After discussions of a Johan trade last week, conventional wisdom would have led one to believe the price-tag on the franchise ace to drive up so high all teams in negotiations would have said “The heck with this.” Wrong. Just months after the Twins flirted with the possibility of acquiring a real stud, either the Yanks’ Phil Hughes or the Red Sox’s Jacoby Ellsbury, GM Bill Smith got too greedy. Instead, he slept on it, perhaps conjuring up a counter that he thought may have been just too tantalizing to pass up. I’d be willing to bet it was that very strategy which cost the Twins a future difference maker. And I don’t care which angle you look at this deal from, they didn’t nearly get enough. Carlos Gomez is definitely a major-league ready player, but doesn’t the Yanks’ Melky Cabrera equate to if not surpass his ability? And wouldn’t you prefer a sure-fire future star in Phil Hughes included in a deal instead of question marks Phillip Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and an A-baller in Deolis Guerra? Props to the Mets’ Omar Minaya for rectifying a crucial mistake, dealing outfielder Lastings Milledge for a package centered on Ryan Church. Then again, he was most likely backed into a corner, with his job jeopardized unless he made a splash of this magnitude. Despite Johan’s demands of a six year, $150 million contract, Omar’s decision will finally give the team from the east side of the Big Apple the #1 pitcher they’ve been coveting for the past pennant-races.
Rumor Mill: Turns out all this Johan talk isn’t all that’s filling up sports message boards. A rumor leaked last night that the Orioles finalized a deal sending their ace, Erik Bedard, to the Mariners for reliever George Sherrill (who would be their closer) and perhaps the most intriguing outfielder in the minors Adam Jones, among other prospects. But now these grumblings have sparked nothing but controversy, causing one like myself to unsuccessfully sift through jumbles of inaccurate information. The Santana deal will certainly impact this one, how much remains to be seen. But if it were me, and this was true, pull the trigger Andy MacPhail (O’s GM)! Adam Jones is worth it, and Adam Loewen and Hayden Penn can anchor your rotation in the upcoming years. You just witnessed what can happen, so don’t be the next GM caught with your hand in the cookie jar.