Santana Mania!

Just when you think it’s over, it’s not. Unheard from for days, Tyler Kepner surfaces with what sounds like the best, most nuanced look at the Sox’, Yanks’ and Twins’ perspectives in their negotiations over … what’s his name again?

Kepner first tells us the conventional wisdom from the national beat writers may be wrong. It’s not about Hughes — and maybe never has been. It’s all about Hughes plus Horne … or Tabata … or Jackson.

It was a wrenching decision for Yankees executives to offer Phil Hughes … . They did so because of the depth behind Hughes, and that is what the Twins want to tap now that a deal seems close.

The Twins know they would get Hughes and center fielder Melky Cabrera for Santana, and the Yankees believe that is enough of a concession to acquire a pitcher who will also demand a contract exceeding $100 million. They have told the Twins that at least five other prospects are untouchable — Dellin Betances, Alan Horne, Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy and José Tabata. …

[T]he main issue holding up the deal is the third player the Yankees would give. The Yankees want the player to be a midlevel prospect, and the Twins are shooting higher.

The Yankees would like an answer from the Twins [Sunday] or [Monday], when the winter meetings begin in Nashville.

If the inclusion of Hughes — one of the top few prospects in baseball — isn’t good enough for the Twins, then who on the Red Sox not named Buchholz would be? Surprisingly:

[T]he Boston Red Sox will not surrender starter Clay Buchholz. But the Twins have continued to talk with the Red Sox about center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, a player they seem to covet even more than Hughes.

If the Red Sox added Ellsbury to their offer, they would probably get Santana.

So the Yankees have six untouchable prospects? Six?? And people accuse Theo Epstein of overvaluing his talent!

On a more serious note, I’m also nonplussed — and skeptical — that the Twins would value a position prospect so much more highly than a pitching prospect (especially one like Hughes), but if that’s true, far be it from me to argue. If simply including Ellsbury gets the deal done, I have to hope — for my own sanity — that the Sox are stalling with this "extra player" business in hopes of getting maximum value from the Twins. In the end, they surely would include Ellsbury, even if "all" they would get is the best pitcher in baseball.

94 comments… add one
  • The Yankees have so many “untouchable” prospects they might as well designate their entire farm system as untouchable.
    Hell, so many much-hyped Yankee prospects have turned out so well like Ruben Rivera, Ricky Ledee, and Brien Taylor.

    SoxFan December 2, 2007, 3:38 am
  • So if its abotu Hughes plus those guy…
    then which wins
    Hughes + Melky + Not_One-Of-Those Guys
    or
    Lester + Crips + Lowrie + Masterson/Bowden
    Honestly I think the Sox offer is a better package. You are getting a heckuva lot more peices which increases the chances that one of them will be great (you cant assuem Hughes will be, though he has the highest individual chance).
    Of course, Im biased

    Dionysus December 2, 2007, 5:09 am
  • Also, much like the Lowell Saga, I just want this mess to be over.
    Im trying to decide whether Im willign to part with Clay. Definatly not Clay AND Lester. Thats robbery even for Santana

    Dionysus December 2, 2007, 5:10 am
  • If I were the Twins I am not sure, after witnessing the Yankees’ abilities to stand by their threats with A-Rod, that I would be too scared by a “we won’t go any further” claim. I just don’t buy the reporting that ALL those guys are “untouchable”. Call me very skeptical; I really don’t trust a whole lot of these reports from any of these reporters, there’s way too much contradiction and vague sourcing in the various articles.

    SF December 2, 2007, 6:45 am
  • I should clarify:
    I trust that the reporters are reporting what they have been told. I don’t trust the sources.

    SF December 2, 2007, 7:26 am
  • The point to not including one of those prospects is that they are already offering the top pitching prospect plus a serviceable cheap major leaguer.
    Why offer a high ceiling guy ranked very high on all prospect lists as well?
    Personally I’m content with the Yanks holding their ground. If they do so, the Sox have no reason to push harder and will be content to remain as they are.
    The twins will have to go to spring training with Santana. I get to see the big 3 pitch together and come july the Yanks can offer much less for Santana to boost their rotation for an october push.
    And it would be sweet to see the Twins get little in return due to all their posturing right now.
    Of couse, this is very unlikely. But it’d be sweet.

    Erick December 2, 2007, 8:15 am
  • From my perspective, isn’t this a perfect example of a negotiation?
    Twins tell Yanks (or let the story leak): “You’ll lose if you don’t offer Hughes.”
    Twins tell Sox (or let the story leak): “You’ll lose if you don’t offer Ellsbury.”
    Doesn’t any one think it would end if the Sox DID offer Ellsbury? The Twins are perfectly playing the teams against each other, and whoever loses is left to think “If I had only offered X”.
    Of course, someone just has to back out completely, and the whole house of cards falls. But for the Sox and Yanks, it’s in their interests to drive up the price for the other, even if the price-point becomes too much.
    So back and forth we go!

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 9:41 am
  • From today’s Daily News:
    “[Smith] knows the Yankees and Red Sox are both scared of the other team getting Santana,” one American League executive said last night. “He has to play that for all it’s worth. I think he’ll end up making a deal, because he knows he has to, but I think he’ll use that Yankees-Red Sox thing to draw this out a little longer. It’s the only leverage he has.”
    Well said Mr. Anonymous Source!

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 9:55 am
  • “…I should clarify…”
    nice save sf, but stick with your original sentiment…you can’t always trust the sources or the folks repeating what those sources “said”…it’s clear that the writers are being played as much as the teams are playing each other…it’s kind of funny really to see how this stuff is being spun…the writers keep taking the same basic rumors and writing a “new” article with a “different” slant each day…awesome…
    some of you keep throwing up the arod deal as the yankees caving in to him, by conveniently ignoring the actual facts…this gets annoying, unless you were joking sf, because i took great pains recently to point out the fact that arod got far less money than he asked for, even though the deal was still very generous for a guy who appeared to have no other real options, yet the contract is not out of line with the level of compensation in his current contract…the addition of incentives actually benefits the yanks too because it means he’s accomplishing something they want him to…and it was he who asked for the yankees to come back to the table, not the other way around…that’s an important distinction…and the yankees locked up the best player in baseball for his prime years, and effectively the rest of his career…next thing you know, you’ll be accusing the yanks of overpaying santana [whom i’ve heard is the best pitcher in baseball] if they win the sweepstakes to negotiate with him…
    one point i will agree on is that the yanks look foolish by saying that as many as 6 prospects are untouchable…how can that be?…if the twins covet one more prospect beyond hughes, then go ahead and include one of the non-pitching prospects and get it done…might help to actually ask the twins who they have their eyes on…here’s my pipedream: i would almost like to see the twins have to hold onto santana, see the yanks and sox set for pitching by the 08 trading deadline, with the twins having to settle for far less than they are being offered by either team right now, or lose the guy to free agency…well, i can dream, can’t i?…

    dc December 2, 2007, 10:15 am
  • this whole untouchable thing seems almost a semantic argument. They’re untouchable only in tandem with Hughes.

    Nick-YF December 2, 2007, 10:19 am
  • There arent six untouchable prospects. The point of the article was those additional guys werent touchable in combination with Hughes. Im sure the yankees would have happily given one of those guys up in one of the earlier trade iterations they proposed. They dont want to give up their best chip plus one of their other best chips. Saying that there a six completely untouchable players is twisting the story to make the yankees sound inflexible and overvaluing of their players.
    Second, the point about A-Rod that dc just made is right on. You have your own revisionist version SF but its not the one that is generally believed. I dont think that his contract, etc has effected these negotiations one bit. You think if A-Rod didnt resign the Twins would have taken the first offer from the Yankees? They wouldnt have pushed for Hughes? Thats ridiculous.
    Finally, this article confirms what i have been saying about Crisp all along. The twins have basically very little interest in him at that price and dont view him as a piece on par with the others they have been talking about. His relative value to them is almost nil.

    sam-YF December 2, 2007, 10:26 am
  • I still think the big story here, if you belive the report, is that the Twins value both Buchholz and Ellsbury over Hughes. Do they know something we don’t, are they outright lying to get more players in the deal, or are they just crazy?
    My tongue was (slightly) in cheek on the six untouchable prospects. Obviously, they’re untouchable only in tandem with Hughes, but that’s still four more prospects than the Sox have labeled untouchable in tandem with Lester…

    Paul SF December 2, 2007, 10:38 am
  • “…Saying that there a six completely untouchable players is twisting the story to make the yankees sound inflexible and overvaluing of their players….”
    thanks for the clarification sam…i guess i was just reacting to paul’s comment in his post: “…So the Yankees have six untouchable prospects? Six?? And people accuse Theo Epstein of overvaluing his talent!…”…
    i’m surprised that any sox fan, let alone a journalist, would make such disparaging comments without them being factual and well-sourced…i’m taking away the pulitzer i awarded to paul the other day…i guess i’ll give it to, oh, i don’t know, maybe murray chass…
    i agree with you about crisp too sam…so far the debate has been about whether crisp is a better player than melky, while the real issue may be their salaries over the next few years…melky is by far cheaper and can be tied up longer…that’s probably attractive to the twins…

    dc December 2, 2007, 10:40 am
  • First of all Lester isnt Hughes, thats why such a list would exist for and not the other. Second, the article says that they value Ellsbury over Hughes but says nothing about Buchholz’s relative value saying simply that the sox arent gonna include them.
    I think the yankees should be applauded for not throwing in these extra guys easily. They are putting a line in the sand, despite what SF says. You SFs are happy about your GM holding on to your best prospects and laud it as a good savvy move but when the yankees do the same they are over valuing their players and acting silly? That doesnt make sense.

    sam-YF December 2, 2007, 10:44 am
  • I am not revising anything. Does anyone honestly think that Hank’s (and Cashman’s) statements with regards to A-Rod prior to the re-signing aren’t considered if he gives a “we’ll never include Player X” kind of ultimatum to a trading partner? Even if the trading partner takes the ultimatum seriously, there has got to have been some residual impact from they backpedaling with Rodriguez. It may be that it was the right move to backpedal, but for anyone to act as if the Yankees held firm on the ground marked out in Cashman and Steinbrenner’s original statements they are kidding themselves.

    SF December 2, 2007, 10:55 am
  • you can’t always trust the sources or the folks repeating what those sources “said”
    Hey, Judith Miller isn’t the Yankees’ beat writer, so I am willing to cut them a little slack here. I think that Heyman, Kepner, Cafardo, et al are definitely a little uncritical about their sources, but what are they supposed to do if the sources have historically been good contacts for stories? Are they supposed to not report the information? I prefer the reporting with a critical attitude towards the information, as opposed to them saying nothing.
    In the end, though, if a source proves to have been less than truthful and clearly so, I wish the writers would tell the truth about this. That’s the part that is wishful thinking, that the writers will ever out their dishonest sources. Most aren’t willing to do that for self-preservation reasons, and that’s a big problem,

    SF December 2, 2007, 11:05 am
  • I totally disagree with you SF. The situation with A-Rod changed after Alex came back and agreed to take less salary than the yankees had originally offered. Anyway, lets no go back over that for the millionth time.
    I dont see how you think these talks were effected by that situation. I think the Yankees and the Sox are both prepared to walk away from the Twins if the cost is too high. There is ZERO evidence that any of the actions here indicate the twins think the yankees FO is weak, etc. This is all part of standard negotiation talks and I just dont see the yankees position as weakened one bit. If the sox decided to include Ellsbury at this point would it irreparably weaken their ability to negotiate in the future?

    sam-YF December 2, 2007, 11:09 am
  • In reading the article it is simply not clear that the “untouchable” nature of these prospects is tied to Hughes. Certainly that is the implication, but there is nothing in there that explicitly states that they are, in tandem, off-limits. And why should they be, frankly?
    The Sox, as far as we can speculate from the rumors, are loading only Ellsbury and Buchholz together, but nobody else. If there was reporting that the Sox were adamantly refusing to package any of their top 7 prospects with Ells/Buck, wouldn’t that be a reason for criticism? As a Sox fan, if that’s their position (and I highly doubt it is their position, just as I highly doubt that this is truly the Yankees’ position — I think that this steadfastness is a total crock) I’d certainly have a problem with it. Once again, the public statements and reporting from sources who won’t be identified and who seem intent on making attempts at misdirection just should not be trusted. As I have said before, this is all just noise, like the hissing of the radiators in my apartment. The hissing only indicates that there is heat, it doesn’t tell me the actual temperature.

    SF December 2, 2007, 11:12 am
  • “…I am not revising anything….”, then this: “…backpedaling with Rodriguez…”
    uh, yeah you are
    the yanks left the door open a crack all along with arod…they were po’d about the opt out, made it known that they wouldn’t compete for his services, then when he came crawling back to them homeless and broken, he wound up agreeing to essentially the same contract they offered him in the first place, less the texas money he screwed them on by opting out…how is that not holding firm?…they never said they didn’t want him back, they just didn’t want to mess around with boras’ stupidity, and they didn’t…
    sam, get used to those kinds of double standards around here…sf’s think their ownership and gm are geniuses, while the yank brass are bumbling, inconsistent, insincere fools…

    dc December 2, 2007, 11:14 am
  • This is all part of standard negotiation talks and I just dont see the yankees position as weakened one bit
    I 100% agree with the first statement. I have no knowledge of whether the second is true, but my own intuition tells me that the Twins might suspect that the Yankees may be more willing to go that extra mile. If they have been paying attention to the offseason and have seen the nearly half a billion dollars that the Yankees have spent and see all the prospects in their system and the bluster of Hank and the positions filled at the major league level and the big, glaring weakness of the team I’d certainly hold them to including an extra prospect who might be two/three years away. They’d be foolish to trade a guy like Santana for a young, middling player and a tremendous prospect. If I were them, I’d be looking for a couple of guys to help now and a couple of guys to help in a year or two. If I were them I’d be willing to take a quantity of really good young players over a single “can’t miss” guy, who of course could end up missing terribly.
    On the surface this might seem like a lesser deal for the Twins, but it might end up being the right deal.

    SF December 2, 2007, 11:20 am
  • dc, we can argue this over and over and you can super-parse things if you want, but the Yankees were pretty clear.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2007/10/18/2007-10-18_cashman_confirms_if_arod_opts_out_hes_do.html
    Re-signing Rodriguez is part of the context of the Santana dealings. How can it not be?

    SF December 2, 2007, 11:26 am
  • sam, get used to those kinds of double standards around here…sf’s think their ownership and gm are geniuses, while the yank brass are bumbling, inconsistent, insincere fools…
    Wow, that’s defensive. Where have I judged the Yankees’ front office with respect to these Santana dealings? There’s no evidence of any incompetence on the Yankees’ side to this point, at all.

    SF December 2, 2007, 11:29 am
  • “…If I were them, I’d be looking for a couple of guys to help now and a couple of guys to help in a year or two. If I were them I’d be willing to take a quantity of really good young players over a single “can’t miss” guy, who of course could end up missing terribly….”
    hypothetically, since you didn’t name names, of course the twins would want those scenarios…they almost can’t lose, even though we are talking about santana…the twins have a window of opportunity that could slam shut on their fingers if they hold out for too much, or start to become too coy with what’s starting to look more like gamesmanship than real negotiating…my guess is the sox will have less patience with the twin’s bs at some point, because they are in a stronger position than the yanks…

    dc December 2, 2007, 11:29 am
  • “…you can super-parse things if you want, but the Yankees were pretty clear…”
    gee sf, do you believe everything you read in the papers?…remember this is negotiation, and i’d say the yankee’s tactic of pretending not to want arod, only to have him come crawling back on their terms was brilliant…
    no you haven’t criticized the yank management in the santana case…rare exception, or a softening of your usual stance?…you have been vocal, if inaccurate, in your critique of the arod proceedings…
    “defensive”, nah, just loyal to the facts

    dc December 2, 2007, 11:35 am
  • “and i’d say the yankee’s tactic of pretending not to want arod, only to have him come crawling back on their terms was brilliant…”
    on their terms? really?!
    I’d say your use of the word “pretending” justifies exactly what I am saying.

    SF December 2, 2007, 11:38 am
  • Minnesota is out of their minds for wanting Hughes and Kennedy as well as Melky. The Red Sox are hanging tough in refusing to change Lester to Buckholtz. Hughes is better than Lester. Melky is better than Crisp. And a prospect can be worked out. If thats not good enough, then the Yanks should walk away.

    Dj@Yf December 2, 2007, 11:50 am
  • Honestly this all disgusts me. I dont think Boston was ever going to trade Bucholtz or Ellsbury. We’ve been played. The fact that we might have to trade Hughes Melky + another top prospect doesnt make anysense whatsover.
    Granted we get the best pitcher in baseball but we would be stuck with another untradeable contract AND have Damon in CF.
    Sad thing is if we leave the deal on the table the Sox get him dirt cheap so we are being bent over no matter what happens.

    Dj@Yf December 2, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • Bill Madden interview with Hank
    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2007/12/02/2007-12-02_bill_madden_breaks_bread_with_yankees_ne.html?page=1
    Quote
    “What was the most important thing you learned?” I asked him.
    “The mistake of trading young pitching,” he answered quickly. “It killed me seeing all those young pitchers we traded back then – (Scott) McGregor, (Jose) Rijo, (Doug) Drabek – who went on to have great careers because we just didn’t have the patience. If there’s one thing that’s going to be different between me and my dad it’s patience.”
    Maybe,” I said, “but it sounds like you’re about to do the same thing – trading young pitchers – for (Johan) Santana.”
    “There’s a big difference,” Hank countered. “Santana’s only 28 and just coming into his prime. I remember consoling Woody when my dad insisted we trade Drabek for (Rick) Rhoden. Rhoden was 32 or 33, but back then that’s the way we did thin
    This article is form TODAY to be honest with you im glad that he’s going to provide the yankees with the financial stability as his father but im not really sure where he stands with (certain) prospects.

    Dj@Yf December 2, 2007, 12:36 pm
  • Sad thing is if we leave the deal on the table the Sox get him dirt cheap so we are being bent over no matter what happens.
    Exactly, Dj. Both teams are sitting tight waiting to see if the other side will up the ante. Neither side wants to back out because it means the other team gets Santana for cheaper.
    The Sox, however, are in the best position. If they don’t get Santana then they’re still the best team in baseball, whereas the Yankees NEED an ace like Santana.

    Atheose December 2, 2007, 1:01 pm
  • Crap, sorry for all the italics.

    Atheose December 2, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • By the way dc, can you cut out the broad generalizations about SF? He never called the Yankee front office “bumbling inconsistent fools” like you claim, or any other insult that you think. Can you give us some examples where he’s insulted the Steinbrenners or Cashman?
    And for the record, saying that the Yankees brass caved in to ARod is VERY different than calling them names.

    Atheose December 2, 2007, 1:06 pm
  • One statement is true, and the other isn’t. Pick which one you want.

    Brad December 2, 2007, 1:09 pm
  • SF stated two facts and combined them into one sentence to illustrate why indications the Yankees are saying this is their best and final offer may not be accurate:
    1. The Yankees said they would NOT, under ANY circumstances, negotiate with A-Rod if he opted out.
    2. The Yankees negotiated with A-Rod after he opted out.
    Hard to dispute these facts or use them to suggest SF is demeaning the Yankee brass. They did what they had to do to secure the best available player on the market. To think they will do otherwise here is a bit naive, I think.

    Paul SF December 2, 2007, 1:19 pm
  • You guys are ridiculous.
    Why is it that both sides need to find fault with the other GM during negotiations? The entire point behind negotiating is getting the other guy to come to you. Which means you say things that will bring him to you.
    The NY front office isn’t being unreasonable in putting some prospects “out of reach.” The Yanks made an offer, the Twins asked for more, and NY put Hughes into the deal. NY didn’t want to have to put Hughes up, but they did. So now of course they’re going to be adamant that this is as far as they go. Of course they’re going to try to get the Twins to take Hughes without giving up too much more.
    And some of you would be upset if Boston did this? At least the Yanks have offered Hughes- if Boston offers Clay, you’ll be upset if they then put some other top prospects “out of reach?” If they try to get the Twins to take Clay without giving up too much more.
    One more thing- how on earth are the Twins chasing a position player more than a pitcher? The Twins will have given up two starters by the time Santana’s done, and they still think a centerfielder is more valuable than one of the top pitching prospects in the country? That doesn’t make much sense.

    KurticusMaximus- YF December 2, 2007, 1:28 pm
  • KM:
    I don’t fault either front office, at all. Just want to make that explicitly clear. These are negotiations, as you say. That’s part if my point, that all Tmthis rhetoric about “untouchableness” is just that: rhetoric.
    And Atheose: I have insulted Hank in the past, quite bluntly. But that’s because I already don’t like him, not because I think the Yankees have made bad baseball moves this offseason. I don’t think that at all.

    SF December 2, 2007, 1:35 pm
  • “The Yankees said they would NOT, under ANY circumstances, negotiate with A-Rod if he opted out.”
    That’s not true. They said they wouldn’t pursue him as a free agent. Big difference.
    Meanwhile, the Sox have said they won’t include Ellsbury or Buchholz. If they do, what’s that mean about them?
    They were negotiating.

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 1:44 pm
  • By the way, great interview of Hank by Madden in the Daily News today:
    Of being on the road with the team’s GMs in the 1980’s:
    “What was the most important thing you learned?” I asked him.
    “The mistake of trading young pitching,” he answered quickly. “It killed me seeing all those young pitchers we traded back then – (Scott) McGregor, (Jose) Rijo, (Doug) Drabek – who went on to have great careers because we just didn’t have the patience. If there’s one thing that’s going to be different between me and my dad it’s patience.”
    “Maybe,” I said, “but it sounds like you’re about to do the same thing – trading young pitchers – for (Johan) Santana.”
    “There’s a big difference,” Hank countered. “Santana’s only 28 and just coming into his prime. I remember consoling Woody when my dad insisted we trade Drabek for (Rick) Rhoden. Rhoden was 32 or 33, but back then that’s the way we did things.”

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • Olney says the Red Sox have offered Ellsbury — but removed Lester.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3138088
    Not sure that would be enough to get the deal done, but if the Twins do value Ellsbury more than Hughes, I guess it could be. Presumably, the Sox would offer Ellsbury, Lowrie, Masterson in that deal.

    Paul SF December 2, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • “…not because I think the Yankees have made bad baseball moves this offseason. I don’t think that at all….”
    so sf, for the record, you don’t think signing arod was a bad move?…really!?…i rest my case…and thanks…that was too easy…and thanks to paul for this: “…They did what they had to do to secure the best available player on the market….”…that was my point all along guys…implying that the yanks somehow got snookered is silly, which “some” here have done…
    also, atheose and paul, i didn’t say that sf was demeaning to the yankee brass…please go back and examine my comments…i said: “…sf’s think their ownership and gm are geniuses, while the yank brass are bumbling, inconsistent, insincere fools…”…i left out the obligatory “some”, and for those of you who pounce on every word, i should have said i’m not quoting anyone in particular, but generally, the yankee brass is “portrayed” as having less capability than their counterparts elsewhere…words, but my claim in that statement is dead on…in the meantime, you’ll have a hard time finding a comment where i’ve disparaged the sox management…[i hear the buzz of google searches already tearing up the net as i finish typing this…happy hunting]… ;)

    dc December 2, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • “…Olney says the Red Sox have offered Ellsbury — but removed Lester….”
    thanks for the update paul…yeah, not sure how that “ups” the offer, unless ellsbury was really what the twins wanted all along, and anything else [masterson] is just a bonus…or, is masterson as highly regarded as lester?

    dc December 2, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • dc:
    I don’t know what you are saying, honestly. My thinking the Yankees retaining A-Rod was a good move but questioning the efficiency of theit actions and how they did it are two separate issues. If you re-read the exhaustive (and maybe tedious?!) threads about the Rodriguez shenanigans you’ll find that my interest was in the dynamics of the situation, not the baseball aspect. Same with the Torre deal. I believe you are conflating issues here.

    SF December 2, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • good advice anon…it’s exhausting having to set the record straight nearly every time i read a comment…
    not conflating sf…i believe it’s killing you and others to consider the possibility that the yanks might have wound up right where they wanted to with arod, and used a clever tactic [feigning disinterest] to get him to come back to them with more realistic expectations], so you’re in denial…it’s more convenient to think otherwise, facts be damned…
    i understand why you insist on separating the result with the process of achieving the result…you can “question” the yankee methods, while not questioning the wisdom of retaining the best player in baseball…clever…the torre situation doesn’t compare, because it was mishandled from a PR perspective, even though the result may have been the desired one, i doubt we’ll ever know for sure…

    dc December 2, 2007, 2:35 pm
  • that you think it is “killing me” is one reason why you can’t imagine that I am being completely honest here. I can’t say it enough times over enough months/years at this site: I have a fascination with these negotiations from a business standpoint, from understanding how they play out, to how personalities are managed, to how leverage is utilized or squandered. If you want to make it about an “us vs. them” situation and contend that my sentiments are somehow dishonest (which is the only way I think I can take them at this point since) then that is disappointing. Not everything is always about the rivalry, though I know why it is sometimes made out that way.

    SF December 2, 2007, 2:47 pm
  • so now that the sox have included ellsbury who they have sworn not to trade previously does that weaken their ability to negotiate in the future? This seems to be the standard that is applied to the yankees so it should fit here too.

    sam-YF December 2, 2007, 2:54 pm
  • That was me in the note to dc. I’ve been caught in verification hell since.

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 2:54 pm
  • Did you guys delete that note? Wow, you guys do have a lot of baggage.
    SF –
    How many times do you guys want to post about the “305 million” contract to justify the Sox fan position on what happened with A-Rod. Meanwhile, the Sox got a steal of Schilling at 8 million. It’s a double standard to tweak Yankee fans. Same deal with the post above about the “untouchables”. I can’t deal with it. And I suggested the same for dc. But the least you can do is be honest with yourselves.

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 3:00 pm
  • Hmmmm – maybe I can’t deal with it but I meant I *can*.
    Who knows!?

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 3:06 pm
  • Yes Sam, it does weaken their future negotiations. They said that Ellsbury was not on the table, and they went back on that statement. Any future statements regarding who is available and who is not will now be approached with skepticism.

    Atheose December 2, 2007, 3:06 pm
  • By the way, I think it’s much more damaging to say you won’t include a player in a trade and changing your mind, than saying you won’t pursue a player in free agency and letting them come back to the table. The free agency case might only affect one player – ever. The trade scenario affects every trade you’ll ever make.

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 3:12 pm
  • come on sf…i’m not making it us/them…the name of the site is “yanksfan v. soxfan”…some of the comments by both fanbases make it that way, including the fact that i had to straighten out some of you the other day on the money facts with arod’s contract…i already told you that i understand your facination with the process…me too…i don’t think you are dishonest at all…i’m merely saying that the general consensus among many sox fans that the yankees somehow lost the arod negotiations, and the insistence on suggesting that yankee statements leading up to the agreement were dishonest and inconsistent rather than perhaps a clever negotiation ploy is unfair, and it does make it about the rivalry, whether you want it to or not…tell you what, and after this, i’ll drop it, but humor me and tell me one more time how you feel about the approach the yankees took with arod and whether or not you think they got the desired result…give them a letter grade if that facilitates this…
    i can respect everone’s opinion about the process, but not if it limits the recognition that another opinion might exist…so i ask, does the possibility exist that the yanks may have done what they set out to do with arod?…

    dc December 2, 2007, 3:15 pm
  • Without going through all of the comments, I’d have to say that I don’t think when the Yankees say that Jackson or Horne or Kennedy are untouchable they mean in it the same way that Joba is untouchable. They are untouchable with respect to this deal, we already know that Kennedy is not untouchable because he was the Yankees first offer, but Hughes with Kennedy is too much and therefore one is untouchable. The Yankees aren’t going to empty their farm for one pitcher, no matter how good. The Yankees know that Santana alone isn’t enough to win, just as Martinez wasn’t enough alone for the Sox to win. A point on comparing Cabrera to Crisp, they are fairly similar only Melky is about 4.5$ million less. And finally on Ellsbury, I’ve seen may scouting that put him as only a 3 star prospect or so. I know his performance the last weeks of the season upped his value, the Yankees know, (Shane Spencer) that those last few weeks doesn’t destine one for stardom.

    Chuck December 2, 2007, 3:22 pm
  • And finally on Ellsbury, I’ve seen may scouting that put him as only a 3 star prospect or so. I know his performance the last weeks of the season upped his value, the Yankees know, (Shane Spencer) that those last few weeks doesn’t destine one for stardom.
    It definitely doesn’t destine Jacoby for stardom, but it DOES greatly increase his trade value. Most reports say that the Twins value Ellsbury more than Hughes (I don’t know why they do), and trade value is what we’re talking about here, not whether or not the player will have a hall-of-fame career.

    Atheose December 2, 2007, 3:40 pm
  • But then how can we separate the report of the Ellsbury “preferenc” from the actual value. If the Yanks were offering Hughes, and it’s leaked that “We prefer Ellsbury” that’s a way to get the Yankees to up their offer, especially if Ellsbury IS offered. And now that seems to be what has been offered, we’ll find out soon enough. One team has to blink first, even if it means Santana staying in Minny.

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 3:46 pm
  • I think this report is crap. The Twins wouldn’t be so stupid as to turn away the Yankees offer of Hughes, Cabrera and a third for Ellsbury and two second tier prospects.
    The ranking of Hughes as a top prospect is not something that the Yankees have done. In February of 2007, Baseball Prospectus listed Hughes as the number 2 overall prospect in the country (for the record Buchholz was 41st and Ellsbury was 48th). Melky Cabrera has proven his worth defensively and he’ll drive in 70-80 runs a year.
    In my view, this is something that came out as a way to get the Yankees to relent on another top tier prospect. Hopefully they don’t cave. Giving up Hughes and Cabrera is more than enough.

    Jay-YF December 2, 2007, 3:47 pm
  • Jay –
    Olney keeps reporting that the Yanks are holding firm. If I’m them, it’s actually easier to call the Twinkie bluff. If they really do prefer Ellsbury to Hughes, then there seems to be little the Yanks can do. Hughes is their top chip and fronting any offer.
    Meanwhile, the Sox are also playing along because they’re not offering Ellsbury AND Lester. If they did, the Twins could shop that offer around as two top prospects in one package.
    Seems like the Twins have hemmed themselves in. It’s either Ellsbury OR Hughes OR no trade. I’d say the rookie GM in Minny has made his first mistake. And the more seasoned GMs in NY and Boston are mostly sticking to their guns and not letting the other drive the price up.

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • it’s not that those players (dellin betances, jose tabata, a-jax, etc) are untouchables, per se, it’s just that with the current deal of hughes + melky, the twins can forget about any type A prospects like those on that list.
    of course the yankees would trade tabata/a-jax for santana, but not when the deal already includes hughes and melky.
    duh.

    YF December 2, 2007, 4:08 pm
  • YF its much easier to impugn the Yankees FO if you ignore that basic fact.

    sam-YF December 2, 2007, 4:11 pm
  • dc:
    I don’t care in general about assessing whether or not someone “won or lost” a negotiation, to paraphrase you, and that’s perhaps where the issue might be. If one looks at negotiations as either “won or lost” then that is usually a bad sign for the negotiations. I used to experience this with my soon-to-be-ex-brother-in-law, who approached our team in Rotisserie League and trades with that exact attitude, and he made it impossible to create good relationships with trade partners. He looked at everything in terms of won/loss, instead of cost/benefit/risk/mutual benficiality.
    So I don’t look at the Yankees as having “lost” the A-Rod negotiations by any means, and I think that is what my observations are being extended to imply. I’d say the Yankees made out more poorly than they had hoped with A-Rod, financially (certainly if they could have engineered a re-signing in which Texas’ money was more involved or signed A-Rod at a lower price they would have been happier), but they certainly didn’t “lose” since they are retaining the services of a desired commodity. It’s just not black and white to me. I don’t like the idea of a grade, but if that’s what you want I’d say it was somewhere around a B/B-. They were flexible and smart enough to go aggressively after Alex, who is irreplaceable in my opinion, but they were clumsy in the method which they dealt with the situation and there might still be repercussions with how teams perceive their steadfastness, though of course there may be not.
    I think I am honest enough to look at the Sox’ front office dealings similarly. With Drew and Lugo they might have “lost” by some peoples’ measures (not mine, though they seemed to be bidding against nobody on Drew so I questioned that signing at the time), but on the other hand they secured two players who they wanted and who contributed to a championship, albeit not quite like everyone had thought they would. I don’t like assigning “winners and losers”.

    SF December 2, 2007, 4:13 pm
  • A-Rod stood to make 32 million next year if he didn’t opt-out. Every dollar they’ve pushed into the future they make money on. I’d say they’re pleased with a 275 million contract.
    Unless you want to keep counting incentive money as guaranteed money?

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 4:28 pm
  • I just got off the phone with my Dad, who doesn’t like the idea of trading so many youngsters for Santana. His primary concern was what it does to the payroll benchmarks of the team, particularly Beckett. But I don’t really get this. Beckett isn’t a free agent until 2011, an eternity in the market. If Santana comes our way and Buchholz remains with the team, then 4/5 of the rotation is locked in at their costs for three years, and 3/5 of the rotation is locked in for four years. This means that the Sox, barring some injury, don’t have to dip into the pitching market for a front-line starter in the next three years. Meaning they will have set the market and won’t have to chase it. 2011 is almost immeasurably far away, in terms of pitching costs.
    On another issue, the highly coveted minor leaguers, due to the clout of the team financially, are conceivably replaceable with slipped #1s, guys who get bypassed by the Royals and Pirates of the world because of signing bonus requirements. This is why guys who are two/three years away in the team systems are not untouchable, particularly position players, even if guys like Ellsbury and Hughes are already in the deal. I don’t necessarily buy that stance, no matter the team taking it.

    SF December 2, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • Some folks are suggesting that Beckett will want to renegotiate his contract if Santana ends up on the Sox with a $20 mil/year deal. I don’t know if he can do that, though – what’s he going to do if the FO says no? Hold out until they change their minds?

    yankeemonkey December 2, 2007, 4:34 pm
  • IF Boston does trade Ellsbury to Minn. Should Boston try to upgrade the offense in CF by signing Andruw Jones or Aaron Rowand or by looking for a trade with someone and still unload Crisp?

    TJ December 2, 2007, 4:37 pm
  • “This is why guys who are two/three years away in the team systems are not untouchable”
    Tabata and Jackson are one to 1.5 years away. They’ll both start the year in AA. They could be called up as soon as next Fall or the following Spring. For instance, Cano and Melky both spent 1.5 years in AA/AAA before being called up permanently. Melky made his first MLB appearance just months after starting his first AA year.
    Kennedy has already arrived. Horne starts 2008 in AAA.
    The only one I agree on is Betances. But he’s 6’8″ and 19 years old and hits 98 mph. I can understand their reluctance.

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 4:44 pm
  • I’ve heard those rumours too Yankeemonkey, and I think that it’s rediculous speculation. A contract is a contract–unless you have an opt-out clause, you can’t simply change your mind and decide that the contract that you signed is unfair.

    Atheose December 2, 2007, 4:49 pm
  • Betances is a really cool prospect. Reminds me a lot of Daniel Cabrera; immense potential, but a little wild.

    Atheose December 2, 2007, 5:04 pm
  • With Beckett only signed for 3 more years (If they pick up the option for 2010, they would be wise to renegotiate with Beckett if they do sign Santana to a long term deal.
    If Beckett is ofended he would likely walk away after 2010 as a 31 yr old.
    If we get Santana and he extends for say 7 years $150MM then I would offer Beckett a 7 year extension for about $110MM.
    If Beckett wants to let another season go and he puts up another eason in 08 like 07 then I would be willing to give him a 7 year deal for maybe $130MM.

    TJ December 2, 2007, 5:05 pm
  • I agree on Betances. I think they look at him and see Liriano (lot of talent, not a lot of results – so far) in their future – a throw-in that comes back to haunt them.
    I stand by what I said earlier. The Twins have sorta cornered themselves into trying to game the offers.
    If they want Hughes/Melky, it shouldn’t matter if a Clippard and/or Marquez are the third/fourth players.
    If they want Ellsbury/Lowrie, it shouldn’t matter if they’re not getting a ML-ready arm in return.
    And either package is a decent return for a 1 year rental that’s demanding 120-150 million as well.

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 5:14 pm
  • I still dont like puttign Ells in the deal. I think the Sox Lester Package was better, overall, than the Yankee Hughes Package. I guess we’ll find out tommorrow.

    Dionysus December 2, 2007, 6:21 pm
  • “A-Rod stood to make 32 million next year if he didn’t opt-out.”
    Where’d you get that from? Cots says 27.
    http://tinyurl.com/gnkk2

    Tyrel SF December 2, 2007, 6:30 pm
  • The Sox are really in a no-lose situation. All indications point to Ellsbury + Lester (plus the others) sealing the deal, and barring any horrific injuries, that would cement the Sox into first place for the next three years, nearly guaranteed. The alternative is that the Yankees up their offer to something like Hughes and Kennedy, or something really stupid. There’s no real downside. Personally, I think this is what will happen, and it makes me kind of sick. My only hope is that the Sox really are bluffing, and will intentionally low-ball Santana to something like a 5 year, $18-million per year at a maximum, which he would obviously reject, and the Twins would be forced to keep him, since the maximum the Yankees would offer would be their original.
    It’s all about keeping Santana from the Yankees, and it’s really, really easy to do.

    Andrew December 2, 2007, 6:31 pm
  • this just breaks my heart. they can’t yank Ellsbury from the Boston fans now!!!
    we were just gettin to know him :-(

    Lyndsay December 2, 2007, 6:56 pm
  • If Santana signs with the Red Sox for $25m/yr, let’s say, how is that different from him signing with the Yankees for $25m/yr?
    Either way, he’s setting the benchmark for the money Beckett will seek when he becomes a FA (or seeks an extension) in 2010/11. I don’t see that the team Santana signs with has that much bearing.
    Is Ortiz requesting to renegotiate now that Drew makes more than him?

    Paul SF December 2, 2007, 7:17 pm
  • just to complicate things even more. Kat O’Brien is saying that Ellsbury was NOT actually offered…
    http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/blog/2007/12/hello_from_nashville.html
    I guess this just underlies how little we actually know about whats going on. The first comment is interesting too, saying Santana wont waive his NTC mid season.

    sam-YF December 2, 2007, 7:25 pm
  • As far as Beckett goes, Id be surprised if he tries to renegotiate his contract and even more surprised if the Sox went along with it. What kind of precedent would that set. Each time we sign a new player, we will re-up everyone elses contract? No chance.

    sam-YF December 2, 2007, 7:26 pm
  • About the Sox saying (or swearing) that Ellsbury was not on the table, or one of the so-called ‘untoucables’: there was a direct quote from Epstein saying that there are no untouchables. Not from a source or a reporter- the GM himself said it. So I don’t understand where those claims are coming from.

    Garmont SF December 2, 2007, 7:29 pm
  • “It’s all about keeping Santana from the Yankees, and it’s really, really easy to do.”
    I don’t know about “really, really easy”.
    If the Twins take their current offer of Ellsbury, Lowrie, Masterson, Bowden they kill their pitching depth for two or three years. Lester and Buchholz enter the starting rotation in 2009 for Schilling and Wake, but after that, they got nuthin’. If they include Lester to “seal the deal” they’ve really, really killed their depth (even if one of Masterson or Bowden get pulled back). Meanwhile, they’re committing themselves to a below average bat in Crisp or signing Jones or Rowand. That could be another 50 million on top of the 120-150 million they’re committing to one player and a pitcher at that. They completely alter their salary structures such that Beckett and Papi are vastly underpaid.
    Summary:
    1. No organizational pitching depth until replenished by the draft
    2. Crisp in CF or money on a CF
    3. 120-150 million in additional salary.
    Sorry but that seems very far from easy – let alone “really, really easy”.
    “Where’d you get that from? Cots says 27”
    My bad. I was thinking of:
    Rodriguez may void after 2008 or 2009 unless club increases 2009-10 salary by $5M/year or $1M more than highest-paid MLB position player
    Depending of course on how the deal is structured, they shift that salary. Of course, they’re also free of:
    – $0.5M for MVP ($1M for second MVP, $1.5M for subsequent MVPs
    So he actually earned 28.5 million this year. And they’re paying him a 27.5 million/year average going forward.
    Can someone tell me again why that’s not a good deal?

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 7:34 pm
  • Good grief. I hope it’s true that the Yanks are serious about a Monday deadline. I don’t know how much longer I can handle all these rumors flying around.

    yankeemonkey December 2, 2007, 7:36 pm
  • // First of all Lester isnt Hughes, […] //
    True. Lester has a World Series win and a ring. Hughes doesn’t.

    Anonymous December 2, 2007, 7:37 pm
  • The Yankees have set a deadline for a Santana trade. If they can’t agree to a deal with the Twins by the end of tomorrow, they’ll withdraw:
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/12/02/santana.talks/index.html
    It’s about time. I seriously just want to get this whole thing over with.

    doug YF December 2, 2007, 7:40 pm
  • To make things even MORE interesting, Rosenthal says Santana won’t waive his NTC midseason.

    Paul SF December 2, 2007, 7:41 pm
  • // you can’t always trust the sources or the folks repeating what those sources “said” //
    As a former member of the mainstream media myself, I’ll add that I’ve seen even good reporters flagrantly abuse the anonymous source conceit.
    Sometimes the source is unreliable, but says something that greatly jazzes up the reporter’s article.
    Sometimes two or three sources’ tips gets conflated into one neat metastatement, that again greatly jazzes up the reporter’s article.
    And sometimes reporters even make up anonymous statements which happen to coincide with what they believe about the situation, or to include the quote they wished they’d gotten.
    The idea that the MSM is more reliable than quality blogs is mainly a fiction meant to stave off the threat of new independent voices to once-dominant established ones.

    Hudson December 2, 2007, 7:42 pm
  • That is interesting Paul.

    walein December 2, 2007, 7:43 pm
  • Hudson…sounds like jazz is the way to go!

    walein December 2, 2007, 7:44 pm
  • Hoo boy. To those who think YFs unduly overhype their prospects, I give y’all this, from a Twins board:
    Travis says:
    December 2nd, 2007 at 6:33 pm
    Ok everyone…I’m a Sox fan, so let me enlighten everyone on a few things…lol, just kidding.
    But for real…anyone who compares Jason Tyner to Jacoby Ellsbury is a complete moron. Just look at the consistency throughout the minors Jacoby’s demonstrated and if you haven’t watched any of Ellsbury’s highlight catches or blazing speed…you must never watch sportscenter. This guy is already proven himself in the playoffs under pressure!! I wouldn’t deal him straight up for Johan if I could be assured that the Yankees wouldn’t get him!
    The new rumor is that the Twins may throw in Neshek or another player with Santana in order for the Sox to commit to parting w/ Lester and Ellsbury together. Santana’s HUGE contract is not worth sacrificing a future all-star OF and Lester is a legit future #2-believe that!! Plus the other prospects make it not worth it IMO. Bucholz is the next coming of Roger Clemens (tall RH from Texas)…every game I saw him pitch in the minors and majors seemed to be 7-8 IP, 0-1 ERs, 7-10ks. Plus the no-hitter he threw next yr: He’s untouchable.
    The main reason I want Santana is to keep him from the Yankees-if we don’t get him…who cares! We’re the World Champions-and we’ve got a bunch of young studs to help us run the table for the next decade. Good luck to the Twins though…if they do get some of these young studs from the Sox-I’ll definitely root for them and you in the central. OUT!

    yankeemonkey December 2, 2007, 7:48 pm
  • i most like the ever classy OUT at the end

    sam-YF December 2, 2007, 7:53 pm
  • In a way, the Sox have actually revised their offer down.
    Before it was Lester and Crisp and a couple of decent minor league prospects.
    Now it’s Ellsbury and three decent minor league prospects.
    I’m a *huge* Ellsbury fan and will spit nails if I don’t get to see what he can do for Boston in ’08 (jazz up the lineup to an immense degree would be my expectation).
    But Crisp plus Lester gives the Twins two proven major leaguers for 2008 (especially if one projects Coco to rebound somewhat outside the Boston environment, à la Renteria). Whereas the Ellsbury deal only gives them one extremely promising but as-yet-unproven potential star.
    I think Theo is hewing to simple formula: Offer no more than he thinks Santana is actually worth, remaining entirely comfortable if no deal happens — knowing there are a few other decent options out there, knowing the Sox already have a true ace, and knowing that if nothing else he will have driven the Yankees’ cost way up.

    Hudson December 2, 2007, 7:55 pm
  • Plus the no-hitter he threw next yr: He’s untouchable.
    I didn’t realize this dude could see the future, too. Sweet! Maybe he can tell us where Santana will actually end up?…

    yankeemonkey December 2, 2007, 7:59 pm
  • Hudson, don’t forget that Crisp also gives them an extra $10 mil or so of payroll.

    yankeemonkey December 2, 2007, 8:00 pm
  • Hudson –
    Don’t you think that Hughes + Melky > Lester + Crisp?
    That’s what’s facing Theo, I think.

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 8:18 pm
  • The Sox have always said they didn’t want to include Ellsbury with Lester, so they switched them out. I think this is a way to dangle the player the Twins REALLY want and try to sweeten the pot toward an ultimate throw-in of Lester at the last minute. Complete speculation, of course.
    Look, negotiations are what they are. Teams and agents and players say things they may or may not mean. The Yankees did that in the A-Rod case: “Opt out and we won’t negotiate.” The main difference is they did it publicly, on the record which leads to the fairly irrelvant debate we’re having here about truthfulness and whatnot. Most teams don’t make statements like that so publicly for a reason — they likely don’t mean them.
    I seriously doubt the Sox meant it when they told the Twins early they wouldn’t include two of their Big Three. Assuming they did so, of course. All we have to go on is unverified anonymous sourcing, which is how we usually find out about such tactics.

    Paul SF December 2, 2007, 8:49 pm
  • I wouldn’t trade Ellsbury even up for Santana either.
    Ellsbury looks damn near close to a +400 OBP speedfreak. Wonderful defensively and apparently some pop too. He is a nice story, with what appears a nice attitude. But even if he were an ass, dominant leadoff guys do not come down the pike often
    Santana has a horrid, albeit limited, history in fenway, a park few lefties succeed in. Could possibly upset chemistry with beckett as number one, and will cost far more than a starter in todays game is worth. Besides, I saw what happened with the nobrainer they picked from Texas last year.
    A dumb, dumb proposal with Ellsbury alone that leads me to believe is more of a farce meant only to raise the yankee payout.

    RS Fanbase December 2, 2007, 9:01 pm
  • i agree Paul. The difference with the A-Rod situation is that Boras and Co were making public statements as well. Perhaps the yankees felt they needed to counter these statements with public ones of their own. If you believe the reports, these public statements actually helped bring Alex back to the table. Sometimes there is a place for different tactics depending on the particulars of the situation. The yankees have not made any public statments beyond we’d like Santana in this particular situation. I think you’d be hard pressed to find much of a difference in how the two FOs have handled these talks.

    sam-YF December 2, 2007, 9:06 pm
  • I don’t understand why the Yankees’ setting a deadline isn’t being taken seriously…it makes all the sense in the world for them to set a deadline and keep to it, otherwise they may lose out on players they may potentially target if they don’t get Santana.

    yankeemonkey December 2, 2007, 9:09 pm
  • If the Sox are willing to trade Ellsbury AND Lester for one year of Santana, then the Yankees appear prepared to let them have him. Question is: Are they?
    The Twins problem right now: A MLB pitcher and a MLB CF (Hughes and Melky) OR a MLB CF and a bunch of prospects (Ellsbury et al).
    Again, the A-Rod case was: “Opt-out and we won’t pursue”. And they didn’t.
    As much as the Sox fans try to generalize, the A-Rod situation was specific to one player’s contract, not likely to ever be encountered again. Going back on what’s available in a trade is something they’ll encounter time and time again. And if it happens, potential trade partners know they never have to trust that posturing again.

    Mike YF December 2, 2007, 9:10 pm

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