This is a tag line from a Twins fan's signature:
"When you get Jim Hoey, Brett Jacobsen, Kevin Mulvey, Deolis Guerra, Cole Nelson, Lester Oliveros, Matt Capps, Jason Pridie, Brendan Harris, and 20,000 dollars for a half dozen key intrical parts to you're organization eveybody hurts. "
Lets look at where these players came from and consider the total cost:
The Twins gave up:
One season from Johan Santana and several seasons from major league players Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett. They also gave up two prospects, Eduardo Morlan and Wilson Ramos.
3.5 major league seasons from Delmon Young , 2 major league seasons from Carlos Gomez and Brendan Harris, 1.5 seasons from Matt Capps and Jon Rauch (for Mulvey), and one major league season from JJ Hardy (for Gomez). During those seasons the Twins won 2 ALC championships.
Capps will likely leave as a free agent after this season. What the Twins will have left is the future production of Jim Hoey, Brett Jacobsen, Deolis Guerra, Cole Nelson and Lester Oliveros.
Frankly, that list of pitchers looks like a bunch of bullpen guys. A couple of them could turn out to be quality setup guys. But that is probably off in the future.
What this does not evaluate is salary issues. Most of the seasons the Twins received from players were at the low end of the salary scale. Capps would be the exception to that. The players traded away were all moving up the salary scale. So somehow you need to consider how the money saved got spent. For instance, the savings from Hardy's salary apparently allowed the Twins to sign Pavano. Does that mean they got Pavano for Hardy? I don't think so. I am not sure how you DO evaluate the salary issue but it needs to be part of the equation.
What's important here is that the Twins traded away only the one season they still had under Johan Santana's contract. You need to consider the past value you got from players while they were here, not just the future value of the players that remain. And you need to consider what the Twins results were from those contributions. My assessment is that, when you look at all those, these trades actually worked out to the Twins benefit. Even if the 5 players they have left all fail.