Despite critics, Twins like what they got for Santana

The group of young players is mostly untested at the major league level.

.MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – When trading Johan Santana became a probability for the Minnesota Twins, the baseball world began to imagine the bounty such a dominant starting pitcher in the prime of his career could bring.

Well, the Twins wound up with four minor-leaguers from the New York Mets when the deal finally went down this week. Fans and analysts have been predictably critical of the package coming to Minnesota.

Even general manager Bill Smith acknowledged disappointment that he wasn’t able to acquire more immediate help for the team.

This, however, was a trade for the future.

Though they had little leverage by the end of this drawn-out process when the Yankees and Red Sox reduced their original offers, the Twins insisted they like what they got with center-fielder Carlos Gomez and right-handed pitchers Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra.

“The reality is they all fit profiles of things we need,” said Mike Radcliff, the team’s vice president of player personnel.

The Twins have long had one of the game’s top farm systems, and Radcliff – recently promoted from scouting director – is one of the best evaluators around. He was especially excited about Gomez, who will have a good chance to win a spot in the lineup this season and provide some 2008 impact while Santana settles in the National League with the early World Series favorite Mets.