Start the Speculation

Johan Santana is almost sure to be traded. The Twins offered to make him the highest-paid pitcher in the game, and he countered, asking instead to be paid A-Rod money.

That leaves us (as well as Michael Silverman) wondering what the Sox would give up for a chip such as that. (We’re already on the record as saying we’d rather have Dan Haren, but you don’t turn your nose up at the best pitcher in the game, period):

According to Silverman, it could be:

  • Coco Crisp
  • Jon Lester
  • Another major leaguer
  • Two minor leaguers

What young, affordable major leaguers do the Sox have? One assumes with Crisp included, it wouldn’t be Ellsbury, and it wouldn’t be Pedroia. Manny Delcarmen? Hideki Okajima?

And what minor leaguers? Craig Hansen? Justin Masterson? Michael Bowden? Someone further down the minors with a higher risk but also a higher reward potential (a la Engel Beltre in the Gagne deal)?

If the package were Crisp, Lester, Delcarmen, Masterson and Hansen, that would indeed be a heavy price — never mind, as Fake Teams notes, the $126 million it’ll take to extend him. I don’t think the Sox would do that, but it’s a way to start the discussion.

How about you? Who do the Sox — or Yanks — give up for a pitcher of Santana’s (or Haren’s) caliber?

82 comments… add one
  • If i were the twins, Id insist on Pedroia/Cano and Bucholz/Hughes. Neither of the fanbases would be thrilled with this but I think (from the twins side) this is reasonable.
    Ive also found it funny on both Yankee and Sox fans sites the trades they want to make to get the best pitcher in baseball. For the most part, its a collection of players they no longer want. For example, Id be surprised if the twins would have any interest in Crisp. 2 years at $5 mil each? Thats not exactly what they are looking for to set their team up long term. They want players like Ellsbury not Crisp.

    sam-YF November 23, 2007, 12:32 pm
  • Is this not comparable to Yankee fans saying they don’t want to trade ANY of the Big Three, Sam? I suppose each of the fan bases — and each of the organizations — would like to wind up not giving up their biggest prospects and still get the biggest fish. Having their cake and eating it, I suppose.
    I for one could support giving up Ellsbury and Lester for a starter like Santana or Haren. Ellsbury could be the next Fred Lynn — or not. We already know what Santana is, and he’ll provide more wins than Ellsbury. Crisp for his defense alone is not a terrible player to start your season with in center field.

    Paul SF November 23, 2007, 12:39 pm
  • If the price is Crisp, Lester, Delcarmen, Masterson and Hansen, DO IT IN A HEARTBEAT. You’re not giving up Buchholz or Ellsbury (the top 2 Sox prospects) and you’re getting the best pitcher in baseball.
    However, I think we will have to give up Buchholz or Ellsbury too. The Yankees will most likely give up Cano to get Santana (as Sam pointed out above), so the Sox will have to up the ante.
    You can always buy offense later, but pitching is precious.

    Atheose November 23, 2007, 12:40 pm
  • Paul its the exact same thing in both fanbases. I said so in my post. A package of Melky, Wang, and Duncan aint gonna cut it as much as it would thrill me if it did. Obviously Sox fans would like to keep both Bucholz and Ellsbury but thats gotta be a pipe dream. Just as it would be for a yankee fan to think that neither Joba, Hughes, or IPK would need to be traded for Santana.
    My point is that we are all guilty of not really putting ourselves in the shoes of the Twins GM. He needs to get some serious stuff back if he is trading the face of his franchise who is the best pitcher in baseball within a month of losing their longest tenured player, an all-star CF.

    sam-YF November 23, 2007, 12:45 pm
  • Out of Lester/Ellsbury/Buchholz and Hughes/Chamberlain/Kennedy/Cano, I think the Twins will require TWO from either list. It’s Johan-freakin-Santana, and they know how much he’s worth.
    Having said that, it’s definitely worth it for either the Sox or Yanks. Pitchers like Santana only come around once every 4-5 years, and when you get a chance you HAVE to pounce. And good pitching will always beat good hitting–it’s an overused cliche but it’s nonetheless true. Just ask Pedro/Schilling/Beckett.

    Atheose November 23, 2007, 12:49 pm
  • Ah, so you did, Sam. Missed that the first time. Sorry. You’re absolutely correct. I’m guilty of this from time to time myself.

    Paul SF November 23, 2007, 1:04 pm
  • It’s alright Paul; I still have hopes that we can trade David Pauley, Coco Crisp and Devern Hansack for Dan Haren.

    Atheose November 23, 2007, 1:06 pm
  • I wrote about this today at River Ave. Blues as well. When we’re putting together trade proposals for Johan Santana, we really have to put ourselves in the shoes of the Twins and say, “What can we justify getting back as a return for Santana?”
    We can’t ship them off spare parts — like Coco Crisp or Johnny Damon — or fringe Major League players — Shelley Duncan, et al. The Twins will want and have every reason to ask for two of these organization’s top tier young players. And that’s where all discussions should start.

    Ben K. November 23, 2007, 1:18 pm
  • MLB pitcher Joe Kennedy has died at 28

    TJ November 23, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • Ben Frankin said: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Ture of pitchers. I vet in the Bigs is worth at least two “can’t miss” prospects. If i were the Yanks, I’d give the twins any two or more prospects (except Chamberlin) for Santana or Haren

    David November 23, 2007, 2:06 pm
  • Ben Franklin also thought that the Turkey should have been the symbol of our country instead of the Bald Eagle.

    Atheose November 23, 2007, 2:26 pm
  • Would that mean we’d be eating eagle at Thanksgiving instead of turkey?

    AndrewYF November 23, 2007, 3:12 pm
  • I know any team would need to at least explore the options when a pitcher like Santana becomes available, but am I the only person who has some doubts about Johan? At least with respect to the circumstances of this hypothetical acquisition (lots of prospects PLUS huge contract extension) anyway.
    Johan’s been awesome for 4+ years, yet I just can’t get excited thinking about the Sox making a serious run at him. I must think he’s more likely to become the next Tim Hudson (his most similar pitcher through age 28) than the next Pedro (not among his most similar comps). And I wouldn’t give up Ellsbury/Buchholz/$$$$$….$$$ for the age 30 Tim Hudson. Then again, I’m a worry-wart.
    Not surprisingly though, if you frame this same question around the Mets trying to acquire Santana, I’m all in. The Mets could have used the 2006 Tim Hudson last year and it’s a lot easier to bet the farm when the farm isn’t worth all that much!

    FenSheaParkway November 23, 2007, 3:18 pm
  • I agree, FSP. That’s why I’d rather get Haren. Santana had an off-year this year, and although an off-year for him is still being Top 5 in most pitching categories, you have to wonder…
    Of course Haren’s top comp is Donovan Osborne, and his top comp through age 26 is Oil Can Boyd.

    Paul SF November 23, 2007, 5:30 pm
  • FenSheaParkway, agree wholeheartedly. Especially about Mets making this type of deal. The biggest difference between the Mets and Sox in this regard is that the Sox already have a front of the rotation guy, and a couple other potentials in the rotation. The Mets have nothing, unless you think Oliver Perez is finally going to reach his potential or Pedro is goin to turn back the clock. Not likely.

    Tyrel SF November 23, 2007, 5:38 pm
  • I can’t see the Sox parting with Ellsbury or Pedroia, period. If Boston loses either, they have a big hole to fill in their roster. With other deals being bandied about, they aren’t left with such gaps.
    And the two youngsters make the 2008 Sox lineup truly electric, so much so that we might even see Ortiz bumped down to cleanup (behind Youks), and Manny to the #5 slot.
    Lester *or* Buccholz (not both) I would definitely do in a package with Crisp and MDC, and maybe some minor league throw-ins. Considering that the Twins just lost Hunter, Crisp actually makes some sense for them. They’d be saving a ton of money, and getting a bunch of useful regulars. But how much is Minnesota going to hijack one of our teams for?
    Frankly, if it weren’t for the threat of New York getting Santana, I’m not sure the Sox would offer so much. This is an example of where the high payroll arms race (pun unintended) between these rivals skews the market. The Twinkies can demand much more, rather than just trying to get decent value in their effort to shed payroll, knowing that both Theo and Cashman are biting their nails wondering what the other will do.
    But unlike the wide open wallet for DiceK, I am hopeful that the cooler heads in Boston management may in the end make a solid, market-based offer, rather than going nuts — much as Beckett/Santana would be a mindbogglingly powerful combo.
    The Yankees are more desperate, frankly, since Boston just won another World Series and is looking likely to return at close to the same strength. Theo has an off-chance of getting a relative bargain via a reasonable offer, or else missing out but (a) saving his money for other acquisitions plus (b) making the Yankees overpay/overtrade.
    Who else is out there may determine what Boston does… Haren has been mentioned; I don’t know much about his situation, and whether there’s a reasonable anyone could land him. … I naturally expect the Yankees to spend like Fleet Week sailors to get Santana.

    Hudson November 23, 2007, 5:49 pm
  • One thing I hope the Sox are considering: If Santana goes to the Mets (FAR more desperate than either of our teams, btw) or Yankees, they would likely not have to give up as much for Haren, Blanton or Bedard, all of whom are great, younger and possibly on the block. They’d cost a lot, but they’re not Santana, and the the A’s and O’s probably can’t realistically get a full four-plus-prospect package for them like Santana will net the Twins.

    Paul SF November 23, 2007, 5:56 pm
  • I don’t know, Sam. I think a starting point of Wang and Melky is better than two Grade A prospects (Hughes and Jackson or Buchholz and Ellsbury). Wang is under control for three more years, and Melky four. Plus you know what you’re getting with them. Wang = a solid #2, giving 200 IP, and having pitched very well in the toughest division in baseball. Melky is the best young CF they could get, and he’s ridiculously cheap and more proven than Ellsbury. Add in two Grade B pitching prospects, and the only way another team can beat that offer is if they go to three Grade A prospects (e.g., Buchholz, Lester, and Ellsbury) or two and another proven major leaguer (e.g., Pedroia).
    I don’t agree that Haren, Blanton, or Bedard are great. They’re decent enough, but not even close to Santana. They each have one decent season on their baseball card but that’s it.

    Mike YF November 23, 2007, 6:18 pm
  • I think the sox could easily part with Ellsbury. Sure, he seems like he would be a better option than Coco in CF but they did just win the world series with Crisp manning center for the majority of the year.
    For the yankees, i could handle them parting with one of the big three but the loss of Cano would be very hard to swallow. He’s young, cheap, the best 2b in the league and getting better. Of all the names mentioned in this thread I think he is the most valuable.

    sam-YF November 23, 2007, 6:20 pm
  • Mike I wish i could agree but I dont see Wang plus Melky plus some B level guys getting the job done. I hope Im wrong.
    Also, there is no reason to assume that the Haren and Bedard trade market will only open up after Santana’s. These will likely develop at the same time, effecting each other simultaneously. I dont think in the end Bedard gets moved. I see no compelling reasons for the O’s to do so. Trading Haren doesnt make much sense to me either but appears more likely to occur. I think Beane wont move him unless he gets a package that closely rivals the ones we are speculating for Johan. He can afford to wait if he doesnt get what he wants.

    sam-YF November 23, 2007, 6:25 pm
  • I would definitely gamble on Haren. Absolutely. Look at his game logs for the past three seasons.

    attackgerbil November 23, 2007, 6:26 pm
  • Not that I see Wang+Melky+prospects equalling Haren, but if there is an option, I’d have to cry one or two tears about Melky and get over it.

    attackgerbil November 23, 2007, 6:28 pm
  • << Meaning if Melky (not Wang) was part of the deal. Sorry for the triple post.

    attackgerbil November 23, 2007, 6:29 pm

    attackgerbil November 23, 2007, 6:30 pm
  • Absolutely agree on Cano. Dude hit .340 in his first full year.
    On Haren, I can’t agree. He’s had one very good season and against mostly weak lineups. He struggled mightily against the Yankees and the Tigers. I’m not sure Wang alone isn’t worth more.

    Mike YF November 23, 2007, 7:25 pm
  • Sox fans are saying CoCo Crisp like he isd in the center of the deal.No going to happen Milkey better then Ellsbury,Kennedy as good as Clay and the Sox aren’t giving up Clay.
    I think the Yanks have a little more firepower then the Sox.

    Adrian-Retire21 November 23, 2007, 7:50 pm
  • The jury is certainly still out on Ellsbury but he has a higher predicted upside than Melky. Im not really sure why Coco is part of this discussion as I stated before Id be surprised if the Twins had much interest in him other than as a toss in.

    sam-YF November 23, 2007, 8:24 pm
  • I am not sure if the Twins are expecting (or should expect) either the Yanks or Sox to pony up all of their best young talent. They can ask for that as a starting point, but if that’s the ask then that’s not going to be the get.
    The Sox have an issue in that Beckett isn’t signed for the longer-term, so if Santana is expecting 20M per year then that means if he’s traded to the Sox and extended then come time to re-sign Josh the Red Sox will be looking at a rotation with two 20M pitchers and a 10M+ guy in Dice-K.. This is something that I imagine they would like to avoid and why Haren is a more obvious target. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took a lot less to get Santana than Haren. The Sox obtaining Santana really works better if the back end of the rotation (4 and 5) is at ML minimum or close to and if Buck and Lester are sent packing that becomes more difficult. The same is true for the Yankees though they have gobs off the books next year with Giambi gone so may be in better shape to get Santana from a payroll maintenance standpoint, if that’s important to them.

    SF November 23, 2007, 8:39 pm
  • That’s exactly the point, Sam – higher “predicted” upside. But I’m not sure I can agree. Ellsbury is a year *older* than Melky (who’s already been in the majors for two very solid seasons). In a trade, right now, I have to say Melky, at age 22, is worth more. And that’s why I’m thinking that he and Wang are worth more than two Grade A prospects. The prospects may appear to have a higher upside, but that’s far from certain.

    Mike YF November 23, 2007, 9:17 pm
  • we won the World Series after a ALCS comeback that had Ellsbury in CF for games 6 and 7, and even though Lowell won the MVP, Ellsbury was the real World Series MVP.
    I will be so pissed if they trade Ellsbury or Buchholz for anyone

    TJ November 23, 2007, 9:36 pm
  • You have to look at this the other way around — what is the most someone will offer the Twins, and will it be enough to tip the scales?
    There aren’t a lot or rich teams that also have a lot of young talent: Boston, the two New Yorks and the Angels might be the extent of the list.
    And what if the teams decide that no matter what Santana is going to hold out for free agency unless you make him an offer he can’t refuse, so they’ve just rented him? How many prospects will they give up for that?
    I think the Sox have the most to offer, unfortunately, because ESPN says the Twins like Coco. And with Ellsbury around Coco’s easy to trade. Then the Sox have a lot of young pitching, and still have Beckett, Dice-K, Schilling and Wakefield, while the Yanks need their young pitching in the rotation, especially if Andy doesn’t come back.
    What if the Twins decided they like Youk? He’s an excellent player, but first is the easiest position to fill. Coco, Youk and young pitching is better than anything the Yanks could offer without hurting the team. There’s no young Melky or Cano in the minors, unless they go to some other team, and no obvious free agent replacements.
    The Sox obviously aren’t desperate, and they don’t have to make any crazy offers, unless they decide that on balance it’s the best way to stay ahead of the Yanks next year. The Mets on the other hand, are desperate, but they don’t have a lot of young players the Twins want, unless they break up the franchise and trade Reyes or Wright. Milledge won’t bring much, and they don’t have a lot more to offer, so it would take a lot of bodies.
    If the Angels decide to get in the mix, whom would they offer? I don’t think the Twins will get a great package, and as I said, the Sox may be in the best position.

    a yf November 23, 2007, 11:41 pm
  • Firstly, I think the best case scenario for both teams is Santana goes to the Mets. Neither would have to give up anything, neither would have to worry about facing Johan.
    The Twins have said they want 3-4 ML proven players for Santana, with at least 2 they could plug into their roster for next season.
    I think they would require Cano from the Yankees in any deal from them (esp if the Mets would be considering trading them Reyes). That being the case, I don’t think it happens because the Yankees should not part with Cano.
    The Twins said they wanted Ellsbury AND Buchholz in a deal from the Sox. Theo said he wouldn’t part with more than one of Ellsbury/Buchholz/Lester. After seeing Theo stick to his guns with Shilling and Lowell, I’m inclined to belive him. Plus it goes with the team philosophy to keep the youngin’s, and not overpay for a 29 year old pitcher.
    I don’t think it’s happening. The Sox would be smart to hold off and go after bullpen arms instead. I mean…didn’t they just win the world series?

    Pat (SF) November 23, 2007, 11:42 pm
  • The Mets are not going to trade Reyes or Wright, and if they don’t they don’t have enough to get the deal done.
    I agree, the Sox have the best chips. The Yanks have a lot of good young players, but they have more need of them, because their pitching is so thin and they have no one behind Melky and Robi.
    Santana for one year, Wang and Moose for one more year is not a good start to a rotation. Better to see what you can get from the young guys and hold on to Melky. His first two years are far better than Bernie’s first two, and he and Robi give the team an everyday spark they just don’t get from the old guys.
    Then, of course, there’s the mid-season rental for Santana. That worked so well with Gagme.

    Anonymous November 23, 2007, 11:51 pm
  • Ken Rosenthal- Seeking Santana a costly pursuit
    One major league star, multiple prospects and a seven-year, $140 million contract.
    That’s all it will take to add Johan Santana at the Twins’ current price — and the likely price for a starting pitcher of his caliber.
    The Twins, rival executives say, want at least one big-name major leaguer for Santana, a player such as the Mets’ Jose Reyes or Yankees’ Robinson Cano.
    Santana, meanwhile, likely will veto any trade agreement unless he is signed long-term as a condition of the deal, according to a source with knowledge of his thinking. The pitcher holds a full no-trade clause, and it is “highly unlikely” he would approve a deal if he remained signed only through next season, the source says.
    Thus, interested teams must first meet the Twins’ price — and then Santana’s.

    Dj_Yf@ November 24, 2007, 7:16 am
  • I think a contract extension was pretty obvious, Dj. Not so much for Santana, but for whoever makes the trade. Would you give up all your talent for just one year of Santana?
    That article reports he wants 140 mil over 7 years.

    Atheose November 24, 2007, 9:48 am
  • Who would be the Sox’s ‘star’? Pedroia or Ellsbury don’t exactly match up to Cano or Reyes.
    The Yankees would be idiotic to part with Cano, and I don’t think they’re willing to – they get too much value out of him at that position, especially because he’s become a plus defender as well as a plus offensive contributer.

    AndrewYF November 24, 2007, 11:52 am
  • I agree Andrew; the more and more I think about it, the more I think that the Mets will end up paying the price for him. The Yankees don’t want to part with Cano, and the Sox won’t give up Pedroia/Ellsbury/Buchholz.
    Can you imagine Pedro and Santana together in a rotation? If Pedro bounces back next season that will be WICKED scary.

    Anonymous November 24, 2007, 11:55 am
  • Yeah, but the Yankees would only have to worry about facing them once or maybe twice during the year, and the Red Sox not at all.
    I really do hope Santana goes to the Mets, or else goes to the Yankees for Melky + Kennedy + Horne :).

    AndrewYF November 24, 2007, 11:57 am
  • I wouldn’t be so quick to say the Mets won’t trade Reyes. I agree that Wright is going nowhere, but Reyes…Omar Minaya knows he needs a #1, an ace, in order to get to where he wants to go. True #1’s really never hit the FA market (Barry Zito is not an ace, he makes ace $, but not an ace), so you can’t count out going that route. They have looked into Joe Blanton, nice pitcher, not an ace. They are kicking the tires on Livan Hernandez and Bartolo Colon, again nothing more then innings eaters. The Mets farm system doesn’t really have the names/talent the Yankees, Sox or Angels have so that means they have to dig into their ML talent pool. Reyes is a game changer and that’s tough to give up. He is also very young and very talented, again tough to give up. But overall the Mets are built for the now, not the future. Delgado, Pedro, Alou, Wagner, El Duque, all come off the books in either ’08 or ’09. But as we all learned AGAIN this postseason good pitching always trumps good hitting. The Indians without Jhonny Peralta or Grady Sizemore still win. The Sox without Dustin Pedroia still win. Take away Beckett and Carmona/Sabathia and those teams take a dramatic hit. Losing Reyes would be a blow to the offense, but adding the best pitcher in the game would make them forget all about that loss. Santana, Pedro, Perez, Maine and _____, best staff in the NL. Pedro, Perez, Maine and ______ middle of the pack at best. The NL doesn’t have a team like the Sox, Angels, Indians or Yankees, the National League is ripe for their picking.
    Why would the Twins want to do such a deal? Because Reyes is young, an all-star, a SS (a position they haven’t been able to fill) and he comes CHEAP. In ’08 he makes $4M, in ’09 $5.75M, in ’10 $9M and in ’11 (Club option) he would make $11M. No other team will give you that combination of All-Star and contract value.
    I have been preaching this trade around here for awhile, if I am Omar Minaya I make this trade in a heartbeat. Don’t worry about the backlash from fans, it’s what’s best for your team. It also would be great for the game of baseball.

    John - YF November 24, 2007, 11:58 am
  • Anon was me

    Atheose November 24, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • If I’m the Twins GM, I ask for more than Jose Reyes straight up.

    AndrewYF November 24, 2007, 12:03 pm
  • If Santana could be had for Hughes and Cano, you do the deal. Say what you’d like about their demands, but short of Reyes+, a package of Cano and Hughes is probably as good as it gets. Buchholz and Crisp, I take the Yankees package. If the Sox threw out Buchholz and Ellsbury, the Yankees could be in trouble, but is Theo ready to dump 2 future stars when he can win with what he has? E.Santana and Wood, I take the Yankees package. You get an established hitter in Cano and a future #2/#3 in Hughes to plant right behind Liriano for years to come. I think pound for pound it’s the best package other then Reyes+. The problem is will Cashman allow that to happen.

    John - YF November 24, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • Absolutely Andrew, Carlos Gomez, Humber, etc…I don’t know the in and outs of the Mets ML players, so I didn’t want to guess.

    John - YF November 24, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • the variable to me here is how badly the Twins want to trade Santana. It seems to me that some of these packages are too much for a team to actually part with for 1 player no matter how good. So if the twins dont get any offers that include the established MLB star they are looking for (ie Cano or Reyes) will they take the best offer or just take Johan off the market? The bottom line is that they are in the driver’s seat and have 3 very rich teams interested.

    sam-YF November 24, 2007, 12:51 pm
  • I’m really no expert on the mechanics of contracts and trades, but isn’t there actually a huge amount of pressure on the Twins to get a deal done before next spring, or at least early summer?
    If they don’t, then Santana’s contract runs out and he gets to negotiate with suitors without Minnesota getting anything in return.
    So in a way, I think the Twinkies have a lot less leverage than they think.

    Hudson November 24, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • The worst case scenario for the Twins is that they keep Johan and make a run for the playoffs next season. After the season, they would lose him and get two draft picks from the signing team. This isnt as good as what they could get in the trade market but its not a horrible option especially if the team puts together a good run.

    sam-YF November 24, 2007, 4:41 pm
  • Second to worst case: Twins make a run with Santana and start a bidding war at the trade deadline.

    Phil YF November 24, 2007, 5:35 pm
  • Regarding the “worst case scenario,” I don’t think the Twins have nearly enough to make a legitimate run this season. They’ve got solid to excellent pitching (depending on how Liriano recovers), but they’re offense is terrible. Losing Hunter is a huge blow, even if he’s overrated. Mauer and Morneau can’t lead them past the Tigers or Indians by themselves. Aaron Rowan is pretty much the best available bat on the FA market, and they need much more than that. I had been hoping they’d sign Bonds to DH, but he’s not in the picture anymore.
    In my mind, they’ve got to make a deal.

    Tyrel SF November 24, 2007, 7:00 pm
  • I am still trying to figure out why the A’s would trade Haren. His value doesn’t get lower if the A’s wait another season, unless he implodes.
    How about Crisp and some cash and a high level prospect (not one of the “five”) for Joe Blanton instead?

    SF November 25, 2007, 6:44 am
  • “Crisp and some cash and a high level prospect (not one of the “five”) for Joe Blanton”
    Good one.

    Phil YF November 25, 2007, 8:18 am
  • // Pedroia or Ellsbury don’t exactly match up to Cano or Reyes. //
    Ohhh, I can’t wait to revisit this statement next Fall.

    Hudson November 25, 2007, 9:40 am
  • Pedroia had a great season (better than Reyes’s first season). Ellsbury looked even better. But neither one has come close to DOING what Reyes has done the last two years, and that’s why he would be worth more to the Twins.

    Anonymous November 25, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • Would anyone be shocked if Pedroia had a sophomore slump? It’s happened to many good players. Pitchers adjust.
    And Ellsbury is NOT going to have a .400 OBP over a full season next year.

    Anonymous November 25, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • Basically the sox have the supreme ruler of the universe Josh Beckett at their helm, who can change the laws of physics at his will.
    But the Yankees have many awards heading their way, and by many I mean one. And by awards, I mean the American League Wild Card.
    So Santana or not, these teams both have something to look forward to.

    Pat (SF) November 26, 2007, 12:47 am
  • Great Post that really adds alot to the discussion!

    sam-YF November 26, 2007, 8:45 am
  • “Crisp and some cash and a high level prospect (not one of the “five”) for Joe Blanton”
    If only. Blanton had an ERA below 4 and pitching 222 innings last season. I guess I could see Haren getting traded, but Oakland won’t trade their workhorse, and certainly not for such a low price.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Pedroia had a sophomore slump, or if Ellsbury struggled. We’ve seen stranger things–Pedroia batted .182 at the end of 2006 and hit worse this April, but then batted strong the rest of the way.

    Atheose November 26, 2007, 8:49 am
  • Haha exactly Sam. That’s why I ignored Pat’s post ;-)

    Atheose November 26, 2007, 8:50 am
  • sox fans always fantasizing about trading their junk for proven stars…yes, i’m sure [some] yank fans do the same thing, but you guys have made it a religion…sam’s opening comment was right on…but even then, the yankee package he proposed would appear to be more attractive…

    dc November 26, 2007, 9:12 am
  • Look, you can agree or disagree about whether or not Coco Crisp is a wonderful player, but to imply that he is “junk” is just silly. Top three defensive centerfielders who are cost-controlled in an inflated market with decent offensive output (Coco is, at worst, a decent offensive player) just don’t grow on trees. They aren’t “junk”. A #5 or #6 prospect in a deep farm system isn’t “junk”.
    Look at the trades that have been made in the last several years across baseball. I think you’ll find that selling prices are inevitably lower than what teams desire, and they are certainly lower than what many fans predict it will take their team to acquire a target. The idea that the Sox or Yanks would trade three or four prime players who are already in the majors or about to make a major splash for certain soon-to-be-free-agents is unrealistic, as far as I am concerned. Offering millions of dollars, a cost-controlled high-upside minor leaguer, and an young elite defender with offensive upside isn’t silly, though it is certainly speculative. It’s a legitimate starting point for a deal for a pitcher whose price is about to shoot upwards and who may have shown exactly what his top limits are, considering the park he pitches in.

    SF November 26, 2007, 9:29 am
  • DC, Sam’s opening comment was referring to both Sox AND Yanks fans. Hit up the LoHud forums and see all the Yankee fans fantasizing. We all do it, so don’t say Sox fans do it more than most.
    Plus, how is it fantasizing when it’s a legitimate possibility? Also, Ellsbury/Buchholz/Lester aren’t “proven stars”, but they certainly aren’t junk.

    Atheose November 26, 2007, 9:49 am
  • I most certainly do not think that Crisp is a junk player but I do think that trade ideas that are being tossed around with him as the centerpiece or one of the two prime components of a trade for Johan Santana are just way off. The Twins are looking for a much bigger return than an defensive specialist that has 2 years of a contract left, not matter how much of the contract the other team picks up. They want players they can build their team around for years to come not for the next two years.
    You cant think that asking for Cano and Hughes would be anywhere in the same ballpark as Crisp and Lester?

    sam-YF November 26, 2007, 9:50 am
  • I agree Sam, Cano/Hughes is much stronger than Crisp/Lester. That’s why I think the Twins will require TWO of Ellsbury/Lester/Buchholz. Lester, Buchholz and Crisp might get it done, but not Crisp+Lester.

    Atheose November 26, 2007, 10:04 am
  • Also, here’s a good point–how many more games will Santana win over Hughes? I think Hughes could be worth 13-15 games next year, and Santana on the Yankees would almost certainly be worth 19-23 wins. So is the loss of Cano and the other prospects worth 6-8 games?

    Atheose November 26, 2007, 10:07 am
  • Game 1 of the ALCS Beckett/Sabathia Vs. Hughes? Or Beckett/Sabathia Vs. Santana. That’s the concern for the Yankees, not the wins differential. Not having an ace is holding the Yankees back.

    John - YF November 26, 2007, 10:26 am
  • Who says Hughes or Joba isn’t an ace in that game 1? And one making league minimum?
    Yanks have tried for years to get that ace – Weaver, Vazquez, Brown, and Unit. No thanks. I’d rather see what the kids have first before trading them, and more, away.

    1 YF November 26, 2007, 1:18 pm
  • I am not looking to go back to the old days of trading the entire future for the present, but you have to give to get. The Yankees need an ace, you spin it how you want. If they don’t have one they will continue to get booted in the ALDS by teams with one.
    The flip side of this is you cannot allow the Red Sox or Angels to get their hands on this guy. Beckett, Santana, Daisuke OR Santana, Lackey and Escobar. The Yankees would stand NO CHANCE. So unless you are certain he’s going to Queens, you better make sure you can land him.

    John - YF November 26, 2007, 2:05 pm
  • Take a look a the history of left-handed pitchers in the game. Name two truly dominant guys that saw continued dominance in their 30’s.
    The list begins and ends with Unit.
    Santana is 29 years old and coming off his worst season. By all means, pay the man if he hits free agency. But trading talent is silly, especially if your worry is another team. The Yankees must do what’s best for themselves. And it starts with holding onto Joba, Hughes, and Kennedy.

    1 YF November 26, 2007, 7:38 pm
  • His “worst” season…
    235 K’s in 219 innings.
    3.33 ERA.
    1.07 WHIP.
    Johan will never hit the FA market, so you can’t wait for that.
    So if he goes to the Angels OR the Sox can you honestly say the Yankees would stand a chance against either of these rotations in the near future?
    Red Sox: Beckett, Santana, Daisuke
    Angels: Santana, Lackey, Escobar
    Yankees: Wang, AP, Joba, Hughes, IPK, Moose
    You cannot sit back and watch him go to either of those teams. If your goal is to win you have to win the Santana sweepstakes OR hope he goes to the Mets.

    John - YF November 26, 2007, 7:52 pm
  • The history of the game does not smile on left-handed pitchers in their thirties. That’s a fact.
    “Johan will never hit the FA market, so you can’t wait for that.”
    Who says? Twins have fantastic pitching. They could easily make a run with him.
    “So if he goes to the Angels OR the Sox can you honestly say the Yankees would stand a chance against either of these rotations in the near future?”
    Yes. Without a doubt.
    Last I checked Beckett has had one outstanding year, one mediocre. Dice-K was league average.
    The Angel pitchers are good, but far from spectacular. Lackey bounces around – this was his best year. Escobar too.
    The Yankees will be fine if they stick the current plan. Draft well. Supplement with free agency. As soon as they start getting desperate, and worrying about other teams, they’ll find themselves back where they were three years ago without any young talent and lots of overpriced veterans.

    1 YF November 26, 2007, 8:07 pm
  • And you’re crazy if you think Cano should be traded. He’s an MVP candidate in the making – fantastic glove and a tremendous bat that’s only going to get more powerful.

    1 YF November 26, 2007, 8:09 pm
  • Dominant lefties in their 30’s?
    How about Tom Glavine, Whitey Ford, Steve Carlton, Ron Guidry.
    Is that enough?
    Also why would righty/lefty matter as far as drop off in performance?
    I will agree that trading Cano is not acceptable. Maybe straight up but otherwise I dont think the yanks will be doing that. Santana will cost us something, as long as its not too much Ill be happy if we can land him.

    sam-YF November 26, 2007, 9:31 pm
  • “Dominant lefties in their 30’s?”
    Don’t forget Randy Johnson, Warren Spahn, Lefty Grove, and Tommy John (year off for eponymous surgery notwithstanding).

    Tyrel SF November 26, 2007, 10:53 pm
  • I think 1 is talking about years as a legit #1 (since that’s what the Yanks will be paying for and want John thinks they need). Let’s set 130 ERA+ (which warrants CY votes but doesn’t win it) as a liberal arbitrary cutoff for dominance:
    Number of season of 130 ERA+ in the 20’s vs 30’s
    Glavine: 3 – 5
    Ford: 5 – 1
    Carlton: 2 – 3
    Guidry: 3 – 0
    Unit: 1 – 10
    Spahn: 1 – 2
    Grove: 4 – 9
    John: 1 – 4
    Santana: 6 – ???
    Looks like 1 has a point. Indeed, the closest pitcher is Ford who lost it in his thirties. Otherwise, it’s a very short list of continued “dominance”. Only Lefty Grove and Big Unit would have given what they were worth in a long contract that took them through their 30’s. Everyone else had more sporadic success, if that.
    Here’s a better question, I think, for John and others who think the Yanks need Santana and should trade top talent to get him. Suppose Santana only gives three of six truly #1 years, with the other years above average (110 ERA+ to 130 ERA+) but not dominant. Do you make the trade?

    Mike YF November 27, 2007, 8:40 am
  • Mike how different are those numbers for righties? I just dont buy that Lefty pitchers are worse in their 30s than righties but I could be wrong.
    As for the question you posed. Yes id make the trade depending on the cost. There are no guarantees that Hughes or any other prospect will live up to the hype but Santana is a more or less known quantity, a nice one at that. But its pointless to say would you do this if he pitches like this in the future bc its all obviously unknown. Would you make the trade if he is the best pitcher in baseball for the next 6 years? How about if he blows his elbow out in spring training next year? These are both possible too

    sam-YF November 27, 2007, 8:55 am
  • What about sample size factor? How many lefties starters have there been, gross number, in history, and then how many have been “dominant”? What’s the equivalent number for righties? My hunch is that the sample size for righties is far larger, that’s why there have been far more dominant right-handers in their 30s. This may be a causation/correlation thing, or it might not. I am curious.
    We need to look at this on an even playing field, I think, to get the truer picture.

    SF November 27, 2007, 8:56 am
  • Okay, Sam, now let me put it this way: What are the chances that Hughes gives six seasons of 110-130 ERA+?
    If those chances are good, then essentially you’re trading Hughes and $150 million for three “dominant” seasons.
    I think there’s something to what to say, SF, but the point is Santana isn’t likely to maintain is dominance going forward. The prospects and cash make this a very risky deal IMHO.

    Mike YF November 27, 2007, 9:22 am
  • thanks for this comment sam: “You cant think that asking for Cano and Hughes would be anywhere in the same ballpark as Crisp and Lester?”
    …that was exactly my point guys…sam’s right on with his analysis…by the way atheose, i did acknowledge yank fans fantasize similarly, but my experience is that sox fans do that moreso and more to the extreme…they can turn on a dime with their feelings about a player when it’s convenient [spare me the inevitable arod-manny comparison]…many sox fans even here, would have called crisp “junk” not all that long ago, and were calling for him to be traded….his defense is what spared him, but the twins are looking for offense and a pitcher…ellsbury’s emergence has made crisp even more expendable…gotta love lester, but some sox fans talked about trading him last year while he was still in the hospital…with his recovery uncertain, what gm in his right mind would take that risk?…i don’t blame either side for not wanting to give up proven young stars or emerging younger guys, but from everything that i’m hearing, that’s what it will take, along with a dump truck full of cash for the player…

    dc November 27, 2007, 10:17 am
  • Mike-
    I dont want to get into this game. We have absolutely no idea what Johan would be like if he comes to NY. Honestly, he could remain dominant the rest of his career. We have no idea. Knowing what we know now about him, I see no reason whatsoever why he couldnt be wildly successful in NY. If he is only dominant for the next 3 seasons and he greatly increases our chances of winning it all then ill take it.

    sam-YF November 27, 2007, 10:22 am
  • right again sam….the yankees have shown a tendency to sign guys to contracts longer than their expected return [that was the general thinking among fans about damon for example]…the theory is that if a player gives you 2 great years out of the 3 or 4 he’s signed for and helps you win a championship, then the investment was worth it [damon=oops, but you get the point]…anybody who thinks arod will be as good in the last few years of his next contract as he has been, or is expected to be in the first few years, doesn’t understand the aging process…but, it’s not like the yanks can’t afford that philosophy…

    dc November 27, 2007, 10:47 am
  • but some sox fans talked about trading him last year while he was still in the hospital
    What’s the point of a comment like this other than to smear Sox fans as insensitive zero-summers looking to discard a cancer victim?
    This is the kind of comment that is completely beneath this site. It’s offensive.

    SF November 27, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • “Who says? Twins have fantastic pitching. They could easily make a run with him.”
    They sure do, especially if Liriano comes back healthy. But their offense is borderline awful. Mauer and Morneau are not good enough to propel this team ahead of the Tigers, Indians and White Sox. So if I was a gambling man I would put my money on the fact that Johan doesn’t even sniff FA market.
    “The Angel pitchers are good, but far from spectacular. Lackey bounces around – this was his best year. Escobar too.”
    Lackey isn’t spectacular? Escobar didn’t have moments of brilliance this past season?
    Lackey 3.44, 3.56, 3.01 ERA of the past 3 seasons.
    Lackeys K’s 199, 190, 179 over the past 3 seasons.
    Think the Yankees wouldn’t kill for those numbers?
    Escobar 3.93, 3.61, 3.40 over his past 3 full seasons.
    Escobar’s K’s 191, 147, 160 over the past 3 seasons.
    “Last I checked Beckett has had one outstanding year, one mediocre. Dice-K was league average.”
    Beckett 3.04, 3.79, 3.38, 3.27. Over the past 5 seasons only 2006 would be considered a bad season when he posted 5.01 ERA.
    Beckett’s K’s over the past 5 seasons 152, 152, 166, 158, 194.
    Those are not mediocre numbers. Beckett is an ACE, something we don’t have.
    As for trading Cano, I don’t need a refresher on how good he can be. I know that he has a huge amount of potential. I would certainly prefer not to trade him, but I wouldn’t stop the deal from happening if they insisted on him.
    “As soon as they start getting desperate, and worrying about other teams, they’ll find themselves back where they were three years ago without any young talent and lots of overpriced veterans.”
    If you like 2nd place and ALDS exits, then by all means let the Sox or Angels land Santana. I for one don’t. So if you want to call me desperate, then go ahead. I want the best pitcher on MY TEAM, I don’t want him to be added to teams that already have Aces. Trading for the most dominant pitcher in the game is not a desperate move. This is not Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown, Javier Vazquez or Jeff Weaver. This is a guy that can shut down and dominate opponents and is only in his EARLY THIRTIES. I too like the young talent and the idea of homegrown, but I also know that there are 2-3 teams in the AL that are better then the Yankees if the season began today.

    John - YF November 27, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • I agree with John. The Yankees are the team poised with the most need and resources for this deal. They really should get it done. The Sox will make sure the Yankees don’t underpay, but I don’t see Hank balking on Santana.
    My guess is Santana goes to the Yankees, and the deal includes Melky and Huges among others. I’m thinking Cano won’t have to be included.

    Pat (SF) November 29, 2007, 4:19 am

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