Top Ten Santana Trade Mitigating Factors

Okay, I’m still not happy that Santana’s gone, and not for the best offer the Twins got. But, there are a few reasons to be cautiously optimistic. Another name for this exercise is “desperately grasping at straws”:
1. The Twins may be better at scouting and player development than any other team; they’ve come out significantly on top in every vet-for-prospect trade they’ve made in the last decade, whether it’s Knoblauch, Pierzynski, or Eric Milton. Chances are they have a better idea of Humber, Mulvey and Guerra’s ceilings than even the Mets do. In other words, since they’re not run by idiots, the Twinkies are likely to recover much more quickly from the trade of their best player than the T-Wolves are. Even if they didn’t get an Al Jefferson back for him.
2. Minny, while they’ll have enough offensive firepower to make things interesting next year, don’t really have a realistic chance to compete with Cleveland and Detroit in the AL Central, so their best bet is to play for 2010, and the opening of Best Buy Ballpark (or whatever the stadium ends up being called.) The Twins’ collection of young pitching talent should mature, to some degree, by then; out of Liriano, Baker, Slowey, Bonser, Perkins, Nick Blackburn, the three Mets and guys we’ve never heard of yet, I’d imagine at least a couple of top starters will emerge.
3. Santana was traded to the National League, and won’t be haunting the Twins every season, or in any pennant race. They also don’t meet in interleague again for a couple more years.
4. My Met-fan friends tell me Carlos Gomez is damn exciting and will make things interesting out in center field. I believe them, although considering that position has been occupied over the past two decades by Kirby Puckett and Torii Hunter, he has pretty big shoes to fill.
5. For the next five years, the Twins will always be just one bad arm twitch away from winning the trade.
6. Like I said yesterday, the deal has eerie similarities to the last trade in which the Mets got an ace lefthander from the Twins- the Frank Viola deal in 1989. Sure, this time it’s 4-for-1 instead of 5-for-1, and it’s three pitchers instead of five. But last time the Twins used their haul to win a championship 18 months later. I saw this coming six months ago, although I sort of hoped Aaron Heilman would be included and fill the Rick Aguilera role.
7. Until he becomes a household name, I’ll get to refer to Mulvey as “Kevin Mulva.”
8. When Santana gets off to a slow start- because he always does- the New York tabloids will go apeshit. And really, who doesn’t love that.
9. I’ll get to see Santana face the Phillies at Citizen’s Bank Park multiple times this year- and get to hear Philly fans bitch about why can’t THEIR team get people like Johan and why are they so CHEAP, while they enjoy the Phils’ near-$100 million payroll. As the Twins make do with theirs, which should hover around $50 million.
10. Bill Conlin, on “Daily News Live,” actually argued that the Mets were making a mistake because Santana’s win-loss record last year was “only 15-13.” Laughing at him made me smile for the first time last night.
UPDATE: ALOTT5MA ranks the Santanas.

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