Yep, we all saw this coming. The White Sox just traded Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays for pitching prospect Nestor Molina.
I’m trying to figure out why? The Sox recently signed Santos to a 3 year deal with 3 extensions, keeping him under team control for the next 6 years. Maybe it’s to save money to bring Mark Buehrle back. Or maybe it frees up more cash to sign John Danks to an extension. Still, on face value it makes no sense, either from the money aspect or in prospect they received.
The Sox must know more than the rest of us, because it looked to me like Santos was pretty good, at least better than a prospect. He saved 30 games in 30 chances last year. He also posted a 3.55 ERA, while allowing just 41 hits over 63 innings pitched. He also struck out 92 while walking 29.
Santos did have a few memorable blow ups, The one against the Dodgers comes to mind, as does one against the Royals, A’s, the Tigers, twice, and his new team, the Blue Jays. But doesn’t every closer have ups and downs throughout the season? Jonathan Papelbon had a memorable one on the last day of the 2011 season, and he turned that in to a huge deal with the Phillies. I am not in ay way comparing Santos to Papelbon, just saying that closers, from time to time, blow it.
Now about Molina, who is similar to Santos in that he is a converted infielder. Molina, 22, posted a 2.21 ERA, 10.2 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 in 130 1/3 innings across High and Double-A this year. He is not among the Jays top 30 prospects, but I don’t give that much credence. He may turn out to be the bomb, or get bombed. All I know is he’ll be answering a bunch of Santos questions all spring long.
And what is it with the Sox making deals with the Jays. This past season they traded Mark Teahen and Edwin Jackson to the Jays for Jason Frasor and Zack Stewart (Hello Texoma!). If the Jays system is that great, than why haven’t they sniffed the playoffs in 18 years?
My guess is the Sox have a slew of deals to come, at least I hope they do. And who is next year’s closer again?
Since the regular season ended just over 2 months ago, 11 players have been subtracted from the Sox roster.
In meeting with the media Ken Williams did say, “This is the start of a rebuilding”. If that’s the case, let the trading begin.