Santana Signing Makes Mets NL Favorites

Johan Santana will be Pedro Martinez’s new buddy in Queens next year. 

After fleecing the Twins for the best singular pitching talent in baseball, the Mets gritted their teeth and opened the franchise vault for their new savior, Johan Santana.  While it remains to be seen if Santana lives up to the incredible $150.75 million the Wilpons have invested in the poor man’s version of vintage Pedro Martinez over the next 7 years, the Mets did what they had to do.  And now, quite simply, they are the favorites to take home the National League pennant.

A quick glance at their depth chart paints a pretty picture:

  • A rotation of Santana, Pedro Martinez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Mike Pelfrey/Orlando Hernandez (it’s a good thing they have some depth because they’ll need it when the injury bug begins to bite the more “distinguished” memebers of the rotation).
  • It’s also rumored that the Mets could acquire Kyle Lohse as a fifth starter, pushing El Duque to swingman status and Pelfrey to power reliever for another year.
  • A line-up that features speed, power, on-base abilities, defense, and great lefty-righty balance.  Unfortunately Brian Schneider will be behind the plate and Ryan Church has replaced Lastings Milledge but that doesn’t change the fact that the Metropolitans are loaded.  Think something along these lines:
  1. SS-Jose Reyes (S)
  2. 2B-Luis Castillo (S)
  3. CF-Carlos Beltran (S)
  4. 3B-David Wright (R)
  5. 1B-Carlos Delgado (L)
  6. LF-Moises Alou (R)
  7. RF-Ryan Church/Endy Chavez (L)
  8. C-Brian Schneider (L)
  9. Pitcher’s Spot
  • The bullpen is stronger and now adequate with more options and fewer innings expected from it, led by Billy Wagner and Aaron Heilman, with contrubutions from Pedro Feliciano from the left side and Jorge Sosa, Pelfrey, et al in lesser roles.  A key reliever or two could be acquired come the trade deadline as well, and given that the Mets still have their top prospect, Fernando Martinez, targeting a guy like Joe Nathan (although the Twins might not want to conduct any further business with the team) or another stopper should be feasible.
  • Also, the bench is pretty solid with vets like Damion Easley, Marlon Anderson, Jeff Conine, and youngster Rubin Gotay in the infield and pinch-hitting, with the Church/Chavez combo playing the 4th outfielder role.

Overall this leaves us with the best paper team in the National League, a bit ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks at this point.  Things can change, and probably will, but as of right now it looks like the Amazins just found a way to quickly erase last season’s haunting collapse.

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