-twins try to extend santana, he refuses

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-twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:44 am

i agree with everything said with exception to the bill smith point. i can be wrong, and if i am, somebody please correct me with valid information.

-twins try to extend santana, he refuses
-yankees multiple offers eventually get to hughes and melky
-red sox offers get to two offers that either include jon lester or jacoby ellsbury
-bill smith wants more players, holds out in the usual attempt to have the yanks and sox play against each other to drive the price up…which didn’t work
-yanks and sox eventually pull out of race
-twins try to extend santana again, he refuses and tells twins to make deal quickly with what they can
-twins are stuck with only offer on the table which is the mets 4 prospects that don’t even come close to equaling yanks or sox original offers

how is this not overplaying the hand? i think the sox were never genuinely interested and just wanted to keep him out of the bronx, cashman also didn’t want santana in boston but at some point i’m sure cashman was serious about acquiring santana until the price got ridiculously high (hughes). i think that bill smith thought time was on his side, the longer he waited the better chance the offers would go up and that clearly didn’t happen. bill isn’t an idiot, he earned his job on talent evaluation but he could have done better with this deal. time will tell


I’ve already had people say to me, “you will wish the Yankees had Johan in July, when Hughes has a 4.80 ERA and Santana is 14-3.” But I think we all realize that this trade is not about this season. Any Yankee hater who compares Johan to Hughes this season won’t be saying anything we didn’t already know.

Now how funny would it be if Santana fails the physical because of a bad elbow?


I basically concur with everything YankCrank20 said above me. I disagree with you about two of the points- the Yankees not being interested and Bill Smith not overplaying his hand. I believe the Yankees were interested, and did have Hughes on the table at one point trying to make a deal. Smith pushed for more, and ended up losing his opportunity to bring back an elite talent. I think your fourth point is the most relevant of the entire piece. The Twins were probably unwilling to send Johan to an AL contender, and therefore requested superior packages from the Yanks and Sox. I think this is a poor move by Smith. As a GM, he has to take the best offer, regardless of the team it comes from. They took a package that has only one player with star potential (Guerra), and he is far away from the majors. They are in a division with 2 teams that will be strong for the forseeable future. It does not seem like they made this move to contend soon, so why bother keeping Johan from the AL.?

To be clear, Hughes was on the table at one point. But he was on the table when Hank gave the Twins their ultimatum at the Winter Meetings. As far as we know, Hughes has a not been a part of any Yankee package since then. Hank was sure to make that known.

I think that anytime a prospect of Hughes’ caliber is on the table at any point, it is hard to claim that the Yankees weren’t all that interested. What if the Twins accept that offer? I think they were fully interested and involved, Smith pushed too hard, and the Yankees pulled their offer.

That point you made about Smith NOT overpaying his hand really stuck to me. I never really looked at it from that point of view, I was always under the impression (as I am sure most were) that the media and bloggers were fairly accurate in their reports of the packages on the table for Johan Santana. The Red Sox offering seperate packages that included players Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, and the Masterson kid. Then onto the Yankees who reportedly put up players Hughes, Cabrera, Horne, Marques, Jackson, Tabata, and Hilligross.

The point you made makes alot more sense in saying that those reported deals were off seeing as how Smith in no right mind could have seriously passed up a combo of those players from the the Yankees and Red Sox then turn around and accept this offer from the Mets. There was no way he would have done that especially with former Twins GM Ryan still in the picture somewhat.



If Klapisch is right, my above post is correct that Smith misread the proper time to accept the best offer :



http://www.northjersey.com/sports/mets/14896371.html

This was late Monday night, about 12 hours before the Mets would pounce upon their most dramatic trade in recent history. Twins’ general manager Bill Smith, in a panic to move Johan Santana, called the Yankees and admitted surrender: Phil Hughes was no longer a prerequisite, he said. Instead, the Twins asked for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera and a top prospect. Would the Yankees still be interested, Smith wondered?

The Yankees considered the idea, but only briefly and not seriously. Their passion for Santana started waning as far back as December, when Andy Pettitte announced he was returning to the Bronx. The Yankees’ internal straw vote was unanimous: The Twins had waited too long. On Tuesday Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman told Smith he was passing on the deal, prompting the Twins to call the Red Sox. Equally devastating news awaited. Both Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester were unavailable.

The Red Sox, in lock step with the Yankees, had essentially backed out, too.


None of us know the real financial situation of the Yankees, who surely have a bunch of financial covenants to comply with due to the building of new Yankee Stadium.

Having said that, the Yankees do have $46.5MM of little-to-no production coming off the books next year.

Unless the Yankees simply couldn’t take Santana’s salary on for 2008 (which is strange, after they added an effective $18MM worth of Clemens in 2007), you have to wonder about what the Yankees will do (or not do) with their off-the-books $46.5MM in 2008-2009 (and arguably, the Yankees could have much more coming off the books, but it will depend on whether Pettitte and/or Abreu stay with the Yankees for 2009).

I’ve assumed that the Yankees would go after one of Santana, Sabathia or Teixeira. Now it’s just Sabathia or Teixeira, and maybe the Yankees will end up with neither….

Strange.






According to sources familiar with the entire negotiations, after the Red Sox removed Lester, the Twins called the Yankees back and proposed a scenario in which Hughes would not have to be part of the deal. Instead, they asked for Chien-Ming Wang and Ian Kennedy. The Yankees flatly rejected that, leaving the Mets as the Twins’ only alternative.
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/2008/01/30/2008-01-30_mets_strike_deal_with_twins_extension_aw.html?page=1



so before we bring out the pitchforks and torches, remember, none of us know what really happened.

i see no reason to believe Klapish over this report, or vice versa.


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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:55 am

I hope Cashman doing right thing. Cashman is really putting his reputation on the line with these young pitchers. The Yankees lose out Matsuzaka to Boston and Cashman went after Igawa as consolation price last year. This year Mets traded for Johan and The Yankees lose again. Next Year, I'm hoping that Yankees don't lose out on CC and Tex to Boston and Mets again. Also, Brian please Go after Yu Darvish if He were to become available next year via posting Smile

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:07 am

I hope Cashman doing right thing. Cashman is really putting his reputation on the line with these young pitchers. The Yankees lose out Matsuzaka to Boston and Cashman went after Igawa as consolation price last year. This year Mets traded for Johan and The Yankees lose again. Next Year, I'm hoping that Yankees don't lose out on CC and Tex to Boston and Mets again. Also, Brian please Go after Yu Darvish if He were to become available next year via posting Smile


-twins try to extend santana, he refuses
-yankees multiple offers eventually get to hughes and melky
-red sox offers get to two offers that either include jon lester or jacoby ellsbury
-bill smith wants more players, holds out in the usual attempt to have the yanks and sox play against each other to drive the price up…which didn’t work
-yanks and sox eventually pull out of race
-twins try to extend santana again, he refuses and tells twins to make deal quickly with what they can
-twins are stuck with only offer on the table which is the mets 4 prospects that don’t even come close to equaling yanks or sox original offers


HANK, HAL, & CASH: FANS WANT ANSWERS


This is an invitation from a disgruntled Yankee fan. I am a season ticket holder and I want answers. I want to know why the Yanks did not make a last-minute offer for the best pitcher in baseball, a power lefty who would be phenomenal in Yankee Stadium and could very well give them the ace they need to put them over the top. You spent this offseason making a great move that gave Yankee fans hope by hiring Girardi. You gave ridiculous money to A-Rod. He is also the greatest show on the planet. Entertainment value, I understand that. You gave stupid money to Rivera and Posada. Great all-time Yankees, yes, but hardly worth clogging up the payroll for the next 3-4 years for. You then look at what is a disaster of a bullpen and fill it with an unknown in Albaladejo and a has-been who chokes under pressure in Hawkins while losing one of the only semi-reliable relievers you had last year in Vizcaino. Lastly, the greatest pitcher on the planet becomes available and the Mets get him while only giving up four nothings. Rumor has it, Bill Smith came back to you Cash for a last minute offer and you didn't bother making one. So, this is where I as a season ticket holder, ask you to respond and tell me "why". IF Smith still insisted on Hughes, fine I understand, that's ok. IF you suspect Santana has an injury, fine I understand, that's ok too. IF you refused to part with a package centered around Ian Kennedy OR used money as an excuse, I hope you are as far away from the new Yankee Stadium as possible next year. I got news for you CASHman, this team is built to win NOW. I certainly have my doubts about winning now with a rotation that has a 36-year old steroid user, a sinkerball whose sinkers seemed to stop sinking, a 38-year old Moose who's career is over, and 3 rookies who have never thrown over 150 innings. Sure, A-Rod will put on a show hitting all of those home runs. Joba will entertain pumping his fist after striking out hitters on 100 mph fastballs. This is a show. But fans want more than just a show. They want to win. Namely a World Series Championship. How about giving the fans and older players like Mo, Posada, Moose, Andy and Jeter a shot. Or maybe you three are more concerned about payroll. I want answers. And I'm sure some fans will agree. I'm sure some fans will tear me apart as a whiner. But I DARE you to respond.


Ns

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:12 am

Mets strike deal with Twins, extension away from landing Johan Santana

BY ADAM RUBIN AND BILL MADDEN
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITERS

Wednesday, January 30th 2008, 4:00 AM

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/2008/01/30/2008-01-30_mets_strike_deal_with_twins_extension_aw.html?page=0

Who's talking about the September collapse now? The Mets reached a deal with the Twins Tuesday to acquire two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, after the Yankees and Red Sox essentially backed out.

The Mets will send pitchers Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra and outfielder Carlos Gomez to Minnesota, Mets officials indicated, although the deal isn't yet official.

The Mets have a 72-hour window to sign Santana to an extension, since the lefthander has no-trade protection as he approaches what otherwise would be free agency next winter. That contract dialogue began last night.

Willie Randolph was giddy Tuesday after receiving the news that the Mets had landed Santana, but team officials declined to comment until they reach an agreement with the hurler.

"I'm told I have to act like Mr. Met," chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said upon arriving at last night's Baseball Assistance Team dinner, referring to the team's silent mascot.

Said GM Omar Minaya: "The bottom line is we're trying to look for ways to improve our club. That's all I'm going to be able to say right now."

Coming to terms on a new contract - which could net Santana in the $21 million-$22 million-a-year range for six to seven years - ultimately shouldn't be an impediment. Mets officials are feeling intense pressure to sign Santana now that the agreement with the Twins has become public. Mets brass also enjoys a solid working relationship with Santana's agents, Peter and Ed Greenberg, who represent Jose Reyes and Endy Chavez. Santana is owed $13.25 million this season.

The Twins opted to shift into overdrive yesterday in attempting to deal Santana after the ace told the organization he wanted to be moved quickly. Santana, who has a home in Fort Myers, Fla., apparently was pushing to get a deal done before he heads to Venezuela for the two weeks before spring training.

The Mets, to a large extent, were able to land their top-of-the-rotation starter by default. Minnesota officials contacted the Mets, Yankees and Red Sox yesterday morning and requested each team's best offer. The Yankees were unwilling to include Phil Hughes and essentially passed, while the Red Sox's recent interest had been tepid as well, with both clubs preferring to retain their elite prospects, especially given the financial commitment needed for Santana to approve the trade. Boston, which at one point had separate offers out to Minnesota headlined by outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and pitcher Jon Lester, were no longer willing to part with Ellsbury yesterday. They later yanked the Lester-led offer, too, leaving the Mets as the lone legitimate suitor.


According to sources familiar with the entire negotiations, after the Red Sox removed Lester, the Twins called the Yankees back and proposed a scenario in which Hughes would not have to be part of the deal. Instead, they asked for Chien-Ming Wang and Ian Kennedy. The Yankees flatly rejected that, leaving the Mets as the Twins' only alternative.

The Mets had an understanding with the Twins a week ago that 19-year-old outfield prodigy Fernando Martinez would not be included in any deal. Minnesota wasn't opposed to obtaining Gomez instead of Martinez, since the Twins project Martinez more as a corner outfielder than as a center fielder.

Santana, who turns 29 on March 13, went 15-13 with a 3.33 ERA and struck out 235 in 219 innings with the Twins last season. That type of performance in the National League would figure to translate to even better numbers, and give the Mets an ace in the prime of his career. Santana's addition should also take a load off the team's bullpen, which might have been even more overused in 2008 with the departure of Tom Glavine, who logged 200-1/3 innings last season.

The last Cy Young Award winner the Mets obtained from the Twins was Frank Viola, whom they acquired on July 31, 1989, for Rick Aguilera, Kevin Tapani, David West, Tim Drummond and Jack Savage.

Humber, the third player taken in the 2004 draft from Rice, went 11-9 with a 4.27 ERA for Triple-A New Orleans and had a 7.71 ERA in three appearances with the Mets last year. Mulvey went 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA, primarily at Double-A Binghamton. Guerra, a 19-year-old with an advanced changeup, went 2-6 with a 4.01 ERA at Class-A St. Lucie. Gomez hit .232 and had 12 steals in 125 at-bats with the Mets and had his season shortened by a broken bone in his left hand.

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:14 am

Mets Fans should Thank Hank and Brian for trading for Santana.

Newsday Ken Davidoff says -Yankees deserve assist in Mets' Santana deal

I agree with him. As a Yankee Fan I'm happy that Mets have him than Boston Redsox.

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:17 am

Mets Fans should Thank Hank and Brian for trading for Santana.

Newsday Ken Davidoff says -Yankees deserve assist in Mets' Santana deal

I agree with him. As a Yankee Fan I'm happy that Mets have him than Boston Redsox.

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:25 am

The bitter Yanks blog......





Is everybody happy?


Looks like the Mets have landed free agency's biggest fish, Johan Santana.

God bless 'em.



http://blog.silive.com/yankeeswatch/2008/01/is_everybody_happy.html

Everyboy wins here -- except the Twins.

Shame on Minnesota gazillionaire Carl Pohlad for not ponying up the money to keep his 2-time Cy Young-award winner.

Santana was only the face of the franchise.

In the end, the Twins passed on better offers from both the Yanks and the Red Sox and settled for speedy outfielder Carlos Gomez (who can't hit), and pitchers Philip Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.

Big deal.

The Mets are big winners because Omar Minaya had to make the Santana trade. The Mets needed an ace. They're building a new stadium and they needed to get rid of the bad karma following the greatest collapse in regular season history.

They accomplished that.

The Yanks and Red Sox win because they kept Santana away from each other and he is now out of the American League.

I wanted the Yanks to hold onto their young guns, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy.
Mission accomplished.

The Yankees starting rotation on opening day will either be Andy Pettitte, Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Mike Messina....

Or more than likely: Pettitte, Wang, Hughes, Kennedy and Messina, with Joba starting out in the bullpen to lock down the seventh and eighth innings.

That's fine with me.

The Yankees stumbled against the Indians in the ALDS, but don't forget: The Bombers smacked around the Red Sox in the second half of the year, taking eight out of the last ten.

The Yankees can win it all with what they have.

The Mets landed Santana, but don't think for a second that the Yankees couldn't have had him if they wanted him.

They didn't want him.

Which is why Omar did the Yanks -- and the Sox -- a favor by preventing the bitter rivals from escalating their war of words -- and payrolls.

One word of caution, Mets fans.

Santana lost 13 games and gave up 33 home runs last year.

Could it be the beginning of a downward trend?

It could be a reach, but Mets fans had better hope there isn't a page or two missing from the Mitchell Report, if you know what I mean.


Ok......Yanks could have had him if they wanted him, and Santana's on steroids.......amazing


This guy is saying we got him because they didn't want him. As if he wasn't worth it....they didn't want to go down the road of giving up Hughes...kennedy...Cabrera and then have to pay out $140 million is more like it. We didnt give up guys equal to what the Yanks would have had to but so it's not as painful to pay him the money as it would have been for them

This is HILARIOUS. Bunch of babies. First they were bragging about how they were going to get him for sure..now this. This is why I love being a Mets fan




Is everybody happy?
Posted by Staten Island Advance January 30, 2008 6:14AM
Categories: Dean Balsamini


The Mets are big winners because Omar Minaya had to make the Santana trade. The Mets needed an ace. They're building a new stadium and they needed to get rid of the bad karma following the greatest collapse in regular season history.



that's all.



this is typical staten island advance yankee bullshit, all the other staten islanders on the board know how bias the advance is toward the yankees

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:28 am

Buster Olney Santana in commanding position

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

I would love to be the agent for Johan Santana today. I would love to ever possess the kind of leverage that Peter Greenberg, Santana's longtime representative, possesses today. He can sit across the table from the Mets and say: We'd like an extension please, of six years and $150 million. On top of the $13.25 million owed for this year.

The Mets will blanche. They will grimace. They will groan. And Greenberg, whose office is in New York and is well aware of the public pressure on the Mets to finish this deal, will know exactly how boxed in they are right now.

They're coming off the worse late-season collapse in baseball history.

They've got a huge hole at the front end of their rotation.

They've done almost nothing to upgrade the team this winter, with the most significant player move being the departure of Tom Glavine as a free agent.

The Mets will offer Santana something much less than $25 million a year, initially. Maybe five years, $20 million.

Greenberg can just say no to that, because the Mets need Santana like someone lost in the desert needs an oasis.

The Mets just made what is perceived to be a tremendous trade for Santana, a deal without giving up either shortstop Jose Reyes or prospect Fernando Martinez.

Santana essentially dropped in their laps, after the super money powers in the Bronx and Boston ended their two-month staredown by slowly backing away from the fight. After circling and circling this situation like a buzzard, the Mets now sit on top of this, ready to gnaw.

After Greenberg says no to five years and $100 million, the Mets might upgrade their extension offer to something in the range of five years and $115 million. And Greenberg can just say no, because of where the Mets sit, and because of history.

The largest contract deal ever for a pitcher went to Barry Zito last winter, at seven years and $126 million. And everybody knows that Santana is better than Zito, as much as Tom Brady is better than Philip Rivers. The Players Association will want Santana to establish new benchmarks (highest average annual value and total package) for a pitcher; the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano currently has the highest AAV at $18.3 million.

The Mets will swallow hard and go to a sixth year. Six years, $22 million, for a total package of $145 million, including the $13.25 million Santana will make this year. And Greenberg can say no, because he knows the Mets have to sign him.

They're opening a new ballpark in 2009, what appears to be a beautiful CitiField.

They've got their own network.

They play in New York.

They cannot get this close to signing the best pitcher on the planet and come up short, only because of money; their fan base will riot if, on Friday afternoon, we learn that the deal has broken up because of dollars.

Greenberg is in an incredible position of power this morning. He can throw the Mets a little financial bone. Tell you what, guys. We'll come down to $24 million a year. But nothing more than that. Because my client has two Cy Young Awards and he would be perfect for your team and your city and your league. And next fall, if my client becomes a free agent, the boys in the Bronx will be sitting there, poised to offer him a HUGE deal. Everybody now knows Hank Steinbrenner loves him. The Yankees have a bunch of contracts coming off their payroll next fall: Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, etc. I'm asking for six years and $25 million now, but I might get more than that from the Yankees next fall, especially if they don't make the playoffs in 2008.

That scenario is a little frightening, isn't it? You guys get to the one-yard line in this process but don't finish the deal over dollars, and then he becomes a Yankee in 10 months. Ouch. No, we'll sit on our asking price.

The Mets will blink. They have to blink.

Santana is expected to get a six-year deal for something in the range of $130 million, writes La Velle Neal. Economics should not kill this deal, writes Murray Chass.

In the end, the Twins wound up taking what was probably the fourth-best offer that they saw during this process, after not jumping at deals built around Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury and Phil Hughes along the way. We can sit here, as Monday morning quarterbacks, and say they could've gotten more.

But of course, it was a lot more complicated than that along the way. The end line was a moving target, and if you were sitting in the seat of new Twins GM Bill Smith, there was a lot of reason to think that the Yankees might jump back into the mix with both feet, considering how outspoken that Hank Steinbrenner was about wanting Santana. And if the Yankees had stayed in play, the Red Sox would've continued to nudge their offers up a little (not much, though), and the Mets' package -- which, in early January, the Twins' evaluators regarded as being vastly inferior to what they wanted to get from the Yankees or Boston. Smith waited, hoping for what was a brutal situation to turn his way, and it did not.

Oakland got more for Dan Haren, and the Orioles -- who are addressing a technicality that has popped up in the proposed Erik Bedard deal and will probably soon reach the point where they give Adam Jones and others physicals -- will get a better deal for their pitchers. But comparing the Haren and Bedard trades to the Santana situation is an apples-and-oranges deal. The offers for Santana were diminished greatly by Santana's impending free agency, and the fact that he was in position to demand the largest contract in the history of pitching (see above). If Santana was still three years away from free agency, the Yankees probably would've offered Hughes, Kennedy and some of the best horses on Hank Steinbrenner's farm, because of the relative cost.

Could Smith have made better deals earlier in the process? No question. But to say he made a mistake, another GM mused late Tuesday night, "you would have to be completely ignorant of the process, and how this played out. Anyone who says that doesn't know what he's talking about."

Something else to consider: Always assume that the folks involved in making a trade usually have more information at their disposal than we have. And the Twins' push to finish this deal now, rather than opting to keep Santana, raised the eyebrows of many of his brethren in baseball. "They've obviously made the decision they have to get him out of there before spring training starts," said another GM, "and you have to ask yourself: Why?"

I wrote here earlier this month that evaluators from four different teams saw the same signs of regression in Santana in his last seven starts at the end of last season: diminished velocity, an unwillingness to throw his slider. Two of the evaluators had concerns about this and wondered if Santana was completely healthy, and two did not, chalking the regression to the lack of late-season adrenalin on a Twins team that wasn't in the race.

"The Twins are going to know him better than anybody," an evaluator in the AL said Tuesday night. "It's not that they think he's hurt, but maybe they're seeing signs (of decline) in him, and figure it's better to make the move now."

A clear option would've been for the Twins to hang onto Santana and try to win in '08. "But there was a reason why they made the decision to move him now," said the evaluator. "They're smart people over there. It makes you think … "


Brian Cashman has put his neck on the line by not finishing this deal, writes John Harper. There is no question that this situation will either make or break Cashman at a time his contract is set to expire on Oct. 31: If the Yankees make the playoffs again without having traded the prospects and spent the money, or if Santana breaks down this season, then Cashman will look brilliant to his bosses (Hank Steinbrenner, in particular). But if the Yankees don't make the playoffs for the first time since 1993, and the Mets do make the playoffs, well, this may turn out to be the non-move that nudges him out the door, because Hank Steinbrenner is on the record as having favored the move.

The Yankees helped the Mets in this situation, writes Bob Klapisch, who says the Twins called the Yankees late Monday and offered Santana for Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrera and others, only to be told no.

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:44 am

Boston Herald Michael Silverman Santana, Mets reach a deal

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view.bg?articleid=1069960

Memo to Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy: You better be good.

Between the Yankees and Red Sox [team stats], who both lost out to the Mets yesterday in the Johan Santana sweepstakes, the Yankees have far more to lose as they move on without the best left-handed pitcher in the game.

The Minnesota Twins reached a tentative agreement to send the two-time Cy Young Award winner to the Mets for outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.

The Mets reportedly have until 5 p.m. Friday to negotiate a contract extension with Santana, who is eligible for free agency after this season. The three-time All-Star, who is owed $13.25 million this year, is expected to seek a deal for 5-7 years worth at least $20 million annually.

The Red Sox never made the offer - Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester [stats], or just the inclusion of Clay Buchholz - that would have bowled over the Twins, but they never needed to. They have a young ace in Josh Beckett [stats], a young No. 2 starter in Daisuke Matsuzaka, depth in the rotation, an up-and-coming farm system and two World Championships in the past four seasons.

The Sox braintrust deserves a round of applause for the way it played out this non-transaction. Not only did the team gauge its own talent accurately as a position of strength, it also capitalized on a period of transition for the Yankees.

Hank and Hal Steinbrenner now are sharing power at the top, but general manager Brian Cashman was believed to be the driving force in not wanting to give up the farm in a deal for Santana, and he cannot be blamed for that. Of all the prospects discussed during the months of Santana talk, Hughes’ potential was the highest of anyone, according to most talent evaluators. The rest of the Yanks’ package was not as glamorous, and it’s no wonder the Twins wanted Kennedy as well. The Yankees clearly are being careful with their talent, more evidence that the inability to win a World Series since 2000 despite a massive payroll ($1.167 billion spent from 2000-07) is a huge deal.

It probably is giving the Red Sox baseball operations staff too much credit to say it knew the Yankees would refuse to part with their most prized gems. By making a decent enough offer themselves, however, the Sox ensured that the Yankees’ effort to rebuild their farm system would be sent back to the dark ages if they pulled the trigger.

The Yankees are not dumb. Despite their ability to spend at will, they know the dynasty they built in the 1990s was the result of homegrown talent like Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada. Those players remain, but the well-paid supporting cast of free agents and high-profile trade imports has been unable to help.

The Sox are two rings and about two years ahead of the Yankees in their plan to keep fresh draft talent streaming through the minor league pipeline, with one or two players emerging as major league contributors each season. Jonathan Papelbon [stats], Kevin Youkilis [stats] and Dustin Pedroia [stats] have made a huge difference, while Buchholz and Ellsbury are well on their way. Justin Masterson, Jed Lowrie and Michael Bowden are just three of the players on the horizon, and the team now is in a position where it doesn’t have to give up everything for a Johan Santana.

So for now, the Mets, at the cost of four promising youngsters and one massive pending contract, have wrested control of this offseason’s top prize, won the battle of the tabloids’ back pages and perhaps found the missing link to a pennant.

The Red Sox kept all their blue-chip prospects and remain the team to beat in the AL.

And the Yankees?

They have Hughes and Kennedy. Best of luck guys, and remember, no pressure.


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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:53 am

I see this as a situation that Twins management decided that they needed the best prospect package available rather than trying to win and getting two draft picks. They would have been longshots in their division and the wildcard so why take him through July and get even less?

The Yankees position is what confuses me. I honestly don't believe they were ever in with two feet re: Hughes. Hal and Cashman never wanted to move him. And why would they change their stance on Santana based on Pettitte's one year deal? That makes no sense to me. Pettitte alone doesn't legitimize their staff next year.

I firmly believe that the Red Sox were never in it unless the Yankees made an offer the Twins were willing to take. Had that happened, they would have been the Twins' first call and they had a package that could beat what the Yankees were doing.

The most interesting part of this is the supposed revelation that Smith tried to get the Yankees back in for only Kennedy, Cabrera and another prospect? Why? If the prospect were Tabata or somebody with major long-term potential, I could see it. But again, as I've said so many times, what is their motivation for trading him within the AL? Obviously my conclusion to that would be to have an offer to take back to Omar so Smith could say, "see? now you need to give us Fernando." But I still think it's fishy.

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:55 am


Twins have met their match for Santana
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2008/01/30/twins_have_met_their_match_for_santana/?page=1

There was a moment in December when the Red Sox thought they were close to consummating a deal for Twins lefthander Johan Santana, the two-time Cy Young Award winner who with Josh Beckett would have formed a potentially historic 1-2 combination at the top of their pitching rotation.


Thus, they had a mixed reaction yesterday to the news that the Twins had elected to trade Santana to the New York Mets for four prospects. The deal is contingent on Santana passing a physical, and the Mets striking a deal on a contract extension within a 72-hour period that ends Friday at 5 p.m., though that deadline could be extended.

"If true, it isn't the worst outcome for the Red Sox," Sox chairman Tom Werner said. "We get to hold onto our deep farm system, and Santana ends up pitching in the other league."

Werner did not mention it specifically, but the Sox are not unhappy that Santana is not going to the Yankees, who may initially have made the best offer - top pitching prospect Phil Hughes and outfielder Melky Cabrera - but pulled that from the table by the end of the process, general manager Brian Cashman saying he was committed to the team's youth.

The Sox' offers did not differ dramatically from those they presented at the outset: One package featured pitcher Jon Lester, the other center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. The Sox refused to include both players in the deal, according to several officials with direct knowledge of the talks, and in the end felt their offers trumped that of the Mets, though one club official said yesterday he anticipated that the Twins would take New York's.

But there was considerable doubt within Red Sox executive offices that even if they'd struck a deal, they would have been able to sign Santana, who turned down a four-year, $80 million extension from the Twins and reportedly is seeking a six-year deal for as much as $25 million annually "I don't necessarily think it's a done deal for the Mets, either," one Sox official said yesterday, "if that's what Santana really wants."

But the Mets, who suffered a late September collapse last season, lost 300-game winner Tom Glavine in the offseason, and are moving into a new ballpark in 2009, had the greatest need for Santana, who turns 29 in March.

The Sox, who last winter gave Japanese import Daisuke Matsuzaka a six-year deal but cited unique circumstances for doing so, almost certainly would not have offered Santana as many years, or would have proposed a contract well short of $25 million in annual average value. Their strategy, according to sources familiar with their thinking, included a belief that Santana would have accepted less to pitch for a potential perennial World Series contender.Continued...


Page 2 of 2 --

While Sox players, including Curt Schilling and Mike Lowell, voiced support for acquiring Santana, a vocal portion of the fan base was less enthusiastic, expressing alarm at the prospect of losing either Lester, who pitched the clinching game of the 2007 World Series after conquering cancer, or Ellsbury, whose exciting play in the season's last month made him a favorite.

"I guess I'm a little bit relieved he's not coming to the Red Sox," Lester said. "Obviously, it would have been nice to have him here, but at the same time, I didn't want to go that way [Minnesota], and I didn't need another roadblock in my way. It's nice to see him go to a different team in a different league."

While the Sox' offers included major league-ready players in Ellsbury, Lester, and Coco Crisp - the outfielder who would have been packaged with Lester - new Twins GM Bill Smith chose the promise exhibited by the four prospects the Mets are giving up: center fielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra, and Kevin Mulvey.

Those players ranked as the Mets' Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 7 prospects, according to Baseball America. The Mets succeeded in keeping their top prospect, outfielder Fernando Martinez.

"A lot of teams just weren't willing to give up their best prospects, then have to try to sign this guy," one American League executive said. "Imagine if the Twins had been trying to move Santana and he was already under contract for three years at $15 million. They could have asked for the moon and gotten it."

Either Ellsbury or Crisp would have replaced Torii Hunter, who signed with the Angels as a free agent, as Minnesota's center fielder. Now they enter spring training competing for the Sox' center field job, with Ellsbury - who replaced Crisp during the AL Championship Series and starred in the World Series - the odds-on favorite. Crisp's agent, Steve Comte, has said his client isn't interested in being a backup. The Sox will listen to offers for Crisp, but wouldn't mind keeping him as a fourth outfielder, playing him in center against lefties and using him to spell Manny Ramírez and J.D. Drew on the corners.

Lester now comes to camp as a likely member of a rotation that retains Beckett, Matsuzaka, Schilling, and Tim Wakefield, with rookie Clay Buchholz, who threw a no-hitter in his second big league start, an obvious contender. Depending on the health of the incumbents, Buchholz could start the season in Triple A Pawtucket.

With the opening of camp Feb. 14, the Sox roster is all but settled. They made a strong run at free agent Brad Wilkerson as a backup outfielder/first baseman who hits from the left side, but Wilkerson is about to sign with Seattle, where he is expected to be an everyday player.

The Sox may settle for a lefthanded bat who can play first base, a good bet being 33-year-old Sean Casey, who last season played for the Tigers, batting .296 with 4 home runs and 54 RBIs. Casey has a career on-base percentage of .366 and is widely considered a tremendous teammate.

Gordon Edes can be reached at edes@globe.com.

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:04 am

Boston Herald Michael Silverman Santana, Mets reach a deal

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view.bg?articleid=1069960

Memo to Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy: You better be good.


The Red Sox kept all their blue-chip prospects and remain the team to beat in the AL.

And the Yankees?

They have Hughes and Kennedy. Best of luck guys, and remember, no pressure.


Go Get'em Ian , Show these haters what are you made of

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:11 am

Twins settle for Grade B


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

I like what Baron Von Awesome said about the (pending) trade sending Johan Santana to the Mets for a quartet of prospects ...

The Twins just nailed their own coffin shut today. They're doomed to irrelevance for the next five years, at least.

This is the worst baseball trade I've seen since... I don't know. Kearns and Lopez for a bunch of relievers, I guess, but even then, Kearns and Lopez turned out not to be much to worry about. The Astros trading Dan Wheeler for Ty Wigginton and then releasing Morgan Ensberg comes to mind, but there wasn't nearly as much at stake; the Astros were already doomed to suck for the rest of the decade.

This trade is horrible.

I agree. As someone else said in the thread, the Twins would have been better off if they'd traded Santana straight up to the Mariners for Adam Jones. Why? Because potential superstars like Jones are precious and Grade B prospects -- all the guys the Twins may get for Santana -- are not.

I've got John Sickels' new book, and Sickels rates only right-handed pitcher Deolis Guerra higher than Grade B ... and he's a B+. And a B+ pitcher at that.

Now, it would be one thing if this deal was the best one available. But we know that it wasn't, right? The Red Sox were offering Jacoby Ellsbury (Grade A-) and Jed Lowrie (A-), along with a couple of lesser lights. The Yankees were offering a package including Melky Cabrera and Phil Hughes.

So what happened? Both teams made strong offers because, yes, they wanted Santana for themselves, but also because they didn't want the other to get Santana on the cheap. But there wasn't anything to distinguish either offer; both were outstanding, so the Twins figured they would wait until somebody upped the ante. And of course nobody did, perhaps because they realized they didn't have to. And then those offers just sort of ... faded away, like tender wisps of smoke.

Why? The Red Sox have been in these things before, and (with the exception of Daisuke Matsuzaka) they've eventually deferred to their richer cousins. Seems to have worked out OK for them so far. Meanwhile, the Yankees have, in Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, two of the best young (untested) pitchers in the game. Bottom line? Thanks to the wild card, the American League East is not a zero-sum game, and entering the 2008 season both the Red Sox and the Yankees will figure they'll wind up in the playoffs again. With good reason.

So if the deal goes through, it sure looks like a rough start for Bill Smith, the Twins' new GM. When you trade someone as good as Santana, you simply must come away with a future star. It's not clear that Smith has done that. One caveat, though: No team has been better than the Twins, over the last seven or eight years, evaluating talent. While it looks like they're trading the best pitcher on the planet for nothing but a bunch of Grade B prospects, we must allow for the possibility that they know something about those guys that we don't.

So, doomed to irrelevance for five years? I wouldn't go that far. We've seen franchises turn around their fortunes quickly. In the short term? The Twins are short on good young hitters in the minors, but in the majors they've got Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel. If Francisco Liriano comes back strong and Kevin Slowey develops (I think he will), the Twins are capable of surprising us. I just think they'd have a better shot if they'd added Ellsbury or Melky Cabrera to their lineup.


Very disappointing trade for the Twins- how do you trade the best pitcher in baseball and not get the counter party's best hitting and/or pitching prospect? I'm wondering if when the Twins went back to teams for their proverbial "final offer," the Red Sox and Yankees low-balled them, realizing any leverage Smith had was gone. What will be worse is if the Mets and Santana can't agree to terms on an extension. If that happens, the Twins will have no choice but to keep him.

And Baseball Think Factory, leading the Interwebs in error messages. Rob, they don't deserve your pub if they can't keep their website afloat.

Bill Smith, welcome to the big time. Signing Morneau and Cuddyer announced to everyone that you weren't signing Santana thereby lowering your own bargaining positio

Don't forget the Twins got a better player (Delmon Young) in return for Matt Garza than they got for the best pitcher on the planet. I know Garza is young and cheap, but he is also an unknown. The Mets got an exclusive negotiation window with the biggest free-agent in years and one year of his services for an 18 year old pitcher (don't forget, there is no such thing as a pitching prospect), the Mets' second best outfield prospect, a low ceiling starter, and a low ceiling reliever.

I guess maybe this is a sign that the Yankees really ARE tired of making these blockbuster deals. Good for them. This way when Santana doesn't bring the Mets a championship...they can take the heat

"Now, it would be one thing if this deal was the best one available. But we know that it wasn't, right? The Red Sox were offering Jacoby Ellsbury (Grade A-) and Jed Lowrie (A-), along with a couple of lesser lights. The Yankees were offering a package including Melky Cabrera and Phil Hughes."

I wonder just how much we really KNOW those offers where on the table. I've heard tons of trade rumors over the years, and it seems for each one that is true their are about 10 that either aren't or don't go through. And for every rumor that turns out to come true their must be at least 2 trades that happen when no rumors where pressent at all (or at least not to the extent that this or that team is involved offearing these prospects). Obviously these numbers I just pulled out of my nether regions, but I'd bet I'm with in a factor of 2 if you actually compiled the data.

Anyway back more to the point. Neither the Yankees or the Red Sox seemed very enthusiastic on getting Santana at the price of Ellsbury, etc. or Hughes, etc. And I find it highly likely that these where just rumor floated to up the other teams offer. Then when Bill Smith actually called Theo or Cashman he found them less than willing to actually match the rumored offers.

And really is 1 year of Santana, who's coming of a pretty ordinary 2 months, really worth 2 of your best prospects and 2-4 more B-C level guys???? Sure you can lock him up for more than that 1 year, but you're paying market price for him.


As a Mets fan, I couldn't agree more. Horrible deal for the Twins, Amazin' for the Mets. Watching Gomez was fun, he showed a lot of guts and looks like he may be a solid player one day. But we are talking about the best pitcher in baseball, at 28! I think you gotta do better than Gomez-Humber-Guerra- Mulvey

This is nothing short of a travesty for the Twins. They could have done better with either Red Sox package, the initial Yankees package or even, I believe, at the trade deadline. NONE of the players the Twins received will be regular starters in the Major Leagues. Maybe five years from now, they'll have a nice bullpen arm in Guerra. At this point the Twins should have just kept Johan and waited for the draft picks; they probably would result in better players....

Isn't it fairly obvious that the supposed deals the Yanks and Bosox offered were never real, but just floated ballast for the media as a strategy to preclude the other from getting Santana? The Twins "settled" because the Mets' deal WAS the best (and probably only) offer at the end of the da

"Now, it would be one thing if this deal was the best one available. But we know that it wasn't, right? The Red Sox were offering Jacoby Ellsbury (Grade A-) and Jed Lowrie (A-), along with a couple of lesser lights. The Yankees were offering a package including Melky Cabrera and Phil Hughes."

I wonder just how much we really KNOW those offers where on the table. I've heard tons of trade rumors over the years, and it seems for each one that is true their are about 10 that either aren't or don't go through. And for every rumor that turns out to come true their must be at least 2 trades that happen when no rumors where pressent at all (or at least not to the extent that this or that team is involved offearing these prospects). Obviously these numbers I just pulled out of my nether regions, but I'd bet I'm with in a factor of 2 if you actually compiled the data.

Anyway back more to the point. Neither the Yankees or the Red Sox seemed very enthusiastic on getting Santana at the price of Ellsbury, etc. or Hughes, etc. And I find it highly likely that these where just rumor floated to up the other teams offer. Then when Bill Smith actually called Theo or Cashman he found them less than willing to actually match the rumored offers.

And really is 1 year of Santana, who's coming of a pretty ordinary 2 months, really worth 2 of your best prospects and 2-4 more B-C level guys???? Sure you can lock him up for more than that 1 year, but you're paying market price for him.

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:12 am

Open Bullpen Auditions are Soon to Begin

http://www.wcbs880.com/pages/1564827.php?contentType=4&contentId=1481472


As the Yanks get ready to embark upon Spring Training in a few short weeks, it will be really interesting to see how Joe Girardi shakes out his bullpen. With a wealth of in-house candidates and a few newcomers available, Joe will have plenty of arms to choose from.

READ: More Entries in the 10th Inning Journal

The only role that is totally settled, of course, is Mariano Rivera in the closer's spot. But who will be the main set-up man?

Although this has not been announced, don't be surprised if it's Joba Chamberlain. On one hand, Joba's stuff translates well to the starter's role. He has command of four pitches, and as a set-up man he doesn't get to use them all. He has been trained as a starter, and most fans certainly feel that is where he can do the team the most good.

There are factors, however, that suggest he may stay in the set-up role. First, he will be on a strict inning count this year. The Yankee brass will continue to pamper him and they do not want him to pitch more than 150 or so innings this year. That will make for an inordinate amount of 5 inning starts, thus putting a lot of stress on the bullpen. Or, it would mean that they would have to take Joba out of the rotation at some point in the season, and that would be disruptive, particularly if he is pitching well.

Joba was also extremely successful as the set-up man last year, giving the Yanks their best one-two punch since Rivera set up for Wetteland in 1996. Should the Yanks go this route and employ Joba as the set-up man, it's imperative that Girardi use Joba in the type of high-leverage situations that will maximize his usage. Hopefully, Girardi won't manage the way Torre did and use his set-up man in blowout situations. With the wealth of talent the Yanks have in the pen now, there will be other qualified hurlers to protect 8-3 leads.

Another thing to look for this spring will be how Girardi handles Kyle Farnsworth. Joe has expressed keen interest in getting a lot out of Kyle. This I've got to see.

In his first two years with the Yanks, Farnsworth has been unable to pitch more than one inning at a time, he has not been able to pitch on consecutive days, and when he has pitched, he has often been horrible. Torre was unwilling to challenge Farnsworth to step it up. Will Girardi light a fire under this guy? Hmmmm…..

Two newcomers, LaTroy Hawkins and Jonathan Albaladejo, should also make their impact-one negative and one positive.

Hawkins essentially replaces Luis Vizcaino, who signed a three-year deal with the Rockies. The aspect of the Hawkins signing that should prove most beneficial to the Yanks is that he is only here for one year. LaTroy will likely get lit up in the A.L. East. He is past his mediocre prime. His K/9 rates are dropping like a led zeppelin. He is temperamental and has a reputation of performing poorly in high-leverage situations. Most likely, he won't be on the team by August.

Jonathan Albaladejo, however, could be a real sleeper in the pen. He pitched in September last year for the Nationals and had a good month. It's a small sample size for sure, but in 14 innings, he gave up only 7 hits and struck out 12 while walking only 2. He made the Mets look pretty bad in the last two weeks of the season and helped the Junior Varsity to blow their divisional lead. Jonathon's best pitch is his tight slider. When he is on he commands it well and he is not afraid to throw it when he is behind in the count.

Ross Ohlendorf is almost certain to make the team out of spring training. The Princeton-educated smarty pants is an organizational favorite and one of the arms that Cashman got from Arizona for Randy Johnson. Ohlendorf stumbled in the first half of the 2007 season while starting in the minors. But when he was converted to the bullpen, his 4-seamer went from 92 mph to 96-97 mph, and he began to pitch with more command and control. This autumn he pitched in the Arizona Fall league with the expressed purpose of developing a splitter. If he can master the heater and the splitter, Ohlendorf may morph into a set-up man at some point. He still has a high ceiling.

Another arm that the organization is giddy about belongs to Jose Veras. He's another big guy who throws hard, and he had moderate success with the Yanks last year when he came up for a few innings after recovering from surgery for bone chips. Veras is perhaps best known for changing his name from Enger Veras when he got caught fudging his birth certificate. He is now listed as 26 years old. But who knows, he could be 40.

Other hurlers that might get a look are Brian Bruney and Chris Britton. Both these guys need to throw strikes, lose some weight, and get over themselves. Bruney, in particular, has rubbed the organization the wrong way on numerous occasions. Brian is likely to be dealt or released before the season starts.

Edwar Rameriz, the Sweeny Murti look-alike, showed flashes of brilliance last year and put up incredible strike out numbers at the AAA and AA levels. He was dreadfully misused by Torre last year when he sat for long periods of time while other relievers were getting burned out. Surely, Girardi will be handling the young pitchers like Edwar with more intelligence.

Phenom Alan Horne, the darling of the message boards, will likely start the season at Scranton, but keep a look-out for him to emerge in the 2nd half of the season, much like Joba did in 2007. Horne has plenty of upside, and because he can command 4 pitches, his best long-term use would be as a starter. His 3-1, K/BB ratio is excellent.

Humberto Sanchez had Tommy John surgery last Spring and may be ready to contribute in the 2nd half of the season. His lively fastball and 12-6 curve will delight Yankee fans for years to come.

Manager Girardi has expressed interest in having a long man, so there is an outside chance that Darrel Rasner or Jeff Karstens could make the team. With all the talent available, however, I certainly hope that's not the case.

You may notice there is one thing all the names above have in common: they are all righties. Although it's ideal to have a situational lefty working out of the pen, the Yanks don't have anyone nearly talented enough to take up the roster spot.

Sean Henn has allowed 120 base runners in 57.3 major league innings. Chase Wright doesn't have the stuff, and Kei Igawa is not worth more than a sentence here.

Despite the lack of lefties, Cashman and company have built a formidable bullpen. You've read a lot of columns this winter about the Yankee bullpen being one of their biggest weaknesses. On the contrary, the bullpen will be a strength.

It may take a little while for Girardi to mix and match for maximum efficiency. But he and pitching coach Dave Eiland will figure it out; the talent is there.

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:13 am

I see this as a situation that Twins management decided that they needed the best prospect package available rather than trying to win and getting two draft picks. They would have been longshots in their division and the wildcard so why take him through July and get even less?

The Yankees position is what confuses me. I honestly don't believe they were ever in with two feet re: Hughes. Hal and Cashman never wanted to move him. And why would they change their stance on Santana based on Pettitte's one year deal? That makes no sense to me. Pettitte alone doesn't legitimize their staff next year.

I firmly believe that the Red Sox were never in it unless the Yankees made an offer the Twins were willing to take. Had that happened, they would have been the Twins' first call and they had a package that could beat what the Yankees were doing.

The most interesting part of this is the supposed revelation that Smith tried to get the Yankees back in for only Kennedy, Cabrera and another prospect? Why? If the prospect were Tabata or somebody with major long-term potential, I could see it. But again, as I've said so many times, what is their motivation for trading him within the AL? Obviously my conclusion to that would be to have an offer to take back to Omar so Smith could say, "see? now you need to give us Fernando." But I still think it's fishy.

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:14 am

Santana in commanding position

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

I would love to be the agent for Johan Santana today. I would love to ever possess the kind of leverage that Peter Greenberg, Santana's longtime representative, possesses today. He can sit across the table from the Mets and say: We'd like an extension please, of six years and $150 million. On top of the $13.25 million owed for this year.

The Mets will blanche. They will grimace. They will groan. And Greenberg, whose office is in New York and is well aware of the public pressure on the Mets to finish this deal, will know exactly how boxed in they are right now.

They're coming off the worse late-season collapse in baseball history.

They've got a huge hole at the front end of their rotation.

They've done almost nothing to upgrade the team this winter, with the most significant player move being the departure of Tom Glavine as a free agent.

The Mets will offer Santana something much less than $25 million a year, initially. Maybe five years, $20 million.

Greenberg can just say no to that, because the Mets need Santana like someone lost in the desert needs an oasis.

The Mets just made what is perceived to be a tremendous trade for Santana, a deal without giving up either shortstop Jose Reyes or prospect Fernando Martinez.

Santana essentially dropped in their laps, after the super money powers in the Bronx and Boston ended their two-month staredown by slowly backing away from the fight. After circling and circling this situation like a buzzard, the Mets now sit on top of this, ready to gnaw.

After Greenberg says no to five years and $100 million, the Mets might upgrade their extension offer to something in the range of five years and $115 million. And Greenberg can just say no, because of where the Mets sit, and because of history.

The largest contract deal ever for a pitcher went to Barry Zito last winter, at seven years and $126 million. And everybody knows that Santana is better than Zito, as much as Tom Brady is better than Philip Rivers. The Players Association will want Santana to establish new benchmarks (highest average annual value and total package) for a pitcher; the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano currently has the highest AAV at $18.3 million.

The Mets will swallow hard and go to a sixth year. Six years, $22 million, for a total package of $145 million, including the $13.25 million Santana will make this year. And Greenberg can say no, because he knows the Mets have to sign him.

They're opening a new ballpark in 2009, what appears to be a beautiful CitiField.

They've got their own network.

They play in New York.

They cannot get this close to signing the best pitcher on the planet and come up short, only because of money; their fan base will riot if, on Friday afternoon, we learn that the deal has broken up because of dollars.

Greenberg is in an incredible position of power this morning. He can throw the Mets a little financial bone. Tell you what, guys. We'll come down to $24 million a year. But nothing more than that. Because my client has two Cy Young Awards and he would be perfect for your team and your city and your league. And next fall, if my client becomes a free agent, the boys in the Bronx will be sitting there, poised to offer him a HUGE deal. Everybody now knows Hank Steinbrenner loves him. The Yankees have a bunch of contracts coming off their payroll next fall: Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, etc. I'm asking for six years and $25 million now, but I might get more than that from the Yankees next fall, especially if they don't make the playoffs in 2008.

That scenario is a little frightening, isn't it? You guys get to the one-yard line in this process but don't finish the deal over dollars, and then he becomes a Yankee in 10 months. Ouch. No, we'll sit on our asking price.

The Mets will blink. They have to blink.

Santana is expected to get a six-year deal for something in the range of $130 million, writes La Velle Neal. Economics should not kill this deal, writes Murray Chass.

In the end, the Twins wound up taking what was probably the fourth-best offer that they saw during this process, after not jumping at deals built around Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury and Phil Hughes along the way. We can sit here, as Monday morning quarterbacks, and say they could've gotten more.

But of course, it was a lot more complicated than that along the way. The end line was a moving target, and if you were sitting in the seat of new Twins GM Bill Smith, there was a lot of reason to think that the Yankees might jump back into the mix with both feet, considering how outspoken that Hank Steinbrenner was about wanting Santana. And if the Yankees had stayed in play, the Red Sox would've continued to nudge their offers up a little (not much, though), and the Mets' package -- which, in early January, the Twins' evaluators regarded as being vastly inferior to what they wanted to get from the Yankees or Boston. Smith waited, hoping for what was a brutal situation to turn his way, and it did not.

Oakland got more for Dan Haren, and the Orioles -- who are addressing a technicality that has popped up in the proposed Erik Bedard deal and will probably soon reach the point where they give Adam Jones and others physicals -- will get a better deal for their pitchers. But comparing the Haren and Bedard trades to the Santana situation is an apples-and-oranges deal. The offers for Santana were diminished greatly by Santana's impending free agency, and the fact that he was in position to demand the largest contract in the history of pitching (see above). If Santana was still three years away from free agency, the Yankees probably would've offered Hughes, Kennedy and some of the best horses on Hank Steinbrenner's farm, because of the relative cost.

Could Smith have made better deals earlier in the process? No question. But to say he made a mistake, another GM mused late Tuesday night, "you would have to be completely ignorant of the process, and how this played out. Anyone who says that doesn't know what he's talking about."

Something else to consider: Always assume that the folks involved in making a trade usually have more information at their disposal than we have. And the Twins' push to finish this deal now, rather than opting to keep Santana, raised the eyebrows of many of his brethren in baseball. "They've obviously made the decision they have to get him out of there before spring training starts," said another GM, "and you have to ask yourself: Why?"

I wrote here earlier this month that evaluators from four different teams saw the same signs of regression in Santana in his last seven starts at the end of last season: diminished velocity, an unwillingness to throw his slider. Two of the evaluators had concerns about this and wondered if Santana was completely healthy, and two did not, chalking the regression to the lack of late-season adrenalin on a Twins team that wasn't in the race.

"The Twins are going to know him better than anybody," an evaluator in the AL said Tuesday night. "It's not that they think he's hurt, but maybe they're seeing signs (of decline) in him, and figure it's better to make the move now."

A clear option would've been for the Twins to hang onto Santana and try to win in '08. "But there was a reason why they made the decision to move him now," said the evaluator. "They're smart people over there. It makes you think … "

Keeping him wasn't an option for the Twins, writes Jim Souhan. Smith misread this situation, writes Ken Davidoff.

The deal leaves the Twins young and unsettled, writes Phil Miller. The Twins have been prepared for this to happen, Mike Redmond tells Kelly Thesier.

There isn't a can't-miss guy contained within the Mets' entire package, writes Ben Shpigel.

Brian Cashman has put his neck on the line by not finishing this deal, writes John Harper. There is no question that this situation will either make or break Cashman at a time his contract is set to expire on Oct. 31: If the Yankees make the playoffs again without having traded the prospects and spent the money, or if Santana breaks down this season, then Cashman will look brilliant to his bosses (Hank Steinbrenner, in particular). But if the Yankees don't make the playoffs for the first time since 1993, and the Mets do make the playoffs, well, this may turn out to be the non-move that nudges him out the door, because Hank Steinbrenner is on the record as having favored the move.

The Yankees helped the Mets in this situation, writes Bob Klapisch, who says the Twins called the Yankees late Monday and offered Santana for Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrera and others, only to be told no.

Give the Mets credit for staying in the game, writes Dan Graziano, who writes that this is the luckiest the Mets have been since the night of the Bill Buckner play. The Mets knocked the Giants off the back page, writes Mike Lupica. The Mets have become the team to beat in the NL East with this trade, writes Joel Sherman.

The outcome of this isn't the worst thing that could've happened for the Red Sox, says Tom Werner. The Red Sox sort of won the Santana negotiations, writes Joe McDonald. The pressure is now on Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy to be good, writes Michael Silverman.

• David Wright is fired up to get Santana.

• The Phillies have been aced out in this situation, writes Jim Salisbury.

With Pedro Feliz in the fold, it looks like the Phillies may look to move Wes Helms, writes Paul Hagen. The Giants continue to look around for third basemen.

• With the Bedard deal on hold, other teams have checked in to inquire about a deal with the Orioles, writes Jeff Zrebiec.

• The Santana deal could put the spurs to the Bedard-Mariners talks, writes John Hickey, who also addresses a report, within this story, that Adam Jones might have a hip situation affecting this proposed deal. The Mariners need more than Bedard, writes Art Thiel.

• Scott Podsednik is looking for work with the Rockies, writes Tracy Ringolsby.

• Joe Beimel's arbitration date has been set.

• The Giants are leaping into a new era, writes John Ryan.

• Turns out the Milwaukee stadium tax may not be retired, as expected, writes Don Walker. The Brewers worked out contracts with a couple of youngsters.

• The Nats agreed to terms with Johnny Estrada, at a time when Paul Lo Duca's situation seems to be unclear.

• Damaso Marte has a sore neck after being in a car accident, writes Dejan Kovacevic. The Pirates are considering signing Paul Bako.

• The Pirates are upgrading their teaching and development. Bob Smizik wonders if the Pirates are selling false hope, if it is not accompanied by winning.

The Pirates have a sinking feeling again, writes Rick Hummel.

• The Astros signed a couple of veterans.

• A healthy Ryan Shealy could boost the Royals, writes Jeffrey Flanagan.

• It's out of necessity that the Rangers' bid to land Nolan Ryan is pitcher perfect, writes Jim Reeves.

• Brandon Inge is bitter, writes Jon Paul Morosi.

• A deal with Alex Rios could push the Jays into the $100 million club.

• The Mariners' Brodie Downs is a longshot you have to root for, writes Steve Kelley.

• Reds fans are not thrilled about the team's move to the desert, writes Hal McCoy.

• As long as Rafael Soriano is OK, the Braves' bullpen should be OK, writes Carroll Rogers.

• The mayor of Miami defended the city's stadium plan for the Marlins, writes Barry Jackson.

• Andrew Miller is out to make an impression, writes Joe Capozzi.

• The Cubs will play in the final Hall of Fame game. Mike Imrem feels sorry for the Cubs, in light of the rare AL-to-NL transfer of talent with the Santana deal.

• Vanderbilt has been its own worst enemy, says the Commodores' coach. Can't disagree.

PED ZONE
• Andy Pettitte will tell investigators that he talked with Brian McNamee about Roger Clemens's alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, the lawyers for McNamee tell the New York Times.

• The more J.C. Bradbury looks at the numbers presented by Clemens's agent, the more he's convinced that McNamee is lying.

Clemens's latest pitch won't pay off, writes Tom Knott.

• Koby Clemens stands by his dad.

ESPN colleague Willie Weinbaum attended Tuesday's BAT dinner, and generated these notes:

Nice cocktail party scene of former football Giants GM Ernie Accorsi, before leaving for the Super Bowl, getting Dr. Bobby Brown's autograph and marveling at the great feeling of having revered him as a boy and now approaching him for an autograph many, many years later.

A beaming Mets braintrust, led by Owner Jeff Wilpon and GM Omar Minaya, was in attendance amid the Santana trade frenzy as David Wright received the Bart Giamatti Award for Community Service and gave a thoughtful and humble acceptance speech.

Former minor leaguer Scott Hodges poignantly recounted the help BAT provided as he battled cancer. BAT chairman Bobby Murcer, who vowed from afar a year ago to beat brain cancer, made a triumphant return to the dais.

As the 1968 Tigers and Cardinals were celebrated, Denny McLain's wisecracks -- including shots at the unruly hairdo of "Big B.A.T./Frank Slocum Award" recipient Dmitri Young -- and the camaraderie and witty reminiscences of Bob Gibson, Orlando Cepeda, Tim McCarver and Mike Shannon stole the show.

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:16 am

Last week they couldn't get him in a steal.

And please, my opinion is as good as anyone, and no i wont "go to Shea".

I know some of you like to pretend the yankees are 100% incapable of making a mistake and refuse to deal with those who do. Maybe its you who needs to "get over it".

I think the yanks screwed up in a big way here, and if you want to feel differently go right ahead. Put a lid on the "go to Shea" crap.

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Re: -twins try to extend santana, he refuses

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:17 am

*
Conflicting reports of final demands emerge
By: Ben K.


http://riveraveblues.com/

Another reason why we’ll never be totally sure what happened with Santana and why we can’t always put 100 percent stock into the reports from anonymous sources emerged today. Adam Rubin and Bill Madden in the Daily News say that the Twins wanted Ian Kennedy and Chien-Ming Wang. Bob Klapisch reports that the Twins asked for Melky Cabrera, Ian Kennedy and others. Either way, it seems that the Yanks’ desire to complete the deal under the terms set forth by Minnesota had waned a long time ago. Maybe. (4)

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