February 7, 2012

Me at Baseball Prospectus

My excitement about this may be difficult to properly convey because I've been writing about baseball on the internet for a decade now and am fortunate to have had my byline appear in all sorts of great places, but today I have a guest column at Baseball Prospectus and ... well, the 15-year-old me who read every Baseball Prospectus book cover to cover and printed out Baseball Prospectus articles to save in three-ring binders would be giddy right now.

And the 29-year-old me, while admittedly being embarrassed that the 15-year-old version was such a massive nerd, is pretty damn excited too. Thanks to Ben Lindbergh and everyone else at Baseball Prospectus for letting me write something for the place that likely shaped the way I think and write about baseball more than any other. I can say without an ounce of hyperbole that seeing my byline at Baseball Prospectus has been a dream for 15 years. Please read it:

Lose-Lose Situation: Revisiting the Johan Santana Trade


  1. Congrats!

    Comment by Nick — February 7, 2012 @ 9:26 am

  2. Excellent retrospective on the deal. As much as Bill Smith was derided for leaving value on the table in the Santana deal, a far worse tumble was letting Hardy leave in favor of Nishi.

    Comment by Tracy — February 7, 2012 @ 9:57 am

  3. Nice article, Aaron.

    The trade ended up looking even worse for the Twins in retrospect when you consider that, after trading the best pitcher in the league, they ended up missing the playoffs by virtue of a one-game playoff. If they don’t acquire Gomez, they also end up with a full season of the superior Denard Span in center instead, which would’ve been a plus even if it left someone like Randy Ruiz as the regular RF while Cuddyer was hurt most of the year.

    That was the same winter as the Young/Garza debacle (worst trade offseason ever?)… if the Twins hadn’t made those two trades, they could’ve loaded up for one big run instead. A Santana-Garza 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation would’ve been phenomenal, and while I know it was unlikely, they could’ve filled Delmon’s eventual spot with a free agent – there was some guy named “Bonds” available that offseason.

    Comment by BeefMaster — February 7, 2012 @ 10:29 am

  4. My understanding was that Santana wanted out, and that even if the Twins could afford him, he was going to leave. Is that incorrect? Did we get rid of Santana because we didn’t want to pay him?

    Comment by Pedro Munoz — February 7, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

  5. Congratulations!

    Comment by Shane — February 7, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

  6. Congrats. Good retrospective, AG. And you’re right, almost any of the Red Sox deals would have ended up being a good trade for the Twins.

    Comment by BR — February 7, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

  7. The trade wasn’t that bad for the Twins we did have several useful pieces for the 2010 team Rauch and Hardy. We also don’t have the financial baggage of Santana’s contract. THe only question is would keeping Santana for 2008 better than Rauch and Hardy and the other players we were able to get by not having Santana’s contract for 2010 division winning team.

    Comment by doofus — February 7, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

  8. This is why the Twins love back-end pitch to contact starters. They’re cheap, and if they get hurt it’s not a disaster, because there’s legions more of them in the minor leagues.

    Comment by Matt — February 7, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

  9. Great article, and congrats on being on BP. That was an awful trade by the Twins. Just awful.

    Comment by mike wants wins — February 7, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

  10. I recognize that stack of BPs…they are in my attic. I even attended a BP “pizza feed” that included Chris Kahrl years ago. Congrats on a fret gig…hope it turns into a regular job.

    Speaking of which, do you have a viable path to get into BBWAA? It was a big deal when BP got a couple of spots….

    Comment by AM. — February 7, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

  11. “great” gig…dumb iPhone…

    Comment by AM. — February 7, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

  12. just when I thought that scab had healed… great article, Aaron! I remember the relentless debate as to what the best deal was; and whether it would become a Knobloch type deal for us, or a Herschel Walker type deal for the other team. Ended up a combination of the two…

    Comment by Twinsconsin — February 7, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

  13. Congrats Aaron. Dreams come true are great, even when they involve geekdom.

    Comment by DaveA — February 9, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

  14. In 20-20 hindsight, 2008 was probably the year the Twins should have gone all-in and kept Santana rather than continuing to build for the future yet again. Baker’s ERA was 3.45 that year and Liriano’s was 2.74 after the all-star break. It’s tough to believe now but even Slowey had a 3.69 ERA in the 2nd half. Mauer won the batting title that year and Morneau finished 2nd in all star balloting. They would have been a very formidable playoff team with Santana leading the rotation and who knows how far they could have gone. Not that this was knowable in February of 2008 but it does hurt to think what could have been.

    Comment by the kid nyc — February 10, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  15. I have always suspected that the Yankees & Red Sox signalled to each other that each would drop out and let Santana go to the NL.

    Comment by Doug MacLennan — February 13, 2012 @ 6:35 am

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