According to Murray Chass’s column today, the Twins might be backing off their demands of the Yankees for Johan Santana. The two sides were stuck on Ian Kennedy, whom the Yankees refused to put in a deal along with Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera. Now, as Chass says, they’d be willing to substitute Jeff Marquez for Kennedy. I now expect a bevy of “We have to make this deal!” comments.
Remember, though, that Bill Madden said a while ago that the Twins would have accepted Hughes, Melk, Marquez, and Hilligoss for Santana, but were turned down by the Yankees. So this could be nothing new. Then again, we heard after the Marquez-Hilligoss rumor that the Twins were still demanding Kennedy, so who knows.
I still stand in favor of keeping Hughes. If he busts, you lose nothing except his potential. The investment is minimal, so even if he goes down in 2009, they wouldn’t have put too much into him. However, if Santana succumbs to injury, you’re out a whole shit-ton of money. Say what you will about the Yankees having unlimited funds, but there’s a limit somewhere, especially considering the hefty luxury tax bill they foot yearly. If they sign Santana to a long-term extension and he gets injured in year two or three, he will affect the Yankees ability to go out and get another pitcher. Whereas if Hughes goes down this year, next year, whatever, he will in no way affect the team’s ability to pick up someone else.
It appears that the Twins will soon be looking for the best, final offers from the Yanks or Sox — though we’re still not sure if the Yankees are putting anything on the table. We’ll see, though.
So instead of a comment thread full of “we should do this deal” or “we shouldn’t do this deal,” why don’t we make it more interesting? If you’re the Twins and you can either have the Sox package (Lester, Crisp, Masterson, Lowrie) or the Yanks package (Hughes, Cabrera, Marquez, Hilligoss), which would you take?