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January 30, 2008

Upon further reflection

Spongebob: Okay, but what if the worm didn't take your tail?
Sandy: If that worm ain't got my tail, who does?
Spongebob: (unconvincingly) Um, I do?
Sandy: You do? Where?
Spongebob: Um... in my pocket.
Sandy: Well, why didn't you just say so? Give it here! Come on!

(Spongebob looks nervous, pulls something from his pocket, and opens his hand)

Sandy: Spongebob, that's a paper clip and a piece of string.

I don't know why, but this exchange between Sandy and Spongebob reminds me of what just happened between the Twins and the Mets. Let's see ... yesterday the part of Sandy was played by Billy Smith, and the part of Spongebob was played by Omar Minaya.

The sad thing is, unlike Sandy, Billy took the paper clip and piece of string.

Could this trade have gone any worse? I would have taken Jacoby Ellsbury, alone, over this trade. I would have taken Phil Hughes, alone, over this trade. Lester, alone ... Cabrera, alone ... why the heck did we give up the best pitcher in baseball for 4 players, none of which who are ready to make any substantial contribution to the Twins right now? Could we not get at least one player that can fill a position now, and fill it well? Are you kidding me?

To me, it points to possibly two overarching reasons for this trade:

1. As Shooter points out today, Johan Santana didn't want to stay with the Twins. And if Walters is to be believed, which is always a scary proposition, he was willing to be kind of a jerk about it. And ...

2. The Twins did not want to trade him to an American League opponent. Namely, they didn't want to trade him to the only two teams in the American League that could afford him.

To me, all other reasons besides these are superfluous. Johan didn't want to stay with the Twins, and the Twins wanted to get him out of the American League.

Realizing this, Omar must have said, "Merry Christmas to me!" I gotta say, the book Moneyball made Omar look like a tool. Which means that right now Billy Smith looks like a toolbox full of tools. He is the fricken Craftsman of MLB general managers. Omar just stamped "Stanley" across his forehead.

You know what? Nick Coleman has every right to lay into the Twins right now. Go Nick! I can't believe it, but I agree with Nick Coleman.

The Twins have proven once again to be absolutely inept when it comes to public relations. We got nothing for Hunter, and we are getting nothing for Santana. The Twins two most popular players in years. All of this with the public paying for a new stadium. Unbelievable.

You know, I wasn't necessarily against trading Santana, but I am definitely against trading him for a paper clip and a piece of string.

Posted by snackeru at January 30, 2008 9:23 PM


I have no problem with this trade. Johan was walking at the end of the year anyway. Glad he's in the NL. Can't rate this trade for a few years. Remember the Pyrzinski trade? These guys could be tearing it up in the new ballpark, let's reserve judgement.....

Posted by: Justin C. at January 30, 2008 10:30 PM

I agree that the Ellsbury package would have been preferable. The Hughes package probably was too, but seeing Johan as a Yankee would have made me vomit repeatedly. However, I don't think you can totally blame this on Bill Smith if Johan did drop a bomb in his lap. The smart play would be to blame Johan's agent since agents tend to be scum anyway. :-)

Posted by: Snyder at January 30, 2008 10:56 PM

Screw "waiting to see if this trade pans out!" you know what happens when you constantly build for the future? NOTHING! the future never gets here. The time was now to build to make a run! Santana is a once in a lifetime, cornerstone pitcher along with the MVP and batting champ? ANY other team would kill to have that to push for a championship now and the Twins pooched it away. All they had to do was add a DH for power, keep Torii and Santana and if Liriano gets to 90% of what he was? they could've made a serious push for the AL Central title inspite of what Detroit and Cleveland did.

Now they're back to selling "hope" and pushing for 2010. Well I, for one, will start paying attention again in 2010 because they just screwed me for the next 2 years! I'm not into rooting for team that intentionally wrecks itself and expects me to be onboard. I'm not into losing 100 games a year.

GO METS! (who want to win now! Carpe Diem!)

Posted by: Dorian at January 31, 2008 8:02 AM

Also; anybody notice that the payroll is now down almost 1/3rd or $30 million dollars from last year!?!?! kind of a coincidence that that's almost the same as the land and building cost overuns. Thanks for the kick in the a$$, Pohlad!

Posted by: Dorian at January 31, 2008 8:07 AM


I was very much in favor of the Twins signing Santana too. But it's now fairly obvious that Santana didn't want to stay here at any price. The mistake was not offering him a 4/$80 extension a year ago.

As for not getting the best package in the trade, it doesn't appear they had much choice. Frankly, this practically reeks of some kind of collusion between the Yankees in the Red Sox. This is the same organization that once paid Jose Conseco millions of dollars to rot on thier bench just to Boston couldn't have him. Yet when the time for the deal came, the Yankees woudn't even part with Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrerra? The Red Sox pulled both Lester and Crisp off the table? Something stinks. It sucks for the Twins, but I don't blame Bill Smith.

Posted by: David H. at January 31, 2008 8:48 AM

but, but the paper clip is shiny! ...and you can tie things with the string. That's gotta count for something doesn't it?

Posted by: Freealonzo at January 31, 2008 8:52 AM

I will be reading the Nick Coleman article shortly just so I can fall in love with the trade. No one makes me disagree with them more immediately than Coleman.

Posted by: AMR at January 31, 2008 9:48 AM

Unless some dramatic turn happens, these guys likely won't be helping this year. Suddenly, the Twins starting rotation is not looking so good. This could be an ugly season if the injury bug hits the starting pitching.

Plus, Santana pitched a lot of innings, thus saving the bullpen. The pen is going to get more work this season and the arms will get tired and then, the blown leads start happening with greater frequency.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at January 31, 2008 12:28 PM

I do not trust the media's representation of what trades were actually on the table form the Red Sox and Yankees. I would think if those deals were truly available, we would have taken them over the Mets offer.

I think Bill Smith got the unenviable task of cleaning up Terry Ryan's mess. TRyan rides out of town on a white horse into the sunset, and Bill Smith is left shoveling the horse-crap left behind.

If they sign Nathan, then I am ok. I think they still win 75-85 games and have the money next year to sign a few guys to fill the spots open at that time.

Posted by: zooomx at January 31, 2008 1:25 PM

zooomx makes a good point that we don't really know what the Yankees or Red Sox were offering. The point has also been made that Santana's trade value, or at least the Twins'leverage was hurt by the fact that he only had the one year left on his contract.

And I don't think the payroll is down quite as much as Dorian suggested. Last year's payroll was about $70 million. This year's so far is looking like $50-55 million.

But I guess for those who absolutely hate this deal, keep on hoping that Santana and the Mets don't agree on an extension, though that runs the risk of Santana just coming out and saying he'll veto any trades and walk after 2008.

Posted by: Snyder at January 31, 2008 4:28 PM

Shane agrees with Nick Coleman. The Apocolypse may be upon us.

Jeff T.

Posted by: Jeff T. at January 31, 2008 7:02 PM

I just read Nick's column and I agree with AMR.

Posted by: Snyder at January 31, 2008 8:54 PM

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