Friday, November 30, 2007

A Year Later: Minnesota Master Plan II

About 11 months ago, following deals which sent Randy Johnson and Gary Sheffield packing in exchange for several young prospects, there was some media daydreaming discussing a potential Johan Santana megaswap.

Trading high profile, future hall of famers like Sheff and Unit was a vivid signal that times were changing in the Yankees universe. With their farm system improving exponentially, I allowed myself to ponder the prospect of a future swap involving Johan and numerous Yankee farmers.
Obviously there are no hard facts to the above excerpt, but the idea is certainly feasible. When a team knows they are unable to retain a superstar who's on the brink of free agency, the idea of trading him becomes inevitable. Why would the Twins not attempt to draw a bundle of high-end prospects (the Yankees have) for Santana? Otherwise Minnesota would get zero compensation for his services and then watch him go to the highest bidder.

If Cashman is able to flip some of the prospects he has in the bank for a Santana or Zambrano, Johnson's 205 innings will be accounted for, as will New York's quest for a true ace. These are questions to be answered far down the road, but the fact that they are not based in pure insanity is exciting in itself.
Well, it appears as though that time "far down the road" has become here and now. It's amazing to watch the progression of an organization and it would be naive to think that the gradual construction of the Yankees (now powerful) farm system just happened to coincide with the imminent availability of the best pitcher in baseball.

Now we'll see why Cashman gets paid the big bucks. It'll be an old fashioned gunfight, with Bill Smith waiting in the saloon, trying his best not to blink first.

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