Sign of the Apocalypse: Hank Speaks

Contrary to yesterday’s rumors–which contradicted previous rumors–it appears the Yanks are still in on Johan Santana. The new year brings more public statements from Hank the Tank.

After what he described as a "slow holiday season" for baseball
business, Hank Steinbrenner is returning to his office Thursday to
begin working on "a final decision" regarding a trade for Johan
Santana. And he believes the Yankees have made the top offer for the
Minnesota ace.

"I think the Twins realize our offer is the best
one," Steinbrenner said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "I feel
confident they’re not going to trade him before checking with us one
last time and I think they think we’ve already made the best offer."

The supposed offer is Hughes, Melky, Marquez and another prospect, which sounds a lot like the one Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner are rumored to have walked away from a while back. So does this mean Hank has overruled them? Or were those reports not completely accurate?

Also, I should update my thoughts concerning this ever developing situation. At the beginning I was a supporter of getting Johan, even if it meant giving up a very good prospect package which included Phil Hughes. Now, I worry that the cost–when you factor in the expensive and long contract extension–will be too steep. Mainly I worry that a six or seven year contract for a pitcher is never a good idea. And I wonder also what the Yanks will do to deal with Melky’s loss in center. My feeling is that Johnny Damon won’t make it through half a season out there. Then, do the Yanks go after Mike Cameron if they make the deal? How much higher will the payroll go?

Finally, there have been articles that have described this situation as a "race"  between the Yanks, Sox and Mets.  This seems to be an odd metaphor for the situation when you consider that in a race, the runners usually try to beat the other runners to the finish line. But then I searched far and wide on the Internet and found the kind of race these newspaper writers were referring to.

23 comments… add one
  • Can’t they just really frontload his contract so they don’t take such a hit in later years? If they’re getting the big tax break for the new stadium in that first year, as I’ve heard, can’t they just pay him a huge sum of money in that year, and smaller amounts thereafter? I seems that if they gave him the larger part of what he was owed (say forty million or so) during the second year, and split it up evenly for every year after that, the money saved on luxury tax would offset that one time salary hit?
    Maybe I’m wrong.

    Brad January 3, 2008, 11:06 am
  • Gardner and Damon split time in CF. I know it’s hard to see Garner in a big role, but his OBP (.380 career in the minors) and speed (85% stolen base ratio) make it possible. He can reach base and then pester the pitchers with a swipe of second and/or third. When’s the last time the Yankees had a guy like that? With their lineup, he’d be a great #9 for when the lineup turns over.

    Mike YF January 3, 2008, 11:06 am
  • I don’t think teams front-load contracts because the money itself depreciates over time. Then again, I’m not an economist either.

    FenSheaParkway January 3, 2008, 11:21 am
  • P.s. I still don’t think Santana goes anywhere.

    Mike YF January 3, 2008, 11:23 am
  • A-Rod’s new contract is front-loaded, I think.

    SF January 3, 2008, 11:36 am
  • Arod’s new contract is slightly front loaded but is more of a bell curve. Like Manny’s….

    sam-YF January 3, 2008, 11:37 am
  • Mike, I guess I’m not as sanguine about Gardner as you are. It doesn’t seem as if a lot of prospect experts think much of him. But they’ve been wrong in the past, so perhaps you’re right.

    Nick-YF January 3, 2008, 11:37 am
  • “A-Rod’s new contract is front-loaded, I think.”
    That’s because Boras was out of the negotations!

    Nick-YF January 3, 2008, 11:39 am
  • A-Rod’s contract might be described as an outlier in more ways than just being slightly front-loaded.

    FenSheaParkway January 3, 2008, 11:50 am
  • I think Boras will be out of the Santana negotiations, too! ;-)
    Love the Monty Python clip, btw. One of my favorite sketches.

    Paul SF January 3, 2008, 11:50 am
  • Baseball America has Gardner in this year’s top 10. So they’re coming around. But obviously he has to have another good second “half” as he has at every other level. I could see him making the team with a strong Spring though, especially if they traded Melky. And if they don’t Gardner could be stealing playing time from him mid-season. The question is would you rather:
    CF – A:
    .280/.330/.400 with strong arm, ok range
    CF – B:
    .270/.360/.370 with good range, ok arm and many SB’s

    Mike YF January 3, 2008, 12:21 pm
  • Thanks Gerb. Needed a laugh.

    YF January 3, 2008, 1:16 pm
  • YF, the Monty Python clip was from me! It’s probably one of my favorite comic clips of all time.

    Nick-YF January 3, 2008, 1:19 pm
  • I know that YF is located remotely somewhere in the frigid northeast, Nick, perhaps he has frostbite on the brain! It’s COLD up here!!!!

    SF January 3, 2008, 1:30 pm
  • I couldn’t believe when I looked at the paper this morning and saw Boston with a forecast low of 9.
    But don’t worry. It got down to 13 here in Texas yesterday morning — of course, it shot up to 50 degrees once the sun came out…

    Paul SF January 3, 2008, 1:59 pm
  • Not to threadjack…
    But the rebuilding process continues in Oaktown. Swisher was traded to the White Sox.

    John - YF January 3, 2008, 2:28 pm
  • John, I posted the story up above.

    Nick-YF January 3, 2008, 2:58 pm
  • by the way, I forgot to ask this in the post, but does anyone want to offer up reasons why Hank would announce to the press that he feels the Yanks made the best offer?

    Nick-YF January 3, 2008, 4:03 pm
  • The same reason he called every other team in MLB the Toledo Mud Hens and the same reason said the Red Sox are only successful because of the Yankees?

    Paul SF January 3, 2008, 4:07 pm
  • but, Paul, i don’t know what that reason is! Are you saying there is no good one?

    Nick-YF January 3, 2008, 4:09 pm
  • “And let’s face it, we’re the best able to handle the kind of contract (extension) Santana will be after.”
    Is this a kosher statement to make?

    SF January 3, 2008, 4:45 pm
  • If there is method to the madness (and I doubt there is) the only point of Hank talking is to send signals to Johan and his agent about money. SF, I do wonder if such a statement is kosher as well.

    Nick-YF January 3, 2008, 4:48 pm
  • I mean, Hank is stating the obvious, that the Yankees can pay a ton of money, but is he actually allowed to talk about that fact openly, about the employee of another team?

    SF January 3, 2008, 4:50 pm

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