Tuesday, January 15, 2008

With Winter Winding Down, Twins Aren't Any Closer To A Deal

I'm sorry, but if you're not entertained by the Santana Saga, then you haven't been paying attention. I feel like the Twins should be nominated for a Soapy Award at this point; although they'd have some stiff competition in Hank Streinbrenner. For those of you who haven't been paying attention, or are perhaps a little confused, here's a recap of the happenings the past few days.

On Friday, the Yankees reportedly weren't talking to the Twins about Santana. Then just yesterday, the Yankees repordetly talked to the Twins, but just to let them know that they took their offer off the table. Then less than eight hours later, Hank Streinbrenner weighed in to let everyone know that while "there was no official offer on the table at this time", he hasn't taken his offer off the table.

In case that left you confused as well, Hank did in fact clarfiy the statement. According to Howlin' Hank, he couldn't have taken an offer off the table because "there wasn't an official offer anyway." Sometimes I wonder if Hank just says whatever he thinks will get him the most attention.

So what's developed since yesterday? Well, more of nothing mostly. According to the Star-Ledger Staff, neither the Mets or Yankees appear willing to make a deal with the Twins unless they lower their demands. The Red Sox have been at that same stage in negotiations for some time. So what's this mean?

All three teams appear to have made their final offers. The Red Sox are offering a package of Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson and also a package of Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson, but not a package containing both Lester and Ellsbury. The Yankees would offer a package of Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Marquez, but not a package including both Hughes and Ian Kennedy. And the Mets are offering a package of Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber and Deolis Guerra but not a package including Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez.

Either team could quickly make a deal, by giving up the extra guy. But I don't see why any team would. The Red Sox likely believe that they have the best offer. Hank Streinbrenner has said that the thinks his team has the best offer. And the Mets probably don't feel a need to add a fifth prospect to their deal given the fact that they're the only National League team in the running, and they're Santana's desired landing point. Furthmore, they're probably the only team of the trhee with a realistic chance of being able to acquire Erik Bedard.

I seriously doubt that the Twins will go into the season without having dealt Santana. Whether he's bluffing or not, Santana has said that he won't accept a midseason trade. So if the Twins don't deal him before the season begins, the Twins run the risk of getting nothing but two sandwhich picks in the draft when Santana walks.

The Boston Herald, with the help of Baseball America, gave a run down on the three packages which the Twins could currently select from. The article classifies the Mets package as risky, given the fact that most of the players are years removed from being major league ready. The article also classifies the Yankees package as lightweight, given the fact that it includes one blue chip player and two throw-in caliber players.

And I think most fans outside of New York would agree with both statements. If the Twins want the safest return for Satnana, it would likely be the Red Sox package. The Red Sox package includes the most major league ready talent, and fills the most immediate needs for the Twins. The Yankees package offers the Twins a possible ace, but little else. And the Mets package offers the Twins the most overall talent, although little to none of it is major league ready.

For any Yankees fans worried about losing Phil Hughes, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Accepting a package of Hughes, Melky and Marquez probably wouldn't be in the best interests of the Twins. And there's absolutely no chance that the Yankees would give up both Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy in a package for Santana. Although, if it's the Red Sox that acquire Santana, Yankees fans may be wishing otherwise for the next six or seven years.


Michael said...

i can se you enjoy having some fun at hank steinbrenner's expense. so be it. i'm happy to have an owner that will pay any price to put a winning team on the field i doubt you would deny that you wish john henry gave theo a blank check every year.
that said, i agree that hank can be a bit infuriating.

you go on to say that the yanks have an offer on the table that includes phil hughes...this is wrong. or if it is right you nor i have any way of knowing it. thye only people that know what deals are on the table ate the yanks and the twins.

now regarding that article, you don't bother to mention that phil hughes is considered to be the highest rated player involved in any of the deals....you just say that the yankee deal is light.

i will also dispute your unbacked-up claim that a deal containing hughes , melky and marquez is a bad one for the twins. you just don't want the yanks to get him.
i certainly don't want the sox to get him, but i'm not going to make any claims that really only the twins front office can make.

Royal Rooters said...

It's George that's been paying the checks, not Hank. And not even George offers a blank check to Cashman. I wasn't bashing Hank, I just think he's an entertaining guy. You must admit that he's at least somewhat entertaining.

I wasn't argueing that the Yankees package was "on the table". I in fact said that the package wasn't on the table. I was just comparing the proposed packages of the three teams.

And this is an opinion piece. It's my opinion that the Yankees package wouldn't be in the best interests of the team since it involves only one real quality prospect and fills the least needs for the Twins among the three deals. If you don't think that is true, feel free to argue it, but I don't think you can say that I didn't back up that claim in the article.

As for the classification of the Yankees package as "light", that's not from me, that's what Baseball America had to say about the package in the article I linked to from the Boston Herald.

Royal Rooters said...


Michael said...

yes, but my point was that you conveniently left out the part in the boston article that said that hughes was the best component of any deal out there. and yes i am aware that this is all a matter of opinion.

i also don't agree with your opinion that neither melky or marquez are quality prospects. melky isn't a prospect anyway but his stats are .275 .340 .388 .728
not great, but certainly quality. and marquez was rated the 10th best yankee prospect.

and yeah, i think hank can be infuriating as well as entertaining. and as far as the check writing...i think george is basically sitting in a playpen in diapers these days...

Michael said...

PS Baseball Prospectus has a nice piece on melky out today


Royal Rooters said...

If the Twins only wanted one player in return for Santana, the Yankees would be in good shape.

As for Melky, he's a career .275/.340/.388 hitter and Crisp is a career .280/.329/.409 hitter who plays a lot better defense. As for Marquez, he's a sinkerball pitcher at the same level as Masterson, but Marquez induces less ground balls, allows more hits and walks, and doesn't strike out as many batters.

I wasn't saying they were garbage, I just don't think they're as good as the players the Red Sox are offering to fill the same positions. Plus the Yankees aren't offering a power-hitting middle infielder. Hughes is a stud, but is he so much better than Lester that he's worth settling for lesser players at three other positions, and the salary the Twins could save by acquiring an extra cost controlled player with power?

I'd be interested to know how the Streinbrenners operate. From what I've seen though, the Yankees have been trying to lower their salary, not increase it as Hank gets more and more control of the team.

And I don't think you can fault John Henry when he's spending $40 million less and still winning the World Series. If anything, that should be reason for praise.

Royal Rooters said...

Actually, the money the Twins could potentially save on Lowrie would be about equal to the extra amount they'd have to spend on Crisp compared to Melky, so I guess it's not really a factor unless the Red Sox pay for some of Crisp's contract.

Michael said...

"Hughes is a stud, but is he so much better than Lester that he's worth settling for lesser players at three other positions, and the salary the Twins could save by acquiring an extra cost controlled player with power?"

he might be. that's the thing. and the other players you mention -even if they are better, they are only marginally so.

personally i pray that the yanks keep hughes no matter what.

yes, i think it's great to be able to championships with only 140 or 150 million dollar payrolls. hooray for thriftiness!!
my point was i'd still rather have an owner where basically money is no object.

it will remain to be seen if that is how the yanks continue to operate. it seems that little brother hal is more dollar conscious than big mouth hank.