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.