Late word: Boston’s four-player package

The Yanks and Twins may still be talking. Or not.
Santana talks over, for now; Haren next?

The word all over the place (including the comments) is that the Red Sox are prepared to offer Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Justin Masterson, and Jed Lowrie to the Twins for Johan Santana. This is after the Yankees rejected a swap of Hughes, Melk, Horne, and Ajax. While I firmly believe that what the Twins asked of the Yanks is of greater value than they will reportedly receive from the Red Sox, I’ll try to avoid pitching a fit about it.

If the Sox want to do that, so be it. It makes a ton more sense for them. Lester is immediately replaced with Santana; Crisp wasn’t going to start anyway because of Ellsbury; Lowrie is blocked by Youkilis, Pedroia, and Julio Lugo’s contract; Masterson is something like Alan Horne, just not as far along in his development.

Meanwhile, the Yanks would have replaced Hughes with Santana, but then would have had to either lessen their outfield defense with the loss of Melky. True, Gardner could have slid into that spot eventually, but he’s unknown, too. Less known than Ellsbury in any event. Then you have Ajax, who just had a monster breakout year, and Horne, who could serve as an injury fill-in next year or as a bullpen cog. And, as I said, he’s further along than Masterson, and I’d venture to guess they have roughly the same chance of panning out.

And that’s not even mentioning the superiority of Ian Kennedy in this deal.

So while this isn’t tasking for Nick Johnson and Alfonso Soriano and then taking Casey Fossum and Brandon Lyon, the Sox are clearly getting the better deal here. Some of it is a lesser breed of players, and some of it is the necessity of those players to the Sox overall scheme.

Update: After exchanging emails with a friend, I think I’ve found a comparable package from the Yanks: Hughes, Melky, Horne, Alberto. Then you have Hughes greater than Lester, Melky greater than Crisp, Horne and Masterson on equal ground, and Lowrie greater than Alberto. I suppose at that point that it would be up to the Twins to decide which parts they value more. Just remember, though, Hughes’s minor league career is superior to even the biggest MLB stars.

The Yanks and Twins may still be talking. Or not.
Santana talks over, for now; Haren next?
  • Steve S

    Ive heard Masterson has better stuff than Horne, dont know how much that means. I thought Masterson as more of a Betances but a little more refined.

    • Joseph P.

      The only place I’ve heard that is The bias is palpable.

  • Mike N (Stamford, CT)

    At what point do you walk away? If they truly believe that the Red Sox’s offer is merely a show to drive up the price, then they have to walk away. I imagine if they do that then the Red Sox’s offer would slowly evaporate. Then maybe the Yanks can come back in with a reasonable offer.

  • Mike44

    While I have been a staunch supporter of getting Santana (because, seriously, we need a bonafide Game 1 starter), I think Hughes/Melky/Kennedy is too much to ask. Alledgedly, the Yankees have turned their attention to Dan Haren (though the only place I saw this was ESPN 2) and I would LOVE to get Haren if it means keeping Hughes, even if its at the expense of dealing Kennedy.

    The ideal situation for me is to get a deal done with Haren soon, thus making it a necessity for the Sox to get Santana, allowing the Twins to drive up the price on them. In which case we play out the 2008 season, watch in misery as the Beckett-Santana Sox dominate and then back the Brinks truck up to Sabathia’s house in the winter (I did say IDEAL situation). Thus having a front five of Haren-Sabathia-Hughes-Wang-Chamberlain. Not bad, but it’ll take some luck and a lot of patience.

  • Andrew

    That is an old article, with old quotes. It even references Pettitte not committing to playing in 2008.

    • Joseph P.

      Yeah. That’s why I killed it.

  • MS

    From what I hear, Haren will cost just as much as Santana. ANd Haren is no Santana. I als don’t think the Sox are bluffing to get the Yanks to add. They are giving up very little to get possibly the best starter in baseball. If the Yanks end up with Haren and the Sox end up with Santana, I think the Yanks are the losers in this deal.

    • Joseph P.

      That all depends on what the Yanks would give up to get Haren. If they give up Hughes, yeah, they’d be losers in the deal.

  • Bo

    I’m at the point where i dont even care anymore. if they get Santana, fine. if they don’t, equally fine. Still got Hughes and Melky. And God knows sometimes the best deals are the ones never made.

    • Joseph P.

      Surprising. You seemed to be gung-ho on the deal all the way.

      Anything specifically that moved you back towards the fence?

  • Mitchell’s Eleven

    If the Yankees and Sox aren’t trading with each other, how can the Yankees be the losers in the deal? You do not make moves based on what your rival does. You make moves based on what fields you the best team you can field.

  • brxbmrs

    The thing that kills me about the Sox deal is the Twins are doing the Red Sox a favor in taking Crisp (since he left Cleveland with the 16HR’s and .340 obp he;s been a major disappointment) and he’s owed 12 mil – I can’t see WHY the Twins want to pay Crisp that.

    Hope the Sox get Santana – the thing is, if Ellsbury is a bust (and I’m higher on him than most here), the Sox would literally be giving the Twins almost nothing except that AA shortstop (who’s stats look great – but he’s in AA).

    Let Theo pay Santana 150+ mil. I really think the Twins are playing the Yanks here – Hughes is the best guy in that whole deal and Melky the second best – never mind the other pieces.

    I like Pettitte, Wang, Hughes, Joba, IPK and Moose

    • Joseph P.

      Lester was going to be in the deal, not Ellsbury. So Melk would be the third best player in the deal.

      And the AA shortstop is Jed Lowrie, who is a AAA shortstop.

      • brxbmrs

        Lester may not stay healthy (hate to say it), so he’s a wild card and the centerpiece of the deal for Santana? Makes absolutely no sense.

        Melk will be out there 150+ games for the Twins – that’s worth more than a #3 starter with health concerns.

  • george vb

    Don’t go after haren. We should try to get an over paid vet or cheap. Somebody like sheets. Pettette,wang,sheets,hughes,joba

  • Ron

    I don’t understand why the Yankess FO can’t see that, barring injury, Hughes is Beckett, only 6 years younger.

  • Spike

    I just can’t fathom the Twins taking Crisp. I hate to sound like a baby, but why do the Red Sox always seem to get the great deals? The Yankees are offering a better deal to the Twins. Is it just to rub it in Hank’s face? And I’m tired of Hank and his comments. Dude – you’re making no allies with all your bulls**t talk.

  • Rob_in_CT

    The Sox may have an organizational shine factor right now… kinda like the Yanks did back in the 90s/early 2000s. That’s all I can think of… other than dark thoughts of favoritism (which makes little logical sense).

  • Patrick

    MSNBC is reporting that Hank just said the deal is probably off, the Twins are asking for too much. I think the Twins are keeping this guy.

    Source :

  • Zabon

    This is such BS, the Yanks get fucked over in every deal they try to make. The Sox prospects suck and they ask the best from the Yankees, WTF

  • Glen L

    I cannot believe the Twins would take Lester, Lowrie, Masterson, and Crisp … seriously, I literally cannot believe they would accept that in return for Santana ..

  • LBA Prequel

    I’ve gone from firmly supporting to keeping the Big 3, to making the trade, and back again, all in the course of 24 hours. I think the Yankees have the best offer (by far) on the table, and I wish they’d stay involved if only to squeeze Ellsbury out of the Twins if they do make the deal. I think that others are right – the Twins were going to rape the Yankees, but have basically laid down for the Sox when it comes to the players they’re requesting.

    I think Santana certainly makes us better for the next 3-5 years, but what has been bothering me is whether the rest of the team would be able to compete. This past ALDS against the Indians has left me soured on more than a few of our pinstriped players, especially Posada. Even if the pitching shows up, can our team hope to compete if we get another abysmal offensive showing in the postseason?

    I guess that’s why I’m such a big fan of the youth movement. I see guys like Melky and Cano and Duncan who show so much enthusiasm. I want more of that, the team chemistry, on this team. If Hughes, Joba, and Kennedy pan out to be what we expect (and that is a big ‘if,’ I grant you), we could have an excellent base rotation for the next decade. Guys like Tabata, Ajax, Horne, all coming up can give us more of that. I’m not against making trades. But I want to see us get rid of this excess baggage – Damon (leadoff hitter be damned), Giambi, Matsui (and he’s one of my favorites), Abreu, etc.

    I don’t know. I’ll probably feel differently this afternoon. Santana makes us better now, for sure. But I don’t feel that confident with the group we have, especially if we get rid of Melky and Hughes, because that’s kind of the team chemistry I don’t want to lose. Posada for the next four years? Ugh. I realize there wasn’t a better option, but it doesn’t make me happy.

  • ArchStanton

    It seems to me that the Twins would be far better served by making a run at it this year with Liriano coming back instead of taking that offer from Boston. If it doesn’t work out, trade him in July (why wouldn’t he accept it if the Twins were out of contention?), or wait the year out and take the picks. I’m not just saying this as a Yankee fan, that offer from Boston is horrible. Coco Crisp? Really?

  • LBA Prequel

    *and I wish they’d stay involved if only to squeeze Ellsbury out of the Red Sox if they do make the deal.


  • Bo

    Thinking about Hughes pushed me back. Especially thinking about the way he pitched in September and October. And looking at the stats he put up in year 1, not at full strength mind you, and compared them to all timers who pitched at 21. And you will see a guy who is fully comparable to guys like Clemens, Maddux, Glavine. Vaunted company.

    The more this thing lingers, the less I think it gets done. While Santana in pinstripes would be phenomenal, I won’t cry seeing #65 on the hill and the Melkman in center.

    And I think if Minny decides to trade him in July they won’t get half the package from the Yanks they could get now.

  • nmc

    It HAS to be a bluff, this Red Sox offer. It’s clearly inferior.

    Here’s the question nobody is asking: the Red Sox were willing to include Ellsbury according to reports all over yesterday. How come he’s not in the deal? BLUFF.

    This trade won’t happen. If it does, Bill Smith will get KILLED in the Minnesota media. I personally think they can contend next year.

  • Bo

    From the start I didn’t see Boston being in this thing for real.

    It would take Lester and Ellsbury and while I think its a no brainer for them to pair up two aces I don’t think they would do it.

    Because how do they walk around after they sign Santana to 25+ when Beckett makes a pittance.

  • BillyBalla

    JOE P,
    I can’t disagree with you anymore on one account. I know just like me you do not want to make this trade, especially with Hughes involved. Than you state that the Lester, Lowrie, Masterson, Crisp offer would be comparable to Hughes, Melky, Alberto Gonzalez, and Alan Horne! How do you figure. They still haven’t included Elsbury. If they took out Crisp and added Elsbury than it would be a comparable package. This is how I view a Lester, Lowrie, Masterson, Crisp.

    Lester- Someone on this thread said it right that he is a poor mans Andy Pettite. At best a number 3 starter and only because he is a lefty. A walk machine with 1 above avg pitch and 2 avg pitches.
    Lowrie- he hit 13 Hr’s, batted around .295, with 70 RBI’s, and 90K’s in 497 at bats between double A and Triple A. Most in double A. That is a solid prospect but no mega prospect. Maybe a B+. Will be 24 at start of season.
    Masterson- 22 years old. His combined record in 2007 was 12 wins and 8 losses with a ERA hovering around 4.40. He had 115 k’s in 153.2 innings. He walked 40. This is between A ball and AA. He’s a big kidd at 6’6. He might not even be on there pitching radar as there top 2 pitching prospect as they have this kidd Bowden, Daniel Bard, and Joseph Guerra. Someone earlier compared him to Betances which is innacurate to say the least. Betances has more upside right now and is younger with a higher K rate.
    Crisp- Enough said! He is a 4th outfielder on many teams even the Yankees. He is a throw in that the Red Sox want to dump.
    Is this package a joke. They would be getting the best lefty Pitcher in baseball for this. And they are holding us up for Hughes, Melky, and a minimal prospect at best possibly named Alberto Gonzalez and not named Alan Horne, Tabata,Jackson, or Betances.
    One last tidbit on Alan Horne.
    Alan Horne- The Double A Pitcher of the year. 24 years old. His record in 2007 was 12 wins and 4 losses. In 153 innings he had a 165 K’s people. His ERA was 3.11. He had 57 walks. These stats were all in double A. He is further along and a better overall prospect than Masterson. He has electric stuff and was compared to a Roy Holliday in one scouting report.
    Now Joe, tell me this trade is comparable of Hughes, Melky, Gonzalez, and Horne for that 4 puzzled package the Sox are sending. Even when you take out Horne we still have more upside in our 3 with Hughes being the big piece. The Twins can take that package and all of baseball will know how teams truley deal with the Yankees. I hope we hold steady and keep our players more than ever with there arrogance. I never wanted to trade a Hughes or Horne anyway. The Sox have to be kidding thinking that this is an even deal. The Twins know its not but may accept just to shove it up the Yankees butts. That would be reckless and careless to there fans if they did. The Yankees should walk away and know they made the better offer. Word is leaking out regardless that there are many Yankee executives that were rethinking adding Hughes in this deal based on the Sox still unwilling to add Ellsbury and Bucholz. May I remind you that Hughes is a better prospect than both of them as well.