I know I’m overdue on getting you guys all the PECOTAs, but in the meantime, let’s see what we have Johan Santana doing in Shea Stadium. For reference, I’ve also included our original projection for him in Minnesota.
Team GS W-L IP H BB SO HR ERA SuperVORP WARP MORP
Mets 32 16-8 225.0 184 60 239 25 2.94 56.8 7.5 $22,400,000
Twins 33 15-9 227.0 197 62 230 25 3.32 55.6 7.4 $21,975,000
That would be a very good season–and would probably make Santana the odds-on favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award. But my sense is that people are looking for Sandy Koufax circa 1965, and that’s not likely to be the case. For one thing, while Shea is an excellent pitchers’ park, the Metrodome had become a pretty good pitchers’ park too, so the marginal gain is less than you’d think. For another, Santana’s talent level appears to have degraded just a tiny little bit from his 2004-2006 peak; he’s always been a fly-ball pitcher, but now a few more of those fly balls are landing for home runs.
However, Santana’s WARP and VORP totals are essentially pure profit for the Mets, since some of the guys they were running out there last year were replacement-level talents at best. As a result, it’s hard to think of another permutation of team and player that does more to improve a team’s chances of reaching the playoffs. Considering that the Mets managed to achieve this without giving up a single top-tier prospect, this is a happy day for Mets fans.