Gammons: Twins want Hughes, Melky, A-Jax

Yanks, A-Rod settle on 30 million reasons to break the HR record
Hanks speaks on the Yankee Way

The Santana Watch never stops.

According to Buster Olney, his ESPN colleague Peter Gammons has found out that the Twins want a package from the Yanks that includes Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and Austin Jackson. Olney:

Given that the Yankees will probably be asked to pay Santana a deal of at least six years and $150 million to convince him to stay, I’d be shocked if they seriously considered that trade. Because part of the equation for the Yankees or any other team, as they make decisions about a possible Santana deal, is this: Even beyond the question of swapping promising young players like Hughes and Cabrera and Jackson, how much money does it save them to have cheap players on their roster. How much will it cost them to replace a Cabrera or Jackson? Without Cabrera or Jackson, the Yankees might have to sign a veteran center fielder in their place in a year or two.

And it’s possible that within three or four years, as Santana gets older and Hughes progresses, that Hughes might become something close to what Santana will be then.

Three things of note here that I think require some explication.

First, as the Yankees have shown this off-season and in many off-seasons prior, money is no obstacle to this team. They have the highest attendance in the Majors and their own very lucrative sports entertainment network on TV. They enjoy millions of dollars in merchandise sales and have owners willing to pony up big bucks to put a marquee team on the field.

It is awfully sweet of Olney to worry about the Yanks’ financial plans. But the reality is that the Yanks can afford to make a deal like this, and in a few years, with the Scott Linebrink’s of this world making insane amounts of money, a contract for Santana could be a steal.

Second is the center field issue. Some commenters are already wondering if it’s a good idea to trade two center fielders, and I’d have to agree with that line of thinking. While Jackson basically has had just his breakout half-season at high A, his ceiling is, right now, much higher than Melky’s. But with regards to the center fielders, the Yanks are in a position of power.

The Twins just lost Torii Hunter and need a replacement. If the Yanks are willing to part with Melky, I think they could bargain the Twins down off that A-Jax perch. Remember, this is just the initial set of demands from the Twins. There could be a whole set of negotiations.

Finally, the pitching. Phil Hughes is a big price to pay. We don’t really know the answer to this, but how much more valuable are five years of cost-controlled Phil Hughes than six years of very expensive Johan Santana? By the end of the deal, we’re certainly looking at a position where Hughes is the better pitcher. I’m very reluctant to part with Hughes.

I still would not be too quick to pull the trigger on this deal. We know that Johan Santana wants to come to the Yanks; we know that he has a full no-trade clause. So if he were that dedicated to the Yanks, he could just tell the Twins that he’s not waiving his no-trade provisions. Then, he can just sign a deal with the Yanks after 2008. That part really just depends on what Santana wants now, but I like that scenario — as implausible as it may turn out to be — the best.

Yanks, A-Rod settle on 30 million reasons to break the HR record
Hanks speaks on the Yankee Way
  • eddie s.

    no hughes

  • Joseph P.

    I was actually just talking to Ben about this, as I posted on it over at MLB Trade Rumors today.

    I’m definitely taking this as the opening bid. Not that the gross price will come down, but it can change. Specifically, like Ben, I’m talking about getting Ajax out of that negotiation. We can plug Brett Gardner into CF until he’s ready, and I think that’s the best approach to take if we’re getting Santana.

    It’s a tough decision on Hughes. I’m certainly not the one to make the decision on that one, since I’m biased towards Hughes. If the deal is Hughes, Melky, and a few others not in the trinity and not named Ajax/Tabata, I think we can make something work. But as Ben said, I’m not jumping the gun on that one.

  • tony from the bronx

    The Yankees should not trade for Santanna IMO.The price will be high in talent and an extension.The final part of the post is probably the best way for the Yanks to aquire him.Do we know for sure that Santanna wants to play for the Yanks?If so,lets hope he kills all trade proposals and beocomes a free agent.

  • dan

    Any trade involving Hughes has to be an automatic no. Switch Hughes for Kennedy and throw in someone else. If the Twins don’t want to do it, then so be it. There are worse things in this world than having Hughes Joba and IPK in your rotation.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Tony, I agree. If Santana wants to play for NY, let’s pay him and keep Philly Franchise and Melky right where they are. I hope Cash is as cautious as we are.

    I would hate to see us lose Phil before we even know what he can do. It’s like trading blind. I think Phil can be brilliant and want to see us keep him. Melky is more expendable but I would hate to think of Damon going back to CF. I think that if Santana wants to come to NY we pay the man next winter. NOT NOW.

  • NC Saint

    I can’t agree with the dogmatic “no trade involving Hughes” talk. This is a business, there should never be anyone off limits if the price happens to be right. Obviously, though, this mix of players, especially if the rumors of Santana’s asking price are accurate, is way too steep to make this a sensible trade.

    But that’s no deal breaker, it just means we have to wait. If someone else wants to shoot themselves in the foot for Santana, so much the better; what’s bad for the Red Sox or Angels is good for us. If they play it smart and the Twins are set on getting a deal done, and especially if Santana wants to play in New York, we could be in good shape later in the winter.

  • barry

    Trading Hughes has the potential of being incredibly stupid in the future. Trading Melky seems convenient to alot of people but to be honest how do we know that either combination of Damon and Matsui are healthy all year, why risk making holes in our own defense. I don’t see any need in giving lots of cheap young talent to the Twins, like you said NC Saint its a business, the purpose of a business is to defeat the competition not strengthen them. Santana is not stupid either, he knows that he can probably get more money next year as a free agent then extending before the season.

  • kris

    This one is tough to pass up. How is Olney so certain that Santana will not still be better than Hughes in six years? Is this based on their projections? Hughes was throwing 87 mph fastballs last season. Who knows if he will ever throw hard? Who knows if he will even stay healthy to reach his ceiling? If they can back the Twins off A-Jax, I say pull this deal. If Hughes proves to be that good in six years, they can sign him back as a FA. As Ben K. said, money is no object to the Yanks.

    • dan

      Don’t use Hughes throwing 87 mph as a strike against him when it’s not even true:

      I can’t believe people, not just you, are essentially saying that AJax is more untouchable than Hughes because of a half season in single A.

      • kris

        Thanks for educating me on this. I was worried about Hughes’ velocity (or speed?) drop in the middle innings. The low end of his velocity range does dip slightly under 90. However, it is only 1-2 mph lower than Santana’s. I can still find that one ugly 87-mph fastball in his chart, but it is but one point (one point per pitch?). If they do hang on to Hughes, I hope he will be able to elevate that velocity up to Santana’s range, as he matures.

  • Chofo

    I’m tempeted to do this deal, but not so happy at the same time. I want Huge in my team. I’d prefer that the Twins take IPK instead of him, and Tabata instead of Ajax. A deal of IPK, Melky and Tabata has as much potential as the propoused one.

    They want the potential ace, so maybe include IPK + Horne.

  • Brian

    If you think about what the Twins are doing in this proposal, it’s actually hard to think of the pieces, or as Joseph P. puts it, the gross price changing. They would be getting an unproven pitcher with huge potential, a budding centerfielder whom we have ragged on here quite a bit, and a guy who spent a little time in AA but has great potential also. As far as I’m concerned, we know what we have in those guys, but to the Twins fanbase it would probably look like a huge risk if they will be losing Santana in the process. I doubt very much that the Twins back off this asking price very much, and yet, it is too steep. No way. I really want Hughes, for better or for worse, to have and ho—yiy, well, not like that. And A-Jax is our future CF solution…Olney is right about the expense to cover CF on top of paying for Santana has a huge factor here.

    What about Matsui, Cabrera, and IPK? Your “proven” guy would be Matsui and you have basically two strong prospects in Melky and Ian. And two years with Matsui isn’t too much to pay…

  • CJ

    Melky, Kennedy, Jackson and Horne for Johan and the Yanks don’t demand a window to negotiate an extension, take it or leave it. As for Matsui, first, the Twins don’t want him and more importantly, Matsui is gold mine for the Yankees opening the Japenese market. Matsui won’t be traded.

    • dan

      I’d give them that, but nothing more

  • Motown Yankees Fan

    Ben – how do we know Santana wants to come to the Yankees? I’ve seen that quote from Gardenhire (I think) about how he likes pitching on a big stage, but have there been other indications? I saw that quote and thought Fenway’s a big stage too (although that’s almost too awful to fathom).

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I don’t like both Melky and Ajax going in the same trade. I don’t like Hughes going at all…
    something along the lines of Melky plus IPK plus a few other lesser names….maybe.

  • Tano

    Nobody really knows whether Sanatana will continue to be as good as he has been, whether he will decline, or get injured.

    Nobody really knows how good Hughes will be, or whether Melky will develop further, or whether AJax will approach his high ceiling.

    Its all a crap shoot. The real question is what kind of a hand would you enjoy playing (sorry for the mixed metaphor).

    I say lets go with our own kids. I would have more fun waching and rooting for the development of these kids, than holding my breath hoping that one guy ages well.

    Even if you assume some version of a most-likely scenario for each of these players, I think we would almost certainly end up overpaying (in talent, to say nothing of money) for Santana. The only upside I see is the prospect of seeing his name penciled in for game 1 of the playoff series. But I am kinda dreaming of having that same confident feeding seeing Joba’s name there.

  • CB

    This trade proposal seems strange from the Twins perspective, particularly as an opening proposal.

    They have to ask for a major league ready, close to star status young player for Santana. Melky is a nice player, but not a star. Jackson is too far away. Also, are they really only asking for three young players for Santana? I’d guess they’d want at least 4.

    I can’t see the Twinsselling that trade to their fan base. They’re moving into a publicly funded ball park in a state that’s not a thriving economic center. To not demand a player like a Cano, Kemp, Reyes, etc would be tough. I could see them having to settle for a lesser package later on after the season has started. But before the Winter Meetings?

    I’d be surprised if high ceiling prospects with little major league experience would be enough.

    For the Yankees I also don’t like the deal. I would not trade Phil Hughes in this deal. From a practical stand point, they’d be trading him at the low point of his value – his hamstring/ ankle injuries really took the sheen off how some people see his value (yankee fans included). Comparisons with Joba have also made him seem like a “lesser” prospect.

    Second, is the issue of talent. In the ever critical new york market its been easy to forget how good a prospect he is. Santana’s best pitch is his change but he sets it up with his plus fast ball. As he loses velocity the distance between his fast ball and change will shrink and he may become less effective. This is what’s happened with Mussina. Don’t know when that will happen but it will at some point during the span of Santana’s next contract.

    If it were just a matter of money fine. But to make this kind of enormous deal you have to be absolutely certain that Santana will be better than Hughes for at least 5 of the 7 years of his extension (he’s going to get at least 7 years $140 – probably more). If Santana isn’t much better than hughes than losing players like Melky, Ajax, etc

    How certain can they be that Santana from ages 29 to 34 is going to be better than Hughes from 22 to 27?

  • RollingWave

    Agreed that Melky and Jackson in the same trade doesn’t make sense from the Yankee POV.

    though this is getting closer to an acceptable price. in truth, if the center is around Hughes i’m reluctant but willing to gamble.

    the truth is though, i just don’t see why the Twins are going to let their face of the frachise go without making a more legit attempt to resign him. i’m guessing that they’re just testing to see if someone will go completely nuts and blow them away with a ridiculas offer but intent to resign him.

    yes they need hitting help and yes they don’t have a lot of money, but they clearly arne’t the marlins and i would think they don’t want to be viewed like the Marlins. or they be playing in Puerto Rico in a few year too.

    Trading Nathan or Garza or Bonser for hitting makes so much more sense for them. they could try one of Garza Bonser and see if Dodgers will bite and give up something like Andre Either or Chin Lung Hu or lose their mind and give them Matt Kemp.

  • Chris

    I may be in the minority, but I think this is great news for the Yankees. I thought the initital offer would be much steeper. If I am the Yankees I try to keep hughes out of the deal – even if it means that they need to put in a fourth pitcher. As far as A Jax goes – I think Tabata projects better than he does.

    I think this report shows that the Twins are serious about trading Santana and are looking for a fair deal unlike the Marlins. I know everyone here loves AJAX but what if the Yankees could get this deal done without Hughes or even Kennedy. Horne has gotten great scouting reports lately. Would the Twins take a package of Horne, AJax, Melky and another strong prospect of their choice (Bettances, McCutchen, White, Sanchez, etc…Maybe wishful thinking on my part, but I certainly now think that a deal of Kennedy Melky AJa and a B level pitcher would get this done.

    You never know what AA numbers will translate into so I have to take the chance on giving Jackson especially since he is a couple of years away.

  • Joseph P.

    This point was just brought up to me: Regardless of an extension, the Yankees are paying for one year of Santana. Yes, the extension can be considered part and parcel of the deal, but when you break it down, it’s a matter of equity.

    It would be Hughes, Melky, Jackson, and $150 million for Santana. Sorry. Pass.

    • Travis G.

      good point.

      no to Hughes. in less than 5 years time, i truly believe he’ll be better than Santana (and entering his prime no less). we saw flashes of absolute brilliance from him (no-no in Texas, his run in September and October) – the YOUNGEST PITCHER IN MLB was a league avg. pitcher in the AL East! extremely impressive, not to mention everything else: the glowing scouting reports, the perfect pitcher’s build (better than Johan), mature beyond his years, and again, his youth. put Kennedy or Horne in place of Hughes and it’s a go. although the thought of Damon/Matsui in CF is scary (Gardner still hasn’t proven that he can hit at AAA). this is an opening bid so let the price come down.

  • brxbmrs


    If this is really what the Twins are asking for in November – it may be a sign that no other team is willing to give as much since Santana is going to be a big financial commitment.

    The other thing is maybe Santana has told the Twins he’s only interested in going to certain teams and if they can’t get a deal done by a certain time, he’ll go to FA. Who knows?

    Personally, I don’t want Santana – I don’t think he’s gonna be the lights out Ace everyone is expecting him to be and I’d like to see the Yanks start “negotiations” with Tampa for Kazmir and Baltimore for Bedard to see if they can rattle the Twins into taking less or possibly make a better trade.

    If it were really my call, I’d go into the year as is – Yanks have alot of young(er) arms to audition for the pen – I’d like to sort it all out in 08. with what we have and not add another 150 mil plus commitment to the Yanks.

    Why? B\C as has been pointed out here – the Yanks do print money and are spending it, the real problem is when many of these guys get hurt or suck or whatever – the Yanks succumb to a very “human” trait – they don’t cut their losses and move on – the clog the roster with guys who can only cash their paycheck and don’t move on – that’s why Pavano, Igawa, Giambi, Moose – all are still on this team.

    OT: I would try to see if Farns could be dealt as a closer to some desperate team as well – like to try and work a lesser deal for a young 1st baseman who can play good d and give us .275/.360/.450 – who knows, maybe we already have that in Betemit.

  • Chris

    i would love t see them unload Giambi. I remember a rumor last season that had the Angels interested in him and willing to give up Chone Figgins. I would love if that deal could be revisited. Figgins would look great at the top of the NY line-up giving them a much more balance approach.

    I also wonder if the Twins would wind up throwing a player in. Rincon interests me. He makes 2 million per year and was aweful last year with a 5.5 ERA. Before that he was great. Maybe Minny wants to unload that salary if they are getting back some low cost pitchers for the pen as part of the deal – Britton Ramirez etc.

    • brxbmrs

      I like Figgins alot as well – hard to believe the Angels would have made that deal. Figgins arm in CF is not near Melk’s but his speed, versatility and pestiness could be huge for us.

      I guess its just the way the schedule worked – and the Twins I’m sure wanted to match up Santana against division rivals (0-5 4.30+ era vs the Twins, 2 quality starts), but he only pitched 12 combined innings against the SOx and Yanks.

      Kazmir – over 53 and had an combined era of about 2.70 (almost identical against both teams)

      Bedard pitched 33 against both and had a 3.29 against Boston and a 1 something against us 21 ip, 3 walks 21 K’s.

      Just another reason to not give up the farm in November for Santana

  • CB

    The point Joseph P makes is really at the heart of the trade. To get santana any team has to literally trade talent and $150 million dollars to get him.

    No matter how good santana is that is a difficult deal to make for any team and impossible for most.

    Santana is ultimately going to call all of the shots here because of his no trade clause. He can veto any deal in which he’s not given exactly the type of extension he wants. If he doesn’t get it what’s the harm – he hits the market.

    Hopefully Santana’s contract demands will become the guiding issue in this deal and the talent requirements drop but the money becomes too difficult for any team but the yankees. If this plays out a bit like the ARod deal that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for the yankees.

    • kris

      I was listening to WFAN (the Moose?), and the host believes the Sox will be willing to part with Bucholtz and Lester. Unforunately, I can see the Twins accepting that.

      • dan

        I personally don’t see them letting Buchholz go, he’s becoming the symbol of the future, much like Phil and Joba are, and Wang and Cano were when they came up. Also, the Twins want hitting much more than they want pitching. Ellsbury would almost certainly go, and probably another player (not Pedroia, the Twins didn’t want a second baseman). I could see them asking for Lester, Ellsbury, and maybe Youkilis to play 3rd.

  • Jack NYY

    I don’t like giving up Hughes. Maybe this?

    Old- Hughes+Melky+Austin Jackson
    New- Kennedy+Damon+Tabata+Horne+Cash

    Consider that this demand is just the start it is expected to be nehotiated down a bit. Tabata is probably better than Jackson and adding in Horne shrinks the gap between Kennedy/Hughes and Damon/Melky

  • Chris

    Twins dont want damon no matter how much cash the yankees hthrow in. I think you may have something with Kennedy Horne Melky and Tabata.

    Is everyone here more high on Jackson then Tabata? Personally, I think Tabata has stud written all over him – look at the numbers he has ut up with a bum wrist and at such a young age. If the Twins want Jackson instead of Tabata, I am happy about it

  • Zack

    Everyone is basically oscillating between three arguments:
    1) Trading Melky and Hughes is fine, but throwing in A-Jax makes it too steep
    2) Trading A-Jax and Melky is fine but Hughes is a no-trade prospect
    3) Santana isn’t worth it, period.

    Obviously, all three are right and wrong. The first two are of course partially the result of Yankees bias. As others have pointed out, most other teams/fans would look at it the other way, as in, “They traded a proven, great pitcher for a bunch of question marks???

    As for Santana not being that good or not projecting to remain good, the dude is only 28 and has never shown any inclination towards injury. There isn’t any reason to expect him to decline in the next 5 years. By that time, the Yankees will have another corp of “potentially” great pitchers like Brackman, Bettences, Horne etc.

    And building on that, yes, Hughes might end up being the next coming of Johan Santana, and no one has been a bigger support of him than I, but on the other hand, that very may well take 5 years to happen, and it very may well not happen at all. If you demand that the Yanks go with a rotation with that many kids, you have to accept a few years of rough times.

    And part in parcel, are you willing to risk the Sox trading for Santana and throwing out a rotation of Beckett, Santana, Dice-K, and either Lester or Buccholz while the Yanks continue to rebuild? I’m not saying I fall either way of the trade, but you have to realize that there is no guarantee what so ever that Santana reaches free-agency, in fact, I would put lots of $ on it never happening. And you also have to realize that Santana could very well put them over the top for the next 5 years…

    There is a lot to consider, and it is in no ways as easy as: Hughes can’t be traded period. Or, Santana isn’t worth it…

    • steve (different one)

      There isn’t any reason to expect him to decline in the next 5 years.

      there isn’t?

      there is one pretty big reason to expect some decline: every year he gets 1 year older.

      • zack

        But from 28-32, Santana will be at his PEAK, so if anything he might be better next season. After 32 a decrease would be the norm, but between those years you expect solid, consistent production

        • steve (different one)

          well, his age 28 season was 2007. so now we are talking about 29-32. he is already signed through 2008 and wants a 6 year extension on top of that.

          so what should we expect, half of his contract will be worth it?

  • Chris

    Push comes to shove you put Hughes in the deal. To me the AJax Melky combo has no effect on me as it is a given. My only hope is that they can get the Twins down on the players but my first reaction when I saw Gammons report was – push comes to shove I do it. Hughes may be great – Santana is great. Huge difference.

    Also, this talk of injury rish I dont get. He didnt become a full time starter until age 24 so if anything – Hughes at age 28 will have far more miles on his arm than Santana

    • steve (different one)

      Hughes may be great – Santana is great. Huge difference

      probably. but there is also about $100M on the Hughes side of the ledger. everyone keeps ignoring that.

      and it’s probably more than that. if you also include Jackson or Melky, you have to pay a FA to play CF too.

      at what point does the money become a dealbreaker, $150M?

      Hughes at age 28 will have far more miles on his arm than Santana

      this is a pretty terrible argument as Hughes won’t be 28 for another 6 seasons.

    • JP

      I don’t think Hughes started pitching until his Sophomore year in high school. He doesn’t have that many miles on his arm.

  • Mike

    1. No deal. Yanks don’t need Santana.

    2. Olney and Gammons are wrong about everything. I don’t pay attention much to what they say.

    • zack

      That is also true. Although, Oleny was dead on with the Torre stuff wasn’t he? Or did I make that up?

      • Giuseppe Franco

        Olney did predict Girardi would be the next Yankee manager the day after Torre left when most everyone else in the media thought it was going to be Mattingly.

  • Chris

    You are right – money has aways been a concern for the yankees. If you are worried about payroll flexibility – remember they will still have 2 kids left, wang is under control for a couple more years, the bullpen will have kids in it, and they lose 60 million off the payroll next year.

    Would Mike Cameron be that much of a downgrade from melky? He would cost them 1-2 million most likely.

    This guy is the best pitcher in MLB is only 28 years old and will anchor this staff for the next 5 or 6 years. From everything I read you would think Hughes has won 2 cy youngs )or at least pithed a full season) and Santana was 35 years old.

    dont get me wrong – i want to keep hughes and hope they can swing a deal, but I am not going to let a “could be a good pitcher” stop e from getting a “could be hall of famer”

    this is the yankees – money is not as big a concern for them as a normal team and with 2/5 of the rotation making the league minimum I think they can afford Johan. What exacty did the rotation cost last season?

  • Chofo

    I guess he meant to say that Hughes at 28 will have far more miles on his arm than Santana at 28, wich he is right now

    • steve (different one)

      i get that. i just don’t see why it’s relevant. we’re not trading the age 28 Phil Hughes. we’re trading age 21 Phil Hughes.

  • Chip

    Yes, Hughes may have more miles on his arm than Johan by the age of 21 but those miles would be put on by pitching for the Yankees. So I’d say those miles are more than well worth it. I seriously don’t even consider the deal if Joba or Hughes is in this. If the Yankees lose out to Boston, I think they end up better in the long run. You can all consider me crazy but in 3 years I’ll take a rotation of Hughes, Joba, Wang, Kennedy over a rotation of Beckett, Santana, Dice-K and whoever they have left after trading both Buckholtz and Lester to the Twins.

    Also keep in mind that the Yankees still have an incredibly cheap rotation compared with the Twins with everybody still in arbitration years except for Wang. I intentionally kept a fifth pitcher off of the Yankees because the increased payroll flexibility would allow for a blockbuster deal for a Peavy, Sabathia, Kazmir, ect. If my math is right, those three would hit free agency by that time. And then you consider that the Yankees could run out Ajax, Melky and Tabata for an outfield with the greatest hitter on the planet playing third and I take it.

    Cashman realizes the great spot the Yankees are in right now and would be absolutely foolish to give up that vision just as it’s starting to materialize

    • Chip

      And of course by age 21 I mean age 28

  • Matt

    I think its laughable that we would expect Santana to wait a year to play for the Yanks. WHy does he want to play for the Yanks so bad? Who actually knows this? Even if he does, why would be so loyal to the Yanks and screw the team he has been a part of for many years. That’s crazy. I would offer Kennedy, Melky, and Jackson if I were the Yanks. Maybe throw in one other lesser prospect. How does Santana, Wang, Chamberlain, Hughes, and maybe Petitte sound? Gardner, Duncan or Tabata could be our fourth outfielder and we wouldn’t miss a beat. Plus, I believe we are a much better team with Damon in the lineup more.

    • dan

      Tabata as the 4th outfielder would obviously not work, he’s never seen a AA curveball. But subbing IPK for Hughes and then adding in a prospect of their choice definitely makes the most sense. I’m sure the twins can find something in this system they like enough to replace the drop off between Kennedy and Hughes.

  • dan

    Buster Olney left me a voicemail saying that a Phil Hughes #65 plaque is a good fit for Monument Park.

  • Malcard89

    I think you cant make this trade, not only because its two centerfielders we’re giving away, but Hughes means too much to this organization. Hughes was the crown jewel of our system since the day he was drafted, and he had never recieved any negative remarks from any scouts all the way to his acension to the majors. He had/has it all, control, plus secondary pitches, poise, and lets not forget he was great in the 2007 postseason. To trade him away would be reverting back to trading youth for high priced superstars who are most likely headed for a decline phase. Of course this is Santana, the best pitcher in baseball, but lets not forget Hughes was touted to be our #1 starter by every scout in baseball until his injuries, so he can be just as good at a fraction of the cost. if he isnt, we still have a solid pitcher along with a decent centerfielder and a high ceiling one waiting to take over. This is actually a sensible trade in that its dead even in terms of what each team gets, but i would rather stick with the youth like we have been recently.

  • waswhining

    The curious part of this is that Gammons has the Yankees giving up Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and Austin Jackson in a package for Johan Santana but when it comes to the Sawks all we here is Buchholz and Lester? What the Yankees are going to give up only has to better than what the Dodgers and Sawks are willing to give up. Gammons has the Yanks giving up so much more than that, it’s silly. We’ve got A and B class pitchers who far exceed Buccholz and Lester. Buccholz does not equal Hughes.

    Try Betances, Sanchez, Horne or Brackman; no way do the Yanks have to deal Hughes or IPK. Until I hear a better package being advanced by the competitors, these rumoured “deals” make no sense.

    • SG

      Buccholz and Hughes are rated pretty similarly by all scouting reports I have read, some even have Buccholz rated higher. If the Red Sox were to give up him and Ellisbury, along with a lower level prospect or two, that’d be a pretty decent haul given what Gammons says the Twins are looking for from the Yankees.

      On a side note, I think that Buccholz and Lester are similar in value to Hughes and IPK.

  • Malcard89

    well now ur underrating buchholz and lester. baseball america has buchholz pegged as being very similar to joba in terms of their dominance of the minors, plus his 3rd pitch is better at the moment, although joba has more upside because his fastball is faster. but i also remember from a baseball america chat where someone asked what buchholz’s upside was and i think jim callis responded “#1 starter. pure dominant ace.” lester will not be as good as hughes, but he should be a solid #3-4. so with the yankees its a #1/#2 starter plus 2 centerfielders, and with the sox its one #1/#2 starter plus a #3 starter. considering the value of starting pitchers in baseball now, the sox’s decision isnt all that easy either. and the dodgers have to start any package with clayton kershaw, who scouts are drooling over non-stop (he’s probably the best pitching prospect in baseball if not for joba and clay’s already being at the major league level) and may himself be the next johan santana, plus maybe matt kemp and/or their power hitting infielders loney or laroche. make no mistake, the Twins arent dumb, they’ll take the best package available, and those other ones are quite close to the what the Yankees have to offer.

    • Malcard89

      my comment was in response to waswhining, not SG, sry about that

    • zack

      Buccholz compares way closer to Hughes in terms of pitches, velocity etc. Joba is an entirely different pitcher, despite what reports might say about their potential. Both Clay and Hughes throw about the same velocity–Buchholz has a broader variety of pitches, Hughes has far better control.

      Lester, on the other hand, has NEVER shown anything to suggest he is capable of being more than league average. Minors through majors…

      I don’t see Buccholz and Lester getting it done for the Sox simply b/c the Twinkies don’t want pitching. It would have to be Buchholz and Ellsbury, or Lester, Ellsbury, and someone else methinks…

    • waswhining

      I don’t think either hughes, buccholz or ellsbury will be part of a trade. I also think the Yankees evaluate IPK higher than Lester, to the extent they will not surrender him in a trade. I plead guilty to underrating sawks players; but a half dozen big league games does not make much of a presence, so I would compare buccholz to IPK not hughes. Hughes was awesome last year, working his way back from injury in pressure cooker starts.

      Commented elsewhere, the twinkies think they are superior evaluators of minor league talent and will come up with a couple of names like our level B or C type players. Rather than three bigger names I look for melky + 3 b level prospects.

      As long as Santana is not on the mound in Fenway Park or the sawks have traded away Buccholz or Ellsbury, I will be happy. I am much more intrigued by how dan haren or scot kazmir will be affected by all this. billy beane likes trading for several propects and I think the raze would also be tempted as well. I’d rather make those kind of deals.

      The thing that queers all of this is whether Hank “I know horses.” sees this as some kind of referendum on his first year of active bb management. Recent Ca$hman has been able to not pull the trigger on several trades, Gagne So there might be a “Get me Santana” element in this that throws caution to the winds and puts Hughes or IPK out there. I hope not. We are going to need another #1 or #2 starter, Wang is a borderline #2 but not a stopper as he showed last year. Andy is always a question mark, although he was our stopper last year. The idea is to build on the andy/wang/hughes/joba/IPK rotation because there are too many question marks for that to last all year. And if andy is not in that group then you definitly have to come up with someone.

      did anyone see the dodger/matsui trade over at nomaas? I’d rather make that and generate those trading chips. I think the santana deal may start to cause all kinds of ripple effects. I wonder how many Yankees Joe Torre may take off our hands.

  • …..

    This is an absolute steal for the Yankees. The Twins get Austin Jackson who was in Tampa last year, A average offensive CF in Melky, and a top prospect in Phil; while the Yankees get the best pitcher in the game. I’m actually surprised the Twins didn’t ask for Tabata instead of Ajax, anyways money is no object to the Yankees, so that’s not even an argument, and while Hughes may regain his velocity, it has yet to be seen whether is changeup will improve or he’ll ever be better than Johan is, which is very doubtful as Johan is the best there is. I’m not high on Melky either. Defensively he’s awesome, but ultimately he’s replacable. I’m happy the Twins want Ajax instead of Tabata because Tabata in my eyes is the superior prospect. I’m not sure what you guys are all against this for, you can’t trade shit to get top talent. Again, the Twins get an outfielder who may never reach the bigs, a defensive outfielder who is merely average offensively, and a top pitching prospect (which the Yankees seem to have tons of) who will likely never be as good as Johan.

  • Bart

    Olney has a column and a paycheck – but he is not the sharpest tool in the shed

    Make this deal today as it stands if need be – but I would try to improve the Yankees end

    I would offer Wang instead of Hughes and Damon and eat part of the paycheck instead of Jackson.

    I really want to keep Gardner and Jackson and would rather have Hughes than Wang

    But if I feel the twins moving away – I make this deal

    – over the next 5 years no way is Hughes equal to Santan – especially in Yankee Stadium

    — If Hughes proves out in 5 years he wil be too expensive for the Twins and the Yankees can get him back

    • brxbmrs


      To think the Twins would want a broken down Johnny Damon and want to deal with Wang in arbitration is just naive – how much are the Yanks going to send? 15 mil? The Twins don’t want to pay ANYTHING, especially to Damon.

      Its iffy if Selig allows a big chunk of $ to change hands in a deal like that as well.

      Wang won 38 games in the regular season and threw 400+ innings the last two – Hughes still has to prove he can stay healthy and go deep into games as a starter. Wang has alot of value to a team who will pay him – not the Twins, but he also has alot of value to us.

      I like Hughes, but lets be realistic here – the reason to not want Santana is he’s had a down year, has alot of innings, is going to make over 20 mil a year AND you are going to have to give up alot of top young talent.

      As for wanting Gardner – the guy hit 1 HR in the minors over the last two seasons and he’s got an average arm in cf – I’m interested to see what he can do, but he’s not a key part of any major league team. He’s a true 4th ofer.

      Hughes, Ajax and Gardner for Santana would be a steal for the Yanks – you’ve got two ofers who may never be ml players and a high ceiling rher who showed both alot of promise as well as some flaws – deep counts, ho hum fb at times, hammy.

      Also that deal would be great for the Yanks as you aren’t turning the ml roster over at all – i.e. don’t have to find a new cfer or 2nd baseman – which btw are the only two positions we have + defense at right now. (maybe you make a case for Jorge being +D with his arm).

  • Chip

    The thing everybody seems to for get is that the difference in Hughes and Sanatana is about 160 million (or about 250 million if you hadd the luxury tax). I don’t care if you’re the Yankees, that’s a LOT of money. Plus, you can’t tell me for sure that Hughes won’t be as good as Santana in the next 5 years. I give them Kennedy or Wang (not both) and try to have the dream rotation of Hughes/Joba/Santana. If it costs us Melky/Ajax/Kennedy plus a throw-in, I’m all for it

  • brxbmrs


    I don’t want Santana period – but Hughes is never going to be left handed and he’s gonna have to figure a way to go deep into games.

    Once Santana got his feet wet and they made him a f-t starter, his stats were pretty devastating – I doubt Hughes is going to be what he was – sub 3 era, over a k per inning.

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