Twins want offers to start with Cano

A fielding stat against Melky
Hip, hip, new contract?

If the Yanks want to grab Johan Santana from the Twins, they’ll have to be prepared to give up an arm and a leg. Reports in Yankeeland say that the Twins want the offer for their lefty stud to start with Roninson Cano and one of the Yanks’ Big Three pitchers. I’ll update this post with more info later, but let me just say that the Twins’ early demands sound much too steep.

Update 9:48 p.m.: Now that I’m home, let me flush this out a bit.

The story came to us via this Ken Davidoff article. Davidoff reports that an official close to the Twins believes any trade offer will have to start with Robinson Cano. Jim Baumbach speculates that the offer would have to include Cano plus a top-flight pitcher. Furthermore, Davidoff says that a package of Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and other prospects wouldn’t be enough to land Santana.

There’s a lot to unpack here.

First, Robinson Cano. As many of you already have noted in the comments, this is simply an example of the Twins throwing out an opening bid through the media. As others have said, Cano is arguably one of the best players on the Yankees right now. As a young second baseman with a career average of .314 and a career OPS of .835, this kid has a ton of value, and he’s nearly irreplaceable on the field and in the lineup. The Yankees should not give up Cano for anything really. I’d consider to be the one untouchable in the Yanks’ current lineup.

Second, the package deal. The Yankees certainly shouldn’t give up Cano and others for Sanatan. There’s no need to explain this one.

Finally, the Phil Hughes+Melky Cabrera deal. As skeptical as we are of Melky, trading Hughes and Melky for one year of Johan Santana is simply insane. The Yanks have Hughes for five more years, and Melky for four. Basically, they have nine years of these two players under control. Trading nine years of that for one year of Santana doesn’t make any sense.

Right now, the Twins are in no rush to trade Santana. They don’t really have to trade him until July. At that point, the asking price will be a lot lower. If the Yanks want Santana, they should wait until he becomes affordable. Right now, as Brian Cashman I’m sure realized, the Yanks have no business making a trade with the Twins.

A fielding stat against Melky
Hip, hip, new contract?
  • yankz

    Agreed. I don’t think Cano should be traded for anyone not named Albert Pujols. He should be a big part of the offense for the next 7 or 8 years.

  • sam

    forget it. cano shouldn’t be traded.

    im just gonna be pissed if the demands for the yankees are way more than they are for other teams as we have seen in the past.

  • Jeteupthemiddle

    I’d trade Cano for Santana.

    I’d trade Hughes for Santana.

    I’d trade Chamberlain for Santana.

    I would not trade Cano AND Hughes or Cano AND Chamberlain or Hughes AND Chamberlain for Cano.

    I am perfectly willing to give up one of the above, but certainly not two of the above (however, if any of the above are included, I would absolutely require an extension before any trade is executed).

    • Jeteupthemiddle

      and of course, the above should read traded for Santana, not Cano.

  • Chofo

    Too much. We have the young pitchers, lets wait on them. What we need is a RH cleaup hitter who can play 3b, 1b or DH. Santana would be a great adittion, but I think Cabrera, Belte or Tejada is more in line with what we need.

    The last time the Yankees traded away the young bats for veteran pitching and a RH power bat it was the winter of 2003, when Soriano, Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera went out and in came ARod. We all know the rest of the story.

    And why would the Twins add another LH bat???

  • Giuseppe Franco

    The Twins can keep Santana for that asking price.

    Cashman will not and should not trade Cano and a member of the Trinity for a one-year rental. I don’t care if he is Johan Santana.

    In my opinion, the Yanks would be taking two steps back to take one step forward because they would be giving someone already on the verge of super-stardom and a young gun projected to be a mainstay in the rotation for the next decade.

    How do they replace Cano? There are no options on the farm and the FA market is weak.

    No thanks.

  • jaffa

    The twins aren’t exactly falling over themselves to give away Santana right now. They can trade him mid-season if they aren’t in contention, and at that point someone will probably listen to their ridiculously high demands because they realize that adding Johan Santana to a team already in playoff contention is scary.

    And of course, the Twins are asking too much because it’s the Yankees. Now that they finally have the almost proven young arms, teams see them hope that the Yanks make stupid, win-now type trades.

  • NYFan50

    I’d certainly at least give consideration to Kennedy+Cano, but I’d be fine with trading Cano as part of a deal that also included some minor leaguers. You have to give up talent to get talent. Some people seem to think we can get these guys for nothing…

    Right now we have a rotation of Moose, Kennedy, Hughes, Chamberlain and Wang. And Kennedy, Hughes and Chamberlain will all have some kind of innings limitation. Seems less than 50/50 that Pettitte returns. Adding Santana or another star pitcher would be huge for this team in 08 and beyond. Cano isn’t too high a price to pay for this.

  • Matt

    I would try to keep Cano out of this deal too, but I do think the Yanks need to acquire Santana or Bedard before next season. The Sox pitching staff is much better than the Yanks even if Pettite decides to come back. If the Yanks add Santana, than the staff is equal to or better than the Sox and we finally have a big game pitcher. Haven’t we seen enough over the past 7 years to show us that good pitching beats good hitting all the time in the playoffs.

    In my opinion, Chamberlain is the only one of the big three that is untouchable. The only way I trade Hughes is to get Santana. The only way I tarde Cano is if we don’t have to include Chamberlain or Hughes in the deal. I would trade Kennedy and Cano (rather it be Cabrera) right now for Santana.

    I would also love to see Tejada play 3rd for the Yanks also. At this point I wouldn’t trade any of the big three for him. We need to keep them so we have the chips to deal for Sanatana in a month or so. If we make a move now for a 3rd baseman, only to see the Sox or somebody else acquire Sanatana, that would stink. Also, I think any trade for Santana must include a window to sign him to an extension.

  • steve (different one)

    there is no way in hell i would do that deal.

    there are very few people i would trade Cano for and Santana is not one of them with only 1 year to free agency.

    i would think there is a greater than 50% chance that Cano is the best player on the Yankees next year.

    no way will the Yankees trade Cano.

  • eddie s.

    how is the sox staff “much better” 1beckett>wang, 2 petitte>schilling 3 matz=hughes 4kennedy>wakefield 5 joba> ? does that show sox to be “much better”? i thought so

  • Matt

    Becket over Wang )especially with their playoff performances)

    Petitte even with Schilling (who knows if Pettitte is coming back)

    Matz v Hughes (slight advanatge Matz)

    Lester (not Wakefield) over Kennedy

    Joba slightly over Bucholtz (both unproven as starters)

    I hate to admit it, but the Sox have a huge advantage especially in the playoffs. Santana evens this out, so I would trade Cano if that is what it takes. I’m not saying I offer it right off the bat, but if they are going to trade him elsewhere I pull the trigger (but only with an extension).

  • McLovin

    Two words: F**K NO!

  • Mike R.

    This is the text book beginning of a trade negotiation. Cashman lets it be known that he would love to have Santana but will not give up any of the big three. This shows his interest in the player and a starting point. The Twins “leak” to the press that any deal for Santana would have to start with Cano. This in turn returns the Yankees interest in a deal and sets a counter offer.

    The truth is somewhere in between. If the deal gets done it will not include Cano, but it will have to include at least one young pitcher.

    We saw this a couple of years ago with the Yankees and the Phillies. The Yankees wanted Abreu and the Phillies wanted to get rid of him, but the asking price at the beginning was Phil Hughes. The Yankees on the other hand offered the Phillies a bag of balls and some money. The end result was somewhere in between. Closer to the bag of balls, but in between none the less.

  • Mitchell’s Eleven

    Note to Twins: You can keep Johan Santana. I’d rather have our three young guns and second baseman.

  • stuart

    how long do we need to read this nonsense?? Is the offseason 4 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    these trades almost never happen….I hope this one does not also..

  • david

    what happens if johan isnt a big game pitcher? has he pitched in any meaningful games? correct me if im wrong but i really dont think so. Jake Peavy looks great all year as does Johan, but nobody wants peavy on the yankees cause he will pull a Trevor Hoffman in big games.

    am i wrong?

    • steve (different one)


    • Caleb


  • Travis G.

    i’ll sum it up quickly. no fucking way.

  • Bxgrl1

    Hell no to trading Cano and/or one of the trinity. IPK is a maybe but Hughes and Joba should be off-limits as should Robbie.

    Teams like to squeeze the Yankees…and for money, I can understand but our young kids? NO.

  • Mike

    Note to Twins: &^%$ me!

  • Rich

    I would absolutely trade Cano and possibly IPK if we can get an extension for Johan. However, I wouldn’t give up Cano and Hughes or Joba. We’ve seen the last couple of postseasons how important it is to have a true Ace in the playoffs. And who better than a southpaw with 2 Cy Youngs at the age of 28. He’s actually pitched well in the playoffs before too. He just hasn’t had much luck since the Twins were facing, well mostly the Yankees. Here are his stats as a starter:

    2003 vs NYY Game 1: 4 IP 0 ER 3K
    2003 vs NYY Game 4: 3.2 IP 6 ER 3K
    2004 vs NYY Game 1: 7 IP 0 ER 5K
    2004 vs NYY Game 4: 5 IP 1 ER 7K
    2006 vs OAK Game 1: 8 IP 2 ER 8K

    Only one bad start in the bunch.

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    Cano for Santana is a no go. Santana has a value assuming the Yankees can get an agreement on an extension but his value is finite.

    Several weeks ago I suggested a trade of Wang, Kennedy and Duncan for Santana, I honestly believe the Twins are getting real value in a deal like that while the Yanks are getting a number one starter. If Pettite is retiring I would not be willing to make that trade, the Yanks would not be in a position to trade two pitchers. The offer would become Wang and Melky for Santana, if the Twins go for it fine, if not walk away from the table.

    • steve (different one)

      i’m confused.

      if Wang and Melky could get it done, the Yankees would do that.

      even with Pettitte, i’d rather trade Melky than Kennedy.

  • NYFan50

    You guys treat Kennedy as if he’s going to be an ace when his supposed ceiling is far below that.

    • Ben K.

      His supposed ceiling includes Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors. That’s not too shabby.

      • NYFan50

        That’s all well and good. :) You think he’s going to be a #1? A #2? He’s not supposed to be. Maybe that’s wrong, but he’s supposed to be a #4 guy, no? Maybe he beats expectations. Maybe he’s better than that. But how do you balk at giving this kind of guy up when you could get Santana, the best pitcher in baseball? Money is not a factor here. The Yankees will pay Santana now, or if they get the opportunity (which they likely wouldn’t if he’s traded elsewhere) they’d give it to him as a free agent. They have so much cash coming off the books it doesn’t matter, and it’s not like WE’RE paying him. :) You’re really just talking about giving up a guy who MAYBE becomes a #3 pitcher if things break right in a package to get the best pitcher in baseball.

        You want to argue about who else to include, sure. But just putting out a blanket “no” to anything that involves ANY of the Big 3 is silly. When talking about the big pitchers like Santana, or Peavy, or whomever, it seems as though many here are just writing these ideas off with no consideration or analysis whatsoever. It’s just “Hughes, No way!” “Kennedy, no way!” “Chamberlain, no way!” For all the talk about the money that the Yankees would have to pay a guy like Santana, who really cares? Money has stopped them from signing one player in recent history, and only one, as far as I can tell (Beltran).

        I love the kids as much as the next guy, but every fan falls in love with their prospects and most people around here seem to be looking at our guys with rose-colored glasses and not looking at them objectively. I don’t WANT to trade them either. Frankly, I wouldn’t trade Chamberlain for anything. That’s the fan in me. It’s not rational. There’s a lot of irrationality going around.

        • Ben K.

          A number 4? That’s delusional. No offense.

          Kennedy was the 21st overall draft pick. He’s a stud pitcher, and while he may not be a 1A ace, he certainly has the potential to be a spectacular number two starter. To say that he profiles as a 4th starter is just absurd.

          • NYFan50

            Didn’t BA profile him as a middle to back of the rotation starter? Last I read that was the projection. Where’s a profile indicating he’s going to be better than that? I’d love to read it. I’m serious. If he’s going to be a #2 I’d like to read it. I hope I’m wrong. I’m going from memory, and my memory isn’t very good. :)

            I’m not trying to be overly critical. I’m playing devil’s advocate. Few people here seem to be willing to even listen or consider anything involving the kids, which is silly.

            • Ben K.

              It’s not an issue of listening to or considering anything with the kids, but why would you give up six contract years of well-below-market pitching for one year of Johan Santana when the Yanks could just sign Santana a season later on the open market without giving up anything? Is it really that important to win now in 2008 instead of in 2009? The Yankees are much better with Santana-Chamberlain-Wang-Hughes-Kennedy than without one of those three. I can wait one year if that’s what it takes.

              • NYFan50

                Sure, if he’s available on the market. But you have to figure that any team trading for him is going to do so contingent on an extension, right? Odds are that’s what will happen. I’d be surprised if he ever made it to the market.

                I wouldn’t give up Kennedy if you can’t sign Santana to an extension as contingent to the deal. You’re right – it makes little sense to trade six years of Kennedy (plus others) for 1 year of Santana. But would you trade six of Kennedy making almost nothing for 6 of Santana at $20M per?

                I’d love the rotation you listed. :) I just don’t see him getting to the market. Better chance that Sabathia gets there than Santana does…

          • NYFan50

            Found a chat where Callis said (this August) that he’d be a solid #3…this is the best projection I can find.


            • Yanks26

              What knowledgable Yankee fan in there right mind would be quoting Jim Callis as a source of Yankee prospects? This is the same Jim Callis that thinks that Austin Jackson isn’t athletic enough for centerfield? The same Austin Jackson that could be the starting point guard on Georgia Tech?

              I could go on and on with Jim Callis Yankeeisms – get another source to gauge your Yankee prospects.

              • NYFan50

                Every single source on BA says the same thing, 3 or 4. Pick any one of them that you want.

                • Mike A.

                  IPK’s had 1 bad season in his entire life, and it happened to be his draft year. Before he struggled as a junior, he was a legit candidate to go #1 overall. Plus if you dig through those Callis chats, you’ll find where he says he’s notoriously conservative with pitchers.

                  I betcha IPK wins ROY next year, whether it’s with the Yanks, Twins, Marlins, whoever. Just because he’s not flashy doesn’t mean he’s destined for mediocrity.

                  • NYFan50

                    Mike, I hope he does. He’ll have to beat out Joba, though, who is still eligible. :) I’m certainly not trying to say IPK isn’t going to be a star. I’m just repeating what I’ve read, and trying to look at our guys more objectively, which is admittedly difficult as a fan.

    • steve (different one)

      right, and people treat Melky as if he is going to be an all-star CFer.

      even if Kennedy is a #3 starter, he’ll have more value than Melky over the next 6 years.

  • kris

    I hope the Twins have only managed to alienate Santana further with this story.

  • barry

    Giving up cano and 1/3 for santana would be like trading jeter, posada, and mariano for Barry Bonds. Not sure how much sesne that makes to you all but it seems to spell s-t-u-p-i-d move to me. Worse comes to worse you people need to realize that santana will be a free agent in time for the opening of yankee stadium 2.0. Why trade away the future of your franchise for the present.

  • Mike R.

    I keep reading and hearing the “Money is no object” argument when it comes to the Yankees. I think we are in the best position in years to get under the cap wth a competitive team. By 2010 we could potentially have 4/5 of our rotation, a large percentage of the bullpen, the outfield and a second baseman (Maybe more) well under market value.

    That would be huge because we would be cutting off the small market teams money supply. Does anyone really think that teams like the ’07 Rockies and Diamondbacks or the ’03 Marlins would have even reched the playoffs without that financial aid the Yankees provide? If we consistently trade away prospects for proven starters we will never reach that financial goal.

  • LBA Prequel

    Ben –

    I have a quick question. I know in your article there, you said we shouldn’t deal Cano+ for 1 year of Santana. But wouldn’t part of any trade for Santana include a contract extension? That is, wouldn’t the deal be contingent on Santana signing a long-term deal with the Yankees?

    I thought that was generally the procedure.

  • brxbmrs

    I think as tactfully and respectfully as Mr. Cashman can convey he should tell the Twins to Go F*ck themselves with a rusty monkey wrench.

    Or conversly he can tell them they can have Cano if they throw in Mauer, Morneau and Neshek as well as Santana.

    Cano is a + defensive 2b and exactly the type of hitter this “patient” (read: bunch of overpaid, overrated aging, cowardly f*cks) lineup needs – a guy who’s gonna swing the f*cking bat rather than try to work a walk and watch the next overpaid bum not get the run in.

    To recap, F*ck no to Cano and f*ck you Twins.

    Sorry, the Twins are out of their minds – saw Santana come up small in alot of big games this year – wouldn’t surprise me if he continues to slide – especially in the AL East.

    Remember, Santana is goona cost some team more than 8 years 136 mil that Crappy ZIto got – he’s no bargain and another contract that will probably be a bear in the last half.

    I’ll take my chances with Joba, Wang, Hughes, IPK and hopefully Pettite.

  • brxbmrs


    The other thing I think about – is if the Yanks do as you say, they might be able to cherry pick from the other teams as they get crushed under the weight of all the big dollar (and alot will be bad) contracts that they foolishly gave to players.

    We got A-Rod that way and some of these contracts may make certain guys (i.e. Zito) untradeable so to improve other teams will have to give up good players or at the least not be in the bidding for certain FA’s.

    That could be wishful thinking if the game keeps growing financially (which it probably will), but its not a lock that some of these teams haven’t pushed their finances.

    I have zero problem with not making any big trades for 08 – the biggest risk I think if we do that is maybe some of our prospects get exposed and hurt their trade value, but I think that’s not a huge risk since the big 3 and Melk are 21-23 – there will always be teams that will want those guys – at least for the next few years.

    • Mike R.

      That’s exactly right. I think that the lack of financial flexability that the Yankees have had has blinded most of the fans to the benefits of achieving that goal.

  • brxbmrs

    One follow up:

    Santana was 0-5 against the Indians this year with a 4.38 era. He pitched one game against the RedSox – 5 IP got the win and one against us 7 IP got the win.

    It almost looks like they set the rotation to avoid the AL East and to pair him up with their division rivals – against which he sucked.

    Not saying Santana’s done, or overrated or any of that – just saying I’d be concerned for a few reasons in getting him – including the 900+ innings (over the last 4) and declining #’s this last season – and he’s pushing 30.

    IPK, Melk and a good prospect – maybe – still would rather get a 24 year old Miggy C if we are going to give up those types of guys.

    • Caleb

      Just because you think the Yanks should refuse the asking price for Santana shouldn’t paint your perspective on him as a player. Look at the numbers…he hasn’t just been the best pitcher over the past four years. There’s an argument to be made that he’s been the best pitcher in each of the last four seasons individually. He’s less hittable than Sabathia, more powerful than Beckett, and more durable than Bedard. He’s a monster, and he hasn’t missed a start since 2003. There are plenty of good reasons to object to giving up years of cost-controlled production for an expensive ace, but it’s foolish to pretend that Santana isn’t already the favorite to win next year’s AL Cy Young.

  • The Scout

    I read the Twins’ alleged position somewhat differently. It means THEY will start be asking for Cano. If the Yankees say no, then the discussion can progress to other options. The Twins in turn would have to weigh a Yankee counter-offer against what other teams are prepared to deal.

    I have questions about Santana’s durability. Although his performance declined only minimally this past season, was that decline an aberration or the first evidence that a pitcher with a small frame is beginnign to wear down? Buyer beware.

    • http://deleted Mike R.

      Agreed Scout. I stated before that this is a text book example of a trade negotiation. What did we expect them to ask for out of the gate? People want the Twins to come out and say “We would be willing to trade Santana to the Yankees. Give us whatever you think is fair. We trust you.”

  • ArchStanton

    Any chance we can just give them the 2007 versions of Eric Milton and Cristian Guzman? I’ll give Alberto Gonzalez the Guzman role, not sure on who Milton would be.

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    A sidebar discussion has broken out on the board related to the value of Melky vs. Kennedy. Let me put it this way, Melky is a legitimate major league starter. He is still showing signs of developing. If anyone thinks you can find someone as good as he is, or nearly as good, on the waiver wire or in a trade, think again. What is available on the free agent market you will overpay for and you may well be very disappointed, plus you’ll have made a multi-year mistake.

    This is no insult of Kennedy, but he has done virtually nothing in the major leagues at this point, the idea that he is more valuable than a 23 year old quality starting major league center fielder is misguided. If Kennedy were under contract with a different major league team and he was offered to the Yanks in a trade for Melky, would you make it?

    This is not to say Melky will be a superstar but you can win a championship with him in center. Take a look at Bernie over his first eleven hundred at bats and see how Melky stacks up against that.

    In the line of pitching prospects, Kennedy ranks behind Hughes and Joba, to get value in return he may have to be sacrificed.

    • brxbmrs

      Joseph M.

      Preaching to the choir – look at the deal Gary Matthews got – Melk has alot of value.

  • brxbmrs


    I don’t think you can say Santana was the best pitcher last year – not by a long shot.

    Look at the 0-5 again against the Indians and consider that his decline in 07 may be the precursor of things to come – I’d like him, but not over Miggy C – and I can’t see how you could trade two pitchers for him – Wang and IPK.

    Again, he’s got alot of innings on that arm the last 4 – and the Twins are telling mlb, that he;’s gonna get a contract from someone that they don’t think is a good value.

    I’ll pass.

    • Caleb

      I don’t necessarily think they should trade for him, I just want to point out that the 0-5 came with 43:9 K:BB ratio and 36 hits allowed in 39 IP. Won-loss records can be deceiving, especially in very small sample sizes. The only item of concern I see with Santana is his problem with the HR last year, which really accounted for the entire difference in his ERA, and much of his struggles down the stretch. Hard to say if that is fatigue, or a focus-related byproduct of playing for the worst Twins team of his career.

      As for the value of the contract, the Twins are telling the rest of the league that they aren’t willing to pay the premium that star free agent signings always demand. That’s par for the course for the low-budget Twins. I wouldn’t interpret that as a knock against Santana’s value going forward…he’s the best free agent pitcher since Greg Maddux in 1992.

  • brxbmrs


    2 out of 5 quality starts isn’t that deciving against the Indians – he gave up 2 and 3 er in his two qs, so its not like he had one bad outing that skewed everything.

    Also, their p\r last year was 72 mil – not exactly the Marlins – and they got a new stadium coming on line with significant public money – in short they could afford him if they thought he was worth the deal he will get.

    Especially letting Hunter go and with Mauer signed thru 2010 – they just have to worry about Morneau and probably Nathan in 09.

    The Twins have alot of young pitching, so I’m sure that has alot to do with it, but I think Santana has had his best years – he’s still going to be an Ace, but looking at whow he pitched down the stretch and against the Indians, I don’t think he is going to be worth Cano or even Hughes and Cabrera.

    I like our chances with Hughes, Joba, IPK, Wang, etc – let someone else take on the financial burden of Sanatana and I do think he probably doesn’t get traded until the break – if at all – I just think the Twins are going to want too much for him before then.

  • Spike

    Come on guys. We’re talking about possibly the best pitcher in baseball, a lefty, and a durable guy at that. I’d be willing to do Melky, Hughes, Ohlendorf and another prospect (Gardner?) for him. We need an ace. Badly.