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Fantasy Baseball Fallout For the Johan Santana Trade

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Johan Santana has finally been traded, and he was dealt for a package that first surfaced in mid-December.  That is interesting in and of itself.  Who didn't think somewhere in the back of their mind that Santana wasn't going to be dealt to a team that was never mentioned?

Anyhow, this deal should have the effect of moving Johan Santana into the tail end of the 1st round in fantasy drafts.  He had fallen into the mid-second round, but a move to the NL and the idea of facing the pitcher once every nine batters should be enough to get fantasy players jumping at him around #9.

The Twins received three pitchers who shouldn't have much value in 2008.  I expect Phil Humber and Kevin Mulvey to do decent imitations of back-end starters learning the ropes - an occasional good game followed by a mediocre one followed by a bomb.  Something akin to a mixture of Scott Baker's 2006 and Kevin Slowey's 2007.  Deolis Guerra isn't a consideration for 2008.

The big fantasy winner is CF Carlos Gomez who should be expected to steal 40+ in a full season's worth of ABs.  After all he did steal 12 bases in just 58 games last season.  His minor league efforts also support that contention.  Right now, I'd lump him in with Astro's CF Michael Bourn.  However, Gomez has a shot at breaking through for 10 HRs, and this could make him more valuable.

FWIW, Johan Santana's ADP is 16.  Michael Bourn is 194, and Carlos Gomez is not currently ranked amongst the 436 players listed at Mock Draft Central.  Expect that to change.

The Santana trade has other fantasy repercussions, too.  First, the Red Sox are no left with two years and $10MM of a 4th OF in Coco Crisp with no obvious trade avenues open so close to Spring Training.  Pennies on the dollar appear to be the current value with rookie Jacoby Ellsbury slated to start in CF.

Second, the Yankees now have to decide where pitchers Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain open the season.  Despite his #1 pitcher ranking, Joba has the misfortune of having been successful as a reliever and having arrived as a major league player when the current zeitgist for young pitchers is to limit their innings pitched to thirty more than thrown the previous season.  This would put Joba's 2008 workload at 142.

Will the Yankees adhere to these latest statistical efforts in hopes of avoiding pitching injuries?