Hank: Players: ‘Santana? We don’t need no stinkin’ Santana’

Congressional delays push hearing back to Spring Training
Yanks about to throw in the Santana towel?

Hank Steinbrenner: the gift that keeps on giving! Gotta love him. Maybe.

One day after we wrote about how Hank is conducting Johan Santana contract negotiations through Kat O’Brien, we get yet another spin on the Johan Santana story. This one comes to us from Pete Caldera, and this time, Hank says that other players on the Yankees think they can win without Santana.

Well, gosh, I sure do hope the Yanks have a good sense of self-confidence. I wouldn’t want them to say they think they’re going to finish behind the Orioles if they don’t land Santana.

Anyway, some relevant bits:

While speaking to some of his trusted veteran Yankees on other matters, senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner also has sought input about a possible deal for Johan Santana.

According to the majority opinion of his players, the team doesn’t need to make a blockbuster deal with the Minnesota Twins to put them over the top. “Nobody would say that we don’t want Santana, but, yeah, they’re pretty darn confident in what we can do this year [as is],” Steinbrenner said during a phone conversation Tuesday…

“We’re still throwing it around and talking about it. It may happen, or it may not happen,” Steinbrenner said. “But a few of our best players seem very confident in the way that things stand right now.”

Hank wouldn’t say which players don’t think they need Santana. However, as Caldera notes, Jorge Posada himself a few months ago said the Yanks sure could use the power lefty on the team.

Additionally, Steinbrenner noted that the Yankees are still in the Santana race despite a deadline because that deadline applied only to the discussions at the Winter Meetings. “Originally, I set a deadline … because the winter meetings [are] a circus,” Steinbrenner said. “And I’m not going to be played against another team.”

Anyway, despite the talk, the Mets may have the inside track on Santana. If the Yanks’ crosstown rivals add prospect Fernando Martinez to their offer, they may emerge as the frontrunners to land Santana.

Congressional delays push hearing back to Spring Training
Yanks about to throw in the Santana towel?
  • snoop dogg resident

    The longer this goes on the more i see him going to the mets becase they are so desperate to erase the thoughts of last year. If they are going to deplete their entire farm system for santana so be it. the ironic thing is that of the three teams they are the one that can least afford johan. they make this trade and it will haunt them for years.

    the trade means risk for both the yanks and sox, but for the mets it coul kill their ranchise. then again, it could mean a WS next year

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  • E-ROC

    The Mets might as well give up the farm for Santana. They desperately need Santana. They only have two healthy successful arms in the rotation. They should probably do a talent for talent trade or trade for Noah Lowry, instead of giving up everything for Santana. I think what “The Boss” said about Cashman last season applies to Omar Minaya. He’s a on very BIG hook this season.

  • snoop dogg resident

    accept the difference is that unlike cashman, i think omar is the type to make that move.i am not a huge cashman fan, but at the same time i do respect him for having a set and not making panic trades.

    still dont think the santana seal is a panic one though becuase I reaaly think he puts them in a position the next 5 years (depending on how they handle the off season) to win a couple more rings. my opnion about this remain – worry anout 2010 in 2010 – take care of the near future first

  • Jeff

    Couldn’t that be correlated with the earlier post RAB made where Andy was saying we could get by without an ace? Sometimes one turns into a couple when you are trying to justify things. Maybe Hank is getting tired of his lone battle and trying to convince himself out of it. – Although I hope thats not the case because I’d to see Santana in pinstripes.
    Also in the article Jorge is for having a real Ace. Maybe he has an idea about how to get out of the first round of the playoffs.

    • steve (different one)

      he could try hitting. his career playoff line is .236/.352/.379.

  • Mike44@aol.com

    Anyone else concerned that Hughes, at last look, really wasn’t topping 93 on a consistent basis? I think that is worth mentioning…

    • Rob_in_CT

      1) 93 is just a number. Command, control, and useage of offspeed/breaking pitches is more important than a few mph of velocity.

      2) The hamstring/ankle injury did appear to affect his stuff. He looked better in Sept/Oct. He did have a grade III hammy pull – nasty – and the ankle sprain was bad too, IIRC.

  • Bo

    What farm would the Mets give up?

    Two guys who project as #5 pitchers and will probably end up in the bullpen.

    An 18 yr old pitcher with control problems and a 19 yr old OF who isn’t a sure thing.

    That’s a terrible haul for the Twins who would really regret not doing the Hughes trade.

    • TurnTwo

      i told my Mets-fan friend earlier this morning, putting Hughes aside: IPK is a better prospect than any of those 3 pitchers, and is MLB ready right now. if the Twins took that package of pitchers over one from the Yankees built around IPK and Melky with Marquez and another prospect, than they were more interested in just moving him out of the AL.

    • steve (different one)

      i actually think Santana makes the most sense for the Mets.

      first, the Twins would clearly prefer (all else being equal) to deal Santana to the NL. so the Yankees don’t have to match the Mets’ offer, in theory they have to beat the Mets’ offer. and if the Mets include Martinez, their offer is a strong one, even though most of us probably feel some of those prospects are overrated.

      second, Santana helps the Mets more than he helps the Yankees. the NL is up for grabs. Santana makes the Mets the early favorites.

      with the Yankees, Santana represents a smaller upgrade (though he would surely be valuable in the post-season) because the Yankees are giving up Hughes and Melky. The upgrade from Hughes to Santana is partly mitigated by giving a win or two back on defense from moving Damon to CF and putting Matsui in LF.

      maybe the Yankees sign then Cameron then, which would offset some of that, who knows? but my point is that the Yankees are giving up real talent from their major league roster so the “Santana effect” would have less impact for the Yankees than the Mets. the difference between Hughes and Santana is smaller than the difference between Santana and who, Pelfrey?

  • Bo

    If Hughes is as good as they and everyone else thinks he is, it really isn’t worth it to do the trade. Especially when you have to pay Santana 150 for 7 yrs.

    If they dont think Hughes is a top level starting pitcher they would have done this deal weeks ago.

    As for his throwing only 93, you think it could have something to do with the hamstring injury he sustained?? And I seem to remember him hitting the number solid in October.

  • PYanks
    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I bet ya too it. See this post right here on RAB :)

  • Geno

    When in God’s holy name will Hank realize that him speaking to the media only hurts the team?

    He says he doesn’t want the spotlight. Really Hank? Then why is it that every time I turn around you’re painting yourself into an idiot’s corner? These ridiculous, blanket statements need to stop now.

    It’s like watching a brain-damaged bull trying to outsmart his image in a mirror.

  • George

    FYI… during the playoff game against the Tribe, and his last regular season start, Phil was touching 96 mph. Command plus his curve ball was evident. Maybe that’s not much for some of you, but I would rather root for our own kids.

    • Glen L

      Hughes’ command was a thing of sheer beauty when he came in against the indians in relief … posado put his glove somewhere and didn’t have to move it an inch .. philly was hitting every target .. i loved every second of watching him pitch that day

  • Bo

    The “rather root for your own kids” is a straw man argument.

    Its always great when a young kid from the system makes it but I’d rather win than have 25 guys to root for who play 500 ball.

  • nick blasioli

    if the yankees dont sign santana or make this deal before the season starts…the yankees are screwed as far as making the playoffs and the ws….right now they are not better than,,boston, detroit, cleveland or the angels….they have not done one dam thing to better the team from last year…if anyone thinks that the young pitchers can take up the slack and keep the yankees in contention,,,better think again…you need veteran players now…down the road we can sign the young kids ….

    • steve (different one)

      actually, yes they are better than Detroit, Cleveland and Anaheim right now.

      here are some projections that SG did at RLYW:


      by all means, i invite you to back up your claims.

    • Geno

      Which young kids will we be “signing down the road”?

      We do need veteran starters, and we’ve got them. Pettite, Wang & Mussina are all experienced vets. And it’s not like our kids haven’t tasted the big leagues – they have, and they didn’t wilt under the pressure.

      If you’re a Yankee fan, sit back and relax – the kids are alright. If you’re rooting for another team, I don’t blame you for not wanting the Big 3 in the rotation in ’08.

      • Whitey14

        Sometimes you don’t have to go out and make major moves to improve your team. As a Red sox fan, I admit that openly, I see the yankees allowing their young players the chance to develop and all contribute at a higer level than they did last year as improvement enough to get into the four team playoff field. I would currently view Cleveland as the team on the outside looking in. Carmona will not repeat what he did last season and they have a shitty closer with a 5+ ERA. Detroit should dominate the divison with above average pitching and excellent hitting. I feel they’re the team to beat as things stand right now.
        What have the Red Sox done this offseason? Not much, but I’d still consider them the favorites to win the East based on the expected better performances from Drew, Lugo and Matsuzaka along with the continued improvement of, and increased contributions from, Ellsbury, Lester and Buchholz put them in a very simliar position to ny and I foresee another tight division race between these two. They could very well be meeting in the ALCS again. Coin Flip anyone?

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  • nick blasioli

    cant you people see that boston is better than the yankees..they finished ahead of the yankees last year and they will this year also…they lost to cleveland in the playoffs and detroit has a more power packed line up than any other team in baseball…so the kids are not going to make the difference…..

    • steve (different one)

      again, i invite you to prove this objectively.

      please show me where anyone argued that the Yankees are better than Boston. i don’t see anyone arguing that.

      you said the Yankees won’t be “in contention” next year unless they get Santana.

      i’m saying that is nonsense.

    • Geno

      Not a Yankee fan, Blasioli? Big surprise. Your argument is what exactly? The past? Yes, it happened. We know because we were there.

      Where will you be, Blasioli, when these “kids” pitch us into the World Series? Rooting for them, no doubt.

  • Mike44

    “but I would rather root for our own kids.”

    Thats cute.

    But I would rather have a better chance at winning the World Series which acquiring the best pitcher in baseball would give us.

    • Malcard89

      but at what cost? sure, a much better chance in 2008 of making the playoffs and winning a WS, but what about beyond that? i think it was here that the argument was made that if hughes cant reach his ceiling, you dont lose any money and flexibility, but if santana starts declining, gets injured, or cant handle the AL east, what do you do then? do u think our first base situation would be as pathetic as it is right now if Jason Giambi wasnt making $20 million a year while getting injured and clogging up two positions (1B + DH)? im not saying that santana will become the next giambi, but why even run the risk when hughes is proclaimed to be destined for stardom in a matter of years? and its not just analysts and newswriters saying this, we’ve seen it with our OWN eyes how amazingly he pitched in september and the playoffs.

      furthermore, the yankees are not the 5th best team in the AL by any means. with the trio, plus melky granted the starting CF job from opening day (and dont forget, once he had regular playing time, he was OPSing in the low 800s until his slump late in the year), u have a nicely rounded pitching staff unlike what we started with last year and having to resort to chase wright and jeff karstens. the tigers already had a great offense, they added one REALLY big bat and a pitcher who may be worse than andrew miller will be in 2008 anyway. i see no reason to worry.