If Igawa’s involved, the Twins’ demands are definitely changing

Bob Sheppard is alive and well
With friends like these, who needs Mike Wallace?

The understatement of the Hot Stove League may be the headline on a La Velle E. Neal III article from Saturday. It asks, “Twins softening demands for Santana?

Now, on the surface, that seems like a legitimate question to ask, but when you look at what Neal wrote, the answer is glaringly obviously yes.

For instance, indications earlier in the off-season were that the Twins wanted the Yankees to include righthanded pitching prospect Ian Kennedy in a package led by prized young righthander Phil Hughes and center fielder Melky Cabrera. Now it’s believed that the Twins are willing to accept other players instead of Kennedy. Recent reports have righthander Jeff Marquez as part of the deal.

Lefthander Kei Igawa, who floundered to a 2-3 record and 6.25 ERA in his first year after arriving from Japan, also has been mentioned in talks with the Yankees, perhaps as a fourth player in the package. His salary — $4 million annually over the next four seasons — shouldn’t be a problem for a club whose payroll would drop under $50 million if Santana is traded.

Any time you can get a team to drop its demands from Ian Kennedy to Kei Igawa, the demands are most definitely softening. While I still don’t want to see the Yanks shell out all of the prospects for one year of Santana, I would certainly get a good laugh out of things if Kei Igawa ends up being the missing fourth piece for the Twins.

If Bill Smith actually knew what he were doing, he would have laughed the Yankees out of the room when Kei Igawa’s name came up. Or he could said, “No way. No how. Not interested.” But if we’ve learned one thing this off-season, it’s that Bill Smith isn’t exactly the most confident of General Managers.

Bob Sheppard is alive and well
With friends like these, who needs Mike Wallace?
  • Lanny

    The best lefty in baseball for the worst Japanese lefty with terrible sunglasses.

    Sign me up.

  • Realist

    Can you imagine the headlines????????????? Igawa is the “kei” to the deal!

    Lmao…..oh the humanity!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously though , I would do the deal if Hughes wasn’t involved….

    • alex

      it’s it pronounced “K”?

      • Realist

        Lol, it was humor….you stick in the mud ;-)

  • Realist

    Meaning swap kennedy for Hughes and possibly adding Horne over Marquez(sp?)

  • Andrew

    Kei could be the fourth piece in addition to Marquez, Melky and Hughes.

    It doesn’t exactly ‘vindicate’ his signing, but it would be pretty amusing if the first two picks of the 2004 draft and Kei Igawa were 3/4 of what led to Johan Santana.

  • gazu

    i think santana is going to be traded to the mets

  • Rich

    I’m against any deal for Santana that involves Hughes.

    Before the Yankees make such a huge investment in both player personnel and financial assets, they should wait until Santana can demonstrate that his Sept. decline and reluctance to throw his slider weren’t due to nascent physical issues.

  • CB

    If the twins let this leak to the press then they are probably trying to recalibrate their fans expectations. This LaVelle Neal guy who reported this story has basically acted like the Twins town crier throughout this process (he’s the one who reported about how offended the twins front office was with Hank’s deadline, etc.)

    The Twins been so vocal and public about their demands they are going to have to do a lot of explaining as they ready to move into their new ball park however this shakes out with Santana. They aren’t going to get the deal they expected. Looks like Bill Smith is facing up to reality.

    If they are softening I hope the yankees will try to press the issue and see if a deal can get done without Hughes. Maybe if they make a 5 or 6 player offer the Twins will bite. Supposedly they’re worried that if Hughes doesn’t pan out they won’t get much back for Santana other than some decent but not great players.

    Perhaps something like Kennedy, Horne, Melky, Marquez, Alberto Gonzalez and Mitch Hilligoss? That way Minnesota can say they are getting two high quality arms and several other players who are near major league ready? Getting 5-6 players with Kennedy and Horne in the deal would also let them get a better deal than what Oakland got for Haren and save some face. That might entice them into a deal?

    Don’t know if that’s feasible, but I’d much rather the yankees make that deal rather than giving up Hughes. A deal with Kennedy and Horne will still be better than any of the Boston packages.

    At this point the twins will have to select from what’s offered rather than what they’ve been demanding. The yankee offer hopefully won’t require Hughes – just enough to be better than Boston. Hope getting it done without Hughes is possible. Don’t know if it is.

    • Realist

      Well said CB and what I was refering to earlier in the thread. I do believe Melky , IPK , Horne and 1 or 2 other prospects not named Tabata , Jackson , or Montero would be very fair and better than the current Sox offer.

  • Deezer

    Igawa at 4 yrs/16M is not so bad. The guy could pitch at one point, so why not take a flier on him and see what he can do.

    If he does go, the Yankees will have paid $30M for one awful season of this guy. So there may be a GM who doesnt know what he’s doing, but it wouldnt be Bill Smith.

  • Kevin

    I’ll drive him to Minnesota.

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    The problem with the deal is Hughes. I’m 100% against including Hughes in this deal. Losing Melky is a big enough loss Kennedy would be the only other player I would be willing to give. If the Twins are silly enough to want Igawa they can have him, but let’s be clear, no money goes along to cover his salary.

  • Brian

    This isn’t laughable in a “Bill Smith is a total idiot” way…Igawa as the fourth guy in the deal is an upgrade over Hilligoss. Igawa and Marquez as a combo to get out of dealing Kennedy is great, but not an embarrassing move by the Twins if that’s what happens. I really do hope Hal wins the day on this one, though, because I agree that financially it isn’t worth doing. Hughes for his his cost (plus others) v. Santana for his cost…no thanks.

  • barry

    probably an indication that a deal is looming. igawa would take some salary off the yankees hands.

    • B

      Or in line with LON3 having been known to make shit up before.

      These Minnesota guys are worse than George King.

    • TurnTwo

      i think this is a great point… it’s been reported that Hal and BC are reluctant to take on Johan’s contract if they cant move salary from the current payroll… but you trade Igawa’s $4-5 million, and then maybe move Farnsworth’s $5-6 million (or at least $3 million, if you have to eat part of the contract), you’ve got approx $8-11 million that is cleared that helps pay for Johan in 2007 w/o making a real drastic change to the salary structure of the team.

      To me, the Twins want Hughes… not Lester or Ellsbury or Carlos Gomez or Kevin Mulvey. Maybe they’re willing to take back a little bit of salary in order to get the prospect they really want.

  • Joel

    Kennedy, Horne, Melky, Igawa, Hilligoss or Gonzalez

    Take it or leave it!

  • Adrian-Retire21

    So we are going with three for sure Bullpen guys,only one good one and a bunck of kids.No this isn’t a rebuilding year.

    WE are going with three rookies in the rotation none with more then 160 innings logged in his arm.Yeah not a rebuilding year.

    So with our pitching staff of 12 pitchers 5 only have more then one year expirence.Yeah we don’t need Satana or a trade deadline pitcher.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G

    Some of you seem to be real happy about a deal involving IPK/Horne/Marquez among others. IMO thats just too damn much especially since Melky would be involved in that deal. I am most def against Hughes in any deal and to tell you the truth I feel the same way in a deal involving 50% of our four best high-level pitching prospects.

    Am I being stingy? No I really dont think so because the Yankees or any team rather should not be thinking about giving up such high-level and top potential prospects (especially pitchers) for a player (albeit the best at player at his position) the team does not need. Alot of us may want Johan Santana on the Yanks pitching against Josh Beckett in Games 1 & 7 of the ALCS but the truth of the matter is we do not need him. Therefore guys like Philip Hughes or packages of Kennedy, Horne, and Marquez should not be moved.

  • RollingWave

    I’m hoping that this means that there is actually just a lot of smoke and mirrior and that no one is serious about trading for Johan.. that would make me happy.

    I would have thought that if Igawa was traded to any team, it would probalby be.

    a. a pitchers park
    b. Japanese friendly
    c. preferablly in the NL

    the Twins doesn’t fit any of those…. their dome is a small launching pad, they never had a Japanese player, and their obviously not in the NL. (though with their current SS they might as well be hah)

    I woulda thought that something like Igawa for Sexson make some sense. both guys could potentiall offer something and the money exchanged is fairly balanced. and both side (particularly the M’s ) have enviornment tha suits that player.

    • Moose

      You forgot to include Benny Hanna’s.

      Domo Irrigatto.

  • Robert

    Jamal, i completely disagree with you. The yankees need a front of the line starter and in New York, you do not have patience being a virtue. Fans and media alike do not want to wait. Everyone keeps saying wait for IPK and Hughes to develop into what they SHOULD be. Well what happens if they don’t? It’s happened too many times in the past to just take it as gospel that it will automatically happen now. I think we all know that Wang is not an ace, number 1 guy. He is a great number 2 for the team. And we do NEED a guy who can front the rotation in the playoffs because right now we really don’t have that.

    And you are by far overvaluing Melky Cabrera, IMO. The Twins don’t really want him but are willing to take him anyway because he would fill their centerfield gap that they have right now without having to wait for him to develop into a major league ready guy. I would much rather give up IPK and a stronger package of prospects than to give up Hughes, but I will not go crying in a corner if Hughes is traded, especially if it is Hughes, Melky, Marquez and Igawa. That’s not exactly a strong back end of the deal and the yankees get to keep all of their position prospects.

    • steve (different one)

      Fans and media alike do not want to wait.

      serious question: why should that matter?

      what are the fans going to do? not come to Yankee stadium this year in the last year it’s open? not come next year to the new stadium?

      they will do neither of those things, so i don’t see why their spoiled impatience should be of any concern to the FO.

      same with the media.

      the minute you start making trades to appease the idiots in the NY media, the minute you will be in trouble.

      that is not to say that trading for Johan is necessarily bad, but this is not a reason to do it.

  • Bo

    Now I think its pretty obvious why Mike Cameron hasnt signed a contract yet.

    Hes waiting for this deal to get done because there will be a huge void in CF in the Bronx.

    • TurnTwo

      completely agree.