"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Giving Season

Trying to maintain low expectations about the Yu Darvish bidding, I wondered what the Yankees could do with all that money when they don’t get him. It would be nice to get both Cespedes and Soler in the system as the Yankee outfield gets very thin very fast after this year.

Perhaps because I’m in the process of finding presents for the extended family and because there’s a lot of talk around the coffee machine this morning about the Mets terrible financial situation, I thought about how the Yankees could help their fellow New Yorkers.

The Mets need money. How much? More. When? Yesterday. So here is a Christmas gift to the Mets: $22,000,000.00. The Yankees trade A.J. Burnett straight up for Johan Santana.

The Yankees rid themselves of the annual Burnett headache. By ERA, Burnett was the second worst starting pitcher in baseball since 2010. But ERA can be misleading. Don’t worry though, by FIP, he was the third worst.

Johan Santana from one point of view, was even worse than Burnett. Santana broke down in 2009 and then again in 2010 and didn’t pitch at all in 2011. And he’s coming off surgery to repair the anterior capsule of his left shoulder – one of the nastiest surgeries a pitcher can undergo. His level of performance for the rest of his contract, the same gauranteed length as Burnett, is a total mystery.

In this deal, the Yankees would give the Mets the gift of 22 million dollars (Santana’s gauranteed $55 million over the next two year and while A.J. Burnett will get $33 million over the same time span) and a reliable innings eater (reliably bad, but hey, count that money again) for the gamble that Johan Santana can bounce back into something special, or at least into a shadow of something special.

I have no idea if Santana will be any good as he tries to come back. But if he gets on the mound and he’s among the worst pitchers in baseball next year, he can only be two or three rungs below where A.J. Burnett has taken up residence.

I know there are better ways to spend $22 million than on a roll of  the dice on Johan Santana’s recovery. If you can’t believe in a little magic during the holiday season though, when can you?

UPDATE: A report has the Toronto Blue Jays with the winning bid for Darvish.


1 joejoejoe   ~  Dec 15, 2011 9:50 pm

This is a brilliant idea. You could probably juice some picks and stuff out of the Mets too as they are desperate for dollars.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 15, 2011 10:43 pm

I'm gonna trade a question mark for a zero the first month and a bigger, more expensive question mark after that? That's not lateral; I understand where you're coming from, but it's gotta be more than about money at some point. Just because you can afford to take a big risk doesn't always mean you should.

3 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 15, 2011 11:28 pm

It is April Fools day?

4 RIYank   ~  Dec 16, 2011 7:19 am

I know you're just daydreaming, Jon, but this is the wrong way to think of it. It's not as if the Yankees have a certain amount of money and the aim of spending it. For any given player who's available, if they think that player is worth his market price, they'll go after him, and if they don't, they won't. Of course, there are special considerations that kick in near the Luxury threshold. But my point is, the Yankees aren't an enterprise trying to win as many games as possible on a fixed budget. They're a business trying to rope in players who will net them revenues.

Oh, and the Dallas News says signs point to the Jays' winning the bid.

5 Jon DeRosa   ~  Dec 16, 2011 9:05 am

[3] Wrong season, right spirit.

[4] There's not much behind that proposal other than the daydream of how awesome would it be to have Johan Santana if he turns out to be awesome when he returns and how pleasant it would be to not have AJ Burnett anymore and how those two things could possibly happen with the right amount of magic.

6 Evil Empire   ~  Dec 16, 2011 9:34 am

Wow Darvish to the Blue Jays....I heard Daisuck taught him his legendary "Gyro Ball". Y'all do know that Yu Darvish means "Kei Igawa" in Japanese.

7 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 16, 2011 11:46 am

Good luck trying to get Darvish north of the border. Unless the money's too good to pass up, I can't imagine how they convince him to willingly sign there given they are neither championship caliber nor in a favored location.

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