Santana deal imminent?

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Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:16 am

Santana deal imminent?

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=olney_buster

There is lots of Twins-related news this Sunday morning. First, Charley Waters, columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, writes today that a Johan Santana deal is expected to come down within 10 days. He has been dead on in forecasting forthcoming Twins machinations, so after weeks and weeks of start-up talks and lingering talks and pending talks and non-stop talks, we could view this as a two-minute warning in this whole Santana conversation. You can read pretty clearly between the lines of Waters' piece about who is saying what.

• Heard from a couple of sources that Boston has taken Jon Lester off the table, for good, in the Santana trade discussions.

• The Mets wonder if they've been played as a prop in these trade talks, writes Joel Sherman, but might wind up being the landing place for Santana because the Twins may have overplayed their hand.

The Mets continue to look for starting pitching, writes Steve Popper, but they are not close to signing Livan Hernandez, club sources say, and want the Johan Santana situation to play out before making a commitment.

Still say that the "Deal Or No Deal" analogy fits this situation, and if you look at it from the perspective of the Twins, the $1 million case is off the table, and so is the $750,000 case and the $500,000 case, and the offers are much less than the Twins ever expected -- but might be the best they can get now, given the current situation.

What the Twins probably really want is for Hank Steinbrenner's seeming impetuosity to take root in the Yankees' front office.

• And speaking of which: Hank Steinbrenner offered some words that will be interpreted as a warning shot at GM Brian Cashman. From the piece:

"Steinbrenner pledged to be patient with the Yankees' young pitchers, but also issued what could be interpreted as a warning to Brian Cashman that the GM better be right in not wanting to trade for Johan Santana.

"It is Cashman, as well as Hal Steinbrenner, who so far has convinced Hank not to trade Phil Hughes and other prospects to the Twins for Santana.

"'I will be patient with the young pitchers and players,' Steinbrenner said. 'There's no question about that because I know how these players develop. But as far as missing the playoffs -- if we miss the playoffs, I don't know how patient I'll be.

"'But it won't be against the players. It won't be a matter of that. It will be a matter of, maybe certain people in the organization could have done something else.'"

Hank Steinbrenner's interview took place with Ron Blum of the Associated Press, and within it, he quotes Patton, as his father has always done.

• Ron Gardenhire is apparently serious when he suggests that Michael Cuddyer may be used in center field, writes La Velle Neal. Cuddyer would much rather stay in right field -- and I'm sure the Minnesota pitchers, with all due respect to Cuddyer, would rather have it that way, too. But the Twins are starved or a center fielder. There is word within the same piece that Boof Bonser has lost 20-25 pounds this offseason.

Delmon Young has the makings of a winner, writes Patrick Reusse.

Francisco Liriano says his arm feels great, writes Phil Miller.

• Within his Sunday column, Murray Chass writes about Liriano's mechanics.

• Bernie Williams tells Peter Abraham that what Cashman said about Williams on Friday was a very serious accusation.

• Mike Lieberthal announced his retirement, with a couple of words to Dylan Hernandez: "I'm done."

• There was more love than volleys for Ken Williams as the GM spoke with fans Saturday, writes Joe Cowley. Williams and some veterans pinned the failure in '07 on a lack of swagger, writes Dave van Dyck.

John Danks and Gavin Floyd hope to fill holes in the White Sox rotation, writes Scot Gregor. Optimism is reality at the fanfest, writes Barry Rozner.

• The Brewers have a surplus of starters. Within this same Tom Haudricourt piece, there is word that Damian Miller does not expect to play, but is not necessarily committed to retirement.

• At a Pirates' fanfest event, the fans had questions for Frank Coonelly, and he handled them deftly, writes Dejan Kovacevic. After the last decade of management, the Pirates are practically bankrupt of impact prospects, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Xavier Nady isn't looking to leave the Pirates, writes John Perotto. Matt Morris is happy to lead the Pittsburgh staff.

• The Jays are a dark horse to watch, writes Tony Massarotti. I totally agree with him. But for the Blue Jays to contend, Vernon Wells absolutely must hit in the way he did in 2006. He must be a dynamic offensive player again.

• The effects of concussions continue to plague Corey Koskie, writes Nick Cafardo. Within the same piece, the unsigned Trot Nixon says he's not ready to retire.

• Mike Hargrove may be getting the itch to manage again, writes Jim Reeves.

• Faith has brought Josh Hamilton back from the brink, writes Evan Grant.

• Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey expects that his bullpen will be considerably better, writes Marc Lancaster.

Scott Kazmir may require a lot more loot in a long-term deal than James Shields required.

• The Mariners' leadership deserves time to finish the job, writes Jerry Brewer. Optimism is in the air in Seattle, writes Larry Stone. Seattle's staff is loaded with spit and vinegar, writes John McGrath.

• Billy Beane took a lot of questions from fans about his off-season decisions, writes Susan Slusser.

• Garrett Atkins turned around his season last year, and he'd like a long-term deal, as Troy Renck writes.

• The Yankees' GM is rooting for the Giants in this Super Bowl.

• New Phillies outfielder Geoff Jenkins sat for a Q&A with Todd Zolecki.

• Curtis Granderson hooped it up for charity, writes Jon Paul Morosi. Granderson talked about a lot of Tiger-related stuff here.

• Teams are struggling to fill holes, writes Phil Rogers.

• Bobby Valentine is a huge fan of the Giants.

• Indians reliever Randy Newsom is selling shares of himself, writes Paul Daugherty. No kidding. This is the brainchild of brilliance or sheer lunacy, and I'm not sure which.

• Billy Beane signals obliquely, again, that the Athletics are moving in a direction that seems at odds with any pursuit of Barry Bonds.

• A Vanderbilt guy was there when the New York Giants football team started getting very good, writes Jim Wyatt.

PED ZONE

• Hank Steinbrenner says the Yankees' dynasty of 1996-2001 shouldn't be called into question despite what was in the Mitchell report.

The money quote within that piece that promises to generate some ire outside of New York, a yeah-you're-right-but-it-might be-better-left-unsaid comment: "You think the Red Sox didn't have players doing stuff back then? Give me a break. They just weren't as good as us, and neither was anybody else."

• Kenny Williams defended his stance against suspected steroid-users.

• An active player named in the Mitchell report denied using steroids, as Susan Slusser writes. Jack Cust says he didn't even have a locker next to Larry Bigbie, writes Joe Stiglich.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:18 am

NY Post Joel Sherman-

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01272008/sports/mets/johan_has_mets_on_hold_387140.htm?page=0
-- One major reason neither Livan Hernandez nor Kyle Lohse has signed yet is because they are waiting on the Mets New York Mets , who in turn will not make a decision about Hernandez and Lohse until they find out for sure what the Twins are doing with Johan Santana. Hernandez and Lohse have gone unsigned this deep into the offseason, so they figure they might as well see if the team that might need one of them the most will come calling.

And the Mets are desperate, and not only because of this year. Orlando Hernandez Orlando Hernandez , Pedro Martinez Pedro Martinez and Oliver Perez all can be free agents after the 2008 campaign, which means John Maine is the lone veteran starter the Mets currently control beyond this season. General manager Omar Minaya said he is not worried because the team has "the resources" to address the issue. But the Mets also believe that either in Santana or with an inning-eater type such as Livan Hernandez or Lohse, they will have another veteran signed for next season before long.

As for Santana, a few Mets officials find it humorous that they covertly were meeting daily with the Twins at the December winter meetings and being told by Minnesota officials how much they like the Mets prospects at a time when the media was writing the Mets had no chance. Now, the officials say, they are being viewed as the front-runner and talks with the Twins have remained rather formless with Minnesota refusing to definitively provide what it would take to get Santana.

The Mets fear their front-runner status is being floated by the Twins as a way to provoke the Yanks back into more serious discussions, which in turn would re-energize the Red Sox.

As an official from an opposing team said, "The Met offer has not changed since December when it was viewed as not good enough. That was a moment when Phil Hughes was on the table and the Red Sox were engaged totally. Now Hughes is off the table and the Red Sox seem tepid in their interest. It might be that Minnesota overplayed its hand and its chance for a best trade came and went."

If that theory is correct - and I tend to believe there is a lot to it - then the only way the Mets get Santana is if the Twins internally have decided they must deal Santana before the start of spring training or the regular season, and will take the best offer by a prescribed date. If that is the case, the Mets conceivably could have the best offer on the table.

We probably should ignore those Met edicts that they would not go beyond a five-year extension with Santana. My suspicion is that the Mets could add all kinds of easily reachable levels for sixth - or even seventh-year options.


Last edited by on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:19 am

Buster Olney- Santana deal imminent?

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=olney_buster

There is lots of Twins-related news this Sunday morning. First, Charley Waters, columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, writes today that a Johan Santana deal is expected to come down within 10 days. He has been dead on in forecasting forthcoming Twins machinations, so after weeks and weeks of start-up talks and lingering talks and pending talks and non-stop talks, we could view this as a two-minute warning in this whole Santana conversation. You can read pretty clearly between the lines of Waters' piece about who is saying what.

• Heard from a couple of sources that Boston has taken Jon Lester off the table, for good, in the Santana trade discussions.

• The Mets wonder if they've been played as a prop in these trade talks, writes Joel Sherman, but might wind up being the landing place for Santana because the Twins may have overplayed their hand.

The Mets continue to look for starting pitching, writes Steve Popper, but they are not close to signing Livan Hernandez, club sources say, and want the Johan Santana situation to play out before making a commitment.

Still say that the "Deal Or No Deal" analogy fits this situation, and if you look at it from the perspective of the Twins, the $1 million case is off the table, and so is the $750,000 case and the $500,000 case, and the offers are much less than the Twins ever expected -- but might be the best they can get now, given the current situation.


Last edited by on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:23 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:22 am



http://www.nypost.com/seven/01272008/sports/mets/johan_has_mets_on_hold_387140.htm?page=0



The Yanks finalized a minor league contract a few days back with former Met Chris Woodward. He will battle fellow spring-training invitees Nick Green and Cody Ransom for what likely will be the 25th spot on the roster.

The annual "woe is baseball" reaction arrived last week with news of the Yankees' 2007 official payroll again being well over $200 million ($218.3) and again well ahead of the next-highest team, the Red Sox ($155.4 million). I hardly want to be a Yankees apologist, but it is much easier for me to justify the Yankees payroll then the projected 2008 Marlins payroll. The Yankees payroll is about half of their reported revenue.

That payroll has helped create a roster that has done what used to be thought of as impossible, drawing four million annually to The Bronx, while also is helping to launch a network. That payroll has created tremendous wealth around the sport in luxury tax dollars, and also via attendance drawn in visiting stadiums. Meanwhile, the Marlins' highest-paid player in 2008 will be Kevin Gregg at $2.5 million and their total payroll is unlikely to exceed $20 million. That total is less than one-third of what the Marlins receive in revenue sharing/luxury tax (about $35 million) and from the central fund (around another $35 million), which covers, among other items, national TV and radio, the Internet and merchandising.

So before the Marlins sell a ticket, they get $70 million from the Commissioner's office. Again, what is more offensive to your senses: a team spending the money it takes in or a team not spending the money it takes in?


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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:22 am

Speaking of the Marlins......

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01272008/sports/mets/johan_has_mets_on_hold_387140.htm

The annual "woe is baseball" reaction arrived last week with news of the Yankees' 2007 official payroll again being well over $200 million ($218.3) and again well ahead of the next-highest team, the Red Sox ($155.4 million). I hardly want to be a Yankees apologist, but it is much easier for me to justify the Yankees payroll then the projected 2008 Marlins payroll. The Yankees payroll is about half of their reported revenue.

That payroll has helped create a roster that has done what used to be thought of as impossible, drawing four million annually to The Bronx, while also is helping to launch a network. That payroll has created tremendous wealth around the sport in luxury tax dollars, and also via attendance drawn in visiting stadiums. Meanwhile, the Marlins' highest-paid player in 2008 will be Kevin Gregg at $2.5 million and their total payroll is unlikely to exceed $20 million. That total is less than one-third of what the Marlins receive in revenue sharing/luxury tax (about $35 million) and from the central fund (around another $35 million), which covers, among other items, national TV and radio, the Internet and merchandising.

So before the Marlins sell a ticket, they get $70 million from the Commissioner's office. Again, what is more offensive to your senses: a team spending the money it takes in or a team not spending the money it takes in?

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:27 am

"And furthermore, if Smith came to Jim with a reasonable plan to keep Johan Santana, there would be a chance of retaining the Cy Young winner.

NO chance... N-O-N-E, NONE!

First of all, what exactly does this dude think "reasonable" is??? Santana already turned down $80 million for sure, and there is one report he rejected a 5-year, $95 million offer from the Twins.

Then factor in that the Twins just reallocated that money in these contract extensions they just handed out.

At this point, even suggesting that the Twinkies might sign Santana is a complete waste of print space, and bordering on incompetence.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:29 am

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01272008/sports/mets/johan_has_mets_on_hold_387140.htm

As for Santana, a few Mets officials find it humorous that they covertly were meeting daily with the Twins at the December winter meetings and being told by Minnesota officials how much they like the Mets prospects at a time when the media was writing the Mets had no chance. Now, the officials say, they are being viewed as the front-runner and talks with the Twins have remained rather formless with Minnesota refusing to definitively provide what it would take to get Santana.

The Mets fear their front-runner status is being floated by the Twins as a way to provoke the Yanks back into more serious discussions, which in turn would re-energize the Red Sox.

As an official from an opposing team said, "The Met offer has not changed since December when it was viewed as not good enough. That was a moment when Phil Hughes was on the table and the Red Sox were engaged totally. Now Hughes is off the table and the Red Sox seem tepid in their interest. It might be that Minnesota overplayed its hand and its chance for a best trade came and went."

If that theory is correct - and I tend to believe there is a lot to it - then the only way the Mets get Santana is if the Twins internally have decided they must deal Santana before the start of spring training or the regular season, and will take the best offer by a prescribed date. If that is the case, the Mets conceivably could have the best offer on the table.


^^^^^ Smith screwed this whole thing up by betting the farm that the Yankees would eventually hand over their farm system for a 29 year old pitcher that is looking for 130-150M

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:30 am

Santana deal imminent?


http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=olney_buster

There is lots of Twins-related news this Sunday morning. First, Charley Waters, columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, writes today that a Johan Santana deal is expected to come down within 10 days. He has been dead on in forecasting forthcoming Twins machinations, so after weeks and weeks of start-up talks and lingering talks and pending talks and non-stop talks, we could view this as a two-minute warning in this whole Santana conversation. You can read pretty clearly between the lines of Waters' piece about who is saying what.

• Heard from a couple of sources that Boston has taken Jon Lester off the table, for good, in the Santana trade discussions.

• The Mets wonder if they've been played as a prop in these trade talks, writes Joel Sherman, but might wind up being the landing place for Santana because the Twins may have overplayed their hand.

The Mets continue to look for starting pitching, writes Steve Popper, but they are not close to signing Livan Hernandez, club sources say, and want the Johan Santana situation to play out before making a commitment.

Still say that the "Deal Or No Deal" analogy fits this situation, and if you look at it from the perspective of the Twins, the $1 million case is off the table, and so is the $750,000 case and the $500,000 case, and the offers are much less than the Twins ever expected -- but might be the best they can get now, given the current situation.

What the Twins probably really want is for Hank Steinbrenner's seeming impetuosity to take root in the Yankees' front office.

• And speaking of which: Hank Steinbrenner offered some words that will be interpreted as a warning shot at GM Brian Cashman. From the piece:

"Steinbrenner pledged to be patient with the Yankees' young pitchers, but also issued what could be interpreted as a warning to Brian Cashman that the GM better be right in not wanting to trade for Johan Santana.

"It is Cashman, as well as Hal Steinbrenner, who so far has convinced Hank not to trade Phil Hughes and other prospects to the Twins for Santana.

"'I will be patient with the young pitchers and players,' Steinbrenner said. 'There's no question about that because I know how these players develop. But as far as missing the playoffs -- if we miss the playoffs, I don't know how patient I'll be.

"'But it won't be against the players. It won't be a matter of that. It will be a matter of, maybe certain people in the organization could have done something else.'"

Hank Steinbrenner's interview took place with Ron Blum of the Associated Press, and within it, he quotes Patton, as his father has always done.

• Ron Gardenhire is apparently serious when he suggests that Michael Cuddyer may be used in center field, writes La Velle Neal. Cuddyer would much rather stay in right field -- and I'm sure the Minnesota pitchers, with all due respect to Cuddyer, would rather have it that way, too. But the Twins are starved or a center fielder. There is word within the same piece that Boof Bonser has lost 20-25 pounds this offseason.

Delmon Young has the makings of a winner, writes Patrick Reusse.

Francisco Liriano says his arm feels great, writes Phil Miller.

• Within his Sunday column, Murray Chass writes about Liriano's mechanics.

• Bernie Williams tells Peter Abraham that what Cashman said about Williams on Friday was a very serious accusation.

• Mike Lieberthal announced his retirement, with a couple of words to Dylan Hernandez: "I'm done."

• There was more love than volleys for Ken Williams as the GM spoke with fans Saturday, writes Joe Cowley. Williams and some veterans pinned the failure in '07 on a lack of swagger, writes Dave van Dyck.

John Danks and Gavin Floyd hope to fill holes in the White Sox rotation, writes Scot Gregor. Optimism is reality at the fanfest, writes Barry Rozner.

• The Brewers have a surplus of starters. Within this same Tom Haudricourt piece, there is word that Damian Miller does not expect to play, but is not necessarily committed to retirement.

• At a Pirates' fanfest event, the fans had questions for Frank Coonelly, and he handled them deftly, writes Dejan Kovacevic. After the last decade of management, the Pirates are practically bankrupt of impact prospects, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Xavier Nady isn't looking to leave the Pirates, writes John Perotto. Matt Morris is happy to lead the Pittsburgh staff.

• The Jays are a dark horse to watch, writes Tony Massarotti. I totally agree with him. But for the Blue Jays to contend, Vernon Wells absolutely must hit in the way he did in 2006. He must be a dynamic offensive player again.

• The effects of concussions continue to plague Corey Koskie, writes Nick Cafardo. Within the same piece, the unsigned Trot Nixon says he's not ready to retire.

• Mike Hargrove may be getting the itch to manage again, writes Jim Reeves.

• Faith has brought Josh Hamilton back from the brink, writes Evan Grant.

• Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey expects that his bullpen will be considerably better, writes Marc Lancaster.

Scott Kazmir may require a lot more loot in a long-term deal than James Shields required.

• The Mariners' leadership deserves time to finish the job, writes Jerry Brewer. Optimism is in the air in Seattle, writes Larry Stone. Seattle's staff is loaded with spit and vinegar, writes John McGrath.

• Billy Beane took a lot of questions from fans about his off-season decisions, writes Susan Slusser.

• Garrett Atkins turned around his season last year, and he'd like a long-term deal, as Troy Renck writes.

• The Yankees' GM is rooting for the Giants in this Super Bowl.

• New Phillies outfielder Geoff Jenkins sat for a Q&A with Todd Zolecki.

• Curtis Granderson hooped it up for charity, writes Jon Paul Morosi. Granderson talked about a lot of Tiger-related stuff here.

• Teams are struggling to fill holes, writes Phil Rogers.

• Bobby Valentine is a huge fan of the Giants.

• Indians reliever Randy Newsom is selling shares of himself, writes Paul Daugherty. No kidding. This is the brainchild of brilliance or sheer lunacy, and I'm not sure which.

• Billy Beane signals obliquely, again, that the Athletics are moving in a direction that seems at odds with any pursuit of Barry Bonds.

• A Vanderbilt guy was there when the New York Giants football team started getting very good, writes Jim Wyatt.

PED ZONE

• Hank Steinbrenner says the Yankees' dynasty of 1996-2001 shouldn't be called into question despite what was in the Mitchell report.

The money quote within that piece that promises to generate some ire outside of New York, a yeah-you're-right-but-it-might be-better-left-unsaid comment: "You think the Red Sox didn't have players doing stuff back then? Give me a break. They just weren't as good as us, and neither was anybody else."

• Kenny Williams defended his stance against suspected steroid-users.

• An active player named in the Mitchell report denied using steroids, as Susan Slusser writes. Jack Cust says he didn't even have a locker next to Larry Bigbie, writes Joe Stiglich.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:34 am

General Managers still have many moves to make as camps near



http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/2008/01/27/2008-01-27_general_managers_still_have_many_moves_t.html?page=0


Sunday, January 27th 2008, 4:00 AM

Only 17 days until pitchers and catchers - do you know where your teams are?

It's been that kind of a sluggish winter in which the grade for the majority of GMs is still an incomplete.

Even the White Sox's Kenny Williams, who made some bold moves to address a league-worst offense and leaky bullpen, declared to the Chicago Tribune last week: "I don't believe we'll be set to go until April 1."

Certainly, as long as Johan Santana remains in play, our own GMs, Brian Cashman and Omar Minaya, aren't about to say this is it for their winter's work, although in Cashman's case, it's going to take a significant change in circumstances - the exclusion of Phil Hughes in a possible deal for Santana or new revelations that Andy Pettitte had a deeper involvement in performance-enhancing substances - for him to become re-engaged with Minnesota GM Bill Smith.

"I can't speak for other GMs except to say that it was a bad free agent market this winter and, combined with a lot of emerging young talent colliding with people having a tough time committing to guaranteed contracts, (GMs) are reluctant to move on things," Cashman said.

Cashman went on to say he wouldn't be surprised if, because of those factors, some teams waited until spring training before making their big moves. "It may be unusual for big deals to be made this late," he said, "but from my standpoint, I made two of my biggest ones - for A-Rod and Clemens - right before spring training."

As of now, only a few GMs would be awarded grades higher than a B for their off-seasons. We would award top honors to the Tigers' Dave Dombrowski and (no, this is not a misprint) the Tampa Bay Rays' Andrew Friedman. On the other end of the discussion, two rookie GMs, Neal Huntington of the Pirates and John Mozeliak of the Cardinals, get failing marks. (In Mozeliak's case, in allowing sparkplug shortstop David Eckstein to walk as a free agent and replacing him with the very inferior Cesar Izturis, he appears to have fallen victim to the same ownership-driven payroll constraints as his predecessor, Walt Jocketty, but there is no excuse for Huntington doing absolutely nothing to improve the last-place Pirates. Alas, in Pittsburgh it appears to be non-business as usual under new CEO Frank Coonelly, with the team unwilling to spend.

(Page 2 of 2)

Of all the GMs, nobody made bigger, bolder off-season moves than Dombrowski with his acquisition of Marlins' cornerstones Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis in addition to adding stellar shortstop Edgar Renteria from the Braves.

Right behind was the White Sox's Williams who, in attempting to curtail a stunning free-fall since the '05 world championship, bolstered his bats with trades for shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Angels and outfielder Nick Swisher from Oakland while spending lavishly to address his sagging setup relief corps, with the free-agent signings of Scott Linebrink and Octavio Dotel.

"There's no question our division is going to be the most fun to watch in baseball next year," said Indians GM Mark Shapiro, who did only minor tinkering with his '07 AL Central champions this winter, trading for utilityman Jamey Carroll from the Rockies and signing reliever Masahide Kobayashi from Japan.

In terms of dramatic moves, we have to give rare kudos to Friedman (frequently referred to as a neophyte here because of his lack of baseball background), who followed owner Stuart Sternberg's bold initiatives (dropping the "Devil" from Devil Rays, announcing plans for a state-of-the-art bayfront stadium with a retractable roof in St. Petersburg) by essentially locking up staff ace James Shields for seven years and new franchise player Carlos Pena for three, jettisoning two clubhouse cancers in Elijah Dukes and Delmon Young and signing Cliff Floyd, an all-time clubhouse mensch, along with Troy Percival to close.

Friedman's return from Minnesota for the sullen Young was a much-needed shortstop, Jason Bartlett, and a decent, young back-of-the-rotation starter in Matt Garza.

Meanwhile, for all of those GMs looking for a grade from their fans other than incomplete, there's still a roster of big-name free agents available. Among them: Mike Piazza, Luis Gonzalez, Kenny Lofton, Sammy Sosa, Tony Clark, Brad Wilkerson, Mike Sweeney, Trot Nixon, Corey Patterson, Kyle Lohse and Ryan Klesko.

Managing to avoid Mattingly mess

Don Mattingly's sad decision last week to once again put his after-playing baseball career on hold for family considerations, resigning as Dodgers' hitting coach in the wake of his separation from his wife, Kim, caught most everyone by surprise. It also prompted a scary question: What if he'd gotten the Yankees' managing job? It's one thing to have to give up a coaching position for personal reasons three weeks before spring training, but quite another if you're the manager.

What would the Yankees have done? In all probability Joe Girardi would have been hired by the Dodgers, leaving Tony Pena, the only other candidate the Yankees interviewed, the likely hypothetical fallback. According to Yankee sources, however, Girardi was always the clear-cut favorite in the eyes of the high command, primarily because of his experience and the confident, business-like way he came across in the interview process. And disappointed as Mattingly's many fans might have been about his rejection by the Yankees and forced exit from the only organization he's ever known, I'm told he's confided to friends in recent days that, in retrospect, it was probably a good thing he didn't get the job

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:38 am

Him going to the Mets is probably the best possible scenario. I just don't think the Yanks' current roster stacks up well against the Red Sox. They basically need Joba and Hughes to be all-stars to have a chance at the division.


That's not entirely true. If the team was healthy to start the year last year, the probably win the division and this current team is much more stable than last year. Everyone knows there role now, unlike last season.

They are going to use Hughes, Joba, Kennedy, and Moose to pick up 3 rotation spots throughout the year (none of them will be good for 180 innings on their own, but a Voltron-like combo effort should eat innings).

Look at the "production" they'll be trying to pick up. Only 3 pitchers had double digit wins last year, and the next highest was a reliever. The rotation back end was a revolving door for 3 months. Cano and Abreu were abysmal for 2 months as well.

Arod will level off, but you'll get improvements from Damon, Melky, Abreu, and Cano (in the way of consistency in the latter two). The offense will still be in the top 2 or 3. ARod isn't the only reason they made the playoff push down the stretch.

All that said, the Sox are definitely a better team this season.


If 5 years ago you told me the Yankees would be running out a lineup including Giambi, AROD, Damon, Jeter, Posada, Matsui, and Abreu (Cano and Melky wouldn't have been a factor then) I probably would have called you a liar at first and then crapped myself after.

It just doesn't have anywhere near the same effect now. Get by Jeter, Cano and Arod in the line up and the sailing after that doesn't look so bad, honestly.

Also, Pettitte - Wang - Chamberlain - Hughes/Kennedy/Mussina in a 7 game series isn't intimidating at all. The bullpen... it has an aging Mo, though that doesn't mean he can't be dominant. After that, LaTroy Hawkins is the second best pitcher? yeesh.

I just don't think the Yankees match up at all, but maybe that's my Sox bias.


That's not entirely true. If the team was healthy to start the year last year, they probably win the division and this current team is much more stable than last year. Everyone knows there role now, unlike last season. "

I keep hearing Yankee fans state this as if it were fact.

Can you please tell me how the Yankees would have won the division?

If this Yankee team was so good in 2007 - and they fell just short of this 1st place division finish...

Then could they at least have mustered more than 1 playoff win in October ? I mean, everyone was healthy by October, right?

I understand that regular season and post season can be so very different, but enough with the excuse-making from Yankee fans about how they coulda, shoulda, woulda won the division in 2007.

Bottom line -- the Red Sox were the better team last year in the A.L. East, they were a very strong team in 2007. They only got even better in October.

I think it's far from a certainty that the Yankees would have finished 1st in 2007 in the way Yankee fans say it would have happened. Stop -- you have to accept that the Yankees weren't good enough to win the division.

Because, ya know, they didn't win the division.


If 5 years ago you told me the Yankees would be running out a lineup including Giambi, AROD, Damon, Jeter, Posada, Matsui, and Abreu (Cano and Melky wouldn't have been a factor then) I probably would have called you a liar at first and then crapped myself after.

It just doesn't have anywhere near the same effect now. Get by Jeter, Cano and Arod in the line up and the sailing after that doesn't look so bad, honestly.

Also, Pettitte - Wang - Chamberlain - Hughes/Kennedy/Mussina in a 7 game series isn't intimidating at all. The bullpen... it has an aging Mo, though that doesn't mean he can't be dominant. After that, LaTroy Hawkins is the second best pitcher? yeesh.

I just don't think the Yankees match up at all, but maybe that's my Sox bias.


Again, I said the Sox were better. And I don't think they match up all that great. And the Sox are obviously the best suited team for postseason. That being said, it was a hair of difference for record, and head to head, the Yankees came out. They obviously match up better than most want to think, or at least, they did last year.


"That's not entirely true. If the team was healthy to start the year last year, they probably win the division and this current team is much more stable than last year. Everyone knows there role now, unlike last season. "

I keep hearing Yankee fans state this as if it were fact.

Can you please tell me how the Yankees would have won the division?

If this Yankee team was so good in 2007 - and they fell just short of this 1st place division finish...

Then could they at least have mustered more than 1 playoff win in October ? I mean, everyone was healthy by October, right?

I understand that regular season and post season can be so very different, but enough with the excuse-making from Yankee fans about how they coulda, shoulda, woulda won the division in 2007.

Bottom line -- the Red Sox were the better team last year in the A.L. East, they were a very strong team in 2007. They only got even better in October.

I think it's far from a certainty that the Yankees would have finished 1st in 2007 in the way Yankee fans say it would have happened. Stop -- you have to accept that the Yankees weren't good enough to win the division.

Because, ya know, they didn't win the division.







It's not an excuse, it's just my opinion of how the year shook out. The Sox were relatively healthy, the Yankees weren't for the first 2 months. That's the reality. And it's my biased opinion that it would have made 2 games worth of difference had they had a remotely stable starting 5. I can also say that if Toronto's staff had stayed healthy, they were have battled hard for the WC. Those aren't excuses. Injuries are part of the game. Also, 2 games difference in the standings, with the Yankees taking more than their share of the head to head shows they were a lot more even over the REGULAR season than some want to think.

And I'd fully read posts next time.

Because, ya know, I still said the Sox were better.

P.S. I qualified my claim with the word "probably." So no, I'm not saying it "as fact."


"and this current team is much more stable than last year. Everyone knows there role now, unlike last season."

Yeah, everyone knows their role - that they're three rookies trying to pitch a full season.

How is this neccessarily a "more stable" team?

They are going to use Hughes, Joba, Kennedy, and Moose to pick up 3 rotation spots throughout the year (none of them will be good for 180 innings on their own, but a Voltron-like combo effort should eat innings).

I don't think the rookies (even when you combine them) are going to fit in the same sentence with "eat innings". Neither will Mussina.

Arod will level off, but you'll get improvements from Damon, Melky, Abreu, and Cano (in the way of consistency in the latter two).

How in the world do you know you're getting improvement this year from Johnny Damon? He doesn't actually get younger this year, Cspades.

Or even Abreu for that matter.

But more so Damon.... I think Abreu will be decent.

All that said, the Sox are definitely a better team this season.

Gee, kind of like the Red Sox were least year. But yet, you still think the Yankees would have won the division. So, I guess the Yankees are headed for first place this year.

Awesome.

Reasons this team is more stable? CF is set with Melky, last year it wasn't to start the year. As of right now, they know what the starting 5 will be. Last year, that wasn't the case. The LF/1B/DH platoon of Giambi, Damon, and Matsui is the way they'll be starting the season. That wasn't the case last year. I don't think this team is better. But the plan is much more defined.

I never once said that any of the rookies or Moose would be innings eaters. What I actually said was that the FOUR of them will combine to eat innings from those THREE spots.

Damon doesn't get younger. But he'll be getting more days off from fielding, and will be manning a less demanding position. Also, 1000 pardons if I didn't see the 100 point drop in OPS to be permanent. I assume he's going to improve a bit this season.

As for Abreu, pretty sure I noted that his "improvement" will be based on a more consistent season.

And honestly, is it that much of a stretch to think that a healthier team and/or a luckier team to start the season last pick up two games? And yet, I still didn't say I thought the Yankees were better.

I think it's gonna be a real tight division race in 2008 between the Sox and Yankees but whatever team stays the healthiest will probally end up winning. Jeter, A-rod, Cano, Matsui, Giambi, and Posada are all consistant dangerous hitters and the Yankees will have a top offense in 2008 but the Yankees question marks in their lineup are Damon who is washed up, Abreu who is also washed up, and if Melky can contioue to produce. The question marks in the Sox line up are JD Drew, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Lugo, and I still think Lowell will have a great year but I don't think he will pull off another MVP type season like he didin 2007. Sox got better pitching than the Yanks and a way better bullpen we'll see what happens it's gonna be mad tight.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:39 am

Buster Olney: (in the preview pane of insider content).
QUOTE
But since the holidays, Boston's enthusiasm for the conversation has seemingly waned, perhaps as the Red Sox considered the looming implications of giving Santana something close to the contract extension he wants -- six years and $150 million. The sobering consideration of the money and the risk and the prospects involved are cast against the reality that the Red Sox don't have to make the trade. It's as if the Red Sox are holiday shoppers who just got their first post-Christmas credit card bill and are thinking: Maybe we ought to cut back...

You won't see the Red Sox announcing they are pulling out of the trade talks the way that Yankees head honcho Hank Steinbrenner did. It doesn't do the Red Sox any good to signal that they have departed the field, even if they have determined, internally, they are not going to make a Santana trade built around Jon Lester. It would not surprise me if Boston GM Theo Epstein has communicated to Minnesota GM Billy Smith: Look, old friend, you and I are probably never going to finish a Santana trade, but officially, that package deal built around Jacoby Ellsbury remains on the table. This allows Smith to convey to the Mets or the Yankees that Boston remains in play.


From Minnesota:
QUOTE(CHARLEY WALTERS)
The Twins, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees are not holding up the proposed trade of Twins pitcher Johan Santana. It's Santana, who is seeking $150 million over six years. Santana has the right, by way of a no-trade contract clause, to veto any deal with a team that won't pay him what he wants. A trade is expected to occur within 10 days, though.


QUOTE(CHARLEY WALTERS)
The Red Sox haven't moved much from their initial offer for Santana. But one minor leaguer who some would consider a throw-in by Boston - left-handed hitting outfielder Ryan Kalish - could become an important part of a deal. Francisco Liriano, remember, was considered a throw-in when the San Francisco Giants included him in the Twins' trade for Joe Nathan.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:41 am

Baseball by the numbers
Tony Massarotti By Tony Massarotti


http://bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/other_mlb/view.bg?articleid=1069261

218.3 Total cost, in millions of dollars, paid out by the New York Yankees last year, according to numbers obtained by the Associated Press. Though the formula differs from the one used to calculate luxury tax, the Yankees’ number is a new record thanks to the team’s decision to sign Roger Clemens to a pro-rated contract ultimately worth $17.4 million. As things stand, the 2008 Yankees payroll projects to approximately $210 million, depending on the team’s arbitration outcomes.

2.71 Total payouts, in billions of dollars, from all major leagues teams to players in 2007, according to numbers obtained by the Associated Press. Though the Yankees represent just one of the 30 major leagues (or 3.3 percent), their payroll expenditures reflect roughly 8.1 percent of all player salaries in 2007. The team that spent the least money on players was, unsurprisingly, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who committed roughly $31.8 million to their roster in 2007.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:43 am

Tony Massaroti - Jays may just crow

http://bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/other_mlb/view.bg?articleid=1069258


Spring training is now just a few weeks away, so much of the offseason maneuvering already has taken place. And in the American League, the strongest teams once again will come from Boston, New York, Cleveland, Detroit and Los Angeles.

But if you’re looking for a dark horse in the true sense of the word, here’s a team to keep an eye on:

The Toronto Blue Jays.

Of course, Toronto has been a popular choice in recent years, too, even though the Jays have the misfortune of residing in the American League East with the Red Sox [team stats] and Yankees. But amid all of the injuries Toronto suffered last season, the Jays learned a great deal about young pitchers like Shaun Marcum and Dustin McGowan, not to mention Jeremy Accardo.

“We like our club,” general manager J.P. Ricciardi said recently. “There have been only nine teams in baseball to finish with winning records each of the last two years, and we’re one of those nine.”

So why are the Jays regarded as a disappointment? Good question. Toronto was hit with a rash of injuries last season, the most notable to closer B.J. Ryan. But Ryan’s absence led to the ascension of right-handed closer Accardo, who finished the year with 30 saves and a 2.14 ERA to go along with a 4-4 record. If and when the Jays get Ryan back, Toronto could have quite a tandem at the end of games backing up a starting rotation that has some of the most intriguing talent in the division.

Remember: Toronto has ace Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett ahead of McGowan and Marcum, who combined to go 24-16 with a 4.11 ERA last season. In 2007, Toronto’s starters finished eighth in baseball in ERA and Toronto starters finished third - even without Ryan.

What hurt the Jays, oddly enough, was Toronto’s offense, which was among the best in the game in 2006. Ricciardi has since acquired shortstop David Eckstein and catcher Rod Barajas while pulling the trigger on the Troy Glaus-for-Scott Rolen deal. Toronto hopes the addition of the fiery Rolen will infuse the Jays with intensity that was sometimes lacking.

As for the potential impact on the offense, know this: Toronto ranked dead last in the majors in on-base percentage from its shortstop last season, something that Eckstein should help tremendously. Jays catchers also ranked 25th in the majors in slugging, which why Ricciardi tried to acquire Barajas (21 homers in 2006) last offseason.

Rolen admittedly comes with questions after batting a mere .265 with eight home runs last season. However, Ricciardi believes that Rolen is fully healthy entering camp and that he has a chance to be the player he was in 2006 (a solid .296, 22 homers, 95 RBI), though there are a number of reasons Toronto made the deal.

For starters, Glaus gave indication that Toronto officials that he would not return to the club after this year because he was uncomfortable playing on the artificial surface at the Rogers Centre. Ricciardi and his staff subsequently made a brief assessment of a free-agent class that was terribly barren at third base, and so the Jays agreed to take on Rolen (signed through 2010) despite other clubs’ concerns about the player’s ability to live up to the remaining $33 million on his contract.

Whatever the case, the Jays now have the chance to have a far deeper lineup than they did a year ago, when Vernon Wells underperformed badly and Lyle Overbay was derailed by injury. What Ricciardi is hoping for is that his offense returns to form while his pitchers continue to improve, a fact that could make Toronto a sleeper in the AL by the middle of the summer.

Unlikely? Maybe.

But then, that’s what a real dark horse is.

Ahead of their time

Ten years ago at this time, when the Red Sox signed Nomar Garciaparra to what proved to be a seven-year contract worth roughly $45.25 million, a good number of people thought the Sox were insane. The deal was the richest ever awarded a player after his rookie season, and many wondered whether the Red Sox were unnecessarily rolling the dice.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:18 am

comments from Mets Fans on Santana

BTW, if neither the yanks or sox want santana that much, and if they're only in it to prevent the other from getting him, then it would make sense that they both would scale back their offers as the Mets emerge as the frontrunners.

Why is that? Because if their number one concern is that the other team not get Johan, as long as they have offers on the table the twins will drag it out. But if their offers are downsized they'll in effect force the twins to take the Mets offer. Which gives them the security that they want, knowing that the other team won't get Johan.


Problem is only 3 teams can afford him, and the Yankees and Red Sox were never seriously afraid of the other team getting him.

Which leaves...


Yankees, Mets and the Red Sox are not the only team that can afford to acquire Santana. The Dodgers, Cubs and Angels are other possibilities. Each of those teams have prospects that can entice the Twins.

- Do not believe what you read in the papers, folks. It is manipulative writing. The fact that we still hear conflicting reports each and everyday should all but tell you that little to no one really knows whats going on and all they are doing is re-writing what others are, just in different ways.

- I do believe that both the Yankees and Red Sox do NOT NEED to pull off a trade. But that doesn't mean they won't. Each team is in contention against eachother and while the Red Sox did win it all last year, don't think they woudln't mind beefing up their team just to make sure they win it again. As for the Yankees, Cashman may not want to do the trade, but is he Hank Steinbrenner? Ultimately, who would you think has the final say? A GM or an Owner who obviously knows a lot about baseball.

- In my opinion, there's no way the Mets are offering all of Mulvey, Gomez, Guerra, Martinez and either Pelfrey or Humber. It will be 2-3 of those with 1 or two major league players like Church. If Omar gives up the entire farm, he would have no way of getting any kind of deal outside of sending Reyes or Wright for the next 3 years at least.


If Santana pushed this trade it would be good news for us. But I don't think he's doing that. He's said he's fine with pitching for the Twins this year without an extension. He knows he'd bank in free agency anyway. But yea hopefully the Twins feel like they have to deal him and the Yanks and Redsox stand pat. That's our best shot

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:28 am

The Patriots have $122 million payroll and second in Nfl

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:30 am

Santana deal imminent?
Sunday, January 27, 2008

There is lots of Twins-related news this Sunday morning. First, Charley Waters, columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, writes today that a Johan Santana deal is expected to come down within 10 days. He has been dead on in forecasting forthcoming Twins machinations, so after weeks and weeks of start-up talks and lingering talks and pending talks and non-stop talks, we could view this as a two-minute warning in this whole Santana conversation. You can read pretty clearly between the lines of W ...

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* Comments (1-6)
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lonnie4949
lonnie4949 (37 minutes ago)
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Wow, it looks like Hank's comments on steroids on 96-01 certainly has struck a nerve in Red Sox nation, I mean c'mon how could it be possible that any of those boys would have done steroids? Not a Red Sock, no way. And Helmanhs, I love Bernie as much as any Yankee fan, but I would assume that Cashman, who has never said a negative thing about a player in his 11 years know a bit more about commitment than you might, so consider the source and say, he just might be right.

And Bosoxx113, what evidence is there that Hank is going to run the Yankees into the ground? Yes you are the World Champs and yes you deserve a large large round of applause for that and for building a fantastic team and organization. But let's not forget that the Yankees came from 12 behind to finish only 2 behind you, and after May thoroughly kicked your butt's head-to-head, I believe it was 10-3, from that time on.

It should be another great race....let's get going.
o
Bosoxx113
Bosoxx113 (52 minutes ago)
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As a diehard Sox fan, man do I love you Hank. Being a Bostonian, it was fun watching Isiah Thomas run the Knicks into the ground and it's going to even be MORE fun watching you run the Yankees into the ground
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emac224
emac224 (2 hours ago)
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Hank makes a big mistake if he thinks Yankee fans will ever back him over Cashman. If the kids don't work out they don't work out. If Santana doesn't work out we lose 150 million dollars. Is Hank going to shut up or fire himself if Santana gets injured? He can bash everyone in baseball but if he is going to start threatening the rest of the team he will lose any slack the fans are current giving him. Back off buddy!
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ericNH
ericNH (3 hours ago)
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Hank and Hal.... what a couple of clowns. Now that daddy is in a HAZE... they are going to run the yankees into the ground. Go ahead and sign Santana.... I beg you.... as a Red Sox fan.
o
helmanls
helmanls (3 hours ago)
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Gotta love Hank Steinbrennar. It's beautiful to watch him undermine his baseball people. On the Bernie Williams article, perhaps what Cashman was implying is that Bernie should have been hanging out with Rocket, getting shots in his butt, rather than playing guitar. Maybe THAT would have allowed him to continue playing at a high level.....Maybe Cashman wasn't implying that....maybe I am. Why anyone would call into question the committment of someone like Bernie, an all around good guy and dymanite baseball player, is beyond me. As for the new Santana news, we've been hearing that same "news" since November. It's time to forget the rumors and just report something when something happens.
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cechris24
cechris24 (3 hours ago)
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Oh, Hank, please keep running your mouth. You are like a fantasy baseball owner that runs his mouth all season and ends up next to last. The Yankees are such a respected franchise over the years. They deserve better than you.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:35 am

Brady, Patriots depart snowy New England for Glendale


http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs07/news/story?id=3217171

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady returned. His boot didn't.

The Patriots quarterback reappeared with his teammates at a Super Bowl departure rally on a snowy Sunday morning without the protective boot on his right foot that caused a major stir last week.

And without a noticeable limp, either.

One fan in the stands at the Gillette Stadium rally held a sign: BRADY-- GIVE THE GIANTS THE 'BOOT'. The quarterback vowed the Patriots would bring back the Vince Lombardi Trophy, which would complete a 19-0 season.

After returning to Foxborough on Wednesday from a trip to New York to be with supermodel girlfriend Gisele Bundchen, Brady wasn't seen by reporters and cameramen the next two days while they were allowed into the locker room and at practice.

There was no media availability Saturday, and Brady hadn't spoken in public since his news conference right after New England's 21-12 win over the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship Game the previous Sunday.

Last Monday, Brady was spotted wearing the boot outside Bundchen's home and walking with a slight limp. Later that day and on Tuesday, he wasn't wearing it when photographed by the paparazzi.

The NFL MVP reportedly had a mild high ankle sprain. Teammates said they expect him to be ready for Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants next Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:44 am

Part 2- Comments from Mutts Fans

Bill Smith tried playing the Yankees and Red Sox off each other. Neither bit and now he’s stuck with the Mets. I know the Mets’ prospects are better than people give them credit but they’re not as ML ready. I seriously doubt Smith will try to play this again when he has about 3 weeks left.

Also, the Yankees and Red Sox are probably happy since neither of them are getting him. The whole backpage battle between the Yanks and Mets is overblown by the media (what a surprise). Plus right now, pretty much neither team exists between the miracle run the Giants are on and the continuously self-destructing Knicks.


That is why Matt is right about Santana pushing the Twins …..so Smith gets it done and stops playing a waiting game by keeping the Mets as the”front runner”. However, this helps the Mets if the Yanks and Red Sox are really out. Either way this forces a resolution .




I really think that Minnesota would rather make a trade with the Red Sox or Yankees. Simply because they value the Sox and Yankee players the best. I have a strange feeling that Minnesota is keeping the Mets twisting in the wind, in hopes that it will scare the Sox and Yankees into sweetening there offers.

If Minnesota really liked our players, the deal would have been made already. The fact that it is taking this long makes it obvious to me.

Everyone is always using the Mets to get better offers from other teams. It’s bad enough that players always do it, but now teams are doing it too.




If Boston pulled their offer, after Cashman admitted they do not want Hughes on the table, then why would Omar even consider taking Smith seriously? Smith has no leverage now. Let’s hope it all benefits us.


This is really gaining media momentum which means it will go down soon. Matts point that it will happen when Santana starts pushing the Twins is turning out to be right on target. Good point stated earlier by icedrake523 that the FMart addition may be holding it up but I go with Matt on this…..Smith needs to be pushed to take the Mets offer (what ever it is) and Santana is starting to push.
I’m also encouraged by some quotes in the NY press today that Omar is optimistic about there still is a possibility to get Santana. He hasn’t given up. All good signs. Oh boy!……this is getting exciting. It is getting close.

Yep. And no team that ever trades an Ace ever really gets back anything near equal value. Pedro got the Expos Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. Schilling and Johnson got back a collection of OKs.

Minnesota shouldn’t be so shocked by the Yankees and Red Sox refusal to part a bunch of top spects in addition to having to pay the guy the highest salary in the history of major league pitchers.

They should be happy the Mets are willing to offer so many prospects to them. It’s as high a price anyone will have paid for a pitcher since the Mets ponied up for Viola years ago

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:47 am

If our rotation and pen stays as it is, it is a fair assessment that Toronot can give the YANKS a run for their money...

The problem is, it's January. Let's wait until at least the end of Spring training...afterall there is a reason why the games are played.

Need I remind everyone that last year, in April, May and June and parts of July, nearly everyone on here was slitting their wrists and preparing lynching parties for Torre, Abrue, Rivera and the rest...

As Nettlesrules, I was one of a few (GottaGotoMo, Paddy and some others too) telling everyone to chill...

It's Janaury, and some of you like Wolfman are already writing this team off. I can see why your negative dude, if I had hair all over my mug, I'd be negative too...

Let's just see what mvoes are made, and who shows what in SPRING TRAINING. As far as we know, we already have the best bullpen in the game just waiting for a chance.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:52 am

The slow baseball news days of January reaching an end


http://www.soxandpinstripes.com/

January. It's the coldest month of the year in many states, and it marks a period when the NFL playoffs determine the Super Bowl matchup and college basketball enters the heart of conference play. January is also the slowest time for news in Major League Baseball.

With the myriad of writing and PR projects in which I am immersed, January has served as a month to recharge my batteries and prepare for the arrival of another baseball season. Once spring training kicks off, baseball becomes a daily beloved ritual. I write about it, watch it, and devour every piece of news and information possible about the sport. So once the calendar turns to Feb. 14, Sox and Pinstripes will return to daily postings.

That said - or written, to be exact - here are some observations about recent transactions with the Red Sox and throughout baseball:

* The Sox avoided arbitration with right-handed reliever Kyle Snyder and signed him to a one-year, $835,000 deal that includes modest bonuses (an additional $5,000 for 50 appearances and $10,000 extra if he makes 60 appearances). Snyder did have respectable numbers last season (2-3 with a 3.81 ERA in 46 games and 54.1 innings, in which he surrendered 45 hits), but he struggled after the All-Star break (posting a 5.24 ERA compared to a 2.81 mark in the first half) and he did not pitch in the post season. In fact, he made just four appearances in September. Snyder is a viable option as the last man in the bullpen, but he is not a lock to make the team. Ditto for Javier Lopez, the so-called left-handed relief specialist who is punished by left-handed hitters. Like Snyder, Lopez avoided arbitration by signing a one-year contract, his worth $840,000. Snyder and Lopez have no options remaining, so they will have to be designated for assignment if the Sox do not place them on the regular season roster. Since each reliever has a six-figure deal, and not a seven-figure one, the Sox can afford to release them, and they would have trade value for a team that does not have bullpen depth. I believe that Lopez and Snyder could accompany the Sox to Japan if Major League Baseball allows the Sox and A's to carry extra players for their "regular season" games in March, but don't expect both of them on the team in April.
* Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, Manny Delcarmen and Mike Timlin are likely assured spots in the bullpen for 2008. Lopez and Snyder will compete with an array of minor leaguers and free agent signees for the final three openings in spring training. Boston inked veteran right-handed relievers Dan Kolb and Dan Miceli to minor league deals. The 32-year-old Kolb registered a 2.55 ERA and saved a total of 60 games for Milwaukee in 2003 and 2004, but like many Major League relievers, he was unable to remain effective for the long term. Atlanta brought him in to close in 2005, but he flopped with a 3-8 record, 11 saves and a 5.93 ERA in 65 games. He returned to the Brewers as a set-up man in 2006 and finished with a 4.84 ERA. Last year, he spent most of the season at Triple-A Indianapolis and appeared in three games for the Pirates. Miceli, who is 37, has tasted success as a set-up man with 14 years of Major League experience. He recorded a 3.94 ERA in 33 games for Tampa Bay in 2006, and then retired. Apparently, he had a change of heart. Kolb and Miceli are wise, low-risk signings. If one or both have a strong spring training, that will spell trouble for Snyder. Lopez could stick since he is a left-hander (though, as I have written numerous times, he is woeful against left-handed batters). His only competition is Craig Breslow (who is out of options), Jon Switzer and Michael Tejera.
* If the regular season opened today, chances are Boston's bullpen would feature Papelbon, Okajima, Delcarmen, Timlin, Bryan Corey, Javier Lopez and Kyle Snyder. If Julian Tavarez remains with the Sox, he will be an option, but most likely he will be traded to a National League team in the next month. If Boston does not include Coco Crisp in a package for Johan Santana, he could be dealt for a reliever. Darkhorse candidates to gain a spot in the opening day bullpen include Kolb, Miceli, Tejera (who has impressive minor league numbers and has Major League experience), Breslow (a left-hander who can actually get left-handed hitters out), Lee Gronkiewicz (who has solid minor league numbers and decent big league numbers in a cup of coffee with Toronto) and Craig Hansen (who likely will begin the season at Triple-A Pawtucket but could return to Boston at some point in 2008).
* Theo Epstein must not be sold on Chris Carter, the sweet-swinging left-handed first baseman/outfielder who the Sox acquired in the Wily Mo Pena trade. The 25-year-old Carter mounted impressive numbers at the plate in the Diamondbacks organization, including two seasons in Triple A, but he was stuck behind Conor Jackson. Now, Kevin Youkilis is Carter's obstacle at the big league level, and top prospects like Aaron Bates and Lars Anderson are rapidly gaining ground. It would appear that Carter, who is a below-average defensive first baseman and left fielder, would be a prime in-house candidate to fill Eric Hinske's role as a left-handed hitter off the bench who can spell Youkilis. Yet media reports indicate that Epstein prefers names like Brad Wilkerson, Sean Casey, Ryan Klesko, Tony Clark and Mark Sweeney. Wilkerson has power and can play first base and the corner outfield spots, but he strikes out often and probably wants a long-term deal and a chance to start. He will get neither in Boston. If healthy, Klesko is an intriguing possibility. He has been injury prone the last five seasons, and he is average at best at first base and in the outfield, but he can hit the long ball. He hit .260 with six home runs and 44 RBI in 362 at-bats. Not impressive, but better than Eric Hinske's .204 average. Though he is an average defensive first baseman who cannot play any other position, Casey is the best choice, in my opinion. He is a clubhouse leader who will become a fan favorite for his kindhearted demeanor and his hustle. Casey is not a run producer, but he is a career .301 hitter.
* Sean Casey is accustomed to a starting role, but his personality and his desire to win a World Series would probably help him adapt to a reserve position. If the Sox do sign Casey, since he is limited to first base, it will be important that they have a fourth outfielder who can play all three spots. Is Coco Crisp the man for this job? On paper, he is. Crisp plays exceptional defense and has speed on the basepaths. Red Sox Nation knows how valuable it is to have a reserve outfielder who can enter in late-game situations to steal a base. Dave Roberts, anyone? Unlike Casey; however, Crisp is unlikely to embrace a backup role, even if Terry Francona can get him 300 at-bats. Crisp has said (through his agent) in the off-season that he is a starting center fielder, and not a reserve. If he accepts the role, I favor retaining him. If he would sulk in the clubhouse and on the bench, creating adversity on the team as Jay Payton did a few years ago, the Sox should trade him, preferably for a frontline right-handed set-up man.
* I have ventured full circle on my thoughts about the potential Johan Santana trade. Originally, I advocated the Sox to not make a deal, unless they keep their top prospects (like Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz). As the winter meetings approached, I warmed to the idea of dealing Ellsbury or Buchholz, even if it also cost Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson. I have once again cooled on the trade. The Sox are blessed with pitching depth, which is key to winning a World Series. Presently, Boston's rotation boasts Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Justin Masterson is a prime-time prospect who could make his big league debut with the Sox in 2008, even if it is out of the bullpen. Michael Bowden is still in the team's plans, though it seems that Masterson has surpassed him. True, Santana would give the Sox two of the game's best starting pitchers, but the cost in prospects and in salary could be detrimental. Since the rotation is well-stocked for 2008 and beyond, perhaps John Henry would more wisely use his money extending the contracts of Terry Francona and Jason Varitek, and signing Jonathan Papelbon, Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury to long-term deals (Papelbon and Youkilis sooner, and Pedroia and Ellsbury later). Also, though Boston will probably pick up his options in 2009 and 2010, Manny Ramirez will have to be replaced, so if the Sox plan to keep their payroll in the same vicinity as it currently is, it would make more sense to use the $20-plus million a year that Santana would get to ink a slugger when Ramirez retires. True, that day is still down the road, but Santana wants a seven-year deal, so his contract would be an issue when the Sox seek to replace Ramirez.
* Kudos to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for extending Carlos Pena and James Shields, and the Twins for signing Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer to long-term contracts. It is good for baseball when small market teams keep their core players. I prefer an American League that is competitive from top to bottom versus a National League that has two or three strong teams, and many marginal ballclubs. The American League East will certainly be challenging in 2008. The Sox are still the top team. The Yankees have an aging lineup, no ace, only two reliable veteran starters (Wang and Pettitte) and unproven prospects, but they will at least contend for a wild card spot. Toronto has a strong rotation and bullpen, but a mediocre offense. Tampa Bay has made tremendous improvements in the bullpen, and their rotation should be improved. The Rays were already solid at the plate. Baltimore is the weakest link; however, Andy MacPhail, the O's new president of baseball operations, has done a formidable job so far dealing away regulars to get top prospects. The Orioles and Pirates are still the two worst franchises in baseball, but at least Baltimore appears headed in a positive direction.




Now batting for your Red Sox, first baseman Trot Nixon?

The Red Sox need a left-handed bat off the bench who can play first base and preferably the corner outfield spots. Trot Nixon needs a job, and he has spent the off-season in Atlanta learning how to play first base. He is already a proficient outfielder. Could it be a match?

In today's Boston Globe, Nixon told Nick Cafardo that his representative has contacted the Sox. Here is what the longtime Sox right fielder said when asked about a potential return to Boston:

"Sure. I saw recently where they needed a left-handed bat. Someone who can play first and maybe the outfield. That fits for me. I know my representative has contacted them, but I have no idea what their plans are and who they're considering. I would always love to come back and play in Boston. I still have so many friends there. But the important thing now is to play again, no matter where it is."

Last season, his first not wearing a Boston uniform, the 33-year-old Nixon hit .251 with three home runs and 31 RBI in 307 at-bats. The idea of Nixon returning to the Sox is heartwarming, but the team needs more production from their reserves. As I wrote yesterday, Sean Casey would be ideal, even though he is limited to first base and has home run and RBI numbers that are similar to Nixon's. Casey is a career .301 hitter and recorded a .296 average with Detroit in 2007.

I'm not sure what happened to the plan for Brandon Moss to learn the art of playing first base. If Moss can play the position adequately, he would be the perfect candidate to fill Eric Hinske's role. The 24-year-old Moss is a solid outfielder with a strong arm. At the plate, he hits for power and average, and knows how to reach base. Of course, learning how to play first base is easier said than done, especially at the big league level. First base is an important position, especially since a guy who can stretch, scoop and range off the base to catch throws and tag the baserunner can prevent a multitude of throwing errors.

As of today, the projected 2008 lineup for the Red Sox is:

Starting Pitchers

* Josh Beckett
* Daisuke Matsuzaka
* Curt Schilling
* Tim Wakefield
* Jon Lester

Relievers

* Jonathan Papelbon
* Hideki Okajima
* Manny Delcarmen
* Mike Timlin
* Javier Lopez
* Dan Miceli or Dan Kolb
* Kyle Snyder

Catchers

* Jason Varitek
* Doug Mirabelli

Infielders

* David Ortiz (DH)
* Kevin Youkilis
* Dustin Pedroia
* Julio Lugo
* Mike Lowell
* Alex Cora

Outfielders

* J.D. Drew
* Jacoby Ellsbury
* Manny Ramirez

This leaves two open spots for bench players. Obviously, the bullpen is uncertain beyond Papelbon, Okajima, Delcarmen and Timlin. The final three spots are up for grabs. Yes, Clay Buchholz could open the season at Triple-A Pawtucket. I believe that Julian Tavarez and Coco Crisp will be traded, so I did not include them on the roster. They could net a bench player and a reliever.

Regarding the final two bench roles, I think that Bobby Kielty will return. He gives the Sox a strong right-handed bat, and he can play all three outfield spots, though he is best suited for the corners. Since Youkilis and Cora can play third, the Sox would benefit more by signing someone who can play first and the corner outfield positions. MLBTradeRumors.com reports that Brad Wilkerson could sign a one-year deal with Seattle, and not Boston, which makes sense because he wants a chance to play regularly. That would leave Sean Casey, Tony Clark, Mark Sweeney, Ryan Klesko, Greg Norton and (gasp!) Doug Mientkiewicz and Trot Nixon as the most visible options.

Who would you like to see occupy the final two spots on the Sox bench. Should they give Moss a chance? Is it too great of a risk to bring back Nixon? Would the addition of Casey be wasted roster space since he can only play first base and DH? After all, the Sox already have that in David Ortiz, and Theo Epstein seems to favor versatile reserve players. How about Crisp? On paper, he is an ideal fourth outfielder. But in reality, would he accept a reserve role? Make your thoughts known.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:53 am

Buster: I read Waters article. Apparently, you're giving credence to him because of his record (which you claim has been accurate). He gave no justification to his "prediction" or refered to any sources he trusted. He may turn out to be right, but based on the article, it's just his opinion.
I've never seen anything like this:
Santana Trade Imminent
Santana On Hold
Santana To The Yanks
Trade Talks Dead
Bosox The Frontrunner For Santana
We count on you, Stark, Gammons and the rest to give us opinions based on inside info instead of being just rumormongers. You're blowing our trust in the "expert analysts" that you're supposed to be.



Wow, it looks like Hank's comments on steroids on 96-01 certainly has struck a nerve in Red Sox nation, I mean c'mon how could it be possible that any of those boys would have done steroids? Not a Red Sock, no way. And Helmanhs, I love Bernie as much as any Yankee fan, but I would assume that Cashman, who has never said a negative thing about a player in his 11 years know a bit more about commitment than you might, so consider the source and say, he just might be right.

And Bosoxx113, what evidence is there that Hank is going to run the Yankees into the ground? Yes you are the World Champs and yes you deserve a large large round of applause for that and for building a fantastic team and organization. But let's not forget that the Yankees came from 12 behind to finish only 2 behind you, and after May thoroughly kicked your butt's head-to-head, I believe it was 10-3, from that time on.

It should be another great race....let's get going.


As a diehard Sox fan, man do I love you Hank. Being a Bostonian, it was fun watching Isiah Thomas run the Knicks into the ground and it's going to even be MORE fun watching you run the Yankees into the ground

Hank makes a big mistake if he thinks Yankee fans will ever back him over Cashman. If the kids don't work out they don't work out. If Santana doesn't work out we lose 150 million dollars. Is Hank going to shut up or fire himself if Santana gets injured? He can bash everyone in baseball but if he is going to start threatening the rest of the team he will lose any slack the fans are current giving him. Back off buddy!

Hank and Hal.... what a couple of clowns. Now that daddy is in a HAZE... they are going to run the yankees into the ground. Go ahead and sign Santana.... I beg you.... as a Red Sox fan.

Gotta love Hank Steinbrennar. It's beautiful to watch him undermine his baseball people. On the Bernie Williams article, perhaps what Cashman was implying is that Bernie should have been hanging out with Rocket, getting shots in his butt, rather than playing guitar. Maybe THAT would have allowed him to continue playing at a high level.....Maybe Cashman wasn't implying that....maybe I am. Why anyone would call into question the committment of someone like Bernie, an all around good guy and dymanite baseball player, is beyond me. As for the new Santana news, we've been hearing that same "news" since November. It's time to forget the rumors and just report something when something happens.

Oh, Hank, please keep running your mouth. You are like a fantasy baseball owner that runs his mouth all season and ends up next to last. The Yankees are such a respected franchise over the years. They deserve better than you.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:01 am

Official Yankees will not make the playoffs in 08 thread
juicedPitcher Post #1: Nov 20 2007, 2:56 pm Quote | Report Violation
Total Posts: 3171

http://boards.espn.go.com/boards/mb/mb?sport=mlb&id=general&tid=1890930&lid=96

I'm making it official, I'll save this post and bump it every month of the season next year.

The Yankees are one year older w. basically the same rotation that does not have a #1 pitcher. The Red Sox, Twins, Angels and Tigers will all make the playoffs.

The twins make it back because of their ace-starter....Francisco Liriano (yep, that one ),will be the Cy Young, and Santana will be 2nd, with beckett 3rd.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:02 am

there is no agenda here- with the bullpen as is..and the questions in our rotation- its entirely concievable Toronto finish above us. Its not likely, but it could happen. Personally, i think we'll finish second in a dog fight to the last week for the wildcard. I don't know if we'll make it right now, i'd say we're behind both Detroit and Cleveland as well as Boston and Anaheim in the AL as it stands on paper. But we just don't know, if titles were won on paper we'd have 70 world series championships. MAybe this year it might work in our favour with an unknown quantity pitching, and an unknown quantity as manager we could wipe the floor with everybody.

I'd say we're a C+ right now


I have had my concerns about the Blues jays since the end of last season......Should the come into this season healthy....They will be a serious force in the east.......Their starters are excellent and if BJ RYan is back well they will be very very tough.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:04 am

Toronto edges New York in pitching but not offense. The Jays look better than Boston offensively and defensively. Go position by position. I think the Jays are better than the Red Sox.

Too bad they never play that way.

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Re: Santana deal imminent?

Post  RedMagma on Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:05 am

Today in the Journal News

January
27

Bernie Williams has an issue with Brian Cashman’s comments and plans to speak with him about it.

The annual BBWAA dinner is tonight in Manhattan. Though hosted by the writers, this is a social event and we won’t be interviewing anybody. Alex Rodriguez, Joe Girardi, Johnny Damon, Joba Chamberlain and Goose Gossage are expected to attend along with Craig Biggio, Billy Wagner, Bobby Murcer, Dustin Pedroia, C.C. Sabathia, Jake Peavy, Jimmy Rollins, Eric Wedge, Bob Melvin and Ryan Braun.

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