As far as we know, as of the moment this was posted, the Yankees are out of the Johan Santana Sweepstakes. Whether they’re actually out of it remains to be seen. Until there’s definitive news of a trade, I find it hard to believe that the Yanks are completely out of the loop. But for now, all we have to go on are reports, and they’re all saying that the Yanks are out, and that the Red Sox are the No. 1 suitors for Santana’s services.

Then again, maybe the Twins aren’t too thrilled about dishing the best pitcher in the game for a good pitching prospect, a group of mid-ceiling guys, and a no-hit center fielder. After all, we’ve seen reports that the Angels put in a bid, and hell, even that the Rangers are interested. Gee, I wonder who’s planting those stories.

Some signs that a deal with the Sox might not be as close as some will have you believe:

  1. Will Carroll, at 5:15 p.m. EST on Tuesday, said that the deal was “all but done“. Without getting into specifics, Carroll is known for being wholly inaccurate in regards to his reported rumors. There are plenty of examples out there.
  2. Even before that, at 3:28 p.m. EST on Tuesday, the Red Sox Propaganda Machine said that a deal “could be close”. You think maybe people are feeding Petey these Red Sox stories, knowing he’ll just and yap them to the world?
  3. Things are going so slowly that, despite talks supposedly ongoing for most of the afternoon, the only thing to report in the evening was that the teams had broken for dinner. Nothing to see here, folks.
  4. As La Velle E. Neal III notes, the Yankees have not told the Twins that they’re out on Santana (emphasis his). He reports that “it doesn’t look like anything is close,” though he admits that’s speculation on his part.

So this is far from over. Not that the Yanks will or should get back into the derby. I’m just saying that Santana to Boston isn’t as surefire a deal as some may have you think.

The quote of the night, though, comes from Ken Davidoff of Newsday. Brace yourselves for this one:

“How about the Yankees, in jeopardy of missing the playoffs altogether?”

I don’t even want to go into this. I’ll leave at this: fucking foolish.

Couple of other Yanks notes, also courtesy of Newsday:

  • Luiz Vizcaino has “made a point to [agent Bean Stringfellow] that he does like New York.” Stringfellow then rattled off some random teams that are interested in the Viz, and followed it up by saying that he “believes that Vizcaino can get a 3-4 year contract along the lines of Scott Linebrink.” If that’s the case, it was nice having you for three out of the six months we had you, Viz.
  • Seeking security for his client, Chien-Ming Wang‘s agent Alan Nero approached the Yankees about a long-term contract to buy out his client’s arbitration years. “Fine,” said the Yanks. “Make us an offer.” Discussions ended there. Might it be time for Wang to be seeking new representation?

Are you ready for another day of this?

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Everyone breath a sign of relief. Take in that nice, big gulp of air and let it out slowly. According to Hank Steinbrenner, the Yankees will not at all be trading anyone approaching the quality of Phil Hughes for Dan Haren.

Phew. Once again, we here at RAB look good.

In a press conference following the Yankees’ decision to drop out of the Johan Santana farce sweepstakes, Hank was pretty clear in expressing the Yanks’ views on Haren and A’s GM Billy Beane’s demand for his overvalued pitcher. Newsday’s Kat O’Brien reports:

As for Haren, a 27-year-old righthander who was 15-9 with a 3.07 ERA this season, Steinbrenner stomped on the idea of the Yankees acquiring him. Oakland general manager Billy Beane has told teams he would need to be blown away to deal Haren. He would want a similar haul from the Yankees as the Twins asked for in exchange for Santana.

Steinbrenner called that price “ridiculous” and vowed: “It won’t happen, not with us.”

While Hank has come under some criticism for possibly saying too much too often, this is music to my ears. Haren, as I wrote yesterday, comes with a little too much hype and just one season of clear-cut, top-notch pitching. Until he duplicates his 2007 numbers, Haren shouldn’t be considered an ace, and he’s definitely not worth any combination of Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy or Austin Jackson (as Rotoworld speculates the A’s would demand).

Sanity reigns supreme with this one, and this measure of common sense assuages my fears that if the Red Sox land Santana — and it’s far from the done deal — that the Yankees would respond by grossly overpaying for Haren.

Meanwhile, if you want to love Phil Hughes more than you do now, read this tidbit from PeteAbe. Phil knows he has the backing of the fan base. I wonder if he’s talking about us and those t-shirts.

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  • As the Santana turns

    The Red Sox Propaganda Machine Peter Gammons reports that the Red Sox and Twins may be on the verge of completing a 5-for-1 deal with Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, Ryan Kalish and Justin Masterson heading to Minnesota in exchange for Johan Santana. That’s quite a lot of talent to send away for one pitcher. · (69) · reporter Jim Molony recounts a TV bit regarding Andy Pettitte which might make Yankees fans very happy:

On Tuesday, Pettitte told KRIV-TV that he could pitch another 10 years if he wanted to and, at the very minimum, would like to help the Yankees open their new stadium in 2009.

“I really believe now, especially after playing with the Astros and pitching with my elbow the way it was when I needed the surgery, I realize now I could go out and probably pitch until I’m 45 years old, because I was throwing 82, 83 miles an hour and still being able to compete, maybe because I’m left-handed or whatever,” Pettitte said.

“Everybody wanted me to come back. My wife realized that if she would have said, ‘Let’s shut it down,’ I would have definitely done that. She was like, ‘Let’s see how it goes one more year.’ So with that support and all of my teammates’ support, no matter what, wanting me to come back and do this again, that’s probably the big thing.

“One of the main [reasons] this was such a tough decision for me, one year could lead to another, maybe. For the main reason, if I’m healthy and if my family wanted to support it again, we would consider it, but also the Yankees are going to have a new stadium. I know down the road, when we get through this season, that will be in the back of my head also. That would be awfully nice, to play in that new stadium.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was some of the stuff that you think about. I realize there are some things that could be enticing that tie me into playing even another year.”

Give him the Wakefield treatment!

Hat tip to My Pinstripes.

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Geeze, it’s been over three hours since our last Santana post. Apologies. I’m sure you’re twitching in your seats, possibly kicking things and seeming very irritable to coworkers. Fret not. Your fix is here. This should tide everyone over for the next hour or so.

Apparently, the Red Sox are prepared to “improve their offer” for Johan Santana. So, like we thought, it appears that Lester, Crisp, Masterson, and Lowrie won’t get the job done.

Still, does adding quantity to the deal make it better? Would nabbing Lars Anderson or Brandon Moss further ease the Twins into making this deal? I would hope not. More players involved means that the level of those players isn’t particularly high. Else, the Red Sox wouldn’t be trading them.

The sticking point for me (and it’s been said ad nauseum): Why do the Twins want Crisp? It makes no sense.

Further, and I invite Sox fans to answer this, do you really think that Ellsbury is that much greater than Melky that Hughes + Melky isn’t as good as Lester + Ellsbury? I mean, I’m not the biggest Melky fan (you don’t say), but I don’t think his inferiority to Ellsbury trumps Hughes’s superiority to Lester.

Meanwhile, Buster Olney reports:

Here’s the deal Minnesota pitched to New York last night: P Phil Hughes, OF Melky Cabrera, P Jeff Marquez and either P Alan Horne or OF Austin Jackson.

Marquez I can deal with. But, as I’ve said, I’m very opposed to dealing Hughes. But it’s not like the Yanks didn’t budge.

Update: As for Haren, Mike at Canyon of Heroes has the perfect quote:

“Trading away any of our top prospects for Haren is a sure fire way of making the Javier Vazquez mistake all over again.”


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Jon Albaladejo   |   RHP

Albaladejo was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and became the first player ever drafted out of Colegio Janil High School when the Giants selected him in the 34th round (1021st overall) of the 2000 draft. Albaladejo didn’t sign, and instead headed to Miami-Dade College, a 2-yr institution. After a soild but unspectacular year with the Sharks, Albaladejo re-entered the draft pool in 2001, and was taken by the Pirates in the 19th round (564 overall). He signed with the Bucco’s in the days following the draft.

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