With the 2008 season coming to a close, I thought for sure the “Should Joba start or relieve” would be the most tired story of the year. Well, the whole “the Yankees should have traded for Santana” thing is making a late run, today courtesy of Joel Sherman the NYPost.
There were many reasons that Yankees GM Brian Cashman advised against making a Santana deal last season, notably having to give up prospects and award Santana a record contract. But central to his thinking was that he did not want to surrender Hughes, whom he has envisioned being a cost-effective, homegrown, top-of-the-rotation stalwart.
Listen – if Santana was a free agent and the Yankees didn’t have to give up anything but money to get him, they still may have passed at $150 million. And everyone, and I mean everyone, knew the 2008 Yankees would be worse for having not traded for Santana. That is not the point. You cannot evaluate this non-deal after the first season.
And how do we know Hughes WON’T be a cost-effective, homegrown, top-of-the-rotation stalwart? He’s 22! And this article even admits he hasn’t really been healthy yet.
Then, Sherman says the following about Braves pitching prospect Tommy Hanson:
Three Padres officials, including director of pro and international scouting Randy Smith, watched Hanson dominate the Rising Stars game: Three no-hit innings with seven strikeouts. A scout in attendance claimed Hughes is not in the same league as Hanson, saying about the 22-year-old righty: “He is at least a number two starter. He has plus stuff and plus command. He throws his fastball 90-94 (mph), but smartly adds in two-seamers at 89-90. He has a plus slider and a plus curveball. He mixes his pitches well. He has poise. He has smarts. He puts the ball where he wants. To me the Braves have no choice, he should be in their rotation next year.”
So the Braves shouldn’t trade Hanson for Peavy? I agree, but how is this any different than the Hughes situation? That scouting report is almost EXACTLY what the scouting report was on Hughes at an even younger age.