Monday, December 3, 2007

The Santana Meetings

With the Angels seemingly zeroed in on Miguel Cabrera, the Johan Santana talks are the buzz of the baseball Winter Meetings, going on as we speak in Nashville. As usual, the bidding seems to be between the Red Sox and Yankees right now, but the Twins appear to be standing impressively firm, not giving up their top-shelf guy for gray chip prospects and spare parts. Here’s the Pink Hat Nation breakdown of the situation:

The Target
Johan Alexander Santana Araque, 28-year-old left-hander with two Cy Youngs and a Gold Glove. One year left on a four year, $39.75 million contract.

The Contenders

The Yankees
Their Offer:
The Bombers have reportedly offered young phenom pitcher Phil Hughes, outfielder Melky Cabrera and third player, rumoured to be a mid-level prospect. Not a bad deal for the Twins; even though Santana is in his prime and a proven Über-Ace, Cabrera is a tough out and Hughes has looked great in limited starts. The Twins would get back a good young pitcher and add a desperately needed outfielder since Tori Hunter split for Anaheim. Too much for the Yankees to give up? Hard to say.
The Wrench: In an attempt to establish himself as a king pin out of the same mold as his dad, Hank Steinbrenner has begun making lavish and potentially unwise demands. He apparently told the Twins that they must take or leave the Yankees’ offer by today, Dec. 3. The Twins were reportedly not impressed.
Odds it will happen: 40%*

The Red Sox
Their Offer:
Seems to change hourly, but most recent reports say the Sox are willing to part with pitcher Jon Lester, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and blue chip prospects Jed Lowrie (infielder) and Justin Masterson (Pitcher). Maybe not all four. Maybe. Lester is nowhere near the caliber of Santana and Masterson is unproven, but Ellsbury has proven to be a dynamo. On paper this deal probably favors the Sox. In reality….
The Wrench: ...Red Sox fans have fallen head over heals for Ellsbury and with good cause – he’s one of the more exciting young players I’ve ever seen. The Sox already have a well-stocked rotation that won them a world series. As much as I like Coco Crisp, they have a chance to upgrade at center field. If Santana has a lackluster adjustment year and Ellsbury wins Rookie of the Year for the Twins, Sox brass will have a major headache on their hands.
Odds it will happen: 35%*

The Twins
Their Offer: Rumours are starting that whatever they’re seeing, its not what the Twins want. And Santana apparently isn’t chomping at the bit to leave Minnesota. The Twins could hold on to him and trade him next year, or even possibly scrape together the cash to extend his contract. He’d be worth it.
The Wrench: The Twins probably feel a bit like South America during the Cold War right now: it doesn’t matter who’s the US and who’s the USSR – a tiny team has something two Super Powers want, and the big guys don’t care what they have to do and who they have to screw over to get it.
Odds it will happen: 25%*

* Based on my own guess work, not actual math. I hate math.


Red said...

Excellent reporting, Malloy.

Someone give this broad a raise!

Dave H said...

Yes, nicely done.

Cold War Baseball at it's finest. Don't know who to root for, the greedy capitalists or the Red pinkos.