Mariners Analysis

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Johan Santana and the Twins

Avoiding the nasty business of arbitration, the Twins signed Santana to a 4 year, $40 million deal. When you are a small market team like the Twins, is a long term contract for big money a smart business decision?

In this case, the Twins yet again showed why they are one of the best run organizations in baseball. Is there risk? Of course. But with that risk comes great reward.

Consider our beloved Mariners. Faced with Randy Johnson's contract running out, and a bad back and plenty of years on that lovable face, the M's looked at the risk of signing a pitcher to a long term deal and got scared.

So scared they not only didn't resign Johnson, they publicly declared a year before the contract ran out they had no intention of signing him!! (not to mention they did this the same day Griffey received his MVP--- idiots) This is what we call risk aversion ie. the inability to take on any risk.

Of course we all know what happened. Randy signs with Arizona in what in my mind is the greatest FA signing in the modern era. All Randy does is start a string of 4 Cy Youngs and win three games in the WS in 2001 to beat the Yankees. The same Yankees the Mariners lost to in the ALCS!!

Poetic freaking justice, some might say.

As we know, true number one starters are hard to find. There are really only a few in the AL. By locking up arguably the best pitcher, the Twins showed a deft touch at balancing risk against reward. Consider the White Sox, who are paying Freddy Garcia only a million less a year. Or all the teams locking in .500 pitchers this offseason for $8 million/yr deals.

It's true Johan could blow out his elbow tomorrow, but regardless the Twins made a smart business move. I hope the M's would have made the same move in a similar situation.