General Baseball

Dream Team, Emphasis On the Dream

Tony Massarotti says the Yanks’ and Sox’ reluctance to trade Johan Santana could cost them when Toronto’s deep rotation takes the AL East crown this season. Like many people — including myself — have done, Massarotti compares a potential Santana deal to the 1997-98 Pedro Martinez trade-and-sign the Red Sox pulled off — a move that changed the franchise.

Don’t people remember? Back then, the Cleveland Indians were the elite team in the AL, the kind of power the Red Sox are now. The Indians had won two AL titles in the span of three years. After losing the 1997 World Series in seven games to the Florida Marlins, the Indians had the chance to acquire Martinez from the Montreal Expos in exchange for a budding young phenom named Jaret Wright.

Never mind the slightly inaccurate rendition of history (Jaret Wright, at least according to Baseball America, was not as highly thought of as Clay Buchholz — or even Carl Pavano, whom the Sox sent over for Pedro), this is  a nugget I hadn’t known.

Can you imagine the team Cleveland could have had in 1999? Manny Ramirez’s 165 RBI, .333/.442/.663 season, Jim Thome’s 141 OPS+ and Pedro Martinez joining a young Bartolo Colon (127 ERA+) to lead the rotation. Wow. Chalk that non-trade into the "Oops!" column.

5 replies on “Dream Team, Emphasis On the Dream”

I remain convinced that it was most important for RS to make sure NYY didn’t get Santana, and that it was most important for NYY to make sure RS didn’t get Santana.
It’s easy for Tony Maz or anyone else to suppose right now. In fact, I have little doubt that Sanatana would have made either RS or NYY dominant for the next 2-3 years.
But it has been my impression all along that both clubs preferred to keep the young talent TC sought instead of dealing it, to see if these young men are as good as they think they are.
Generally speaking, in the last eight years, neither team has done well through its farm system, although IMHO NYY has been better than RS. Both have relied heavily on free agency. Both want to change that and were willing to take the risk.
I also believe that both RS and NYY thought they were getting played against each other by TC.
AND … What Boston gave up to get Pedro was NOTHING compared to what TC wanted for Santana. The Pedro deal was a no-brainer. (“And we’ll throw in a bag of balls.”)

The verdict on Santana won’t be out for quite a while. We need to see just how good or bad Ellsbury, Lester, Masterson, Lowrie, and the Yankee prospects turn out, and how Santana does, of course.

Unless their pitchers are going to bat like a league-average CF for Vernon Wells, massage all of Scott Rolen’s muscles to keep him healthy for, I dunno, 120 games, and serve as relay men for David Eckstein’s throws from the hole to first base, I don’t know wtf Massarotti is talking about.

Yeah, Massarotti is full of crap. The Devil Rays are going to finish with more wins than the Blue Jays. The Jays have been the trendy pick to win the AL East for years.

If you really consider Pedro’s output other than that first season with the Mets, he is a bust. The Yanks have pissed SO MUCH MONEY away on trades pitchers at the apex of their career who couldn’t make the transition to NYC (Weaver, Contraras, etc) or who never quite make it off the disabled list (Pavano, etc.), it is clear to me that they intend to use the farm system to build the bullpen.

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