We waited on the final installment of the trade-tracker series to see if Johan might win the NL Cy Young. He finished third.
Our previous update came with three weeks left in the regular season. Santana finished strong, doing as much as he could to get get the Mets to the playoffs. He ended the season with the ERA crown.
Rob Neyer thought Carlos Gomez “might have been the best outfielder on the planet this season,” and lamented that the OF Gold Gloves went elsewhere.
With the exception of one instance of long relief, Phil Humber only saw action as an inning eater. In his one opportunity he acquitted himself nicely, giving up 2 in 5.1 IP, keeping the game within reach for a Twins ninth inning comeback.
GM Bill Smith offered this about Humber and his other two pitchers from the Santana deal:
"Humber and Mulvey both struggled in the first half, but their first half and second half were dramatically different. Humber had a tremendous second half [2.67 ERA after the All-Star break, compared to 5.92 ERA before], and Mulvey was very good [3.64 after, 3.84 before]...Guerra is so young. He's got a world of ability."
Ellsbury wasn’t able to break out of his September slump and in the playoffs was ignominiously replaced by Coco Crisp. He finished the regular season as the AL steals leader and third in ROY voting.
A November 2 headline from pawsox.com: "Buchholz rebounding nicely in Arizona Fall League." A November 4 headline from the Portland Press Herald: "Buchholz hit hard again." It’s tough to gage whether Theo Epstein was being honest or polite when he said, “As a whole…it was a constructive development time. I think he regained his confidence, his stuff was crisp and he tweaked his delivery out of the stretch. We’re very glad he went (to the AFL). It allowed him to write a little different ending to his season.” Even if that’s a sincere appraisal, the feelings must not be strong ones because his name has been floated in trade talks.
Lester finished September 4-1 with an ERA barely over 2, and with Beckett’s oblique problem, became the staff ace in the playoffs. He handled the Angels twice, shutting them out for 14 innings. He was respectable in game 7 against the Rays (3 earned in 7 IP), but couldn’t match Garza and Price on the other side. He wants one pitch back.
Like Buchholz, Phil Hughes is also working on his stuff in the AFL. His last start offered some hope, but The New York Times is already calling him a failure, ESPN’s Jason Grey suggests that his ceiling is now as a middle-of-rotation starter, and he’s being outpaced in Google search results by a cricketer of the same name.
Cashman said that CF would not be a priority in the off-season, but it wouldn't be surprising if Melky Cabrera was moved.