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What the Twins Got in the Santana Deal

We all know what the Mets got when they acquired Johan Santana this week.  They got baseball’s best pitcher.  And, the Phillies and MVP Jimmy Rollins are now looking up at their arch rivals again regardless of who Jimmy thinks is the team to beat.  Johan is now with one of the best teams in MLB; in the Senior Circuit, he now has the ability to face a pitcher every nine at bats. Hence, Santana’s already lofty draft position in fantasy baseball is now even greater.

But what did Minnesota get besides getting rid of a salary that the small market Twins knew they would not be able to afford after this season?

Carlos Gomez is the player that fantasy managers will be  happy to pick up with a low round pick in deep leagues.  Gomez played the role of defensive outfielder with a lot of speed in 2007 for the Mets.  And, what speed he has!  The 22-year-old Dominican is said to even be faster than Mets’ shortstop Jose Reyes who led the NL with 78 stolen bases last year.

Gomez swiped 12 bases in 15 attempts while playing in 52 games and hitting .232 in 125 at bats for New York.  Gomez played a similar role to what Michael Bourne, now with the Astros, did with the Phillies.

Gomez is seen to have the inside track to earn the starting center field job with the Twins in ’08.  If he can hit just .250, he’ll be a nice leadoff man that can quickly get into scoring position for the big Twins bats like Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Michael Cuddyer.  Expect Gomez to swipe 30-40 bases in 2008.  We don’t expect he’ll hit for much average, but if he gets enough AB’s, Gomez can add 15 homers as well.

Kevin Mulvey is an interesting addition to the trade and should battle for the # 4 or # 5 starting pitcher spot with the Twins.  Mulvey, 22, was the 62nd pick overall in 2006 when the fireballing right-hander gave up his senior season at Villanova to join his favorite team as kid.  The New Jersey native has a fastball that can be overpowering and a biting slider.  Mulvey was 11-10, 3.32, in 26 starts with the New Orleans Zephyrs (AA) last year in his first pro season.  BallparkBob watched Mulvey throughout his career at Villanova and thinks Mulvey’s potential is enormous.  Consider picking up Mulvey, especially if you play in a league that rewards strikeouts and retains players from year to year.

Philip Humber, 25, is the most seasoned of the pitchers the Twins picked up.  The Rice graduate had a cup of coffee with the Mets in each of the past two seasons when he compiled 13 innings pitched.  Humber had Tommie John Surgery and has never appeared to fully regain his fastball which is now in the 87-91 range.  Humber’s out pitch is his curve.  If the Twins decide to keep Mulvey at AAA this year, the more experienced Humber could be the man to earn a starting rotation job.

The final pitcher is Deolis Guerra.  The 18-year-old Venezuelan pitched in High A last year for St. Lucie and probably has the most potential of all three, but Guerra is several years away from playing in the Show and should not be a consideration for Draft Day 2008 unless your Fantasy Baseball League lets you hold a 40-man roster for futures.

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