A lot of people are talking about how the Mets should go after Dan Haren of the A's instead of Johan Santana. They offer some good reasons including the fact that Haren will take less prospects to get and is locked up until 2010 in a reasonable contract. With Santana it will take 4-5 top prospects and a $150 million dollar contract. Both pitchers are aces and reasonably aged with Haren at 27 and Santana at 29.
To that argument I say, who would you want on the mound in game 7 of the World Series? If you answer Haren, you're on crack. You know you want Santana.
The Mets have the rarest of rare opportunities to get THE best pitcher in baseball. Period. When's the last time the Mets had the best pitcher in baseball? Hmmmm. 1986, Doc Gooden. It's been over 20 years, and the Mets in that time frame have often settled for second best (or third, fourth or sixteenth best).
Where has that gotten us? No championships. One World Series. And a few playoff births.
The Mets need to start thinking championships. We have the blue chip prospects to offer without depleting our entire arsenal. We have the money to offer Santana a big contract. And we're opening up a new stadium in a year with a potential Cy Young champ from the year before pitching opening day.
I do like Haren, a lot. And he can start for me on any day, but there's no way I'm choosing him over Santana. To those who say, "But the Yankees are already talking to Santana. We're doomed!" I reply, "Remember Carlos Beltran." The Yanks were supposed to sign Beltran. It was all but done, until Omar swooped in and picked him off.
I expect and trust that Omar will do the same here. Go get Santana. If he doesn't want to come, fine we'll go get Haren. But let's not settle for a porterhouse, when a perfectly good filet mignon is right within our reach.
Breakout the platinum American Express. Let's get the best pitcher in baseball in orange and blue.