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Friday, December 9th, 2016

ASK THE ZONER: JOHAN SANTANA

17

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?

  • http://thewaywardbus.wordpress.com Mike O’Donnell

    Yes, and a dream I’d love to wake up to.

    A great package deal you have compiled. To Hendry you will send it.

    May the Force be with you.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Well, I do have his phone number and e-mail…

  • dhaab

    Good Lord, some of you Cubs fans are delusional.

    I’ve seen numerous trade proposals from teams with FAR better prospects than this.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    well bring it then.

  • dhaab

    Any Yankees, Angels or Dodgers offer that’s been floated out there. Those three teams have far better minor league prospects and/or young major leaguers right now than the Cubs. And it’s really not even close.

  • http://www.windycitysportsblog.com WindyCitySportsBlog.com

    Zoner, whats up man…been out the game a bit with work and a baby on the way..

    I like the package you mention a lot..You’re right about the prospect factor Pie still holds and the Twins may see a definite value with Young’s past character issues. I think Pie is going to be a good everyday player, but the time is now for the Cubs and adding someone like Santana would be a godsend. Zambrano, Santana, Lilly, Hill, and Marquis has an awfully nice ring to it.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    DH-

    I was looking for specifics. But I agree that the recent Red Sox rumor is very good.

  • http://thewaywardbus.wordpress.com Mike O’Donnell

    The Red Sox with Santana would be good for about 160 wins. Scary to think what they could do, even without Ellsbury et al they’d have to give up.

    dhaab-For the Cubs to offer Marshall – solid prospect, LHP, proven effectiveness in the bigs, Jeff S.-not a first rounder but has potential, Pie-a young and highly talented prospect, and perhaps two other young arms, is not delusional.

    The Cubs offer (which is not even a real offer) would not have the name power that a Leister-Ellsbury package, or a Chamberlain-Cabrera package, but looking at at least the development of Yankee prospects in the last 5-6 years, the Yankees package would not be all that great. Granted, the Cubs don’t have much to show for their player development, other than their MI and Murton (who can’t seem to get pt), the Yankees prospects aren’t as guaranteed as people make them out to be. The Cubs would be offering 4-5 players whom the Twins could build around, three arms and a cf, and with the Twins track record of developing young, inexpensive talent, it makes sense. Not from a Cub fan perspective, but from a baseball perspective.
    The Red Sox package looks great. And they have the player-development in place to make it a great deal for both sides. But I wouldn’t count the Cubs out. Especially since Hendry’s boy just signed with Houston.

  • dhaab

    Congrats on the baby, Windy!

    All I can say is if the Cubs were to offer someone like Rich Hill instead of Marshall, then the package would at least be somewhat comparable. There’s no way the Twins would take a few above average prospects and someone as raw and unproven as Pie for a stud like Santana. Pie showed some good defense and speed at times when he played with the Cubs, but his offense is still a long way from being major league caliber. The Yankees have offered a combo of three excellent players who have already shown they can play well at the major league level. Also, the Angels are LOADED with top prospects which nobody in baseball can match.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    I read where Chamberlain is off limits. As for Hill, he will be 28 on opening day while Marshall will be only 25. MOD brings up the money factor, which I think is always an issue with Minnesota.

    But the reality is that the Red Sox and Yanks will likely end up going to greater lengths than any other team to get him. I just don’t see how Boston even needs him. The have Dice-K, Beckett, Lester, Schilling, Buchholz and Wakefield. I suppose if this is Schilling’s last year there than Santana would replace him.

    The Yanks need him the most.

  • dhaab

    Wakefield is someone Epstein would love to replace in their rotation.
    I handn’t heard anything about Chamberlain being “off limits”. If you have the possibility of acquiring the best pitcher in baseball, I would assume that nobody is off limits. Especially when it means you’ll have a much better chance of beating the hated BoSox.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Gene Michael has said he would consider dealing Kennedy or Hughes. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3133598

    I don’t see why any team would consider Crisp a major acquisition. In Pie you would get a younger, cheaper centerfielder with loads more potential.

  • http://http:thewaywardbus.wordpress.com Mike O’Donnell

    Santana is a top of the line pitcher, no doubt. But if the Yankees give up Chamberlin or Hughes or both, then there is the chance they’d have a rotation that included Santana, Chamberlain/Hughes, and anybody’s guess. If they keep Hughes and Chamberlain, they are not guaranteed an ace like Santana is, and they don’t keep him away from Boston…okay so now I see why the Yankees need to get Santana at any cost.

    But the fact still remains, a package like Zoner came up with makes a heck of a lot of sense for the Twinkies and the Cubs, more sense than the Yankees deal.

    And Crisp is NOT a major aquisition. I was aghast that the Tribe fans here in town were so up in arms when he left Cleveland. Especially with that guy named Grady waiting in the wings.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    I love Grady Sizemore.

    They would still have Big Wang. The Yankees, that is.

  • http://http:thewaywardbus.wordpress.com Mike O’Donnell

    Er…ahem.

  • http://thewaywardbus.wordpress.com Mike O’Donnell

    Well, poop.

    “We still like Murton,” general manager Jim Hendry said. “We think Murt’s an everyday big-leaguer. He knows we all like him. Life would be a lot easier if Murton were left-handed.” (taken from si.com)

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    I saw that too. Bummer.

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