Santana to the Mets: The Hobby Impact
Jan 30 2008 10:31AM
After an off-season filled with speculation, rumors, accusations and denials, Minnesota Twins lefty, Johan Santana is finally headed to the Big Apple's ‘other team.'
The Mets acquisition of Santana in a five-player deal has made the Amazin's the team to beat in the National League.
But what about the trades impact on Santana's card values? Is his new home in Queens as equally as desirable among collectors as say, the Bronx or Bean Town?
According to Beckett Baseball Price Guide editor Brian Fleischer, any move that would have distanced Santana from the small media market of Minneapolis-Saint Paul would have proved to be a boon for his cards.
"Moving from a small market club to a team in the country's largest media market should initially have an overwhelmingly positive impact on Santana's cards," Fleischer said. "Great players tend to get overlooked when they play in smaller markets due to less media attention and a smaller fan base. While Santana's cards have done well on the market, they may still have some room to grow."
According to Fleischer, Santana has seven Rookie Cards, ranging in value from $15-$150 with his most desirable RC being his 2000 Finest issue ($150) which is limited to just 3,000 copies. His most attainable Rookie Cards, and therefore most popular, is his 2000 Fleer Tradition Update #43 issue which books for $15. And although Santana was a rookie in 2000, is first certified autographs or game-used cards didn't appear until 2004.
To date, Santana has 546 different certified autographs with an average value of $25-$60 and 940 unique memorabilia cards with an average value of $15-$40.
Fleischer continued by saying, "Right now, we are seeing an immediate impact on Santana's values. But once the season starts, all of the fans and media in New York can have a positive or negative effect on his values. If he succeeds with the Mets, he'll be a hobby stud. If he goes to New York and is just average or below average, his cards could tank just as quickly."
As for the three frontline prospects the Twins acquired in the deal,
"Prospectors who are in heavy on talents like Carlos Gomez and righthander Deolis Guerra could see values quickly soften due to fallout from the trade, but some collectors could view the changing market as the perfect buying opportunity."
For additional coverage on the Johan Santana trade, don't miss the April issue of Beckett Baseball #35.
-- Kevin Haake