Olney backs Santana – Sox rumor

Johnny Damon would like to take his pants off
Save The Big Three (again)

Remember that source I lampooned a bit this morning? Well, now Buster Olney is reporting it, too. He mentions the same players from this morning, only Michael Bowden as a possible replacement for Justin Masterson.

It is also possible, as the rival Yankees and the Red Sox simultaneously engage Minnesota in discussions for Santana, that the Red Sox could go to the brink of a deal in order to push the Yankees to go high in their offer as well, like two competing bidders at an auction. The Yankees, who have been involved in regular conversation with the Twins about Santana this week, may be doing the same thing — trying to push the price high for Boston.

Here’s to hoping that’s Boston’s strategy. Here’s to further hoping the Yanks don’t take the bait.

Update by Ben: Just something to keep in mind: This is the Red Sox equivalent of the story that the Yanks and Twins had entered into preliminary talks. For the Yanks, the keyword was “preliminary,” and for the Red Sox, the keyword is “framework.” It’s all the same stuff, folks. These are just initial discussions. We shouldn’t get too worked up by it. These rumors will increase before a trade happens. Nothing is imminent.

Johnny Damon would like to take his pants off
Save The Big Three (again)
  • Stephen

    I honestly think that the Yankees could top that deal pretty easily, possibly without sending Hughes. I can’t say I know a ton about Lowrie or Bowden but it seems to me that Melky is a good deal more valuable than Crisp, IPK and Lester seem to be about equal, in my eyes, Lester may have a more proven track record but I would give IPK the nod for future development. Then the Yanks could come up with some solid position players to fill the rest of the void. If the Yanks were to include Hughes it would be a done deal. I really don’t see how the Twins could deal Santana to the Sox without getting one of their big three (Bucholz, Pedroia, Ellsbury.)

    • nmc

      Good point. I really don’t understand why the Twins are rumored to have either Cano or Hughes as the “Centerpiece” or “starting point” but Buchholz and Pedroia are never mentioned. They don’t even have to be deemed “untouchable” because they’re never even discussed. If Minny wants a 2B or top-flight SP from the Yanks, why not the Red Sox?

      In light of this, I call bullshit here. Santana to the Sox for this is not happening. Its a rumor leaked by either the Sox or the Twins to get the Yankees to offer more.

  • Aaron

    I have fortune (or misfortune depending on your viewpoint) of being a lifelong Yankee fan living just outside of Boston. I read the local papers and have seen the team’s minor leaguers in action live on many occasions. From those experiences, it sounds to me like the Twins would be better served insisting on Masterson in any deal for Santana. Having been drafted higher, Bowden carries the bigger name value but Masterson has been much more consistent over his brief minor league career thus far as Bowden ran into some control problems upon his promotion to Double A.

    In terms of what this deal boils down to, acquiring Crisp/Lester/Masterson is the equivalent (in my opinion) to Cabrera/Kennedy/Horne. I don’t think that’ll be enough though as none of them are what could be considered “big name” prospects. Cabrera is better than Crisp in terms of potential and long-term career success. Kennedy has more upside than Lester.

    The tipping point may be the inclusion of Jed Lowrie by the Red Sox because he’s a top infield prospect. He’s consistent defensively, can get the bat on the ball, and has shown to be a good clubhouse guy. I can’t think of anyone who’d compare from within the Yankee system.

  • zack

    I really fail to see how this package is better than a Kennedy, Melky Horne, Tabata package. Crisp was WORSE than Melky and is WAY more expensive with no upside. Lester might be better than Kennedy, but not by much and his track record in the majors is actually not very good. Bowden is further away than Horne. Lowrie is a decent prospect, but tabata has way more upside.

    I suppose the difference is that Minn is looking for a SS, but if the Yanks threw in Gonzalez, would that really be a loss for us?

    TO me, its a combination of ratcheting up the price and the continuation of the league somehow grossly overvaluing Sox prospects and allowing them to get away with shit like this

    • steve (different one)

      the problem is that the yankees would have to BEAT the sox proposal, not just match it. o/w maybe the twins simply want the left hander instead of the right hander. then it’s out of the yankees’ hands.

      that means Hughes has to be subbed for Kennedy.

      and Albert Gonzalez does not match up with Lowrie, unfortunately. it would have to be a better prospect.

      that just got REALLY uncomfortable for the yankees.

  • zack

    Oh, and one more, if I am Cash et al, I don’t blink here. Stick to your guns and if Minn is that set on getting a lesser package, so be it. Let the Sox payroll continue to skyrocket. If Minn really demands Hughes from the Yanks but is willing to allow the Sox to not include the Felon, than F that

    • Pfistyunc

      You seem to imply that the Sox’s increasing payroll will have some negative effect on them. They have almost as much financial strength as the Yankees and thus should equally not give a shit about their payroll.

      • zack

        The negative is mostly a moralistic one, in that the Sox will have the same payroll as the yanks at that point…

        • Pfistyunc

          That is a great thing in my book since it will shut them up about the Evil Empire, etc. God, I hate that fucking town.

  • Stephen

    While I’m not in favor of trading away the farm, especially not in the name of blocking the Sox from landing somebody, it would really piss me off if the Twins made this deal. It seems to me to be the exact same deal that the Yankees could make, maybe even just a little watered down.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      If this deal gets made with the Red Sox, it’s because the Yanks didn’t want to include certain players and weren’t willing to top it. The Red Sox are giving up a very large amount of talent to make this deal. In terms of comparable packages, it’s basically a wash between the Red Sox and the Yankees.

      Remember: This is for one year of Johan Santana. For the Sox to then sign Santana now and Beckett in a few years, they will have an astronomical payroll.

      • http://mybaseballbias.com JMM


        No matter what Larry Lucchino says about being nothing like the Yankees when it comes to payroll, I doubt they would have a problem paying Santana $150 million and re-signing Beckett in a few years. There MO is now beating the Yankees in any way they can. If that means having the highest payroll, so be it. I don’t think it’s an issue anymore.

      • http://mybaseballbias.com JMM

        I meant “their”, not “there” of course.

  • keith

    I dunno, the other day the ESPN headlines were:


    This doesn’t seem all that different.

  • Pinstripeglory

    I don’t understand the Twins thinking, I’d rather have Kennedy than Lester – any day of the week. And Melky is cheaper than Coco. I have a feeling this thing is going back and forth, and the Twins are driving up the price. (I don’t blame them) Let’s hope the 3 we keep have the goods….and hope if Santana becomes a Sox he has a quick decline in skills, and Beckett gets blisters all year. :-) If not its gonna be along season going against Beckett- Santana.

    • CB

      Lester’s left handed. It could be something as simple as that.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Lester’s a lefthander and has better pure stuff, IPK has been more durable (although you can’t hold cancer against Lester) and has better command. If you put these two players in a vacuum and didn’t know their names or their organization, you take a lefty everytime.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Maybe Lucchino will knock off all that “underdog” bullshit if they trade for Santana. God that man needs a smack.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    outside of speed, Crisp sucks! this would be a steal for Boston. i dont want the Yanks to top it just to block the Sawx though. this could simply be the Twins/Sawx driving up the price for us.

  • Ron

    My concern is that if the Sux land Santana, Cash will feel compelled to get Haren. No prob there, as Haren is 2 years younger. The problem is that Beane is a better GM than Theo, and knowing that Cash is desperate, he will fleece him for a package of Hughes and more.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      If there’s one thing we’ve learning about Cashman, it’s that he won’t rush into anything. He’ll wait out this Santana situation just like he waited out Damon, Beltran, A-Rod, etc. I can’t see Cash over-racted and trading Hughes + others for Haren.

      • Ron

        I sure hope you’re right. I want to see #65 in the Bronx next year, but I don’t have a good feeling.

      • Pfistyunc

        Uh, what about Kei Igawa? That was a textbook reactionary move.

  • zack

    Its funny also how ESPN once again continues to feed the Sox. For the Yanks it was Preliminary as Ben points out, but for the sox its Framework, and close etc…

  • tony from the bronx

    How is the Bosox package better?Lester is a good not great prospect.Masterson projects as a middle reliver tops.Lowrie is a good prospect.Bowden cant repeat his delivery and has not been able to throw strikes.IPK has had a better career every step of the way thenLester.People forget how good IPK was his frist yrs at USC.He hods most of there pitching records including Mark Prior.I believe IPK is going to be more then a #3.Like most of the posts I would not trade for Santanna.WE would be paying twice. Players and then an extension at 25 mil per for a pitcher.Let Boston do the deal.I am happy going into 2008 with the big 3

    • Ron

      From your mouth to God’s ears.

  • zack

    Anyone been following the Bobcat poster at LoHud? Some guy who at least claims to be an insider and certainly posts like one. In any case, every update of his is good news for the Yanks as he seems to indicate that the Twins have basically already accepted a few packages from the Yanks and are just trying to get more, and he also seems to indicate that it might not include Hughes.

    But fo course, I am highly suspicious of such “insiders”

    • Jersey

      I’ve been following that guy’s post. He posted his profession once…I forget exactly, but I believe he claimed to work at a consulting firm that analyzes the MLB player finances/contracts/etc for the teams? Sounded almost like risk assessment from a financial/performance perspective, unless my memory is off.

      I’m taking everything with a grain of salt, but he does seem to have a good bit of insight, whoever he is.

    • Stephen

      From now on I’m going to preface every statement I make by calling myself an “insider” just to add a little weight to my opinions.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Heh, seriously. The first thing I thought of was that scene in Dumb and Dumber when Jim Carey is running through the airport and when the security guard stops him he yells “it’s okay, I’m a limo driver!”

        I should totally start doing that. “It’s okay, I’m an insider!”

  • kunaldo

    i’m skeptical of bobcat too…but i mean, he has been on point, so i guess until he’s wrong we can be cautiously acceptive of what he brings to the table…

  • http://memotosteinbrenner.blogspot.com BillyBalla

    By the way, why are we overbidding? With the Red Sox and the Yankees again doing battle, but this time during the hot stove upcoming week, why is it that all we hear is that the Yankees are going to have to include Phillip Hughes in any deal for Santana. The Red Sox have publicly stated that they will not include Ellsbury and Bucholz. The Mets have recently stated that Jose Reyes will not be included in any deal. Why isn’t Hughes listed as an untouchable along with Joba? If the Red Sox are offering Coco Crisp, Jon Lester, Masterson, and another prospect and the Mets are offering Lastings Milledge (more like baggage), Mike Pelfry, and a Chris Gomez why are we even considering putting Hughes in this deal.

    I consider Hughes and Joba 1a and 1b. Hughes is a big kid who is still only 21 years old. He is still developing and you cannot discount his easy fluid motion that was bringing 95 mph heat in the minors. I do realize that he was throwing 91-91 mph on the big stage but this is a kid that was on the DL for most of the season and had to start it up all over again. He is still developing people and at worse he is a very good #2 starter for years to come. What are the Red Sox offering? Lester is at best a number 3. Masterson has potential but not ace potential like Hughes. Coco Crisp, are you kidding me, the Red Sox want to give him away. What are the Mets offering? Milledge who has not endeared himself with his teamates. He is a headache! Pelfry is either not ready or just not that good as was evident when he was called up. Maybe one day he becomes a #2 starter at best. Chris Gomez has a big ceiling but he still yet to develop as a hitter. He has the tools but tools are just that for positional players. Why not make Hughes our untouchable? If he would have thrown that no hitter before he pulled his hamstring would that have made a difference? Bucholz throws a no hitter and the Red Sox declared him untouchable meanwhile he was ranked below Hughes in the minors as Hughes was ranked the 2 best prospect behind the Royals 3rd baseman Gordon. The Yankees should stand tough and not let the twins bait them into trading the farm away. It is widely known that the Twins make good deals for themselves going back to Ryan, there last GM.

    I say offering Kennedy (who is a better prospect that Bowden or Masterson put together) who may one day be a very good #2 starter at best and a #3 at worse. Also throw in Melky whom the Twins have high regard for as he was once compared to Kirby Puckett with his skill set. Lastly thrown in an Alan Horne whom was ranked the best double A pitcher for 2007. He has electric stuff. Do not give them Tabata or Jackson. Do not give them Betances. Hold onto our future. The Red Sox certainly intend to and the Mets have no real weapons to dangle without adding Reyes to the trade. So why are we outbidding ourselves and letting Red Sox fans and Mets fans hope that we trade away the farm for one player so they won’t have to worry about a potential dynasty again emerging. Can you imagine if Santana, a smallish lefty does break down after we trade all those chips, and then we watch the Twins with Morneau, Delvin Young, Maier, Melky, Austin Jackson, Tabata, and Hughes light it up in the central. We will be a team with aging overpayed stars with a bleak future if we give in to there demands and sell the farm. I hope Hank reads this! Go to memotosteinbrenner.blogspot.com and vote on these issues and all Yankee issues. By the way, enough with Yankee Universe, we are not the Red Sox with there Red Sox nation crap, we are better than that we are the New York Yankees (period).

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Melky was compared to Kirby Puckett? That’s certainly the first time I’ve heard that.

  • http://memotosteinbrenner.blogspot.com BillyBalla

    One last note to all Red Sox fans, look up Kennedys numbers and than tell me a Bowden or Masterson is comparable. Yes, Lester is a lefty, that is why he projects as a #3 at best. Don’t try and tell us he has more to offer than Kennedy. Lester was a marginal prospect at best until 2 years ago. Every system overates its prospects, we all know that. But Kennedy has more upside than all 3 of those pitchers. Now add in Horne who was the double A pitcher of the year and he by the way has ace like potential as his stuff has been compared to Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. He has a nasty splitter that hits 95 mph. The infielder Lowry for the Red Sox had a good glove and gets wood on ball but is he a top level prospect? We throw in Melky, and deal should be done. I’m not even gonna mention Coco Crisp as that is a joke.

  • http://memotosteinbrenner.blogspot.com BillyBalla

    Believe it or not. Melky was once compared based on his ability to a Kirby Puckett. He is not the fastest, but fast enough. He has an excellent arm and very good range. Has a solid bat that makes contact. Hasn’t developed the power yet and needs to go along way to hit like Kirby, but man, he is really built like him. Makes you laugh right. I would take half of kirby from Melk. But remember he is still only 22 years old. He has time.

  • NYYank55

    With all this talk about who matches up with the Twins best has anyone figured it out yet that no deal will happen unless Santana wants it to happen? He is the one who holds the cards with the no trade clause. He will go where he wants to go. My bet is he wants to be a Yankee or he’ll wait until he hits free agency next year. The remarks made today by Posada make me wonder if he knows something we don’t. Posada had nothing but praise for Santana after he caught him in the All Star game. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Damon + cash + IPK +Horne =Santana. The Twins have no leverage. Period. Case closed.

    • Stephen

      Why would the Twins want Damon? Even if the Yanks agreed to chip in for a big part of his contract I would still imagine that Melky has more value to them than an aging and banged up Damon.

      • NYYank55


  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G

    For all those complaining why the Yankees havent considered Hughes an untouchable its because like BOS, the Yanks have labeled two of their guys untouchables in Robbie Cano and Joba Chamberlain. As to Lester Ive always heard (although from Boston fan Peter Gammons) that when Lester/Papelbon was in the farm they were considered 1A and 1B in the Sawkz organization. So if thats true and Twins expect him to regain the velocity and realize his potential I would have to assume that makes him a better guy to acquire than IPK.

    I dont believe the Twins will make a deal with the Sawkz w/o Ellsbury being the co-centerpiece along with Lester. Maybe that will change if Boston were to put in Bucholz but like I said he’s an untouchable. Same with the Yanks, I dont think the Twinkies would make a deal without getting Hughes and honestly, if you were a Twins fan would you be happy with any proposal that does not include Ellsbury or Hughes coming to the Twin Cities? There was a topic here that told us to put ourselves in the shoes of the other team’s fans, so think about it…as a Minny fan why in the hell would you want a package centered around IPK/Cabrera in a return for the greatest pitcher in the game right now.

  • casey

    Is it just me, or might it actually not be a bad thing for us to sit and watch while the Sox tie up $150M or more on Santana? That would make a total of around $275M committed to a mediocre import in Dice-K, and a former great in Johan. Santana will not be the best pitcher in baseball for more than 2 more years, 3 tops. Jake Peavy is well on the way to eclipsing him as Peavy enters his prime. That’s not even taking into account Johan’s statistical dip in the past 4 years. Barry Zito also entered free agency on that kind of slide; he won a Cy Young too, how’s that working out for San Fran? Johan obviously is better than Zito ever was, but that is not the kind of stat trend you want to see from a soon to be 29 year old looking for a contract that will pay him through 2015.

    That’s the argument against trading for him BEFORE you even get to talking about giving up Hughes and Melky+. The choice is clear: DONT DO IT.

    • NYYank55

      Agreed, I wish they would make this the best trade never made. Sort of reminds me of Gagne last year. Let the Sawx have him.

  • http://memotosteinbrenner.blogspot.com BillyBalla

    Jamal G talks of Lester being a better prospect than IPK if he regains his velocity. Lester has 2 good pitches and 1 mediocre pitch. IPK has 4 good pitches that he is able to control. Jamal you talk as if IPK is not enough to add in the trade but compare his numbers to your Bucholz and if he were a Sawk they would be 1a and 1b. Lester would be 2. Hughes right now is a notch above both of them based on his stuff and potential. If I had to choose I would give Bucholz the slight nod over IPK, but they are still 1a and 1b. IPK, Melk, and another prospect such as Horne should be more than enough. By the way, if Horne were on the Red Sawx he would pbobably right now be 2a and Lester would be 2b.

  • Pinstripeglory

    Cashman seems to be a levelheaded GM, it the Sox wanna pay $150 million for him over 6 years let them, what does Beckett get when his deal runs out and Santana is only halfway through his?

    Over at mlbtraderumors.com the following link to a boston article was posted:


    Now the Yanks are supposedly considering Cano. Just say No. It seems the winner could end up with an unmoveable contract in the end. I’d love to have Santana, but if it means emptying the farm system for one trade – then I’d have to pass.

    • Giuseppe Franco

      I don’t believe that BS for a second. The Yanks aren’t parting with Cano or Joba no matter what.

      Let Santana go to Boston and give up their best young players in return.

      The Yanks will start hitting him just like they did with Pedro, Beckett, and Schilling over the years.

      It’s wouldn’t be the end of the world and the Sox wouldn’t own the AL East the next several years as desperate and reactionary Yankee fans would want the rest of us to believe.

      Personally, I think Santana is going to end up in pinstripes before it’s all said and done – although I’m against the move entirely if it involves Hughes going to MIN.

  • LiveFromNewYork


  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G

    Our boy Chad Jennings seems to be backing the Sawkz offer as the better one with a package of Lester/Lowrie/Bowden/Crisp over IPK/Cabrera/Jackson/Tabata.


    …Not good to hear.

  • http://mrsteinbrenner.blogspot.com BillyBalla

    That’s funny, since I feel could take out Tabata and the Yankees deal would still be better. Ask yourself reasonably, why would the twins want Crisp aside of the small investment left on him. The twins want a better package to sell to there fans. Coco Crisp ain’t gonna do it Jamal. Lester, with no disrespect to you Sawk fans is like I stated earlier at best a number 3. Lowry is not a superstar in the making. He’s not your next Jose Reyes, or Hanley Ramirez. Too me it sounds like he is your next David Ekstein, which is not awful but not what Santana is worth. Masterson is not close to being an IPK, neither is Lester for that matter. So your boy Chad Jennings can spew whatever he wants. If the Sawx get him with that package than you guys stole him and good for you. That would once again show the bias the league holds for the Yankees as teams look to pilfer the Yankees for all there prospects meanwhile the Sox can get an ace with that offer. I say take it and run. All In know is IPK, Melky, Jackson, and Tabata is too much. Anyways they want pitching prospects since they just traded for 2 outfielders so I don’t belive the Yankees would be offering these players. It would be more like Melky, IPK, and Horne.
    I would not make Cano an untouchable, I would consider trading him and Melky with a marginal prospect like a J.B. Cox for Santana. If Cano was a 5 tool prospect with speed that can steal you 30+ bases I would say make him untouchable, but he is not. We do have players with these tools in the lower minors that we do not know if they will develop but there is always that chance. The reason I would do this trade would be 1- to keep the big 3 of course and 2- to move Jeter to 2nd base and sure up our defense. That move is inevitable if Jeter is going to retire a Yankee. I am hearing now that the Twins would consider moving there 2nd baseman who is a natural ss to short which would make sense that Cano would be dealt there. I know many in this forum feel Cano is untouchable but I feel that Jeter cannot stay on ss for too many more years and 1st isn’t an option either. Cano’s defense is replaceable and while he projects as a number 3 hitter in many lineups, I feel having a 2nd baseman that can steal 20+ bases and move runners over while playing a solid 2nd base is more important. Getting a SS that can play gold glove defense is just as important as pitching and defense wins in the playoffs. Cano can be replaced, but these pitchers like the big 3 and Horne, Betances, and the others following cannot. Keep the big 3 and trade Cano and Melk with a J.B. Cox!