Thursday, November 29, 2007

Santana? No, Thank You

Rumors are flying that the Sox are "actively/aggressively pursuing Johan Santana."

I, for one, am not interested.

I mentioned it once before in this space that I don't think Santana is worth the cost, and that was before the cost went up to its now-astronomical price. You're talking two members of your projected starting rotation (Buchholz, Lester), one of your center fielders (probably Ellsbury, who is also your projected leadoff guy and early-odds frontrunner for 2008 Rookie of the Year), and another top prospect. Then you have to negotiate a huge contract with Santana.

Now, before I rail against this deal, I want to say that I find the comparisons to Barry Zito to be absolutely ridiculous. Barry Zito is the Soft Cell of Major League Baseball: a one-hit wonder. After his Cy Young season (when he stole it from a more-deserving Pedro Martinez), his performance declined precipitously.

I wrote about it here several times, begging the Sox not to sign him. Zito got stupid money from the stupid Giants. Anyone signing Santana to that amount or even a little more wouldn't be stupid, per se, but if they also gave up 3 or 4 top prospects, then they'd be stupid.

But even with Santana being the best free agent, why not stick with the young, inexpensive talent you've groomed? Why would you give up so much for one guy? Especially a guy who has thrown as many innings as Santana has over the past five seasons. I don't understand this concept.

This team won the World Series in 2007 without Buchholz and mostly without Lester and Ellsbury. They have the chance to win even more games in 2007 with their current roster. I say go out and trade Coco for relief help and plug some of the smaller holes, like backup catcher, and leave the team as is.

I know that sounds complacent, but it's not like 2004, when the team was getting older; this team is getting younger and better. By trading away the future, you're only getting older again. And before you know it, you're the 2005 Red Sox again.

And no one wants that.

EDIT: May I also add that I don't believe the Sox are serious contenders for Johan. I think they want the Yankees to believe they are, so they release little tidbits to get the writers up in a tizzy. It's smart business for them to increase the price for the Yankees.

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