December 4, 2007

All Quiet on the Santana Front

Update 2:05 pm: The Angels have reportedly made a trade offer for Santana which would include Jered Weaver in the deal. I think that's a good deal for the Twins. Weaver is a potential #2 pitcher, and I imagine that either Howie Kendrick or Brandon Wood would also be in the deal. Reggie Willits would also be a nice addition to a package. Kendrick/Wood, Weaver and Willits would make for a great return. Sean Rodriguez is another intriguing prospect, but he's a couple years away.

There's no news what the Twins think of this offer, or if it's in fact true, but I'd be elated if the Twins could swing a deal with the Angels with those players in return.

This could also push the Red Sox to ultimately include Jon Lester with Jacoby Ellsbury and possibly Jed Lowrie in order to get a deal done. The Red Sox should not be reluctant to part with him now if the Angels are in it, reason being is that the Angels already have one of the best teams in baseball (with possibly the best rotation) and they have a lot more to offer than either the Yankees or Red Sox. Or at least, they're probably willing to offer more.

Update 11:15 am: La Velle E. Neal III is saying that what he's hearing is that the Twins and Red Sox are discussing a potential deal with Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson coming in return for Santana. I'm hoping it's not true, but we'll probably find out sometime today. I think the Twins would be foolish to trade for Lester. He's a good guy, and a decent pitcher, but his upside is limited and the Twins are overrating him. Jacoby Ellsbury or Clay Buchholz are who we should be going after. Ellsbury, Lowrie, Masterson and possible Michael Bowden would be fine with me if we had to choose between the two deals.

Update 6:35 am: According to and it's also reinforced by ESPN's Buster Olney. The deal would send the Twins Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson for the 2-time Cy Young Winner in Santana. If this is true, I'll be irate with this trade. It means that the team is wanting to move Santana for less than what he is worth and less what they want. It also gives the Twins ZERO #1 prospect or young player to help in the future. I'd personally rather go with a Yankees offer with Melky Cabrera coming in return. Jon Lester does nothing for me.

I'm hoping that this trade is not true, or at least that it is Jacoby Ellsbury, and not Coco Crisp.

La Velle E. Neal III, sounded as if the Twins were not close to any deal, but didn't mention the Red Sox as the leader or anything regarding this deal.

The Newardk Star-Ledger is saying that the Twins are sleeping on an offer from the Red Sox that would send the Twins Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson. Ummm, I doubt this is accurate. If the Red Sox would include Lester & Ellsbury, I doubt any other prospect would be included. And it'd also give the Twins 2 center fielders and the Red Sox none. Don't get me wrong, I'd actually like this deal, but I think it's inaccurate.

So we'll have to wait and see.

Update 11:10 pm:
According to a Red Sox official, he believes a deal is "very close" between the Twins and Yankees. If so, who caved? Did the Twins lower their asking price? Did the Yankees include Kennedy or another "untouchable" prospect such as Austin Jackson?

But according to Jayson Starks of ESPN, the Twins and Yankees are "getting nowhere" in trade talks.

Good morning.

Well, another day and still no trade. I'm starting to wonder if anything will ever get done. Don't get me wrong, I don't want Johan Santana gone, but after all the hype that has surrounded this topic for the last month or so, I've just been preparing myself for what I've thought was the inevitable.

Nothing new really transpired yesterday, in regards to the Yankees or the Red Sox. Although as I posted in my updates yesterday, we did find out that Johan Santana's agent disputed any rumor that his client wouldn't accept a trade to any team either than the Red Sox or Yankees. And he also didn't give into the rumors that Santana wouldn't accept a trade mid-season.

We also found out that the Twins are not phased by any of the pressure the Yankees are putting on the Twins in terms of their Monday "deadline" that they had set. La Velle E. Neal III said that there was not a "hard deadline" set for a deal with the Yankees.

I'm still torn between which rumored deal I like more. The Yankees are offering us the best player in either trade in Phil Hughes, although I'm not a fan of Melky Cabrera his overall production potential is not that far off of what Jacoby Ellsbury's is probably going to be. And he's also younger. The Red Sox would probably be sending the Twins one of my favorite prospects in Jed Lowrie (as well as Ellsbury) which would help us fill a hole at short stop.

Besides those players with the Yankees, the Twins still want pitcher Ian Kennedy, and from the Red Sox, they still want pitcher Jon Lester. Neither team has obliged, and the Twins seem to have the same firm in their demands. And with the demands of the Twins, the Yankees may pull out of contention to land Santana, and may try to go land another pitcher such as Joe Blanton or Dan Haren of the A's, Erik Bedard of the Orioles, or Ben Sheets of the Brewers. All are thought to be available in trade talks.

I've been thinking about it, and I still can't decide which I'd rather see the Twins take. But something that could sway the Twins decision is a report that the Twins are considering filing tampering charges against the Yankees' Hank Steinbrenner for his comments made on Sunday night:

“As much as I want Santana, and you can make that clear — for his sake, to know that I do want him — the fact is that I’m not going to play the game.”

An opposing teams officials can not discuss a particular player in regards to their interest. when he said that "I do want him" and Santana in the same phrase, it was what Joe Christensen said "blatant tampering".

I doubt the Twins do it, but they could use that as leverage to increase a Yankees offer for Santana. Although that is called "blackmail" which also carries a serious offense.

The Twins were going to talk to both the Red Sox and the Yankees in private meetings to discuss the offers that are on the table. The Twins could choose one of the deals, or they could just walk away from them and decide at a later point. Possibly tomorrow, next week, month or possibly even in July. They could also try contacting other teams to part with some of their top talent, such as the Dodgers or Angels, both who have been thought to have interest in acquiring the left-handed hurler. The Twins will not rush any decision, despite what a certain blogger (me) may think. And that's the reason why I'll never be in a front office, at least anytime soon. :)

A couple potential deals the Twins could do, if they end up holding onto Santana are:

Trade for Edwin Encarnacion of the Reds.
Encarnacion has been in the "doghouse" for a while in Cincy, and although he might be out, he hasn't been treated with the respect that he'd like and he'd definitely like out. And I think the Reds would move him if they can get a starting pitcher in return. Another interesting player on the Reds who could be on the block is center fielder Josh Hamilton. He's definitely a feel-good story and I think he'd be a good fit for the Twins in center as he's a left-hander, and the Twins would finally have a good mix of left and right-handers in the lineup, if they acquired both Encarnacion and Hamilton. To acquire both would probably cost Scott Baker and Boof Bonser, but it's an option. For each, it would probably just require Bonser.

Trade for Austin Kearns of the Nationals.
Kearns may be the odd man out with the Nationals new acquisitions in "Bad Boys" Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes. He was acquired a couple years ago along with shortstop Felipe Lopez from the Reds for a few relievers. Unforunately, Jim Bowden the Nat's GM is extremely hard to work with and usually wants top talent in return for his players. So I see him asking for a guy like Kevin Slowey or Pat Neshek, which won't happen. Both Lopez and Kearns may be available, and both could help the Twins. Unfortunately neither excelled like they were thought to upon arriving in Washington, but that may be due to the "pitchers park" that they played in. Perhaps a reasonable deal could be Nick Blackburn or (may I say his name again?) Boof Bonser.

As always, I'll try to update anything as any news comes out.

Have a great day.