Posted at 7:14 PM on March 25, 2008
by David Zingler
Let me get this straight, the Twins trade their 29-year-old ace and re-sign their 33-year-old closer. That makes sense to me; yesterday I bought a new car, instead of power steering, I opted for leather seats.
I know Nathan commanded "only" $47 million for 4 years and it took 6 years and $137.5 million for the Mets to ink Santana, but the Twins offered the two-time Cy Young winner either 4 years, $80 million or 5 years, $100 million in January, depending on who you talk to. Why not add Nathan's money onto the deal (along with a year or two), keep Santana and trade Nathan for some prospects?
There's a strong possibility that Santana will go down as one of the greatest pitchers of this era (the best post-Randy Johnson lefty) and end up in Cooperstown. Nathan is a very good closer, but is far more easily replaceable and much less needed.
The Twins roster is full of candidates that may be capable of the closers' role: Pat Neshek, Matt Guerrier and even Jesse Crain, while their best candidate for the ace spot is coming off arm surgery and hasn't pitched since August 2006.
The way this team is built, Nathan could go long stretches between save opportunities, while the rest of the bullpen could be burnt out by July because of a series of short starts. I understand the Nathan contract from a PR perspective, but it leaves me wondering if the Twins really have their priorities straight.