Sources indicate the New York Mets could be within a prospect's reach of Johan Santana.
From Joe Christensen and echoed on MLB.com, the Mets have reportedly offered outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Deolis Guerra, Kevin Mulvey and Phil Humber to the Twins in return for the two-time Cy Young Award winner. With the Yankees camp back-pedaling and the Mariners completely out of the running, New York's national league franchise has pulled in front of Boston as Johan Santana's number one suitor.
As Christensen notes, throwing in young outfield prospect Fernando Martinez would probably be enough for force Billy Smith's hands to move Santana. Further, Christensen breaks down the potential prospects:
- Gomez, 22, could step in as the Twins' everyday center fielder next year. He is faster than Jose Reyes, the All-Star shortstop the Mets have made untouchable. But scouts say Gomez also has trouble hitting a slider. In four minor league seasons, he has 250 strikeouts in 1,251 at-bats and a meager .336 on-base percentage.
- Guerra is a 6-5 righthander who signed with the Mets out of Venezuela for $700,000 in 2006. He pitched in the Class A Florida State League last season and posted a 4.01 ERA -- at age 18.
- Martinez was recently named the Mets' top prospect by Baseball America. Guerra was No. 2. While scouts are skeptical about Gomez's ability to hit, they are more confident in Martinez, who climbed to Class AA last year at age 18.
- Mulvey, 22, and Humber, 25, are both considered prospects, though neither currently projects better than a No. 4 starter.
If this is the deal, I'm forced to agree with Christensen. While Gomez could take over center field from day one, a minor league career .336 OBP doesn't translate well to the majors when you have a severe lack of power. Humber might have a slightly higher ceiling than a number four starter, but even optimistically is a borderline 2/3.
Mulvey you might as well leave out of the deal, while Martinez and Guerra are still teenagers. All in all, it's not that impressive of a package; quantity cannot replace quality.
If anything further develops between Billy's Twins and Omar's Mets, I'll be updating here. Stay tuned.