November 30, 2007

What Now?

With Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett now in Tampa Bay and Delmon Young and Brendan Harris now in Minnesota, the Twins will now continue to focus on a trade for Johan Santana and possibly Joe Nathan.

The talks yesterday morning were that the Mets were considering a swap for the 2-time Cy Young Award winner for young All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes and others.

The rumors were quickly shot down by Mets GM Omar Minaya who said:

"I like going after the big fish, but I can't rob Peter to pay Paul. I'm not getting rid of Jose Reyes.''

I would love to see Jose Reyes in a Twins uniform, but I don't believe the Mets will do it. Despite the fact that they would still have a very good offense without him, the fact that Reyes is signed for a very reasonable contract makes him likely off-limits (at least for now) in any Johan Santana trade.

Then in the afternoon, a report that our friend Shooter Charley Walters reported in the morning of the Red Sox moving into the lead for a Johan Santana trade picked up steam. The rumored deal reportedly would give the Twins left-handed pitcher Jon Lester as the centerpiece. Joining Lester would be outfielder Coco Crisp, shortstop prospect Jed Lowrie and a pitching prospect which would either be Justin Masterson or Michael Bowden.

From a Twins perspective, I really don't like this trade. Lester although has potential, probably won't ever be more than a back-of-the-rotation starter, Crisp isn't anything special, and Bowden nor Masterson are ready and both don't have that high of ceilings. Lowrie on the other hand is a great shortstop prospect who I do hope the Twins trade for since Jason Bartlett's departure leaves the Twins with yet anyother hole in the infield. Lowrie would be ready to take over on opening day and would become the Twins short stop moving forward. He gets on base at a very high frequency and is an ideal #2 hitter for the Twins. He also has a solid glove which the Twins would also like to have at shortstop.

Unless the Red Sox substituted Jon Lester with Clay Buchholz or unless they substituted Coco Crisp with Jacoby Ellsbury, I don't see the Twins accepting this offer. Although crazier things have happened.

There is no current speculation of where Nathan may or may not end up, but I have an interesting proposal. But before I explain it. I want people to know that I'm just thinking a little outside "the box" and I do realize that these two deals may be a little far fetched.

Lets just hypothetically say that the Twins hold off an any deal and the Red Sox and Yankees continue to drive the price up for Santana. Finally the Yankees offer Robinson Cano (and yes, I do know that he's untouchable at the moment), Ian Kennedy and Jose Tabata. The Twins reluctantly accept the offer and get a replacement for Santana in Kennedy, an all-star in Cano and a very good outfield prospect in Tabata.

The Twins then turn and trade Joe Nathan to the Red Sox who could possibly look to move Jonathan Papelbon to the rotation as they lost out on the Johan Santana sweepstakes. The Red Sox then turn and trade Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and Manny Delcarmen for Nathan.

The Twins then receive their new center fielder for '08 in Crisp, their short stop in Lorwie and a good bullpen arm in Joe Nathan. It may be appealing to the Red Sox who would like to move Coco Crisp and would have enough pitchers to make Delcarmen expendable.

The Twins new lineup is as follows: CF - Coco Crisp, SS - Jed Lowrie, C - Joe Mauer, LF - Delmon Young, 1B - Justin Morneau, RF - Michael Cuddyer, 2B - Robinson Cano, 3B - Brendan Harris, DH - Jason Kubel.

I personally think that is a very strong lineup with a ton of potential.

What do you think? Am I nuts (probably)? Or do you think a deal like this could be realistic at some point?