…is the hardest part. So says Tom Petty. And for Mets fans, this has been true for months. In September, any fan with a feel for this team saw the unraveling and sensed the inevitable collapse would not be halted. Since then, it’s been waiting for something, ANYTHING, to give us hope for the next season. Endy Chavez and Jose Valentin? Brian Schneider and Ryan Church? Surely, more was coming. Right? And so we waited?
Now, that wait is down to 72 hours. The Mets have acquired Johan Santana for four prospects who, while boasting potential, are not top-level prospects. If I see one more person describe Carlos Gomez as a 5-tool player I’ll pummel them to death with an edition of Baseball Prospectus. He can run, field and throw. But even fielding, the guy is capable of flashy plays simply because of his physical gifts, but he also badly misjudges balls routinely. Perhaps the "5-tool" guys mean getting hit by pitches, as he was hit by 19 in a single minor league season. But Mike Bauman, an MLB.com columnist, foolishly notes Gomez’s power potential…his career MINOR league slugging percentage is .399. That, my friends, stinks. Add a complete lack of patience, and you have an overrated prospect.
Phil Humber? I like him, but he’s a middle of the rotation guy. Kevin Mulvey? Much the same. Deolis Guerra? He could be a No. 2, but he could also hit a wall…that’s the danger with a young kid. And that’s why you make this deal with no hesitation.
Within 72 hours, the Mets will throw millions of CitiField and SNY revenue at Santana, enough to keep him happy for 5 years. He turns 29 in March, and pitchers traditionally reach their peak in their late 20s and early 30s. He has no injury history of any significance.
Let him bond with Pedro, let him help teach Oliver Perez, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey.
Let him lead the last season at Shea. And once he signs, the waiting – ’til Opening Day – will feel like a lifetime.