The New York Mets effectively stripped their already spartan farm system bare with Tuesday's deal for perennial Cy Young candidate Johan Santana, while the Minnesota Twins could start reaping the benefits as early as Opening Day and for years to come. While a talent like Santana is pretty much irreplaceable, the Twins received good return in an inevitable deal.
Carlos Gomez, OF: The most Major League-ready of the quartet of players landed by the Twins, Gomez only retained rookie status in 2007 because he broke a hamate bone in his left hand in July, which sidelined him for two months after he made his Major League debut in May. At 21, he was the youngest player in the National League at the time. Before his callup, Gomez had been somewhat overlooked when discussing Mets outfield prospects because of all the talk surrounding teenage sensation Fernando Martinez. But Gomez had cruised through the organization, skipping from Class A Hagerstown in 2005 to Double-A Binghamton in 2006, showing no apparent need for some time at Advanced A. He hit .281 with 41 steals in the Eastern League at age 20. He has all the tools you look for in a premier outfielder, with the speed for center and the arm for right. He was hitting .286 at Triple-A New Orleans with 17 steals before his spring promotion, and then batted .232 with 12 more swipes in 125 at-bats with the Mets before his injury. The Twins' current outfield mix features Michael Cuddyer, newly acquired Delmon Young, Jason Kubel and veteran Craig Monroe. Look for Gomez to charge right into that pack to make a claim for one of the spots.
Deolis Guerra, RHP: The 6-foot-5 Venezuelan prospect, who won't turn 19 until April, ranked just behind the apparently untouchable outfielder Fernando Martinez when it comes to Mets prospects, but he is likely to be the last to arrive in Minnesota. When he gets there, however, it should be for a nice long time. Guerra made his pro debut in stellar style in 2006 when, at age 17, he posted a 2.20 ERA at Class A Hagerstown, limiting South Atlantic League hitters to a .208 average. In '07, still at 17, he was the Opening Day starter for Class A Advanced St. Lucie and pitched in the Futures Game as well. He battled some shoulder tendinitis, which limited his innings, but posted a 4.01 ERA in 90 innings in the Florida State League with a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s and a plus changeup, which ranked as the best in the Mets' system. He continues to work on improving his curveball and refining his overall game. While he could start the season at Double-A New Britain, it is more likely that the Twins will opt to keep him back in warmer climate of Fort Myers, Fla., before sending him to the Eastern League later in the summer.
Kevin Mulvey, RHP: Though his name is not generally mentioned in the same breath as the elite pitching prospects in the Mets system (Guerra, Humber and Mike Pelfrey), Mulvey is no slouch either. Drafted out of Villanova in the second round with the Mets' first pick in 2006, he appeared in just a handful of games that summer before earning the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors in 2007. A Futures Game selection and Eastern League All-Star, the 22-year-old went 11-10 with a 3.32 ERA at Double-A Binghamton before finishing his season with one scoreless start at Triple-A New Orleans. Without one dominating pitch, he mixes four solid offerings highlighted by his slider with good control. He is likely to begin 2008 at Triple-A Rochester and a strong first half could keep his name on people's lips should the need for a starter arise.
Lisa Winston is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.