Remember that source I lampooned a bit this morning? Well, now Buster Olney is reporting it, too. He mentions the same players from this morning, only Michael Bowden as a possible replacement for Justin Masterson.
It is also possible, as the rival Yankees and the Red Sox simultaneously engage Minnesota in discussions for Santana, that the Red Sox could go to the brink of a deal in order to push the Yankees to go high in their offer as well, like two competing bidders at an auction. The Yankees, who have been involved in regular conversation with the Twins about Santana this week, may be doing the same thing — trying to push the price high for Boston.
Here’s to hoping that’s Boston’s strategy. Here’s to further hoping the Yanks don’t take the bait.
Update by Ben: Just something to keep in mind: This is the Red Sox equivalent of the story that the Yanks and Twins had entered into preliminary talks. For the Yanks, the keyword was “preliminary,” and for the Red Sox, the keyword is “framework.” It’s all the same stuff, folks. These are just initial discussions. We shouldn’t get too worked up by it. These rumors will increase before a trade happens. Nothing is imminent.
Kevin Goldstein is duly impressed with the Yankees’ organization. He feels they have the arms to compete for a very long time. We know this, but it’s nice to hear an unbiased outsider offer up the same prospect love that we feel.
Goldstein’s piece is subscription-only, but I’ll run down the list for you. Go subscribe to BP, if you haven’t already.
1. Joba Chamberlain, RHP
2. Ian Kennedy, RHP
3. Austin Jackson, OF
4. Jose Tabata, OF
5. Alan Horne, RHP
11. Humberto Sanchez, RHP
Under the Under-25 list, Phil Hughes takes the top slot, further proving that the Yanks just should not trade him. Melky Cabrera sits at 9 on that list, but Goldstein admits that the Yanks’ erstwhile center fielder is “a liability offensively when you play him every day.”
When Eric Duncan was left off the 40-man roster last week in advance of the Rule V draft, no one blinked. No one, that is, except Eric Duncan himself. As Pete Caldera writes, better players within the Yankee organization have simply passed by Duncan, and while the 23-year-old still wants to make it as a Yankee, he understand the reality of his situation. I guess hitting .234 with an OBP hovering around .300 in your first 500 AAA plate appearances does that to a player. · (4) ·
Now, this comes from the same newspaper that printed this laughable article, so take it with the largest grain of salt you can find. But this writer has a “source,” which may or may not be his own broken imagination, that says the Sox are in the lead for Santana. The potential winning bid: Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie. Not only do I think the Yanks can top that, I think they can top that without Hughes or Joba.
Dear Pioneer Press,
If you pay me, I’ll make up more believable rumors than your current staff. Promise.
Hat tip to Steve.
Yesterday, we made our position clear: Save The Big Three. This was met with varying responses, most of which disagreed to one extent or another. It seems that most Yanks fans — surprise surprise — would like to see Johan Santana in pinstripes. Hell, count me among ‘em. My problem is that I don’t want to see the Yankees dish any of the Big Three to get him, in which case a deal wouldn’t happen.
Now, before anyone else says, “You’d be an idiot not to trade IPK for Santana,” let’s be clear about something. A package centered around Ian Patrick Kennedy will not land Johan Santana. Period. Maybe before yesterday, when Matt Garza was still a Twin, there was an inkling of a chance the Yanks could pull off such a deal. Any chance that existed (probably none) is now gone. If the Yanks want Santana, it’s going to cost Joba or Hughes. If IPK is in the deal, it will be in addition to one of those two. This is why we need to save IPK.
When asked to choose which of the other two to dish, it appears the consensus is Hughes. I get that. The only knock on Joba before the season was his injury risk, but after he showed up to camp a bit lighter and after having a relatively healthy season (except when he caught the hamstring strain bug from Wang), he has quelled some of those concerns. At least relatively speaking, as we found out that Hughes, the invincible No. 1 pitching prospect in the game headed into the season (I’m not counting Dice-K), is also susceptible to injuries. Who knew?
So we’re talking Hughes and more for Santana. Jutting off on a tangent for a second, I would think that the Twins, given their recent transaction, would be looking for Horne and Austin Jackson, at least. With the acquisition of Jason Pridie, the immediate need for a center fielder is lessened. He’s not a world beater, but he can fill in adequately while the Twins wait on someone like Ajax. The Twins could still have interest in Melky, but I think that given the situation, we can leave him out of the conversation until we hear otherwise. And who knows: Maybe they want Tabata in the deal, too, instead of Horne — or on top of Horne. That changes the story, but for now let’s stick to Phil and Johan.
Okay, I lied. One more Santana post tonight. I’ll do it up bullet-point style. We’ve got a few hits on the stories dissecting the deal.
- First up is Ken Rosenthal who must sleep less than I do. He wonders if this trade signals the start of a push by the Twins to keep Johan Santana. We’ve pretty much neglected this option in discussing the Garza-Young deal today. The Twins have plugged some of their offensive holes and don’t need to trade away Santana now. If they want to make a push to re-sign him, they could. If they want to wait out the first few months of the season and then trade him, they could. The plot thickents
- On a related note, Murray Chass wonders why the 114th richest American doesn’t put a little bit more of his personal wealth into the Twins’ payroll. While it is, of course, Carl Pohlad’s money and there his decision, he could certainly offer a deal to Santana that Santana would accept tomorrow. Who knows why he hasn’t wanted to put the money into the Twins to make them a perennial contender? Those investments tend to pay off with fan interested, attendance and postseason appearances.
- I’m now more than a little worried that the Devil Rays are turning into legitimate contenders, and soon, they could be playing in a very snazzy new stadium.
- Finally, two Friends of RAB offer up their takes on the Twins’ current situation. At Breaking Balls, Caleb analyzes the trade, and at Rays Anatomy, a new site devoted to the Rays, regular RAB reader Eric SanInocencio wonders how this trade will impact the Johan Santana market.
Let me break up the Johan Santana chatter for now and leave you with a hilarious piece from The Onion this week. It’s sports satire at its finest: ‘Fire Isiah’ Chant Breaks Out During Knicks’ Front-Office Meeting. · (1) ·
Are we really entering a new era of Yankee spending?
While the recent contracts for Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera show that the Yanks are willing to spend money for established players, recent word from the Bronx is that the Yankees are not going to overspend on bullpen pitchers. In his latest notes column, FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal speaks on the Yanks’ efforts to shore up the bullpen:
The Yankees will not go beyond a certain financial threshold with free-agent relievers when they can fill certain roles from within, sources say. The team, for example, could pass on left-hander Ron Mahay, if his price — as expected — rises above $12 million over three years, the amount the Phillies awarded J.C. Romero.
Rosenthal notes that the Yankees are more than willing to look internally for bullpen options. Without delving into the slew of arms coming back from Tommy John surgeries, he mentions Sean Henn, Kei Igawa and Chase Wright from the left and Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Veras, Britton, Bruney and Edwar from the right.
Now, few of those names inspire much confidence in Yankee-land. Kei Igawa? Chase Wright? Brian Bruney? Yikes.
But the reality of the situation is that this shift in philosophy is a long time coming. How often have the Yankees gotten burned on high-priced bullpen flops? Steve Karsay, Paul Quantrill, Kyle Farnsworth, Felix Heredia. The list is endless.
For the all the pain that Bruney puts us through, his numbers are no worse than the guys getting four-year, $19-million contracts this winter. While the savings represent pennies compared to the overall Yankee payroll, I’d much rather see the Yanks use cost-efficient options instead.