even though it is very early in the season, New York Mets fans are just beginning to see that 20 million plus for a player who will only pitch a maximum of 35 games in a season, and maybe be on the winning side of about 20 of them, is not a sound investment.

            At the same time, Chien Ming Wang, the unsung ace of the Yankees staff whom many readers blasted in my previous article, is pitching phenomenally and may very well end the season with his first Cy Young award. At this point in the season, Wang is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA, while earning a much more pedestrian salary. Just as I had said in my previous article, the Yankees already had a proven ace in Wang all along, we just needed to let him develop into the talent that he is today.

            In addition to the fact that the New York Yankees already have an arguably superior and more cost- effective ace on their staff, we also have to keep in mind that the Yankees would have had to give up a plethora of prospects in order to obtain Santana. Melky Cabrera, one player who was central to the Johan Santana trade talks, is having a fine year so far with dazzling defensive play and very efficient productivity at the plate. Ian Kennedy and Phillip Hughes, the two pitchers who may have been included in a potential deal, are each in the Yankees starting rotation and have already shown some upside in spite of their young ages. The Mets, on the other hand, made the mistake of paying a price with their prospects. While the only prospect that the Mets traded away that is currently on the Twins’ major league roster is Carlos Gomez, the young outfielder is off to a terrific start, as he is already proving himself to be a phenomenal base stealer. Given the injuries that the Mets’ have been plagued with in the outfield thus far, having Carlos Gomez on the roster certainly would have helped, especially for the dollar amount of a minor league contract.

            One final reason for the Yankees not needing to trade for Johan Santana was the potential of C.C Sabathia entering free agency in the off-season. Sabathia is a talented young starter who is 2ndonly to Santana himself in terms of left handed starting pitchers. In addition, Sabathia is several years younger, will likely come at a better dollar value than Santana, and can be obtained through free agency without the Yankees losing any of their young stars. Not to mention, with the Mets already locked up financially with Santana and with the Red Sox financially committed to the likes of Beckett and Matsuaka, the Yankees would undoubtedly be the frontrunners to obtain the services of Sabathia. This would result in a rotation of Wang, Sabathia, Hughes, Kennedy, and maybe Chamberlain by the start of next year. Not too shabby for a team that “supposedly” made the biggest mistake of their lives, huh?

            Once again, I told you so! Wow that feels good.