Monday, February 14, 2005

In other news....

This 'roid obsession is getting me down. Of course the league knew what was going on, but they'll never admit to what extent and it certainly isn't as bad as Jose says it is but it's still pretty bad.

At this point which sport isn't riddled with rampant 'roid use? I am sure there as many players in the NFL on 'roids. The only difference is that they have to be more careful to cover it up (easier to do with a longer off-season).

Anyway, this is not what I wanted to post. I wanted to post something that says there is still hope in the baseball universe for young aspiring studs like Johan... I think the kid has earned it and it's great to see the Twins are investing in him rather than putting him on the market.


  1. Nice to see the Twins tying him up at a resonable $10 Million per year. That way once he demands a trade to the Yankees in a couple of years, they won't have to overpay him.

  2. I do have to say that I am particularly pleased with the fact that not only did some one comment on my post (which rarely happens) but it was some one outside of my immediate circle of friends. Life is good.

    Something tells me that:

    a. Johan won't ever demand a trade to the Yankees (he'd fold under the pressure of a New York and I think he knows it) and

    b. $10 Million is a lot per year, but I think Johan is worth every pen. Here's my bold statement of the week. His numbers over the next for years will be just as good if not better than Pedro's and certainly way better than Carl Pavano (unless he folds instantly and is traded back to a small market a la Vaquez and has a chance to redeem himself).

    That's right, you heard it here first Johan's numbers over the next 4 years will be as good if not better than Pedro's.

  3. Typical Sox fan.

    How can you say: "Johan won't ever demand a trade to the Yankees (he'd fold under the pressure of a New York and I think he knows it)."

    Do you really believe that? How would you know? I have no idea, but I do not think a MLB STAR would "know" that he would fold under pressure.

    He didn't seem to fold under the pressure of playing in NY in the division series this year - completely shutting down the 'stripes in the Stadium and then coming back on 3 days rest and pitching well for 6 innings.

    Plus sooner or later he is going to want to win. He wanted to get paid now and who can blame him for that. Once he realizes he will not win a WS in twinkie land, he is likely to demand a trade. After all, he will have money by then.

    As for the predictions - you really know how to go out on a limb there. Santana completely outpitched Pedro last year and his numbers the previous two years were not too shabby as Boston's beloved Adam Sandler would say. Santana is 8 years younger. I think anyone in baseball would agree with the statement that they "heard it here first."

    Of course he is worth every penny because his salary was and is being artificially reduced by the "system."

    Lets look at the economics of this:

    2005 - he was asking for $6.8 and the Twins offered $5.

    2006 - still not eligible for free agency he would have likely gotten about $8-9 MM in arbitration.

    So that is about $14 MM for and then they bought two years of his free agency for $26 or $13MM - roughly equivalent to what Pedro got. And you have to remember - Santana had virtually no leverage.

    Had he hit the market, he would have likely commanded more than Pedro.

  4. Anonymous:

    "Typical Sox fan" -- pretty classy beginning!

    I agree with you that Santana will very likely have a better 4 years that Pedro, given the age difference, but your "economics" is screwy. You don't think he could've made more in arbitration this year, given he's coming off a shoo-in Cy Young year? I'm actually surprised he signed that contract....maybe it's possible he likes Minnesota?

    Anyway, exactly how did Santana have "virtually no leverage"? It doesn't count to be the most dominant pitcher in the American League? Or to be pretty much the only reason his team made it to the playoffs? Or to be the person who puts the butts in the seats in the stadium?

    We'll see if in a few years top pitchers are all excited to be traded to the Yankees. I don't think anyone wants to be the next Jeff Weaver or Javier Vazquez or Kevin Brown. (Of course, Johnson will do well, so that may reduce how much people remember the other ones.)

  5. My economics are based purely on facts. The arbitration figures exchanged were Minnesota offering $5 Million and Johan asking for $6.8 Million. There are facts. Teams and players usually settle. This is a fact. They meet somewhere in the middle – usually slightly below the median. This is a fact.

    So I estimated $6 Million for the current year. The $8-9 Million for 2006 was just that – an estimate. If Santana pitches as well this year as he did last, the estimate would be low.

    And it is true he had no leverage. This is a fact. That is the whole basis of baseball’s economic system. Players are under team control for six years – and there are processes to keep the salaries lower. Thus he had to accept less money than Pedro. When we all agree Santana is better.

    As for the Yankees, I see what you are saying, but I disagree. Players go to NY to win, but also to get more mooola!! Vazquez, Weaver and Johnson all have one thing in common. The Yankees were willing to extend their contracts at over market value. Evidenced by the Yankees paying AZ to take Vazquez and then paying the Dodgers to take Weaver (in the form of assuming Brown’s contract). Are there any other teams that would have given Johnson a two year extension at $16 million each? Possible. But doubtful.

    And lastly, how can you and the dinosaur know what Santana will or will not do. Especially in two years. Maybe you guys should read the St. Paul Pioneer Press more frequently. Johan is a cocky SOB. When he was in the pen two years ago, he was groaning about starting. Essentially demanding it. To me, that is the kind of guy that will demand a trade the first year the Twinkies go 72-90. And hey, with Boston’s money and their alleged improving farm system, it might be them in a position to make a run at the best pitcher in the AL. Who knows? But to pretend that we do know now is ludicris (sp?)

  6. All right, the misunderstanding is from when you said he was set to get $14M in the next two years -- I subtracted the $9M for the second year (IMO a more reasonable estimate than $8M), leaving $5M, so I though you were saying that's what he'd get the first year. But yeah, $6M/$8M makes sense.

    My point about leverage was not about the next two years -- of course for those he had none (I know the rules). But face it, he had TONS of leverage in terms of the time after that. If the Twinkies wanted ANY chance to sign him after that, they needed to lock him up now -- barring a massive payroll increse. (Not likely). That's leverage.

    And you're also right that I don't read the St. Paul Pioneer Press at all...I guess that doesn't surprise me about the guy being a jerk. Again, I just find it weird that he signed this contract -- I feel he could've waited, taken "only" his $14M over two years, and go on the market and ask for $16M/year.

    Regarding your last point: where did I claim "to know what Santana will or will not do"? I speculated a bit -- what's wrong with that?

    In any case, it'll definitely be interesting to see how the whole thing works out. Obviously the guy is a great pitcher, but his 2004 season was absolutely phenomenal -- I'm not convinced in 2005 he'll be anywhere near as dominant.

  7. I think we actually agree on this in the end.

    It wasn't you, it was the Dinosaur guy who wrote:

    "Something tells me that:

    a. Johan won't ever demand a trade to the Yankees (he'd fold under the pressure of a New York and I think he knows it)"

    That comment was just asinine. That guy not only believes in dinosaurs, he is thinking like one. And typing like one. Speculation or not. He probably doesn't know Jack about Santana.

    Johan did the smart thing and took $40 million guaranteed. If he blows out his elbow, the money is still his. To take the $14 million in arbitration (over two years) and then sign for $64 million ($16 X 4) - just a little two much risk. A bird in the hand. Hell, in 4 years he will only be 30 years old. He can STILL get $16 million/year then.

    And, in two or three years he can ask for trade if the Twinkies suck. Plus by then some team like the Sox will have given up 3 top prospects or the Yankees will have shelled out $15 million (in the form of some asinine contract they sign next winter). And of course that team will have to extend him to make the trade "worthwhile."

    But I digress. In the end the giant reptile will feel better that the Twinkies are making an investment. That's kind of cute. I bet that kid is a real romantic at heart.

    For the Twinkies sake and for all their fans that have to endure that awful stadium and even worse owner, I do hope the move pays off. Even though they are in the weakest link of baseball, they can not afford to have $10 million tied up in one player that does not produce.

  8. Okay, so two things about that "Dinosaur guy":

    1) his name is a reference to a former Boston outfielder. Maybe you should read the Boston Globe more frequently.

    2) he likes to say things just to piss people off. For example, if someone were to tell him that Santana will demand a trade to the Yankees in a couple of years, he's likely to reply by talking smack about Santana, and then make a ridiculous "prediction" about Pedro. You know, just to get an angry response. But that's just a hypothetical, of course.

  9. Earl,

    Thanks for clearing things up. I have been on the road the past few days. Man, life as a giant cold blooded carnivore sucks! I've got to keep moving to stay warm and I just can't eat enough to satisfy my hunger! Plus this damn keyboard is so frickin' small... my huge claws are impossible to type with.

    I love angry-anonymous guy. He does make some good points and I can't really blame him for not knowing my sense of humor.

    I agree it's a bit premature to speculate what Johan will do (and I am clearly not the guy to do it). That being said, something strikes me that he's not a big market player. Again, total hunch; not based on any facts (just to be clear angry-anonymous guy).

    Incidentally, I did a bit of research last night, on the St. Paul Pioneer or whatever it's called and couldn't find any references to Santana being an SOB or complaining about starting. That being said, it was late so I might have missed it. From all the current articles I read it seems that all the sports reporters are pretty happy they signed him. Again, that could be Cy Young goggle eyes.

    And no for my totally new bold prediction of today...

    Buddy Groom will be revived and crush as a middle reliever. Alas it will be for the NYEE who signed him to a minor league contract. I don't know what happened to that guy last year, but two years ago he was unhittable - literally... something like 30 IP without a run scored.

  10. Okay, a couple of things:

    The Dinosaur guy is a reference to Carl Everett – I do occasionally read the Globe. I read it more when Everett played there. Didn’t he once go on a tirade (well he always is on a tirade, but that is another story) about one of the writers there? Call him his boyfriend or something.

    I did not know his humor – I should have known the NE corridor has a lot of that sarcasm.

    Dinosaur guy – the writers all love Johan now and unless you dig back in the archives, you won’t find much. But back in ’02 he really, really wanted to start but the Twinkies had Reed, Milton, Lohse, Mays, and Radke all pitching well. And he was a bit erratic. His personality was and is a bit erratic. You won’t find writers here now saying anything bad about him because he is on top of the world (kind of like Boston probably did not criticize Everett in the ½ season he played well there) and more importantly, Minnesota is a small market. Only two writers cover the team. They are not going to say anything bad about a player and risk burning the bridge.

    Oh well, you guys are alright. Especially for East coast, large market types What is a GYS – I’ve been trying to figure that out. Must be something to do with the Sox, but I’m stuck. I’m thinking since you started recently it has something to do with the Yankees suck.

    And Dino - no need to be angry. Your team is on top of the world.

  11. This issue is well and dead, but I did finally heard back from the guy at the Star Tribune. Here's my initial email and his reply. (By the way, I think he's the angry anonymous guy).

    Dino's email:

    Dear Patrick,

    My buddies and I are having a bit of a debate. I've
    been a Johan fan for a couple years now. Basically,
    since the time he was lights out in the bullpen and
    was given a couple starts late in the season.

    The arguement basically is whether or not Johan is
    going to be that guy that demands a trade to the
    Yankees if the Twins don't win it all. My arguement
    is that he won't because he likes playing in the small
    market - no spot light. My buddies arguement is that
    Johan is as big as an SOB as there is and was
    complaining about getting starts when he was in the
    bullpen until they finally gave him a chance.

    Since we're fortunate Red Sox fans and don't get to
    stay on top of the Twin news as much. Can you shed
    any light on this debate?

    Patrick Reusse Reply:
    When's the last time a baseball player `demanded' a trade? Doesn't
    happen often. Randy Johnson told Arizona he would only go certain
    places, and A-Rod lobbied his way out of Texas (which wanted to trade
    him anyway), but it doesn't happen often in baseball. It's much more
    likely that a couple of years from now, the Twins are still stuck in
    Dome in the forseeable future and they trade Santana to get out from
    under the very expensive last two years of the deal.