This does not make me happy

Hypothetical: Inside the Yankees front office
Thoughts on Melky, Phil and Johan

From good ol’ Kenny Rosenthal:

The Twins reportedly informed the Yankees they were prepared to deal Santana to the Red Sox unless the 21-year-old Hughes was part of the deal. Fearing Santana would join Josh Beckett to give their rivals two aces, the Yankees decided to put Hughes on the table.

“The only way to keep (Santana) from the Red Sox is to get him,” a Yankees official told the Post. “You can’t hope some other team does it for you.”

Basing your transactions around what the Red Sox will do is foolish. It’s exactly the kind of thing that moves you to sign, say, Kei Igawa.

The worst part is that I’m pretty sure the Twins are bluffing here.

Update: This line makes me happier: “The Yankees are adamant that they do not want to include another top prospect.” That is, if they won’t cave on this one like they caved on Hughes.

Hypothetical: Inside the Yankees front office
Thoughts on Melky, Phil and Johan
  • bkight

    I say call the Twins bluff on going with Boston’s crappy offer. I think everyone is missing the point. Hughes, Joba and IPK don’t have to be as good as Santana for the Yankees to win it all. They may not do it next year, but 2009-2012 will look much better if we keep them. Plus Melky in CF is huge until AJax/Tabata is ready.

    Stopping Boston has lost it’s luster since they already won two titles. It’s still 26-7.

  • kris

    Sounds like the Tampa mafia is being played like idiots by Lucchino and Minnie. Sigh… The Steinbrenners talk tough but act like cowards.

  • Jamal G

    There also was another report that the Twins will go back to the Sawkz this afternoon to say the Yankees have Santana unless you include both Ellsbury/Bucholz.

    “UPDATE, 12-1-07 at noon: Buster Olney says the Yanks’ upgraded offer is now on the table, but the Twins will meet with the Red Sox this afternoon to see if they can get Theo Epstein to include both Ellsbury and Buchholz.”


    • kris

      Go Theo! Trade away the farm for that umber team “theory”.

    • Joseph P.

      That gives me a bit more faith in this process. Maybe, just maybe the Yanks put Hughes on the table in order to get Theo to part with Buchholz.

      I just hope that if Theo rebuffs, the Yanks pull Hughes.

      • Count Zero

        Me too — but I don’t think it’s going to happen. :-(

    • George

      Its not both Ellsbury/Bucholz, its either one or the other.

  • steve

    i’m torn here. u hope the twins are bluffing. but if they aren’t. beckett santana dice k is just fucking scary. i don’t believe all the shit about them not wanting to pay santana and becket the 20 million. they have the money.

    i love hughes but god damn this is a terrible situation. its johan santana for christ sakes. but ughhh, damn its a tough situation.

    • bkight

      Watching the Sox win it all barely stung last year, not nearly as bad as 2004. The second half comeback of last year was more fun for me than hating the Sox ever was. The young kids brought excitement and energy and seemed to revitalize the vets. With a new young manager this team could be awesome.

  • The Scout

    I admire the way the Twins are playing off the Yankees and the Sox, to the point where the ostensible winner gives up a king’s ransom while the loser still has plenty of chips left to deal later to make the moves needed to win. Will the Yankess know when to drop out of this madness? I think Cashman would, if he’s still in charge.

  • Mitchell’s Eleven

    Joseph @ 2:18: That’s exactly what I’m hoping for as well. I’m not putting money on that one, though.

  • zack

    Has Kenny Rosenthal ever been right about anything?

    But on the topic, there are so many swirling contradictory reports. Yesterday it was that the Yanks knee the Sox offer wasn’t good enough but just really wanted Santana. Now its that the Sox would have gotten him for that crap package and the only way to make it better was to include Hughes? I doubt that. If that package was so so so much better than the Kennedy one, than something else is going on, aka, collusion. Because it would be easy to throw in another non-Hughes prospect to beat it.

  • Larry

    Trading for Santana is not like trading for or signing Kevin Brown, Kenny Rogers, Pavano, or any of the other disasters. Santana is a far better pitcher than they were at any point in their careers and you are not going to get him for nothing unless the Twins don’t move him at all and you sign him as an FA.
    I probably would not make the deal…but I don’t think making it is nutty or a bad idea per se.
    In Santana you have a proven stud who like all pitchers has an injury risk. In Hughes you have the potential for a stud but with an injury risk, again like all pitchers.
    Of course Santana could have his arm fall off…but at least he has a record of 200+ inning seasons with great numbers…Hughes does not.

  • rbizzler

    There is no way that Minny was going to take that package from Boston. Crisp and Lester, the walk machine? One of the keys to being successful in negotiations is to have the courage and sense to walk away from a bad deal. If the Twins are going to hold Santana hostage, the Yanks need to do just that, walk away. If they want to take a crappy deal from Boston, so be it. but I highly doubt that will be the case.

    And, since when did Ellsbury and his paper bat become the Second Coming?

    • zack

      Ellsbury, overrated or not, is better than Melky. And the Twins really need batters more than pitching. So would a package of Lester, Ellsbury, Lowrie, and Bowden be better than a Hughes, melky, and player X package? From the Twins point of view, probably.

      Because, people, we need to stop thinking about Hughes as the be all and end all. hes a great pitching prospect, but he isn’t any sure thing, and if your team has other holes, a #3 starter (lester) a bonafide CF (ellsbury) and strong ss prospect (Lowrie) and a decent pitching prospect (bowden etc) is better than a #1-2 potential starter (hughes) a maybe CF (Melky) and a decent pitching prospect (whomever).

      And as I said, the Sox would be crazy not to throw in Ellsbury and see if that gets it done. Its not like Crisp would kill them with that rotation…

      • JT from NYC

        Hughes isn’t a sure thing, but as close to a sure thing as you can find.

        Even the twin’s supposedly like Hughes better than Buchholz. And if the Sux are putting Buchholz as untouchable, why should we cave? Scared negotiating is never a good way to run a business.

        “A Twins’ insider agrees that Smith, the Minnesota GM, believes Hughes is the best pitcher he can acquire for Santana, better than either Lester or Buchholz from the Red Sox.”, from the daily news article.

      • rbizzler

        My point is that Ellsbury is not some supreme talent that should be considered a deal breaker for Minny. Sure the dude is fast, but he didn’t SLG for shit in the minors. Right now, he looks like a poor man’s Johnny Damon (albeit with a better arm). My point was that the Sox package, even with Ellsbury (and without Bucky the laptop boy), isn’t all that special.

        For those of you who are intent on defending the Sox prospects, do me a favor and check back in when Lester actually gets out of the fifth inning without throwing 90+ pitches. And before you counter with the fact that he was young and inexperienced in his ML starts, keep in mind that his walk rate and pitches/inning were hardly impressive in the minors.

      • Count Zero

        “Ellsbury, overrated or not, is better than Melky.”

        On what basis can you possibly say this? Ellsbury has only 116 MLB ABs — too small a sample to judge him by. So let’s look at his AAA numbers.

        Ellsbury, AAA stats:
        363 AB .298/.360/.380/.740 That’s an incredibly crappy AAA line.

        Melky, AAA stats:
        223 AB .323/.376/.475/.851 Eh — but noticeably better than above. Almost 100 points of slugging with a higher BA and equivalent OBP.

        Back up your claim.

  • Jamal G

    Well after seeing ESPN drop the ball with Les Miles by saying he would be the coach at Michigan and then just a couple hours later Mr. Miles at a press conf. saying that he is and will be the coach of LSU and basically saying…ESPN, u dumbass.

    So all that inside source, report crap is just that, crap IMO when it comes to high-profile decisions just like this one involving the greatest pitcher in the Majors currently being traded. Especially so if the top two suitors are the Yanks & Sawkz.

  • JT from NYC

    If the Twins keep playing this back and forth game, its really going to backfire on them. It’s like the Yankees are the chip leader at the table, and everyones trying to double up.

    To everyone who says that we need to get Hughes no matter what, I ask, how far would you go?

    Would you give Hughes and Kennedy?
    What if they want Joba also?
    Maybe even throw in Cano?

    We have to draw the line somewhere.

    If I’m the yankees, giving up Hughes is as far as I go. There is no way to justify even including kennedy in the deal.

    If they only ask Sux for Buchholz or Ellsbury, and expect us to raise the price, I say call their bluff. I can care less about Buchholz’ no hitter, I still think a yankee deal with Hughes is better. If the Sux include Buchholz and Ellsbury, that probably trumps the Hughes deal, and at that point I say let the Sux have santana. We’ll just have to make due with what we have. We can’t let the Sux change how we run our organization.

    • zack

      The Yanks shouldn’t go higher than the current offer of Hughes, melky and a lesser prospect…Anymore and its too much, even if the Sox go on to dominate, IMHO(and I am 100% for this trade…)

  • E-ROC

    Is the package ONLY Hughes and Melky for Santana? If that’s true, then I would make the deal.

    I hope the Yankees don’t blink.

  • zack

    I think we can all agree that this whole situation has the: damned if you do damned if you don’t/golden if you do, golden if you don’t stigma all over it. The Yanks trade for Santana and Hughes develops into an ace and yanks fans have their hearts broken. The Yanks don’t trade for Santana and the Sox get him and Santana outperforms Hughes for the next 6 years.

    Its tough, but isn’t it great to be in this situation? Its a far far far cry from Randy Johnson

  • Jeteupthemiddle

    I honestly feel as if the Yankees intended all along to give up Hughes for Santana (or at least, I have already braced myself in light of earlier reports that he was already in offers).

    So the new reports that the Yankees have decided to include Hughes doesn’t feel to me like they are “upping the ante.” It feel more to me like they have decided to go to the place they have already decided would be their threshold.

    Depending on who else is included in the package, I just can’t let Hughes stand in the way in getting perhaps the best pitcher in the world. (Now, if you tell me that the Sox upped their offer and now it has to be Hughes AND Chamberlain AND Jackson, I would say no, that is silly)

    I don’t know, I can’t say I would be disappointed with Johan Santana as my opening day starter.

  • Rob

    Sorry but I don’t see how Ellsbury is more valuable than Melky. He’s older and less proven. Further, in a trade like this you take the offer with the best prospect. That’s Hughes.

    If the Sox want Santana, they better be ready to give up Buchholz and Ellsbury. If not, the Yankees have them beat.

    This could easily be over by Monday.

    • zack

      Elssbury is more valuable because he projects a heck of a lot better than Melky. And the Twins want him. As I said, for the Twins, the Boston package with Ellsbury is better for their needs.

      I continue to be amazed reading all the blogs how irrational Yankee fans are being. On the other hand, its just a continuation of what seems to be a trend towards Red Sox overreaction and blaming the FO for everything. Cash and hank got hosed by A-Rod/Boras, Cash and Hank screwed everything up with Joe, Cash and Hank got played by Theo and the Twins, Cash and Hank blah blah blah. Its like everything that happens elicits these gut, the sky is falling reactions…

    • Rob

      By what metric does Ellsbury “project better”? Him being older and putting up better numbers in AAA at 23 than Melky did at 21? Oh wait…

      Furthermore, the difference between Ellsbury and Melky isn’t so great to make up for the bigger difference between Lester and Hughes.

      • Count Zero

        Exactly! See my response to his post above. He has absolutely no basis in reality for this claim. He saw Ellsbury play 5 games in September and October and subjectively came to that conclusion. LOL

        • zack

          No, thats not true. I am not basing it all on the small major league sample. I am basing it on overall tools, and overall #s. If you want to talk about small sample sizes, those Melky #s are greatly aided by his hot streak in 2006 hat led to his call up. Look at his overall minor league #s. They are quite worse than Ellsbury’s. His major league #s are actually an improvement over his minor league #s, but still far worse than Jacoby’s baseline ops etc. The thing about Ellsbury, while I think he is overrated, he can do what Gardner can’t, which is hit doubles. Thus his minor league slg. is well higher than Melky’s major league (which is God awful) and close to Melky’s minor league slg.

          You don’t simply look at where they are in their respective careers, you look at what each can bring to the table, and there isn’t a scout, GM, or anyone else in the know out there that would even consider Melky over Ellsbury…

        • Pettitte’s stare

          I don’t have the metrics to back up the Ellsbury claim but if you ever read baseball america, espn, or any major prospect site they will all agree that Ellsbury has more upside and is considered a better bet to be a major league all-star. He is a stronger defender and hits better. Don’t get me wrong I love Melky and he is a great player to have on your team, but Ellsbury still has more trade value.

  • Ron

    If this is true, and I say if because Rosenthal has been know to put out some shit, then the Yanks are playing right into the Sux hands. Do you think Theo is looking forward to facing Hughes 4-6 times/year? How do you avoid that unpleasant scenario? Bluff, and force the Yanks to deal him out of the division. Gee whiz, with all the Yanks resources, you’d think they would invest in some basic negotiating program for their executives.

    • zack

      I can promise you he is less looking forward to facing Santana 4 times a year.

      And people really need to stop referring to this as if the Twins weren’t involved and its just Theo and Cashman. Theo isn’t playing the Yankees for shit. Perhaps the Twins are, but they are playing both teams. The Sox want Santana, they just don’t NEED him. But they obviously don’t want the Yanks to have him…

      • Ron

        I disagree. I think the Sux would LIKE Santana, but are perfectly willing to “settle” for Haren, whom they will get w/o giving up Ellsbury or Bucholz. They get a pitcher 2 years younger than Santana and under contract through 2010. As much as I hate to say it, Theo & Co. are schooling the Yanks on this one.

      • Rob

        Who says they don’t give up Ellsbury or Buchholz? Haren isn’t the same pitcher but exactly b/c of that cheap contract, Beane will want alot.

        • Ron

          If he won’t trade them for Santana, why would he trade them for Haren? He will have leverage at that point because the Yanks won’t be in competition for Haren if they have already landed Santana.

        • Rob

          The Sox aren’t the only ones who’d go after Haren when he has three years at about 6/million each left. They’d have to pony up if they want any shot of getting him.

  • NYFan50

    “Basing your transactions around what the Red Sox will do is foolish.”

    This is simply not true. As much as you have to build your own team you have to also focus on your primary competition, and in this case it’s the Red Sox. You can’t solely focus on yourself. You have to take actions based on the competition you are going to face. Otherwise you just wind up with a Maginot Line.

    • zack

      And to add to that, the Red Sox have been making A LOT of their moves based on the Yanks. Dice-K, Schilling, even Beckett to a degree. Worked out for them…

      • Ron

        Dice-K, yes. Schilling, possibly, but I think they just wanted someone to team w/ Pedro. Beckett, not even close, as the Yanks had no one in their farm system at that time comparable to Sanchez & Ramierez.

    • Ivan


      You gotta worry for what you do and whats best for the team.

      • NYFan50

        What’s best for the team is to not lose sight of what the competition is doing. It’s like playing a chess game where you either look at the whole board or just at your own pieces. Obviously you are in better shape when you can see all the pieces on the board.

      • zack

        Yes. but whats best for the team is often in the case of the Yanks and Sox what is good for he team AND what hurts the other. Being in the same division and now that the Sox have finally admitted they have a ton of $, the Yanks can’t just do what is, in a vacuum, good for them. Sure, it would be great to develop all of your talent from within, have a small payroll, and let everyone take their time. Problem is, you ain’t gonna be sniffing the playoffs for 5 years at least playing that many games in the AL east..

  • Rob

    Honestly, I’m fine if the Yanks get Santana or not. He’s not exactly the same pitcher in Fenway b/c of the dimensions, and if the Sox trade most of their young depth to get him, then so be it.

    Further, I can’t wait until 10/million/year Beckett sees Santana’s extension.

    That said, if Hughes+Melky still isn’t enough, my final offer is Cano+Melky+Horne.

  • CB

    I’m not sure why people here are so bent out of shape about red sox prospects.

    It’s nice to think that there’s no way the twins would be interested in the sox package because Kennedy is better than Lester and Melky is better than Ellsbury, etc.

    But outside of yankee fans there aren’t many people in baseball who seem to think this.

    You can believe that Brett Gardner or Melky are equivalent to Ellsbury if you want for example. But few people in baseball do. And in a trade what matters is the value placed on each player. That’s it.

    Maybe you think Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus or the “mainstream media” are all run by a bunch of idiots with a red sox bias. Fine. But those people do speak with scouts. And particularly when there is a general consensus on a player its probably accurate.

    Across the board people think Ellsbury is a great prospect. They think Lester is a terrific arm.

    Seems like the twins may too. Wouldn’t be very surprising. Many people across baseball feel this way.

    • The Scout

      In this vein, it matters not how any of us judge the teams’ prospects but only how the Twins see them. They have their own scouts, their own reports; they assign the relative value. If the Lester/Ellsbury pair appeals more to them than Kennedy/Cabrera (it clearly does) or even Hughes/Cabrera, nothing anyone outside of the Twins organization says will change the assessment. For the Yankees to keep upping the offer becomes self-defeating, because at a certain point too little remains to put a championship-level team around Santana. The Yankees need more than Santana, and they need young players either to on their own team or as chips to get some of the missing pieces.

      • CB

        Yes. Just because a yankee fan thinks Ellsbury or Lester isn’t that good has nothing, absolutely, nothing to do with how the Twins GM evaluates a player and the value he puts on that player in a trade. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion but unless you are Bill Smith it doesn’t matter much what you think about how the Twins value a potential trade.

  • RZG

    So Joe P. wrote a topic citing Ken Rosenthal citing a NY Post report?

    That’s just recycling the same stuff over and over and the “echo effect” is driving fans (and I hope not Yankee officials) into a frenzy.

  • Ivan

    Think about this for a moment:

    The Yankees will have highest paid player in baseball: A-Rod

    Highest paid pitcher

    Highest paid Reliever

    Highes paid Catcher

    Highest paid DH: Jason Giambi

    My God can’t it just stop.

    I love the Yankees half to death and my fav team but come on man. You just set yourself for expectation that’t can’t be met here. This is really ridiculous.

    • yankz

      Who cares? They’re also the richest team in baseball. Would you rather the Steinbrenners sit on their cash like Pohlad does?

      Personally, I love that our owners give money back to the fans in terms of quality players.

  • Ivan

    I am not happy, if the twins still push the yankees and the yankees don’t go wit it, then the deal is dead then and we have Hughes. Ok, good.

  • Julie

    does anyone actually think Theo wants Santana?

    • Ron

      As I said before, I believe he would LIKE Santana. But I also believe he would be much happier if he could screw the Yanks into overpaying for Santana than he would be if he himself overpaid for Santana. And he doesn’t even have Bucholtz OR Ellsbury in the deal at this point. So why did the Yankee brass cave and put Hughes in the deal already? IPK & Melky is already more attractive to Twins at this point than the Sux current offer.

  • Paul

    I think Hughes is going to be a fantastic pitcher, and at the end of the day, I think they are better off with Bedard and Hughes (and the 5 or 10 million less per year they would have to pay Bedard instead of Santana), than Santana and IPK. So, if I were cashman, before I pulled the trigger on Santana, i would go to the O’s and tell them now or never – IPK, Melky and another non-big 3 prospect for Bedard. If not, so be it. But I hope they try that.

  • Dimaggio5

    It seems like the Yanks blinked. No way Theo & co. would pay Santana a ridiculous $150 million. If the Yanks do, they are insane. We sacrifice a nice emerging nucleus to a win-now attitude. Lowell & Schilling stay in Boston at a discount but Posada, Rivera, A-Rod and potentially Santana gouge the Yankees for every last cent. We have a core of fat, happy & aging multi-millionaires. Don’t expect # 27 anytime soon.

  • zack

    The Yankees didn’t blink. The Twins weren’t going to accept the yanks offer. Period. They have said so. And then they either would have just waited to watch the Yanks panic when Pettitte didn’t return etc or taken the Sox offer, which they viewed as better.

    There is a difference between panicking/blinking and recognizing a need and ensuring you fill it

    • Ron

      How is the Sux current offer better than IPK, Melky & whomever? IPK is right now, as good or better than Lester, and mainly because of the $$$, the Twins would LOVE Melky over Coco. The Yanks definitely blinked, because even if the Twins accepted the Sux offer, the Yanks could wind up w/ Haren, w/o having to include Hughes in the package.

      • zack

        It doesn’t matter what YOU think, it matter what the Twins think. And a package that addresses more of their needs is better for them. Thus, a starting pitcher with more upside (Lester, in theory), a CF about on par with Melky but costing more, a legit SS for next year (lowrie) and another pitching prospect of lesser degree (Bowdon/masterson) means more to the Twins than what the Yanks offered, as the Twins really need offense.

        We might think the package is crap and that the Yanks could top it, but if the Twins don’t, there it is.

        • JT from NYC

          The thing is, I think the Twins realize that offer was cr@p. I think that they just used the Sux to drive up the price on the Yankees in order to get Hughes. It has been stated from an insider that the Twins covet Hughes as the best pitching talent they can get for Santana.

  • Dimaggio5

    Zack, the trade is only the first step. Do you actually think Theo & co. would have given Santana $20-25 million a year to pitch in Boston? I don’t.

    • zack

      I sure do. Why wouldn’t they? They haven’t been cheap lately, and this would help them win. Plus, Schilling and Manny come off the books next year, and that negates the cost…

      • JT from NYC

        Boston prides themselves on getting the better hand in every deal that they make. They don’t succumb to demands, and they stick to their offer. Look how they handled the Lowell deal.

  • zack

    Ok, check out Olney’s latest updated blog. Now is just more confusing. Time limits, a new Sox proposal (if that is really true, you have to believe they want him too)

  • Dimaggio5

    What are the new ideas? That blog entry was confusing. If Boston adds Elsbury or Bucholz to what is already on the table, game over. If I understand correctly Boston would offer Crisp, Lester & Bucholz or Elsbury + a lower level prospect? That is a rich package.

    • zack

      I think Ellsbury would replace Crisp and Bucholz would replace Lester but the package would stay the same otherwise.

      What it sounds like ot me though is that the Sox threw some other packages out there without jacoby or the felon…

      • Dimaggio5

        If the Sox do manage to land Santana, that is going to be one hell of a 1-2 punch for at least the next 3-4 years. Our only hope then is that Santana can’t take pitching in a pressure cooker and cracks. :-)

      • Dimaggio5

        I wonder if they put a player like Youkilis on table?

        • zack

          Youkilis is a product of the Boston hype machine. Hes not getting any better or younger and faded sharply in the second half last year (until the ALDS). I doubt Minny would want him, but its possible. I doubt Boston would offer him though, they need him at 1B. I suspect they probably threw some more prospects in, maybe Bowden AND Masterson or something?

          Of course its all spec

          • Dimaggio5

            I have a feeling this drama is going to drag out over the winter meetings. I’m wondering now if a 3rd team will jump in with serious prospects and throw a moneky wrench into the whole thing.

      • steve (different one)

        i think it would be one or the other. they wouldn’t have to give up both of them.

  • Mike R.

    Am I the only one that is relieved that A-Jax and Tabata are no longer being discussed? I think they can both be special and people kept throwing their names around like throw-ins.

    • JCP

      I felt like those names were in the deal as a way of keeping Hughes’ out of it

      • JT from NYC

        If we are going to lose Hughes, its good to know that our future corner and CF are staying in the system… for now.

  • ……

    Hughes, Melky + Alberto Gonzalez is a fine trade. No objections here.

  • JCP

    personally, I don’t believe much Buster Olney says, so as far Hughes leaving goes, I won’t believe it until I see it

    • JT from NYC

      I can’t stand Peter Gammons and his biased band of idiots (Starks, Olney, Kurtchin).

  • casey

    Guys, can we clear something up here? Dan Haren is NOT an option, and it would probably take more to get Haren than Johan.

    Billy Beane is already on record as saying he would have to be overwhelmed by an offer to trade Haren. Why? Because a guy like Haren, locked in for 3 years at about $18M, is EXACTLY the type of player that the A’s franchise is built on. Remember Hudson, Mulder, and Zito? Beane will not seriously consider dealing Haren for another 1.5 to 2 years when he finds himself in the same situation with Haren that Minny is in with Santana. Until then, Haren has much more value to the A’s than he does to the Yanks, Sox, Mets, Angels or any other big budget club because Oakland could not afford him at market rate.

    Also, the O’s probably won’t be too psyched about trading Bedard within the division, so it looks like it’s Johan or bust.

    I wrote yesterday that I’m opposed to the move, but something another poster said made me think: this team really isn’t getting younger. Posada and Mo obviously have no more than 4 and 3 years left, respectively. Matsui, Abreu, even to a lesser extent Jeter and Arod are not getting younger or, more troublingly, better. While Hughes certainly might be a fantastic pitcher in 3-5 years, and eclipse Johan on the way, Johan is the clearly the better pitcher for the immediate future even if he is on the slight decline. I don’t know if I’m lightening up to subconsciously prepare myself for the seemingly inevitable trade, but time will tell.

    Think about it: what might this team have done last year with a Johan-type, true ace? Wang’s inability to shoulder that burden was a very big reason that our season ended when it did. Well, that and the bugs.

    • JT from NYC

      I am very skeptical of acquiring A’s pitchers. There’s something about it, but looking at the history of pitchers leaving the A’s leaves something to be desired.

      IMO, if Beane is willing to trade a player, it either means they are either on the last year of their contract or at their highest point in value. In Haren’s case, I think the later is true.

  • BillyBalla

    Dear Zack:

    I respect you as a fan of baseball but your assessment of Lester and company is a little off. Lets break it down as follows: Hughes is the best prospect involved in the trade talks he is an A+ prospect. If Cano was involved he would be the 2nd best and I would have to make him also an A+. Ian Kennedy, Bucholz, and I believe Ellsbury are all tied for 3rd as A prospects. Yes Yankee fans, Ellsbury is better than Melky, and to say otherwise right now based on age or whatever, your being biased. Lester and Melky should be tied for 4th as B+ prospects. Than you can take your Jed Lowry, Masterson, Bowden and pile that bag of tricks up and make them 5th as B to B+ level prospects. If Austin Jackson, Jose Tabata, Mark Melancon, or Alan Horne, all A- prospects, were involved they would all be better than your Lowry, Masterson, and Bowden. You see Sawk fans, Kennedy has at worst the same if not better stats than your precious Bucholz. Lester is a nice pitcher who projects at best as a #3, and only because he is a Lefty. He has 1 very good pitch and 2 adequate pitches, while IPK has 4 good quality pitches. IPK projects higher than Lester.

    With all this being said, are we offering too much for Santana? If it’s just Melky and Hughes I would say it’s fair on paper but a majority of Yankee fans including myself do not want to trade Hughes and feel IPK should replace Hughes. Add melky and another prospect and that should be enough. But it looks like the Twins want Hughes in this trade for it to happen. We all are left to wonder if the Twins would have accepted that ridiculous offer of Crip, Lester, Bowden, and Lowry if we would have refused adding Hughes.

    Now my question for all Yankee fans is this, what trade package out of the 3 I am about to list would you rather do;
    1-Hughes, Melky, and a B- level prospect such as a J.B. Cox
    2-Cano and Melky, with a C- level prospect such as a Tyler Clippard
    3- Kennedy, Melky, and a A- level prospect such as Jose Tabata or Austin Jackson.

    • JT from NYC

      I agree whole heartedly. I don’t get the hype with Lester. Record aside, he has inadequate control and is always working himself in and out of trouble. IPK has dominated at every level of ball that he has played, including great performances in the major.

      I think a lot of people are undervaluing IPK. Even though we will be losing Hughes in this trade, I feel the IPK will step up next year with a great season. His stuff may not be nasty, but he definitely knows how to pitch.

    • zack

      Brian covered some of what my response would be down below, but a few things:
      There is no way Buccholz isn’t the 2nd best prospect behind Hughes. The Twins like Hughes, but much of baseball likes the Felon. To put Kennedy on his level is laughable. You are very very guilty of overvaluing Yankees prospects. Jed Lowrie is as much an A- prospect as anything the Yanks have, plus he is ready for the majors NOW. I am as much a Lester doubter as anyone, but as Mike and other have noted, hes a lefty with good raw stuff. You take that every time over the crafty righty who tops out at 91.

      If the Twins had accepted that prospect package from the Sox, wouldn’t everyone be screaming at how Cashman got outmaneuvered by Theo, just as they are trying to claim the same thing now? Fo rYankees fans lately we want it both ways: we want to hold on to all of our kids PLUS make the trades to make us better than the Sox/play keep away from the Sox. B cancels out A. Period…

  • casey

    Choice 1 all the way. 2 is out of the question…I don’t know why some people are not realizing the value of a .320 hitter at 2b who is young, getting better, and just starting to find his power with a short right field porch at home. 3 is no good because the success rates with prospects production and health are not very high. Giving up 2 legitimate prospects doubles the chance that you just made a mistake.

  • MS

    I would choose choice #2 or #3, over #1. Although, last time I checked we only had choice 1 on the table. At this point I would rather have Hughes over Cano. It may sound crazy, but pitching more important than hitting in my mind.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I think it’s criminal the way the Twins owner pockets the money…some of that money is from revenue sharing and guess which team generates the most revenue in all of baseball (Probably all of sports). The Steinbrenners pour the money back into the team and the Yankee tickets prices are relatively low compared to who they are and where they play.

    Both the Yankees and Red Sox generate money to keep the rest of baseball from the poor house. The way the Twins are playing them is criminal.

    I wish they’d both just walk away.

  • Brian

    I think you’re confusing Zack’s point. The Twins’ objective opinion is what matters, not our own private and biased evaluations of our prospects. They definitely think highly of Hughes, but in the original offer it’s Kennedy v. Lester. Many see Lester as having more upside. You may not, but the Twins well might. He’s also not saying Ellsbury is not a better prospect than Melky. In fact, nobody is saying that. Ellsbury is clearly above Melky, and as long as the Twins believe that, Boston certainly has that edge. If you go back and look, Zack’s referring to Crisp: comparable stats, oodles more money.
    And lastly, Red Sox fans probably aren’t here, so I don’t know if your barbs are landing there.

  • Julie

    Somewhere in Tampa Brian Cashman is banging his head against a wall.

    • yankz

      How do you know that? Do you have a link saying he’s at odds with everybody else? Or that his opinion wasn’t considered?

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Why am I hearing rumors that they want Kennedy too? When do we walk away? NOW PLEASE.

  • casey

    MS you are completely out of your mind. Dealing Cano is insane. Cano JUST turned 25. He is a career .314 hitter who had 19 dingers and 97 rbi last year while playing second and batting no higher than 7th on a regular basis. He’s got AT LEAST 7-8 more outstanding years, as he has not even entered his power hitting prime. Last year Peter Gammons said that one day Cano would be the best left fielder in the game in a few years. Obviously this means he doesn’t like Cano’s glove, but defense aside, that means Cano would have to be among the top 15-20 bats in the game. That’s a bold statement from someone who has been analyzing baseball for a living for about 150 years. Conversely, we all seem to agree that Santana is worth this kind of investment for no more than another 3-4 years, if he is worthy of this kind of move to begin with at this point. Keep in mind: We don’t retroactively acquire Johan’s Cy Youngs or past production.

    Not to mention that the injury risk for a second baseman vs. a pitcher is no contest.

    I agree that pitching wins championships and that you need an ace in October, but you REALLY need a 25 year old second baseman who has shown every indication that he will keep progressing towards the .330/25/110 hitter that we all think he can be for April-October 2008-2015.

    PLEASE stop mentioning Cano’s name in these discussions before I have an aneurysm.

  • Rob

    As I was saying yesterday, Cano is looking a lot like Soriano to me – power or patience but not both. Their clutch stats are very similar. There’s no guarantee Cano improves. Soriano hit a plateau at 26 and never got better. Robi improved his patience this year but lost his power. His defense is better but he lacks the speed. It would be tough to give him up. But right now, I’d choose Hughes to keep.

    I take #2.

  • casey

    I think you’re forgetting a major reason for Soriano’s plateau. He aged 4 years over night in that whole Dominican age scandal…a 23 year old prospect sounds a hell of a lot better than a 27 year old. Cano’s defense is also MUCH better than Soriano’s. Sori was an adventure every play at second. Also, speed from a second baseman is a luxury. Soriano was only at second because he shifted from SS, and he was only at SS because he was a great athlete. He always belonged in the outfield, but he found his comfort level in the bigs as a second baseman so they left him there. Furthermore, Soriano’s best average years proved to be flukes, and subsequent years have shown him to be more like a .290 hitter with 35ish homerun power. Cano’s “down year” this year was at .316, and that was after a HORRIBLE start. He batted .297 his rookie year, too, to sandwich that fantastic .340 year. Cano is LEGITIMATELY 25 years old, and won’t be turning 30 until

    I love Hughes, believe me, but WHAT HAS HE DONE?!?! ONE great performance! A performance that came in the same game in which he got injured, an injury he wouldn’t fully recover from basically all year. Cano’s future is MUCH more certain, even if he “lost his power” and “only” hit 19 homers from second base. Can someone back me up here?

  • casey

    I think you’re forgetting a major reason for Soriano’s plateau. He aged 4 years immediately in that whole Dominican age scandal…a 23 year old prospect sounds a hell of a lot better than a 27 year old. Cano’s defense is also MUCH better than Soriano’s. Sori was an adventure every play at second. Also, speed from a second baseman is a luxury. Soriano was only at second because he shifted from SS, and he was only at SS because he was a great athlete. He always belonged in the outfield, but he found his comfort level in the bigs as a second baseman so they left him there. Furthermore, Soriano’s best average years proved to be flukes, and subsequent years have shown him to be more like a .290 hitter with 35ish homerun power. Cano’s “down year” this year was at .316, and that was after a HORRIBLE start. He batted .297 his rookie year, too, to sandwich that fantastic .340 year. Cano is LEGITIMATELY 25 years old, and won’t be turning 30 until 2012, not over night.

    I love Hughes, believe me, but WHAT HAS HE DONE?!?! ONE great performance! A performance that came in the same game in which he got injured, an injury he wouldn’t fully recover from basically all year. Cano’s future is MUCH more certain, even if he “lost his power” and “only” hit 19 homers from second base. Can someone back me up here?

  • zack

    Ok, according to Heyman’s latest:
    Minnesota has requested the Yankees surrender either pitcher Alan Horne or outfielder Austin Jackson as the third player, but the Yankees have thus far refused to include either in the deal for the two-time Cy Young winner. Most baseball insiders still see the Yankees as the favorite to land Santana with their inclusion of Hughes, but if the sides can’t agree on the third prospect, the Yankees may consider setting a deadline for Minnesota to accept their proposal.

    At this point, the Yanks need to tell Minn to take it or leave it. That would be ridiculous. No more of this. IF Hughes and Melky aren’t enough, fuck them.

    • Rob

      I agree. But if they’re at that stage, I say things are looking good. If they can get them to take Clippard AND Marquez, this could get done soon.

  • Rob

    Here’s a special repeat edition for you and your brain, casey:

    2 out, RISP: .231 .316 .429 (522 PA)
    Late/Close: .277 .335 .439 (685 PA)

    2 outs, RISP: .242 .288 .425 (233 PA)
    Late/Close – .285 .323 .383 (254 PA)

    They’re simply not great hitters. They do well with mistakes, but good pitchers don’t tend to make mistakes. And in the post-season, you face more good pitchers.

    By contrast here’s Jeter:

    2 outs, RISP – .316 .417 .448 (943 PA)
    Late/Close – .286 .385 .421 (1140 PA)

    The difference is, he’s the same hitter whatever the situation.

  • casey

    I agree. They can eat shit for Hughes, Melky, AND another of our best.

  • casey

    The other difference is 5 years of Major League experience. Sorry if Cano doesn’t match up to arguably the best clutch hitter of this generation. I wouldn’t have expected anyone to set those type of standards in any particular category, but since you have, you are correct. Derek Jeter is a much better clutch hitter than Robinson Cano.

    The fact that a supposedly 25 year old Soriano plateaued is absolutely no indication that Cano, whom almost anyone would agree looks a lot better at the plate than Soriano did at the same time, will not continue to improve. Are we really at the point in our love for potential that we are capping a guy’s limit for getting better at 25?

  • Rob

    And casey, here’s Hughes last five starts:

    2.73 ERA 29.2 IP 25 H 10 ER 10 BB 18 K

    and in the post-season he got even better:

    1.59 ERA 5.2 IP 3 H 1 ER 0 BB 6 K

    If it’s a choice between Cano and Hughes, I ch-ch-choose Hughes.

  • casey

    ALSO if you could show me some staistics indicating that Phil Hughes will be a surefire ace, that would be great.

  • casey

    HOLY SHIT!!!! Did you say 5 starts? I didn’t realize he had such a good month. I’ll take Cano’s .316 over 3 seasons, thanks.

  • CB

    They cannot trade Hughes and Jackson or Horne in the same deal.

    Now the twins are just trying to escalate this to a ridiculous proportion.

    They only thing that made this 3 player even remotely acceptable was no kennedy/ horne/ jackson/ tabata.

    They have to draw the line here. If Minnesota wants to blow their chance to get an arm the caliber of hughes let them.

    They can take the sox 4 players.

  • Brian

    If this latest is true, the Twins are really in control right now. And I have to think they sense a little weakness in us. We have to pull out; I’m confused about what Boston’s latest position is. Is Buccholz being offered? If not, how did we get here again?

  • Rob

    The point is Jeter is a much better hitter than Cano. Period. Don’t believe me? Go and look at other good hitters.

    Bernie Williams = very good hitter
    2 outs, RISP – .274 .392 .443
    Late/Close – .286 .382 .472

    Chase Utley = very good hitter
    2 outs, RISP – .301 .393 .531
    Late/Close – .292 .402 .518

    Don’t let Cano’s AVG fool you. He’s not a great, or even a very good, hitter. I’ll miss him. But I think we’ll miss Hughes more.

    • Brian

      Absolutely. It just goes back to the hard-to-find, power position player versus the overstocked pitching in the system. Straight up there’s no comparison, I agree. I mean, comparing Cano to Hughes at this stage in the game, what was Cano’s outlook in 2004?

  • casey

    Dude, I’m not saying Cano is better than Jeter. Jeter is a sure fire hall of famer, and one of the best pure hitters of this generation. In that Ty Cobb-Tony Gwynn mold, Ichiro and Jeter are the next 2 right there. That doesn’t mean Cano isn’t good and very valuable. When it comes down to who to offer between Cano and Hiughes, there is little more than subjective opinion to validate the idea that Hughes is a sure thing to eclipse Cano or anyone else with a track record in terms of production. Hughes has been very good at times, there’s no denying that. That’s why I was initially vehemently opposed to trading him. However, I think that as between him and Cano, Cano is more of a sure thing, and that’s why I would be more inclined to move Hughes. Flashes of brilliance to not guarantee brilliance.

  • Rob

    See that ability to maintain patience and power? Cano hasn’t developed that. He may still. But the trend downward in power this year is not a good sign. He got more selective but he lost power. That’s tells me it could be either/or with him (like Soriano). And if so, he could be very close to his potential. An outstanding glove with a good, but not great, bat.

    Look, I’m not excited to trade any of them. But I understand that this is the best pitcher in baseball. And sacrificing a bit of offense, from a 1000 run team, is not a terrible, or even bad, choice.

  • yankz

    What the hell? Jeter has better cherry-picked clutch stats than Cano, so Cano isn’t a good hitter? The kid outslugged Arod in 2006. Any 23 year old 2B who can do that is a good hitter.

  • Rob

    That same subjective opinion is involved in evaluating Cano’s future. And his value is as high right now as it will ever be – young and cheap and with that future ahead of him. Hughes has yet to establish his true value. This time next year he could be Verlander (or Prior).

  • casey

    Sacrificing offense from a 1000 run team is not necessarily a bad thing. The question we are trying to answer is whether sacrificing proven offense from a 1000 run team is better than sacrificing pitching potential from a team LOADED with pitching potential. I think it is not.

  • Rob

    I just use clutch stats as a proxy for “when the going gets tough”. Good hitters to me (Bernie and Utley too) maintain their approach in those situations. The hitters who are just swinging show in those situations they have no real approach.

    And better, that feels right. In a big situation, do I expect Cano to come through or even force a walk? No, I don’t.

  • casey

    If Cano never becomes more than he is, he is a .315/20/90 hitter. If Hughes never becomes more than he is, he is a #1 draft pick who tore up the minors and showed flashes in the bigs.

    And as I said before, pitchers are MUCH more likely to get derailed by injury.

    I just think you’re wrong here Rob.

  • Rob

    It’s not loaded with potential of Hughes’ caliber. He was the best pitching prospect in baseball for a reason.

  • casey

    Think about this as well: If we trade Hughes, who takes his place? Joba becomes pitching prospect #1, and everyone else moves up the rung one spot. We are still loaded with prospects. If we trade Cano? Wilson Betemit at second? Mark Loretta? Chuck Knoblach?

  • Rob

    Please don’t cite counting stats. Soriano hits 30-40 bombs a year and it’s pretty meaningless cause he never walks. Cano has shown more of a willingness to take a walk, but his power dipped noticeably. That either/or approach absolutely kills the lineup in big games. He’s the type who doesn’t move runners over. You can’t hit and run with him. It’s all or nothing. Sorry that I want more than that.

    I felt the same way about Soriano too.

  • casey

    I really wish you’d stop insisting that since Soriano never fixed his hitting problems that Cano will fail to do the same. Batting average, which is the most outstanding area of Cano’s game, is no counting stat.

    You still didn’t answer the question: who’s on second?

  • The Scout

    If the current rumors are to be believed, the Twins have not been pushing for Cano — possibly because the Yankees have already declared him off the table. That being the case, it hardly seems worth getting very worked up over the possibility of substituting Cano for Hughes, unless the talks turn back in that direction.

    The real issue is whether the Yankees let the Twins continue to run back and forth between the Yankees and the Red Sox. At a certain point, you need to call the bluff. Once the Yankees make their definitive offer, they simply need to hold the line. I have never supported the Hughes deal for Santana; even worse would be some of the add-on packages that have been rumored.

  • casey

    I know that, but I have a serious problem with backing down when I have the better argument. Clearly the Yanks agree with me if Cano is off the table and Hughes is not.

  • Rob

    Who’s on first. What’s on second.

  • Rob

    The best part about baseball, casey – we shall see.

  • Paul

    Cano is great, but a pitcher like Hughes is much more critical to the Yankees success in making, and succeeding in, the playoffs than a great hitting 2B. The Yanks have, and will continue to have, enough hitting to make the playoffs with or without Cano. But, if they don’t have a few pitching studs they won’t make the playoffs anyway, or if they do, it will be with the same results as the last few years. If the Twins would take Cano instead of Hughes, I do it in a heartbeat.

  • jew4jeter

    It looks like they’re insisting on keeping Jackson and Horne… I hope they stick to their guns on this…

  • The Scout

    I apologize if I’m repeating something that was raised earlier in this thread, but I don’t have the patience to read all 120 entries. If the Yankees trade Cano and Cabrera, they would have dealt their only young position players. The line-up, save possibly for the second base replacement, would be all 32 years old or older. Numbers aside, Cano and Cabrera did inject some energy and enthusiasm into an otherwise very low-key, sometimes even indifferent squad. Personally, I find it hard to root for a team of multi-millionaires who appear to be going through the motions. If you value that, you best hope that Gardner is ready very soon. As for Jackson, don’t rush it — he’s had only a splendid half-season in high A.

  • Rob Star of David

    What’s up with all the Jews wearing it in their handles? I think that’s my new one.

    (and, yes, I’m a kike. Anyone got a prob with it?)

  • Rob Star of David

    Tyler says the Twins want Ellsbury more than Hughes.

    In that case, it might take:

    a) Hughes, Melky, Kennedy; or
    b) Cano, Melky

    Can’t see how you don’t go with (b) there.

  • Rob Star of David

    Where “case” means the Sox offer Ellsbury.

  • Count Zero

    Wow! This is truly getting contentious.

    Do we agree that WARP3 is not a counting stat?

    Cano, 2007 WARP3: 11.8

    David Ortiz, 2007 WARP3: 9.6

    Manny Ramirez, 2007 WARP3: 5.0

    Derek Jeter, 2007 WARP3: 8.8

    You guys would rather trade Cano? A 25 year old 2B who posted an 11.8 WARP3 in 2007, and an 8.7 WARP3 in 2006? WTF are you guys smoking? Would I love for him to have a higher OBP? Of course. But he is what he is.

    Cano should not be traded for any pitcher. Never. Not ever. That is completely insane. On any team but the Yankees, this guy would be hitting 3rd or 5th. Without a doubt.

  • Marcos

    Any chance Santana will agree not to go to Boston?

  • Pedro

    The Yankees should do Santana + Nathan for Hughes, Melky and Tabata

  • Brian

    Rob Star of David and Jew4Jeter,

    Incredible. I am crying right now, and I’m hardly a Jew. But my favorite band is the Silver Jews, if a non-Jew man is allowed to recommend. And yes, that is a wholly other blog.

  • ShawnT

    Just a thought but i think that Haren, Wang, Chamberlain, and oh yeah Hughes is much better then paying santana and not having hughes.

  • Chris

    if hughe ia it a del cano wont be. once this deal is done the yanks need to addess the bullpen. no more 5 year deals for a elibe – Sign fome states ast a discount. Just like we cannot rely on a bunch if kids in the pen =. Aa fot trading Melky this is a pefect time to do it Thee ae a ot of compaable if not beete CF’s then him and maybe the eam can pry figgins, freel o even giffey in a trade. I dont see them investing this tye of cash in santana only to have damon in cente.

    Money isnt an object but contact legnths ae – we ae seeing the problem long tem deals ceate as thee is nowhee to play both Giambi and Damon without a significant compomise to the defense. Maybe there will be someone interested in Giambi – last yea it was rumoeed that the ANgels liked him If he cant go – Damon or Mabe Damon fo buullpen help

    Does Igawa have any value to a NL team fo a relieve? I undetand tha getting ASantana is the most impotant thing on the buner but they cant have all the open spots filled woth pebubeent litl goey. AAAATHey need to look failed states with good stuff COULD NOT CUT IT. No 4 o 5 yea deaks fo thee guys – yeas 3 tops – give out moe e year if necessay with team options or pefomance clauses that make an automatic option kick in. Reijt i-

  • BillyBalla

    I have to join this debate! I’m completely behind Rob and Paul and have to contest with Scout and Casey on the whole Cano or Hughes issue! First this topic is completely moot as the Yankees are not offering CANO in any deal as of yet. The issue is who would you rather package, gun to your head, CANO or HUGHES? My answer is CANO! I will explain why with my following points;

    1- Cano is 25 and a positional player. Hughes is 21 and a PITCHER. The pitcher always wins over the positional player no matter how many pitching prospects you have. Reasons are simple, pitching wins, hands down. You can never have enough pitching.

    2- Scout brings up the point that you don’t want to trade Cano and Melky (2 young positional players) as it will deplete the Yankees of youth and spark in the lineup. My answer to that is, Melky will be replaced by a Jackson, or Gardner. One of the 2 will be ready sometime in the season. You may now ask, how do I know? Well Gardner for one was hitting above avg, stealing bases, and playing damm good defense in triple A last year. Than he tore it up in the Arizona fall league. Jackson had a great season in single and double A. He than tore it up in the Hawaian league. You don’t want to trade these guys, right? Than your quick to say they won’t be ready! One will be ready! At the very least they will play better defense than Damon. To replace Cano’s youthfulness, maybe we plug a gold glove caliber fielder in Alberto Gonzalez in that spot. Your losing offense! But is that are real problem? We are definitely gaining defense there! And that is a problem!

    3- Hughes is 21, he was rated the number one prospect in baseball for a reason. He is a big kid that is still developing. He will only get bigger and better. His potential, I’m sorry to say can be higher than Cano’s potential. Cano’s defense can easily be replaced with a Gonzalez. Cano’s offense can be replaced as well as hitters are easier to replace than pitchers!

    4- I hope the Yankees do not trade either, but to say Cano is as valuable as Hughes is ridiculous as pitchers with his talent come along every 10 years. We do not know or cannot pretend to know if Hughes will become the ace he is projected to be. But if he does on another team his value eclipses Cano’s. That is baseball 101 folks! Stop thinking with your heart and think with your head on this issue. Hughes should be an untouchable as Bucholz is to the Red Sox. Bucholz isn’t as highly regarded as Hughes is. Cano should be untouchable as well but if you had to trade one, Cano can be replaced alot easier than a Hughes. If you have a Cano jersey and he is your favorite Yankee and you don’t want him traded, well fine! But the issue here is, who has more value? The possible 21 year old future ace? Or the 25 year old 2nd baseman that may wind up in LF that can definitely hit? my answer once again people is the pitcher! Hands down, no contest, game over!

  • zack

    I leave and come back to see this has become a debate about Cano vs. Jeter? WTF?!?

    In any case, I still say the Sox would be insane not to offer Ellsbury into the package. As good as he is, Santana makes them so much better and hurts the Yankees directly. Ellsbury over Crisp isn’t nearly the improvement that Santana would bring to their rotation and detract from the Yanks. I don’t think they will, but I think they are grossly overvaluing Jacoby

  • Ben K.

    Folks, I’m closing comments on this thread because these long threads are a little bit of a drain on our host. We’re working on a solution to that. For now, the conversation can continue in the comments to the post I just put up. Thanks for the discussion though. It’s been great, and don’t stop.