Avert your eyes! Another Santana update

When the Yankees almost traded Andy Pettitte
A Bronx Tale for the ages

Kat O’Brien’s story in Newsday today: Nothing moving on the Santana front. Thanks for the update, Kat! Glad to see that Newsday is making the most of their column space. She even had room for this gem from Twins GM Bill Smith:

“We obviously haven’t done a deal.”

Well, that makes everything clear, now doesn’t it?

The Pioneer Press reveals a bit more about the situation this morning, though. Take it away, Charley Walters:

The Twins say they’re not panicking while holding out for the best deal for Johan Santana. But word within baseball circles is that offers by the New York Yankees (no more Phil Hughes) and Boston Red Sox are diminishing by the week. Best bet now for a trade of the two-time Cy Young Award winner appears to be with the New York Mets in a deal that would not include fast-rising hitter Fernando Martinez.

Of course, we’ve heard so damn much about this over the past month and a half that it’s tough to decipher what’s real and what’s not. But Walters clearly implies that the Yankees have taken Phil Hughes off the table. That’s good news. It remains to be seen if the Yankees will prepare an offer centered around different players, probably IPK and Horne, and if that package will surpass what the Red Sox are reportedly willing to offer.

The bigger news, though, is that the Twins are considering trading Santana to the Mets without receiving Fernando Martinez. So now you’ve got Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber, and Deolis Guerra, which is what was reported earlier this month. It was speculated that if the Mets added Martinez to that package, they’d have a deal. But now it appears that the Twins will settle for less in order to get Johan out of the American League.

Once again, this is all speculation. The only reason it’s even worthy of a post is because it mentioned the Yankees no longer offering Hughes, and the Mets likely not parting with Martinez.

I still say the Twinkies are better off holding onto him. But that’s just my biased opinion.

When the Yankees almost traded Andy Pettitte
A Bronx Tale for the ages
  • Jamal G.

    The Twins are better off holding on to Santana and there’s just no argument if you’re talking about 2008 (even with that lineup in Detroit). If Liriano can come back to even 75% of what he did in 2006 and Santana actually has some offensive support that team is dangerous. I would love for the Mets to get him, absolutely love it. That way he’s out of the AL, we don’t have to hear dumb ass critics saying the Yanks were wrong in letting Santana go to Beantown and the Mets farm system will be depleted beyond belief.

  • jon

    Why do you think they should hold onto him? With that offense do you think they are legitimate contenders this year? Liriano coming back is a huge if and now they’re without Garza and Silva as well. There’s some potential, but a lot of uncertainty in that rotation.

    With the chance to pick up legitimate B+/A prospects, there’s very little doubt to me that trading him is the best thing to do.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      Their offense is greatly improved with the addition of Young. Now they have him, Mauer, Morneau, and Cuddyer in the middle of the lineup. It’s not going to be top 5, but it’s going to score them more than 718 runs this year.

      And then in the rotation you have Santana, Liriano, Bonser, Baker, Slowey, Perkins…it has the potential to be a sweet rotation. Yes, there’s a lot of uncertainty, but there’s uncertainty in every team’s rotation.

      They’ve got a shot if they hang onto him. If I’m a first-year GM, I’d rather head into the season with a chance to win, rather than trade my best player.

  • TurnTwo

    IPK and Horne should have been enough value at the top of the package to begin with. If IPK, Horne, Melky and another prospect gets it done, then I still would prefer to trade for Johan.

    However, I am very wary a deal will get done to bring Johan to the Bronx, and I am now on the side that including Hughes is a dealbreaker.

  • Nefarious Jackson

    RAB could have a Poll about “who is the biggest total Hack in the NYC print media?” There are a lot of contenders, I would have Joel”let me just make shit up” Sherman number one with a bullet, how he still has a job I have no idea

    wait, he works for the NY Post… just answered my own question.

    But other strong contenders would be Kat O’brien, Bill Madden(among many dumb things he has written the May 2007 column where he says “the Mets have the young pitching that the Yankees yearn for” is my favorite. yea, really wish we had John Maine instead of Joba & Phil.) George King who looked & sounded drunk on Hot Stove a few weeks back, Mets apologist & midget Mike Lupica, the list goes on and on and on…

  • Nefarious Jackson

    BTW- the supposed Met package is a joke, if Bill Smith does that deal he would be run out of the state— if he could’ve had Hughes in a deal @ the winter meeting he really screwed up.

  • huuz

    i agree with TurnTwo:

    i know this is wishful thinking, but if we can get away with keeping hughes and AJAX, i’d be willing to trade almost anything else in our farm to get santana. IPK, melky, horne…or something like that. of course, our lucky stars would have to align, but life is crazy sometimes.

    i’m sure many caught the guest post on lohud, but it was food for thought about how the Yanks are going to fill IP by the starters this year…w/o blowing out the arms of the Big Three…


  • rbizzler

    I agree that the Twinkies should roll into ’08 with Santana leading the charge (every fifth day). If they tank out of the gate or the young pitching falters they can always move him before the break (if he consents). The Mets deal will still be on the table as the main piece, Gomez, won’t have an impact with the big club, something that could warrant pulling him. I personally don’t see it happening, but Humber and Mulvey could pitch their way into untouchable status. Doubtful, but you never know.

  • E-ROC

    Is no news really good news? It’s always the deal nobody knows about. I’m still worried that the Yanks will acquire Santana. I won’t stop worrying about it until Opening Day.

  • CB

    A Mets package without Martinez is hard to even take seriously. That would be a terrible deal.

    I glanced through the reaction some twins fans had over at the Star Tribune blog to that Mets deal – not pretty at all. Most of them want the twins to take any of the Yankees or Sox deals instead of the mets.

    The Twins should think hard about keeping Santana for the year at this point. There is a significant opportunity cost they would incur by giving him up and essentially writing off 2008.

    For a small market team like the Twins you’ll never have a “good” chance of winning. You are always going to go into the season as long shots to get to the world series when the yankees, sox, etc. are all in the AL.

    Given that their 2008 team with Santana may represent the best chance they will have to win the world series for the next 10 years. They have multiple pitchers and offensive players who are in the prime of their careers and are all stars/ near all stars.

    Minnesota may not have this collection of talent again for years and years.

    You don’t just trade that away lightly and a package of Gomez, Guerra, Humber and Slowey is not very much.

    I think the yankees should come in with a 5-6 player offer built on Kennedy and Horne. Something like Kennedy, Horne, Melky, Marquez and Alberto Gonzalez and perhaps Mitch Hilligoss or a similar player as a 6th prospect.

    Smith can save some face at this point with that kind of deal which would be better than what the A’s got for Haren and much better than the mets offer. I don’t think the mets can afford to give up 6 prospects given their lack of depth and I don’t think the Sox will give up that much talent and pay Santana give their depth of pitching.

  • Count Zero

    Funniest part to me is that back in early December I was on a Twins’ blog and said that Smith was dangerously close to overplaying his hand — they all said I was an idiot and that they should definitely hold out for Hughes, Melky and IPK plus. I told them, “Ain’t never gonna’ happen.”

    If the current media scuttlebutt is true, Mr. Smith overplayed his hand to the point of massive failure. I agree that the Twinkies would now be better off holding on to Johan. In fact, they might want to reconsider offering him an extension. :-)

  • gianthinker

    If we could land Santana for a IPK deal (without Joba or Hughes) then I’d do it in a second. Something like IPK, Melky, Horn, etc would be fine with me but otherwise I pray he ends up with the Mets and this soap opera ends.

  • Ron

    “I think the yankees should come in with a 5-6 player offer built on Kennedy and Horne. Something like Kennedy, Horne, Melky, Marquez and Alberto Gonzalez and perhaps Mitch Hilligoss or a similar player as a 6th prospect.”

    Wow! That’s a lot to give up for ONE YEAR of any player. If Smith decides on keeping him for ’08, the Yanks can get him next year for NO PLAYERS!

    It helps the Yanks that Smith is between a rock and a hard place, because without an overwhelming offer, he just may opt to keep him. That would have to be the Yanks ideal scenario.

    • CB

      That is a lot, but I do think one year of Santana and the chance to sign him long term exclusively is worth it.

      The main reason why I think that type of 5-6 player deal would be worth it is that it works from the yankees area of depth – right handed starting pitching. The system can absorb the loss of kennedy, horne, and marquez if they are getting Santana back. Jeter isn’t going to move off short any time soon, IMO so Gonzalez will be a utility guy at best for them. Hilligoss can be replaced with Sublett, Pruitt, Synder, Suttle, Laird, etc.

      • greg

        IPK and Mulvey are projected very similarly. Guerra projects higher than Horne. Gomez is already as good as the overrated Melkey. Plus the Mets are also offering Humber, a first rounder coming off TJS in just his second season, and on top of that the best prospect in their entire system in Martinez. Without Martinez I guess an IPK, Melkey, Horne, Marquez, etc deal would be similar — basically a matter of throwing in an extra 2-3 lower teir guys makes it even… if the Mets give in with Martinez I’d have to say Smith should accept it and be happy this doesn’t get any worse. If the Yankees and Red Sox were only in this to make sure the other team doesn’t get him, it is possible they are both slowly backing away (eyes on each other), and when they are both comfortable with the fact that the other team has truthfully moved on, Smith will be left with the Mets and no Martinez. Just my opinion.

        • CB

          I was responding to the latest posted deal from the mets which did not have Martinez in it. If he were then that would change the dynamics of the market for Santana.

          That said the Twins from the get go have been adamant about wanting major league ready talent for Santana. Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer, etc. are all in their prime and at the same time still cost controlled/ under reasonable contracts.

          The twins know they have a very narrow window to make a run before those guys are elligible for free agency.

          That’s the major issue with the mets offer even with Martinez in it. With Martinez and Guerra at the center of the deal the Twins take on a lot of risk. This is why Guerra is not “equal” to Horne even though Guerra may have a higher ceiling. Horne is very close to being major league ready. That means a lot to a team like the Twins.

  • Stephen

    I can’t see how the Twins would be better served by hanging on to Santana. The chance of Minnesota competing with the Tigers and Indians (who are, in my mind, clearly among the five best teams in baseball) would seem slim at best. They really don’t have the offense to compete.

    Even their rotation is ok at best, after Santana. After losing Silva and Garza over the offseason they will have to count both on young, inexperienced guys like Baker and Slowey taking serious steps forward and on a strong return by Liriano, which is by no means a sure bet.

    Smith should deal him now. Attempting a trade in the middle of the season is much more risky. Teams will not be motivated to move for a guy for a month or two when there is little liklihood of Santana signing an extension mid-season.

    • Ron

      In addition, Santana is on record as saying he will not approve a trade once the season starts (although players have been known to change their minds in the past).

      • B

        Santana is not on record of saying any such thing. It was an “inside source.”

        Greenberg has denied it repeatedly and Johan, when he did speak, said nothing whatsoever to support that source.

  • Bo

    I’d jump at the chance to get him for anything less than Hughes.

    Who wouldnt???

    If the Mets think they can get him for Mulvey and Humber we can certainly jump in and beat that.

  • Bo

    My prediction?

    The Yanks trade Kennedy and 3 lower level prospects for Santana.

    • http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/ Nick-YF

      Is Kennedy and 3 lower prospects worth 2 first round picks (and I’m not even including the one year the Twins would get from the best pitcher in baseball for under market salary)?

  • Mike C

    Has it been overlooked that IPK pitched better than Joba in the minors last year AND better than Hughes in the majors last year? I say, hold onto both IPK and Hughes and forget this Santana trade.

  • Bbig

    quick question: your countdown says pitchers and catchers report in 20 days while yankees.com says 23. do you know which one is right?

  • Bo

    Kennedy isnt worth a first rounder??

    At least with him you know you’re getting a legit, top 20 prospect.

    There are NO guarantees in the draft and also think of the hassle having Johan all yr will be for them.

    The daily updates. Constant BS.

    I never thought the team would go with 3 rookies in the rotation. But if they can get this done without moving Hughes/Joba. Wow.

    IPK is good but hes not and will never be Santana.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    a deal centered around Kennedy & Horne (excluding Tabata & Ajax) you have to do. any way we can keep Joba, hughes and Cano AND get Santana would be phenomenal. but at this point, if the Mets really wont give up FMart, the Twinkies might as well hold onto him and try to convince Pohlad to shell out for him. if not, they get 2 top draft picks. it might be a better PR move for the rookie GM at this point.

  • Bo

    The Twins arent paying him 150 mill and he doesnt want to stay there. He wont take a discount. He saw what they did one of the most popular guys in team history, Hunter.

    Two top picks for a team that wont spend any money isnt worth it anyway. Plus those guys are 3-5 yrs away from producing.

    If they get a Kennedy, hes in their rotation tomorrow. Plus they dont have to pay him a signing bonus.

    Why take chances in a draft?

    Have you seen how badly Minny has drafted the past 5 years?

  • Rob_in_CT

    I doubt the Twins would go for a IPK/Horne package, but if they would, yeah, I’d be hard pressed to argue against it, despite being an IPK fan.

  • Bo

    Well if the Twins will take a FM less package from the Mets why wouldnt they take IPK/Horne?

    The only prospect worth mentioning for the Mets is Martinez. All the sudden they’d take an inferior package for Santana??

    I dont buy it. They’re just trying to get the Yanks back at the table here.

  • daneptizl

    If a deal were to get done with the Yankees without Hughes, would Mussina definitely be kicked out of the rotation?

    • Joe

      If they can land Santana without giving up Hughes or Joba, I’d go with a top three of Santana/Wang/Pettitte, piggyback Hughes and Joba as the fourth starter, and use Mussina as the fifth. If you use Phil and Joba for an average of 4.5 innings for 34 starts, it works out to 150 innings and change, which I think would work going into next year with each set up to throw 180+ innings.

      I know some people don’t like the idea of piggybacking, starters in the Majors, but I haven’t seen any logic behind it other than “it’s a minor league thing, won’t work in MLB.” I’m not a GM or anything, but I see my two young guns getting 5 innings of work on a regular basis, keeping their IP total low and keeping them geared up for starting going forward. Is there some huge hole in my reasoning that I’m missing?

      • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

        it gets their total IP up, but it doesn’t really build single game arm strength. i’d rather they each start 20-25 times and go at least 6. we want them to have stamina next year and HAVE to face the same batters 3+ times in a game, not just twice.

  • nick blasioli

    i dont know about you people..but, iam very sick of this santana situation…the yankees are not players in this and probably never were…i admit, they had me going for awhile…but.,as far as iam concerned its over….i will not pay attention to any santana rumors again…see you all at spring training…..

  • D

    That Mets package (sans F-Mart) is awful…I will laugh hysterically if Smith actually takes that for Johan Fucking Santana.

  • gregori

    Why should they hold on to him?
    They would get 2-3 high draft choices.
    With the proven great scouting the Twins have regarding the draft, they could use the money saved to ‘buy’ higher up still by paying over slot.
    Remeber the Yankeess got Joba and Kennedy by doing this very thing with the 2 draft picks attained by losing a much lower-rated free agent in Tom Gorden.