With the Winter Meetings over, is it any surprise that Johan Santana is still a member of the Minnesota Twins? Of course not. Not in this day of uber-competitiveness between the Red Sox and the Yankees.
In case you need anymore proof of this sometimes-Cold, sometimes-Hot War, look no further than today’s Providence Journal. In an article on the Santana talks, Sean McAdam admits that, for the Red Sox, it wasn’t really about Johan Santana in Boston as much as it was about Johan Santana not in the Bronx.
With talks with the Twins at an impasse, it has struck some that that was the Red Sox’ primary goal all along. They weren’t so much motivated by obtaining Santana as much as they were ensuring that he didn’t join the Yanks…
So the Red Sox, perfectly content, sit and wait. Particularly with the Yankees on the sideline — for the time being, anyway — the Sox feel no sense of urgency to sweeten their offer and hasten some sort of resolution.
While some Red Sox fans were excited about the prospects of Santana landing in Boston, once the Yanks dropped out, so did Boston’s interest. That’s just the way things work. The Red Sox were willing to push the envelope on the deal to force the Yanks’ hand in regards to Phil Hughes. Once the Yanks didn’t want to go higher, the Sox toned down their negotiations.
Who knows where Johan Santana will end up or when? The Twins seem intent to start the season with him in the rotation despite their status as projected third-place finishers in the AL Central. But then again, we never figured A-Rod would land in the Bronx once the Boston deal fell through.
There’s a long way yet, and this chess game is far from over. But it does seem as though Boston, despite not landing Santana, won round one. Who will win the war though is far from certain.