Did someone mention Santana?

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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.

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  • LLOYD BANKS

    THANK GOD! It’s good to see the Twins finally realize the emptiness of the Sox’s pitiful offer (I wouldnt even trade Phil Hughes to the Sox for that package, let alone Johan Santana). Best case scenario, Santana stays in Minnesotta, the Twinkies finish 3rd, and we sign Santana for a lesser amount next year in the offseason since his value is likely at its highest now (it will only go down with age).

    With the 80 mil comin off the books next year with all that dead weight, do you think the Yanks can make a legitmate run at BOTH Santana and Sabathia – or is that pushing it?

    Also, if it came down to it, what is the most you would offer in a package for Santana? I kind of think the Yanks are putting too much stock into Horne and Marquez; their both nice players, but likely wont amount to anything “great” in the Bigs. Would be a shame if the Yanks let Santana go for a couple guys like that (which it seems from earlier media reports that they did). I dunno man, I still get goosebumps thinkin about a rotation featuring Santana, Pettite, Wang, and Chamberlain…WOW.

    While I really like Hughes and Kennedy, do you guys think there is any correlation b/w them and Brandon Claussen and Eric Milton. Those two were also declared “untouchable” and the “Next Andy Pettite” and they both amounted to squat. I agree with the MLB person who said the Yanks declare too many of their prospects as “untouchable.” I fear that the Yanks are trying to make up for the disastrous trades of the 80’s by early 90’s by refusing to part with anyone anymore, and that is a mistake. Thoughts?

  • LLOYD BANKS

    Sorry, you can take Hughes out of that Hughes Vs. Claussen/Milton scenario, thats pretty ridiculous. Hughes is clearly the superior pitcher of those three. However, IPK remains and maybe you can thrown Alan Horne in Hughes’ stead.

  • http://www.overheardinnewyork.com NC Saint

    If neither the Yankees or Red Sox agree to trade away all their young talent, the Twins should hire Scott Boras to launch allegations of collusion.

  • JRVJ

    IMO, the best possible outcome in all this for the Yankees is for Santana to remain with the Twins this year.

    That way the Yanks can go after him in the off-season, without giving up anything other than money and a 1st round pick (which they could arguably get back if they offer arbitration to Abreu and Abreu doesn’t accept).

  • E-ROC

    If we trade for Santana, will Joe Nathan be included in the deal since the Twins roster is a little full? That cost Hughes, Tabata, Hilligross, etc. I wonder if the Yanks would do that deal. I hope not though.

  • TurnTwo

    If Nathan gets placed into the deal, I would part with a package that included Hughes and Kennedy.

  • Ed

    I don’t remember Claussen getting much hype. He seemed to just show up one day, make a spot start or two, and was gone. He lasted long enough to get fans hopes up, but that’s it. Back then though, most Yankee prospects were crap, and we hyped them up just so that we’d have trade chips.

    Remember the days when D’Angelo Jimenez was the next big thing?

    The problem here is the Yankees have stockpiled pitching prospects. Teams generally only care about your top couple of prospects at each position. Getting the Red Sox #2 pitching prospect is sometimes seen as a better deal than getting the Yankees #3 pitching prospect, even if the Yankees player is better. And getting a random team’s #1 prospect is easier to sell than getting someone else’s #4 prospect, even if the #1 is coming from a team with a crappy farm system and the #4 from a team with a stacked farm system.

  • Ed

    The problem with giving up a big package to get Nathan is he’s only under contract for one season. I really doubt he’d take an extension from the Yankees, as he’s one of the best closers in the game and in the prime of his career. He could get an awfully nice contract to close for another team.

    I don’t think you can justify adding Kennedy to the deal to get Nathan. Just put Joba in the bullpen this year and you’ll get roughly the same results, except next year you still have both Joba and Kennedy.

    • TurnTwo

      i dont think it would take a megapackage to get Nathan and Johan, just a little more than what it would take to get Johan now.

      DWillis and Miggy Cabrera netted 6 prospects, so imagine the value is about equal (2 all-star caliber players)… You’d prob be talking Hughes and Kennedy, Melky, and three other players, prob among Horne, Melancon, Robertson, Sanchez, Cox, Betances, Alberto Gonzalez, Tabata, AJax, Hilligoss, and Sublett.

      you telling me we dont have the depth to make this trade, and still have solid prospects on the way up?

      you make the deal, extend Johan, and hope you can extend Nathan.

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

    For one, Claussen debuted at 24 – in a very Clippard-esque way actually, pitching great against the Mets, then never pitching in the Bigs again until he’s traded. he also was never a top prospect (like Kennedy and Horne) among all prospects (only in our system).

    LLOYD, i’m sure at least one of Sabathia/Santana will not reach FA. unless the Twins are in a playoff hunt in July, Santana will be traded & signed. Cleveland probably has the resources to sign Sabathia, but IF they both hit FA, i believe the Yanks COULD afford both, with all that Giambi, Mussina, Abreu $ available.

  • nick blasioli

    whats the hype about ajax being in the deal with a couple of pitchers….we have melky in center and he is very young….the yankees need to make the deal…they have the same team as last year…you need to improve like the tigers and diamondbacks..etc….i only hope they get santana real soon…….

  • Chris

    Lloyd

    I entirely agree with your point about the Yanks being too sonsevative now with their prospects. I have said before that if the Twins would take Hughes Melky, a position player and Horne/Marquez or any of their ilk the Yanks should do it. To not make this trade over future number 5’s like Horne is crazy. If they love Hughes that much I understand and I understand not giving up Kennedy that is fine, but this deal should not die over Horne, Marquez or even AJax (who we all love based off 1/2 a season and hitters are easy to find – look at this years free agent market for God’s sake) with a rotation of:

    Santana
    Wang
    Petitte
    Joba
    Kennedy

    This is the best rotation in baseball imo. Replace Melky with Patterson and it is pretty much a wash in fact I think Patterson has more potentitial and adds an element of speed. Its almost as if the Yanks have overhyped their prospects so much that they themselves start to believe the hype.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      Your mention of Patterson ruins the argument. Dude is terrible. Never OBP’d above .330. Brett Gardner is an infinitely better option.

  • Steve S

    I still dont understand why Cano is completely off the table. I understand how established he is and good he is going to be. But I think you could get away with Cano and you wouldnt have to include either Hughes or Kennedy. And I think right now, as good as Cano is, the need for an offensive second baseman is not as necessary as good young pitching and an ace lefthander. The more I think about it, if you can do Cano, Horne, and a say Chase Wright, it might be the better move short and long term.