Caught this bit on Johan and the Sawks in this morning’s Pioneer Press (not sure if you have to register every time — I did this time around, under the name Abe North). It’s nothing earth-shattering, though it does imply that the Twins are holding out for Lester and Ellsbury, as they damn well should.
Supposedly, Dan Haren set the bar high in a prospects-for-talent exchange. I don’t really buy into that, but it’s not my opinion that matters. The only one who can decide the price for Santana is Bill Smith. Thankfully, he’s not caving at this point, and seemingly won’t trade the lefty to the Sawks unless Ellsbury and Lester are included.
My question: How desperate are the Twins to unload Santana? Are they fronting now, hoping to get the Sox to bid against themselves and dish both players? Or are they asking for the moon because they’d be content to head into the season with Santana at the top of the rotation?
The longer the Red Sox hold out, the better perspective we’ll get on the actual landscape. This is because the Sox are in a position where their need isn’t necessarily to get Santana — their rotation will be one of, if not the tops in the AL with or without him — but rather to keep him away from the Yankees. They’ve got a standing offer that (I think) they’re pretty sure Minnesota won’t accept. But should the Yanks raise the stakes, they could easily improve the offer.
Unfortunately, by naming so many untouchable players, the Yankees aren’t doing themselves any favors. Not that I disagree with what’s going on. Under no scenario would I dish Hughes and Kennedy. But the constant lists of untouchables certainly creates a level of ill will in negotiations. This was brought up, actually, by Jim Callis in an ESPN chat:
Yankees fans and some of the local media seem to have this notion that clubs ask the Yankees for more than they ask for other teams for. But if you talk to some of the teams that try to trade with New York, they’ll tell you that the Yankees declare far too many untouchables.
If the Twins are bluffing, we could see a mad scramble for Santana in January. If not, I don’t see either the Red Sox or Yanks going out of their ways to improve their offers. Both teams, I think, would be content to see him open the season in Minnesota.