As 10:30 p.m. — and the slightly unsatisfying Heroes finale — has come and gone, Hank Steinbrenner’s artificial deadline is fast approaching, the Yanks and Twins are meeting, but a denouement to this drama seems unlikely.
The first reports that a deal may not be reached tonight arrived via Will Carroll. He claims that Twins GM Bill Smith is not backing off his wish to land Ian Kennedy or Jose Tabata as well as Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera. Greedy much?
But the truth is far more simple. Despite what this guy has to say — “I can’t see anyone out bidding us talent wise” — Phil Hughes is a much better talent option than Jacoby Ellsbury. If Smith lets this midnight deadline pass without pulling the trigger, he will have sacrificed his best option, and if the Yanks really do pull out of these talks in 75 minutes, the Red Sox will greatly reduce their offer as well. That’s why the Yanks and Twins are talking.
Meanwhile, MetsBlog’s Matt Cerrone reports than Smith is talking to other teams despite Santana’s proclamation that he will go only to the Yanks or the Red Sox. Cerrone also feels that there may have been a deal nearly completed earlier today that got pulled back, but that’s just speculation on his part.
Finally, ESPN reports that Brian Cashman and Johan Santana’s agent were on the same flight to Nashville today. How’s that for tampering, Bill Smith? Maybe Cashman had the stewardess slip Santana’s agent a note recommended that they just sit tight until next winter. I love conspiracy theories that aren’t true.
Anyway, we’ll be here until something happens or until nothing happens, and right now, it’s looking like nothing is going to happen quite yet.
The New York Yankees announced today they have signed catcher Jose Molina to a two-year contract. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated infielder Andy Phillips for assignment.
Well, we all knew the Yanks would have to start clearing room on the 40-man roster soon enough. We all know about everything Andy’s gone through and how great of a person he is, but he was given plenty of chances and never really did enough to warrant a job. He’ll land on his feet.
The Yanks still have to clear room for A-Rod, Pettitte and Mo, so this won’t be the last of the 40-man cuts.
Thanks to MLB Fashion Czar Bob Watson, Terry Francona now has a dress-code rule named after himself. Francona, famous for managing in something one may consider wearing to sleep at night, will now be forced to wear his game jacket or uniform top. Take that one, Red Sox. · (15) ·
Haha gotcha, it’s not that Bernie. The Yanks broke out the waaaaaaaay back machine and signed minor league free agent 2B Bernie Castro. Castro, as you may recall, was once a pretty big prospect for the Yanks before being traded to the Padres in late 2001 for Kevin Reese. The Yanks also signed journeyman SS Cody Ransom. I’m curious to see how these two signings affect Alberto Gonzalez, if at all.
Great name Chris Farley signed with Oakland, and Andy Cannizaro signed with the Rays. No big loss, just worth a note. · (9) ·
We interrupt this Johan Santana orgy to bring you word that the Yanks are one of a few teams interested in Octavio Dotel. When last we saw Dotel, he threw 10 innings for the 2005 Yankees and was terrible. Last year, he threw 30 injury-filled innnings and was slightly less terrible. I say, “Pass.”
Jon Heyman reports right now it’s more likely than not that Santana will be traded and that we’ll find out late Monday if a trade is going down. We will of course have all the latest news on Johan Santana including when he goes to the bathroom and what he had for breakfast. But not really. · (6) ·
This comes from La Velle E. Neal III of the Minnesota Star Tribune. We’ve seen a number of Santana items pass through him, though not all of them have been wholly accurate.
Today, he reports that the Twins are not happy with Hank’s comments regarding Johan Santana. Technically, he says, the team could pursue tampering charges because of what Hank said. Specifically: “Because as much as I want Santana, and you can make that clear — for his sake, to know that I do want him — but the fact is that I’m not going to play the game.”
The game, of course, is the pitting of the Yanks against the Sox. Neal also adds that Santana has not limited the Twins trading options to the Sox and the Yanks, but that could be the Twins PR team at work.
All of this is short for: Nothing’s happened.
Through people close to Pettitte, the Chronicle has learned that the veteran lefthander has told family members and teammates that he has decided to return to the Yankees in 2008.
That wait is over, and the Yankees have been informed of the decision by Pettitte’s agent, Randy Hendricks.
Now I’m really hoping the Johan deal falls through.
Johan Santana will accept a trade to only the Yanks or the Red Sox. Meanwhile, Eric Bedard should be traded now that he has told the Orioles that he won’t be staying in Baltimore after 2009. That’s not a bad fallback should Santana fall through. Carry on. · (17) ·
Will Carroll, starting up the BP Winter Meetings rumor mill, chimes in on Santana:
The Yankees are going to have to offer more than what they have on the table. The team thought putting Phil Hughes on the table was enough, but the Twins aren’t selling Johan Santana for anything less than three major-league ready prospects.
Take that for what you will, but if it’s completely accurate, I hope the Yanks just walk away from what is quickly becoming a trade farce. · (23) ·