Santana traded

What a galling development. Although the trade will not be finalized until Santana and the New York Mets agree upon a contract, it is doubtful that the Mets would have pulled the trigger if they didn't intend to meet Santana's demands.

The package the Mets offered has been on the table for a while. It consists of four completely unproven players. What is clear is that the best offers came from the Red Sox and Yankees back in December and that both teams pulled those offers before today. In other words, Twins GM Bill Smith blew it by playing coy. To be fair, I thought he was doing exactly the right thing.

There is no way the Twins got equal value for Santana. He was slated to become a free agent at the end of this year, anyway. What they did do was get four prospects in return for one year of Santana. That is not a bad thing, but it is not fair return for a player of Santana's phenomenal abilities.

To watch Santana pitch when he was on was to watch poetry. He played with the batters like they were putty. His mastery will be missed. He has been the best pitcher in baseball over the past four years. His greatest year, no doubt, was four years ago. There have been flashes of that brilliance since then, but he hasn't quite been the same. However, he still has been in the top two or three pitchers in the majors.

Carl Pohlad should have kept Santana. However, it is dangerous to put $150 million into one left arm. One snapped tendon and that $150 million is down the drain. So, I know what they are thinking. Pitchers are fragile. Santana has never had serious arm trouble. Most pitchers do at some time.

Another thing: Don't count the Twins out or even down as a team. We don't know. They are less of a known entity than at any time in the past five years. We really don't know what to expect. But sometimes these shakeups really can turn a team around. Having Santana around this year would simply have been a distraction. Putting the Santana drama behind them was a good move for Twins management, no matter how poor the pickings.

But for a fan? One who doesn't care about the money? This trade can only be a disaster.