Settle down: Here’s your Santana fix

John Maine would like to try on that dress
Angels in on Santana

Geeze, it’s been over three hours since our last Santana post. Apologies. I’m sure you’re twitching in your seats, possibly kicking things and seeming very irritable to coworkers. Fret not. Your fix is here. This should tide everyone over for the next hour or so.

Apparently, the Red Sox are prepared to “improve their offer” for Johan Santana. So, like we thought, it appears that Lester, Crisp, Masterson, and Lowrie won’t get the job done.

Still, does adding quantity to the deal make it better? Would nabbing Lars Anderson or Brandon Moss further ease the Twins into making this deal? I would hope not. More players involved means that the level of those players isn’t particularly high. Else, the Red Sox wouldn’t be trading them.

The sticking point for me (and it’s been said ad nauseum): Why do the Twins want Crisp? It makes no sense.

Further, and I invite Sox fans to answer this, do you really think that Ellsbury is that much greater than Melky that Hughes + Melky isn’t as good as Lester + Ellsbury? I mean, I’m not the biggest Melky fan (you don’t say), but I don’t think his inferiority to Ellsbury trumps Hughes’s superiority to Lester.

Meanwhile, Buster Olney reports:

Here’s the deal Minnesota pitched to New York last night: P Phil Hughes, OF Melky Cabrera, P Jeff Marquez and either P Alan Horne or OF Austin Jackson.

Marquez I can deal with. But, as I’ve said, I’m very opposed to dealing Hughes. But it’s not like the Yanks didn’t budge.

Update: As for Haren, Mike at Canyon of Heroes has the perfect quote:

“Trading away any of our top prospects for Haren is a sure fire way of making the Javier Vazquez mistake all over again.”


John Maine would like to try on that dress
Angels in on Santana
  • Kevin23

    I’m just sick of all this competing with the Red Sox BS. I definitely agree that Lester/Ellsbury is not quite the same level as Hughes/Melky. So I’m inclined to believe that this is all just posturing and bored sports writers filling space.

    But, if we do trade Hughes, it’d better be a legitimate #1 starter. Haren would be #1 on most clubs, but not in NY. Next.

  • Mike B

    i’ve been doing a lot of reading this morning and it sounds like the A’s are going to ask for the same Hughes/Melky package for Dan Haren that the Yanks have already offered for Santana. If the starting point is going to be the same as far as players go, why ditch the Santana talks? If we’re giving up Phil Hughes, I’d rather get someone with more of a track record. Haren is good, cheap, and slightly younger, but Johan Santana is still Johan Santana. When it comes to an extension, has money ever been a problem for the Yanks?

  • E-ROC

    I’ve said it before, the Yankees are hated by most and loved by few. Teams are always asking for the house from the Yankees. The Yankees should continue to make small trades to boost the bullpen.

    • Dimaggio5

      Like the Sux are so lovable? If I hear one more time about a team of “underdogs” I’m going to scream. The have 2 rings and the second highest payroll in baseball, and their fans are pretty well hated.

  • kunaldo

    this is ridiculous…i hope bill smith runs the franchise into the ground and the fans revolt

  • Mike Plugh

    Go over to Canyon of Heroes for a sec and check out the similarity comparisons for Haren. Oil Can Boyd, Brad Penny, Joel Pineiro, etc….

    The top piece at COH is a few select quotes from a Jayson Stark propaganda piece over at Entirely Sox Propaganda Network. Unbelievable.

    • zack

      I love this quote at the end:
      “”If the Red Sox get Santana,” said an executive of one NL team that’s grateful to be in the other league, “they might be the best team in the history of the frigging universe.””

      Umm, a) so why would the Twins take a crap package and b) the universe? really? that good huh? So, then, they’ll win more than 116 games and sweep the playoffs? Wow, because they were barely better than the Yanks and Indians last year, and as great as Santana is, he ain’t that good. ESPN cracks me up, as does the fact that these “Executives” somehow land jobs that actually impact baseball

      • Mike A.

        Yeah, they’re the best team in history of the friggin universe. How everyone forgets that they floated around .500 for most of the second half and were down 3-1 in the ALCS to the Indians.

        Oh, and we won the season series too.

  • MS

    I would deal Hughes, Melky, and Horne right now. Call Minny. and say hear is the deal, lets do it or it’s over.

  • Bo

    I still refuse to believe the Sox are serious. But hey, if they get him for 4 schelps they did a good job.

    For them to get Santana without putting both Ellsbury and Bucky in a deal is highway robbery.

  • randomize

    Neyer on Ellsbury:

    Mark (Minnesota): Maybe I’m stupid, but I don’t see the fuss over Ellsbury. He’s 24 years old and this year in the minors in 463 ABs he had only 2 HRs, 24 2Bs and 7 3Bs. I see him as a future leadoff hitter with good speed and little power, perhaps like a Kenny Lofton. How is that the centerpiece of a Santana deal? We should get more for Johan – like a potential #1 starter!

    Rob Neyer: (1:15 PM ET ) You’re not stupid, Mark. I might have been over-exuberant a few moments ago, as I also downplayed Ellsbury’s potential a few months ago. He’s benefiting from a halo effect, due to his performance in October. But he does not project as a big star.

    Found it here: Peter Abraham’s LoHud Yankees blog

  • jordan

    Here’s the deal Minnesota pitched to New York last night: P Phil Hughes, OF Melky Cabrera, P Jeff Marquez and either P Alan Horne or OF Austin Jackson.

    I’d like to see the Yanks pull the trigger on that, giving up Horne rather than Jackson.

    I love Hughes and I think that he has the chance to be a fantastic pitcher. But it’s just that: a chance. Even if Santana regresses a little bit, you still know what you’re getting from him: Cy Young award contention every year for the next 3 to 5 years. He has a lot of mileage on that arm and is an injury risk; however every pitcher is an injury risk, Hughes included!

  • kunaldo

    jordan, he doesnt even have that much mileage on his arm! compare him to other greats(clemens, pedro, oswalt, the list goes on), and he less than ALL of them at the same age! and he’s only been a full time starter for 4 years…

    • Joseph P.

      That’s inaccurate. He still went through the minor leagues as a starter, just like everyone else did. He just spent some time in the Minny pen in 2002 and 2003. Other than that, he’s been a “full-time starter” his entire career.

  • Travis G.

    Minny would accept a deal of Lester and Ellsbury, right? if i was Boston, i’d make that deal in a second. i just hope they dont.

    • Joseph P.

      No, but Minny is letting them off the hook and only demanding one of them. Bullshit.

  • Reality Check

    The hype about Ellsbury is ridiculous. He is a young Coco Crisp, nothing more. Melky has established himself as solid ML CF with a cannon for an arm and who consistently hits .280. But the real telling fact is that he is a year younger than Ellsbury, so who knows what his upside is. On the available facts, nobody unbiased can credibly say that Melky is inferior in any way.

  • kunaldo

    Joseph P: i’m not saying he didnt start in the minors, sorry for not being clear on that…but look:

    from 2000-2003, he had 41 total starts…so 2004 was the first year he had a full load of 34 starts and 228IP….and 30+ starts and 200+ip ever since

    so you’d think he wouldnt have as much stress on his arm, and like i said, if you compare total innings logged up until this age to other great pitchers, you see that he is far behind them…

  • Brian

    Travis G., I think you are sniffing the truth about this. I have a feeling that Theo has been masterfully maintaining the inflated value of his prospects by withholding them from the deal. Lester and Ellsbury, as we have said, are not necessarily better than Hughes and Cabrera. However, Hughes and Cabrera have been offered as a package, and the Twins think they can get more! Epstein, at the last moment, can offer Lester and Ellsbury and it will appear like a great offer. I have to hope Minny ain’t that dumb. This is why Hank holding out and Cashman’s unbudgitude could temporarily cause the Sox to continue to upgrade their offer in an effort to appear a more willing partner than us. I have to hope the Twins know our offer has been consistently better than Boston’s. I am tempted to say that Hughes and Cabrera should be our final offer and be done with it.

  • nmc

    no way the Twins are doing this. How could they possibly expect to get the best prospect from the Yankees (Hughes… sorry, he’s a better prospect than Joba), but not the best prospect from the Sox (Buchholz).

    I love the stuff about Ellsbury not being that hot-shit. A speedy CF is a dime-a-dozen. A Bernie Williams-type is not (which is what Melky could be). In terms of upside, what could Ellsbury be? Curtis Granderson with less power? Ty Cobb with less average?

    • nmc

      Oh, also, MLBTR is now reporting that the Twins reached out to the Angels. Guess they’re not as high on Crispsbury or Lestholz as we thought. I don’t see why a team would look for other suitors if they were “close” with the Red Sox.

      Reporters will really just print anything that a “source” tells them, won’t they.

  • Bo

    It’s a travesty if they do this deal without getting Bucky and/or Ellsbury too.

  • Geezy

    As it appears to me, the winter meetings are a GM war zone. Boston has never had any intention of trading for santanna and then pay him the 150 mil because that would be unnecessary and overly inefficient based on their rotation being among the best in the AL and the young arms they still have in the waiting including Masterson. The Twins want the best deal they can get from us and Boston wants us to give up more than we should, so they have been working together to push Hank into doing something he does not want to do. They have used the media to create more leverage by making insignificant reports like saying Boston gave Minn Lesters injury reports. Can’t that simply be a ploy to send the message that theyre “real” close and the Yankees better step up soon or Boston will be the best “friggin” team ever? I dont see what the big rush is. As Olney pointed out, the Yankees rotation is the same rotation they had in the second half of last year during which they had the best 2nd half record in the AL at 51-25 and that was with Hughes hurting. Meanwhile, the Sux had a record floating around .500 during the second half. In addition, if needed we could make a deal for any of the aces nearing the end of their contract during the season or sign any of them afterward. Sabathia, Santanna, Bedard, Haren? Wouldnt the price be cheaper when one of these teams possibly does poorly through the first half?

  • LBA Prequel

    This is going to turn out pretty well. Good for the Yankees…hell, I think they should pull Hughes off the table completely in spite. I still suspect Kennedy, Melky, Marquez and AJax (which I could live with) is far better than any deal where Lester and Crisp are the centerpieces. I’m sorry. If the Sox want to be fleeced by the Twins and toss in either Ellsbury or Felon – which I still don’t think they’re willing to do – they God bless them. I’d much rather keep Hughes and watch him develop, along with Melky and IPK.

    • jordan

      I still suspect Kennedy, Melky, Marquez and AJax (which I could live with) is far better than any deal where Lester and Crisp are the centerpieces.

      “Far better”? I’m not sure about that. Comparable though.

      I think Geezy is right on about Bill Smith and Theo teaming up in an attempt to get Hank to do something stupid. The fact is, Hughes is a much better prospect than anyone else on the table. Call me crazy, but I still think Johan ends up in pinstripes. It might not happen until January though.

      • LBA Prequel

        Well, I guess if the Red Sox throw in everything but the kitchen sink, then sure, the “quantity over quantity” argument would win out. I still think Kennedy has more upside than Lester, Cabrera has more upside than Crisp, Horne might be better than Masterson, and AJax is still too unproven in my opinion so the Lowrie comparison is a wash (especially given their different positions).

        Still though, I don’t think it can be denied that, as a base, Kennedy+Melky > Lester+Crisp.

        And of course, the Yanks include Hughes, which I think blows any Red Sox proposal out of the water, even if they go with the Ellsbury centered deal containing 3 players for Santana.

        I hope we hold our ground, keep Hughes, and force the Twins to either accept Kennedy and our 4 guys or force Boston to sell Ellsbury or Felon (who is remarkably not in this deal in spite of that fact that Hughes is on the Yankee side…hmm…”tampering” much?) and another 3-5 guys.

        • LBA Prequel

          *quantity over quality. Fixed.


    red sox are just bluffing they dont have the money to pay santana pull hughes off the guarantee with sox suck.

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