The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry (both teams considered front-runners for Santana at different times) didn't dramatically shift in one direction since neither team nabbed Johan.
Plus the Twins felt that they got some very good prospects in return for their ace pitcher.
Oh how we were wrong. Let's play this thing out with the winners and losers as they stand today in 2009:
New York Mets:
The Mets acquire Johan Santana and then immediately signed him to a 6-year, $137.5mm contract, the largest contract for any pitcher at the time. This would prove to be a great move as Santana went 16-7 with a 2.53 ERA and 206 K's in 234.1 IP. He would finnish 2nd in the NL Cy Young voting to Tim Lincecum of the Giants. This year he's been good as well pitching to the tune of 3.13 ERA, .01 higher than that of his career. However, due to injuries to other players and bad offense surrounding Santana, the Mets failed to reach the postseason in 2008 and it looks as though the same ending will result here in 2009.
New York Yankees:
By not trading for Santana, Yankees' GM Brian Cashman was bashed by the New York media. However, the move not to trade for the ace lefty has to proved to have been possibly the best move of Cashman's career; Due to the prospects he didn't give up at the time.
The Yankees top offer was Melky Cabrera, Phil Hughes, Jeffery Marquez, Ian Kennedy and Jhonny Nunez.
By not making the deal, the Yankees spun those prospects around for great things. Now the Yankees have C.C. Sabathia/Mark Teixiera in place of Johan Santana (they wouldn't of been able to sign all three), Melky Cabrera has been playing a good centerfield and is having a solid bounce-back season, Phil Hughes is finally realizing his potential as a dominate set-up man, and Marquez and Nunez were both traded to the White Sox for Nick Swisher, the Yankees powerful right fielder. All has worked out extremely well for the Yankees.
Boston Red Sox:
While Brian Cashman's move not to deal for Santana was good, Red Sox GM Theo Epstien's may have been even better. The Red Sox top offer looked like this: Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Michael Bowden.
By not trading for Santana, they now have an dominate pitcher in Lester, one of the best base-stealers in the game in Ellsbury, Lowrie's a below-average shortstop, and Bowden has huge potential (despite a terrible performance against the Yankees on Friday.
Yes it's true, the Twins, the team that dealt Santana are our one-and-only losers in this deal. They held out on Santana for too long and wound up taking the worst package on the table. Carlos Gomez, despite playing terrific defense and having amazing speed, never gets a chance to show off that speed because he never gets on base. His OBP his barely over .300 while his BA is constantly in the low to mid .200s.
The Twins recently released Phillip Humber so he's a dud. Mulvey has pitched a little in the majors and hasn't been that bad and Deolis Guerra is ranked as the Twins #12 prospect.
However, what's even worse is what the Twins didn't trade for: both the Red Sox and the Yankees had great offers on the table but the Twins kept asking for more.
With the Yankees, the Twins kept asking for Phil Hughes AND Joba Chamberlain, even though the Yankees stated clearly that Joba was off-limits.
With the Red Sox it was even worse, the Twins were asking for Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, AND Jacoby Ellsbury. The Red Sox were never going to do it. Plus the Twins just should've asked for Lester and Ellsbury, both of whom were much better better than Buchholz.
Bottom line, the Twins messed up and the Mets, Yankees, and Red Sox all capitalized...big time!