ASK THE ZONER: JOHAN SANTANA
Valued reader MOD asks The Zoner:
“Is it wise for the Cubs to give up Pie and others for Santana? The rumor has some merit.”
I think most people would trade several unknown commodities for a known commodity, especially a starting pitcher and especially one of Santana’s caliber.
Pie is indeed still an unknown commodity. He’s certainly a tools goof, but as we saw for years with Corey Patterson, the tools do not always translate into production. Even after 2000+ at-bats in the minors, Pie remains very raw. And I think it’s safe to say that as a prospect, this is the last year he will have exceptional market value–if he still does. One more year of the Iowa shuttle and there will likely be too much doubt surrounding Pie. If you are a Cubs fan, the bright side is that Pie dominated his first year in AA and then dominated last year in AAA. Perhaps he would do very well with a full season at the major league level. But if Santana can be a Cub at the expense of finding out if Pie will be a stud or not, then so be it.
Santana is everything you want in a pitcher. Gold Glove winner, Cy Young winner, strikes out more than 1 batter per inning, low walk totals, only 28 years old and the list goes on. The one stat I was surprised to see was that he allowed 33 homers last year. But if you are going to take a chance on a big name pitcher, isn’t it Santana?
The rumor makes some sense in that the Twins need a centerfielder with Torii Hunter gone. They did just acquire Delmon Young but I doubt they really want him in center. And they would need starters with Garza and Santana gone.
So what if the Cubs offered Pie, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija and another prospect like Donald Veal or Tyler Colvin? Have you heard a rumor with a better package than that? I haven’t. Maybe it would only take 3 of those players. Who knows.
And if Hendry would throw Cedeno out in center, surely Theriot could get a shot too, or even Sam Fuld. If the Cubs sign Kaz Matsui as is rumored (why??), does that mean Theriot is out of a job at short?
It’s a shame that the possible sale of the Cubs could get in the way of anything big that Hendry wants to do. How incredible would it be if they did a Santana deal and then went out and signed Andruw Jones? Or even Rowand?
How’s that for a dream offseason? Dream being the key word there, right?