Forget Johan Santana—Erik Bedard Is Right Choice for Mets

Daniel Latzman@@dlatzmanCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2008

Recent reports circulating the rumor mill are that the NY Mets are currently the front-runners to acquire Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins.

With the Yankees' proposal apparently almost completely off the table (again), and the Red Sox refusing to budge on the offers they proposed months ago, the Twins are starting to reconsider the "other" New York team's bid.

A trade for Santana would cost the Mets one of their prized CF prospects, Fernando Martinez or Carlos Gomez, pitchers Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra, as well as at least $120 million for an extension after Santana's contract is up after the 2008 season. Before the Mets pull the trigger on a potential deal to bring the game's best pitcher to Flushing, they must reconsider the other left-handed ace currently on the trading block: Erik Bedard.

The Orioles southpaw went 13-5 with 221 strikeouts in 2007, despite pitching for a team that finished 24 games under .500. He also managed to finish fifth in AL Cy Young voting.

With two year's left on his contract, the Mets wouldn't be forced to offer Bedard a new deal until after the 2009 season, at which point expensive veterans like Carlos Delgado, Orlando Hernandez, and Pedro Martinez will likely be off the payroll.

It appears that the Orioles are refusing to deal Bedard within their division, meaning the Yankees and Red Sox aren't able to enter the bidding war and drive up his value. Based on all reports I've read, the price for Bedard seems to be very similar to that of Santana, minus the necessary long-term extension.

Omar Minaya needs to subdue his itching for Santana and consider being wise with how he spends the Wilpon's money. Bedard has established himself as one of the most dominant left-handed pitchers in baseball over the past two seasons. Uniting him with pitching guru Rick Peterson in NY would only make him that much better.

Peterson turned left-hander Oliver Perez, who was a combined 3-13 in 2006 pitching for the Pirates and Mets, into a 15 game winner in just one year. Imagine what he could do with a pitcher like Bedard who set the Orioles franchise record for strikeouts this past season.

Johan Santana in a Mets uniform is definitely an enticing possibility, but Erik Bedard seems to be the more logical choice for NY.