Is Twins' Johan Santana a Must-Have for New York Mets?

Johnny SheaCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2008

With three weeks left until the premiere of spring training in Port St. Lucie when pitchers and catchers will report, there are still many questions looming over the heads of Minaya and the Mets.

Is there a chance for Johan Santana? Does the pitching staff really need him? How will the historic collapse of last season affect the Mets in ’08?

The New York Mets are playing their last season at Shea, and they are doing everything they can to make it one to remember. 

Santana finished with a less than fantastic season, with a 15-13 record and a 3.33 ERA. He was named the American League Cy Young in 2004 and 2006, however, and has many phenomenal years ahead of him.

As we all know, there are three teams mainly involved with the hunt for the most sought after player out there.

After all of the speculation that the Yankees and Red Sox were the favorites to grab Santana, the Mets seem to be the best fit for this one.

They need the pitcher the most, and Omar Minaya will quietly lay out a deal to snag Santana. It will come at a cost, but will not involve any household names such as David Wright and Jose Reyes.

The Mets will most likely have to deal Fernando Martinez, Carlos Gomez, along with top pitching prospect Deolis Guerra, Phil Humber, and Kevin Mulvey.

And it’s worth it.

After last season’s collapse, the Amazins’ need something to spark their energy, and Santana would be the perfect fit. He would help put the collapse behind the Mets, and give an enthusiastic spark to the team heading into the 2008 season.

The Mets pitching rotation, as of right now, begins with Pedro Martinez, who attempts to rebound from elbow surgery.

Orlando Hernandez or El Duque, whose health problems often cause him to miss at least a quarter of the season.

Next are the two youngsters John Maine and Oliver Perez, who showed some promise in 2007 but are not consistent.

Finally, number five. Without Santana, would it be Mike Pelfrey?

Injuries and youth can cause serious trouble with the Mets pitching staff this coming season.  After dropping seven games to the Philadelphia Phillies with 17 games remaining in late September, the Mets managed to complete the greatest collapse in sports history.

I remember the sunken feeling all Mets fans experienced as we witnessed Tommy Glavine, future Hall of Famer, drop seven runs to the Florida Marlins, the fourth place team in the NL East.

Could this historic fall follow the Mets into this coming season? Or will they put it behind them and look forward to rebounding into success?

With the loss of Lo Duca to the Nationals and Glavine to the Braves, the Mets may be lacking enthusiasm and drive, no matter how hard David Wright tries.

Maybe the Amazin’s need some sort of blockbuster trade deal to quiet the media on last season, and who better to land than Santana? He would be a perfect fit to the organization, and act as a phenomenal mentor to the youths, such as John Maine and Oliver Perez.

Let’s put last year behind us and look ahead.

Johan Santana is the most respectable player in the trade market, will the Twins deal him to the less talked about team in New York…the Mets?

It could spark the pitching staff as well as the offense and coaching staff, and make last year’s collapse simply a memory. Without a doubt, Santana would be a strong addition, and we can only hope that Minaya agrees.

See yah in Port St. Lucie!