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Bill Smith's Biggest Blunder Was Something He Never Did

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With the Twins pitching staff seemingly dwindling by the day I started to think about what the Twins could do to bolster it or what could they have done to prevent this. Then I remembered reading a rumor about a trade the Twins were looking at after the 2007 season. If you recall this is the off-season Johan Santana was traded for Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra. The rumored trade that Bill Smith supposedly turned down because there weren't enough pieces was Johan Santana to the Dodgers for rookie Matt Kemp and 19 year old phenom Clayton Kershaw. Here are some of the articles I looked up confirming I wasn't imagining I read these things 5 years ago. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/clayton_kershaw/page/5/ and http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/...na_to_dodgers/ . Now these were only rumors but if you remember the steam Johan had back then it isn't unreasonable to think this was true. Additionally, there were also the Clay Bucholz and Jacoby Ellsbury rumors and the Melky Cabrera Phil Hughes rumors. Either way all of them would have been better than the actual trade that happened.

This was all 5 years ago and no one can see into the future and we can't go back and change things now, but just this one trade would have this team in a completely different situation today. My timeline shows the Twins turned Johan Santana into the following:

Johan Santana >Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra | Carlos Gomez > JJ Hardy | > JJ Hardy for Jim Hoey | >Mulvey, Humber and Hoey all left the Twins for nothing in return. So using the baseball version of the discounted cash flow method 1 Johan Santana in 2007 = 1 Deolis Guerra in 2012 if you use Bill Smith's trade investment logic. Oy!

Comments

  1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
    These all sounded to me, at the time, like rumors planted by the Twins, trying to goose the market a bit and get the most for Santana that they could. Note the Think Factory item says the source was the Twins and the Dodgers were "considering". It's very unclear that the Dodgers were actually interested even in Kemp (plus lower-grade prospects) alone for Santana, much less throwing in Kershaw. If Kemp had actually been dangled, Smith would have jumped on the deal. Ditto for the speculative offers from the Red Sox and Yankees - they were all trial balloons, no concrete offer was ever on the table from these other teams. Just my opinion, of course.
  2. James Richter's Avatar
    Yeah, that would have been a good idea. It probably would have negated the need to do the Delmon trade. So the 2008 team would have had Kemp get all of Delmon's playing time, Span all year instead of Gomez, Bartlett instead of Adam Everett. That's a roster that would have won the Central cleanly, then gone into the playoffs with a rotation of Garza, Baker, Liriano and Blackburn. Oh, well.

    Still, we can't be sure how tangible that rumor really was. For me, Smith's biggest blunder was putting Breslow on waivers.
  3. John Bonnes's Avatar
    I wouldn't have been shocked if those names came up in talks, but if I remember correctly, the real problem was Santana - he made it clear the only acceptable cities were Boston and New York. There were rumors of another team, too (was it Texas?) but once Santana told the Twins he would only bargain with those three teams, other talks were worthless.
  4. John Bonnes's Avatar
    But you're right - what coulda been INDEED.
  5. twinstalker's Avatar
    Officially the Twins traded Mulvey for Rauch, but in reality giving up Gomez and Mulvey were as much about Bill Smith trying to fool the MN public that he was getting something ultimately for Santana. Hardy and Rauch were contracts their teams wanted to get rid of, no one wanted to take them on...except for Bill Smith, who was trying to twist perception.
    Updated 04-19-2012 at 05:55 AM by twinstalker (typo)
  6. shawntheroad's Avatar
    don't forget Brett Jacobson!
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