It was easy, as a Twins fan, to get caught up in the Winter Meetings. How much can we get for Santana? Can we keep him? Can we rake the Yankees over the coals? No one here in Minnesota wants to see Santana in pinstripes, or to become part of the Minnesota Twins East franchise aka the Boston Red Sox. But we aren't blind. Clearly, the most likely scenario is that Santana gets traded, and the Twins get a handful of propects, who, if they succeed, will get traded away for prospects in 3-5 years.
But we all knew what the guiding terms were probably going to be. We had read rotowire, and aarongleeman.com--Santana was going to bring in, in almost any package mentioned: One can't miss prospect, One damn good prospect, and One we'll wait and see prospect.
The Twins have obviously been arguing to whoever will listen that by getting Santana, they are getting the best left-handed pitcher in baseball. They are right to do so. He should be worth at least two quality prospects. He's only 29, his game is hardly all about power (those of us who've seen hitters twist their bodies around trying to slow down for his change up know this), and despite an off year, he was still in top 3 statistically of any measurable pitcher rubric.
Bob Sansevere, whose idiocy we've documented previously, sees this very reasonable scenario, and decides to up it into Incredibly Stupid, MST3K quality Science Fiction.
Let's break this down by paragraph, shall we?
BS: "If I'm the Twins' general manager, here's what I do. (And I'd do it under duress because I'd be working for a cheapskate owner.) I get on the horn with Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein and say, "You want Johan Santana, right?" "
Hey, the Pohlads are cheap, there's no denying that. But paying what Santana is asking for is feasible for about 3 teams. The Twins not paying a 6 year, $120 million dollar deal doesn't sound cheap to me. It sounds like a bit of common sense. We can assail the Twins for being cheap, and they deserve to assailed for that. But not for not paying that kind of money. Paying $20 million dollars to a 35 year old pitcher is stupid, and some team is going to do that for Santana. God Bless him and the free market, but suggesting only cheapskates don't pay Santana that kind of money is stupid. (not aggressively stupid, though. Sansevere has miles to go).
BS: Then I say, "Tell you what. I'll trade you Santana and Carlos Silva and Joe Nathan."
Then I wait for Epstein to pick the phone up off the floor, and I say, "I don't really want to part with Santana or Nathan, but my owner is a cheapskate and won't pay what it will take to sign them long term. So, you give me center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, second baseman Dustin Pedroia, closer Jonathan Papelbon, starters Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, and we've got a deal."
And then the rest of us wait for Epstein to remind Sansevere that Carlos Silva is a free agent, and isn't actually a bargaining chip for the Twin's use at all. And then Epstein, and the rest of us laugh at stupid, lazy, fat, stupid, fat Bob Sansevere.
But just for the fuck of it, let's pretend that Carlos Silva was still under contract to the Twins. Does this Sanserverian Brilliance make any sense then?
Um, no. The Sox have clearly stated that they won't be part of a Santana deal that includes more than 1 of the following players--Lester, Buchholz, and Ellsbury. Any trade with the Sox, it appears, could feature no more than 1 of those players. Maybe Lester and Ellbury, but certainly not Buchholz. In Sansevere's mind, the Sox would jump at giving up their starting 2nd baseman and Buchholz for Carlos fucking Silva. That's retarded.
And then, the Sox would apparently trade their perfectly dominant closer Papelbon for the Twins dominant closer Nathan. The only difference betweeen the two? About eight years. I love Twitchy Joe, and I hope he retires as a Twin. But I'm not so stupid to think he's trade bait to a team that has Papelbon. Who could possibly think that?
Oh, right. Stupid old fat Sansevere. But not aggressively stupid, not yet. That's coming.
BS: Meantime, the Twins significantly reduce their payroll, making owner Carl Pohlad giddy, and they get one of the game's best young center fielders (Ellsbury), the game's best young closer (Papelbon), a terrific young second baseman (Pedroia) and two promising young pitchers (Lester and Buchholz).
Wow, all the problems with this.
1. Ellsbury is a slap-hitting RBI maker with good defensive skills. He's not THAT special.
2. Papelbon is a special pitcher, and young. Why would the Red Sox trade for a guy almost 10 years older to fulfill Papelbon's role? Sansevere never explains that.
3. I've never heard the Sox even mention in passing that Pedroia was available for trades. His name has NEVER come up. (Nor has Papelbon's).
4. Young "Promising" pitchers? Lester pitched 6 no-hit innings. He isn't "promising". He's arrived.
5. Sansevere seems to be thinking in terms of what will be good for the Twins, without a second thought about what would be good for the Sox. They are willing to give up prospects, not established players. And, again, it is worth mentioning--Carlos Silva is a free agent.
I'd forgive that kind of mistake from a fellow blogger. But Bob is paid money-lots of money--to know, and then write about sports. That column was probably read by tens of thousands of people. And the very basis of it was wrong-headed, and ignorant, and stupid.
But I do believe I promised Aggressive Stupidity. Here is is:
BS: I have just one question: What's Twins general manager Bill Smith waiting for? He should have this deal done by now.
Aside from the fact that deal is impossible, and Theo Epstein isn't some dumb kid willing to trade away The Yaz with Sideburns for Radioactive Man #1, and that Bill Smith is probably assuming that the General Managers around the league know, like every somewhat serious fan knows, that Silva is a free agent, Sansevere makes a good point.
Which is to say, Sansevere's entire thesis is fucking garbage. He got paid to write that. He should be ashamed. People who write about sports for free know more than he does. Demonstrably.
Bob Sansevere, you owe a pay check to the charity of your choice, because you clearly were taking charity when you got paid for that idiocy. You stupid, fat, worthless piece of shit.