Well, I didn't really want to keep going with the He's a New Man series, but a scan of recent articles uncovered something that was too easy. The National Post's "Sergio Santos is a Changed Man", from last week. By now, I think we all know the story...Former Blue Jay farmhand, acquired in the Troy Glaus deal, played SS, sucked, moved to the mound, now doesn't suck. Given his progression, and numbers he put up last year, this was heralded as one of the best trades by any GM of the Offseason. The Genius, Alex Anthopoulos, swooped in and acquired Santos for Nestor Molina, who depending on what prospect geek you believe, is either a top of the rotation starter, or bullpen fodder. Either way, the Blue Jays dealt from their treasure trove of pitching prospects and acquired a guy who is 28, on an upward progression, and under club control for the next six seasons. In a trade that didn't make much sense from the White Sox rebuild point of view, Kenny Williams traded a guy under long-term club control, who just finished a season with 30 Saves, a WHIP just over 1.1 and an unbelievable K/9 ratio of 13.1, Sergio Santos misses a lot of bats, and has the chance to be very good.
While I know that every Spring Training brings new hope, and it has been said that the optimism in Blue Jays camp this year is unrivaled, I think its time for this city's baseball writers to stop with the He's a New Man "stories". It's not to say if I were escaping the last of the Toronto winter, heading to 70 degree temperatures with the sun glaring down on me, I wouldn't be thinking everything and everyone is great and new, and things are perfect, but can we relax a bit? Things are no better or no worse now than they were a month ago when Prince signed with Detroit, or two months ago when AA missed out on Mat Latos and Gio Gonzalez, and everything sucked in Blue Jay land. I've never met the guy personally, and other than the fact that his wife pretty damned good looking (Thanks, Google Images), I can't say whether or not Sergio Santos is a changed man. I don't think any writer can. What we do know is that with every player who is apparently a new man, things will play out over the year. The takeaway here is that, despite what the writers say, things are never as good as they seem, or bad as they seem. The Jays remain a team with a lot of young talent, and a lot of If's. Sergios Santos is one of them. If he continues his progression, we will have the first elite closer we've had since Duane Ward. If not, well...we'll be looking the new "new man".