This date in 2008, the Mets acquired Johan Santana from the Twins for OF prospect Carlos Gomez and pitching prospects Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra.
In order to get Santana to waive his no-trade clause, the Mets had to offer him a six-year, $137.5 million contract, which he eventually accepted.
In total, Santana took the mound just over 100 times for the Mets. That's it. Yet, I loved watching him work in every single start. Despite missing half of his potential outings, despite never getting to the playoffs, I'm still thankful for Johan's hard work and fight, and I'm thankful I got to root for him.
In the end, all we're ever left with is what we remember, and I'll always remember Johan for three things: The experience of finally getting to see a no hitter, his incredible one-man show on September 27, 2008 against the Marlins and the day he taught me how to throw his circle change >> Read more.
Johan Santana throws in the outfield during the New York Mets spring training workout at Tradition Field. Port St Lucie, FL 2/15/13 (John Munson/USA Today Images)
The 2008 offseason was dramatic, if you recall. The Mets were a mess, coming off a terrible 'collapse,' blowing a seven-game lead to the Phillies with 17 games left in the season and missing the playoffs. The winter started with rumblings that Santana would be available in trade, since he had one year left on his deal.
The Yankees and Red Sox were considered the favorites to land him. However, I kept hearing and kept writing that the Mets were confident they'd have a legit crack at trading for him.
Nevertheless, report after report kept indicating Omar Minaya didn't have the prospects to compete with what the Yankees and Red Sox could offer. This was true. The thing was, Santana wanted to switch to the National League and was very intrigued by joining the Mets. What's more, Johan held all of the cards since he had a no-trade clause.
Minaya may have had lesser prospects, but he had the money to offer Santana, enough talent to attract the Twins, a team in a pitcher-friendly ballpark and a top-tier team in the National League. And, the rest was history...
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is the lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to work with sports brands build digital content businesses...