Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Go After Johannus Maximus

Assuming our two deals are still on the table (and the latest information is that the Metropolitans, not us, have the inside track), then this commentator says we have to do everything we can to get Johan Santana.

The other side will argue that, after our second World Series Championship in four years, parting with a core of young talent is folly. I understand that position. And, frankly, all things being equal, I might agree with that logic. The problem is, all things are not equal.

As good as Jacoby Ellsbury appears to be (and he is my favorite of the young crop) it says here you give him up in a heartbeat for a 29-year old Cy Young winner. No contest. You do the deal. In the next five years, the Red Sox will probably draft around 100 players. Odds are one of them will be as good or better than Ellsbury. And don't worry about parting with other prospects (shy of Lester or Buchholz) because with Santana (along with Beckett, Dice-K, Schilling, Lester, Wakefield and Buchholz) you have the ingredients to dominate the AL East for the next five years. You also keep Johan away from "They-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named". Put a price tag on that puppy!

Speaking of price tags, the other "downside" people throw in the way of a deal is the long-term contract you'd have to give Santana. Last time I checked, none of us in the Nation are transferring our personal assets to players—that's John Henry's job. If he has it (and God knows he does), who cares if he's a few billion light when he ultimately sells the team? And don't give me any "you'll see it in your ticket prices" baloney. Like I don't see it now—without Sanatana in the fold? How much more can a Loge Box cost? Trust me, with or without Johan, the NOG will fleece us for every dime they can. It's what they do.

So, Theo, if you are still in the running, do the deal.

1 comment:

Richard said...

By your lights, dear editor, I must disagree.

I surely admit that getting Santana is an enticing proposition. However, I do not agree that giving up the most exciting, homegrown, potential phenom , Jacoby Ellsbury, is worth the deal. The fact of the matter is, there is a price tag on that puppy and it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million smackeroos. To paraphrase the late Ev Dirksen, “a hundred and fifty million here, a hundred and fifty million there…pretty soon it adds up to real money.”

Santana is clearly the real thing – at least for now. Pitchers have a nasty tendency to break down, however, which position players are less likely to do. Never mind that it’s John Henry’s money. If something happens, the Sox are stuck with a contract that would definitely restrict their ability to fund other large contracts.

You point out that the Sox will probably draft around 100 players over the next five years and there’s a chance one of them will be as good as Ellsbury. Well, there’s a chance one of them will be as good as Santana, too.

I’m not completely against picking up Santana. I am against giving up $150 million PLUS Ellsbury. Ellsbury could be the biggest and best homegrown player since Nomar. There’s something to be said for that. Ellsbury should be off the table. No matter what.

And dat's da name of dat tune.