There Is No Spoon

La Velle reports the Mets appear to be in the lead to land him.  Given Boston’s offers are better in terms of player contributions in 2008 and forward, one can easily conclude the Red Sox are not serious and remain in the discussions only to drive the Yankees’ price upwards.  One can easily conclude the Twins know that, too, and that is why they have not taken the deal.

So how exactly does a team make such an offer? Do they come to the table, and while naming each non-serious player in the non-serious offer very slowly, wink hard and bracket each name with air quotes? Does doing so let the Twins know that this offer is to be taken "veeeerrrryyy seriously ;-)" and to leak it in hopes of getting more from the Yankees, but that otherwise there actually is no offer?

It seems that takes more of a leap than to "easily conclude" that the Twins still think they can get the Sox, Yanks and Mets to play off each other and up the bidding — and are perhaps just now realizing that the Red Sox and Yankees would like nothing more than to keep their prospects and let Santana go to the NL.

17 comments… add one
  • Paul. I dont think that its necessarily the case that the sox were in these conversations to drive up the price of Santana but it is certainly a possibility. The yankees and the sox will often enter conversations for players they have interest in both due to interest and to keep the player’s value high for the other team. Sure both teams want Johan Santana but they also both want the other team to pay a whole lot for him if they get him. This helps them competitively down the road.
    Its really hard to say what the Red Sox true intentions concerning Santana were. For all we know, the Twins could have accepted the offer from the sox and then the sox backed away. Both teams have good motivation to keep that offer “on the table.” SInce some executives have been quoted as believing this is a possible scenario, I think we should at least acknowledge that it could be what is happening. Also, if true, I dont see anything wrong with it from the SF perspective. Its the right move if it works for the Sox FO to make….

    sam-YF January 25, 2008, 10:41 am
  • It does seem like the Sox were in it juuuuust enough, but no further. Lester AND Ellsbury could have done the trick. And that doesn’t seem like too much to ask, especially since the Yanks had Hughes AND Melky on the table at one time. I’m surprised the Sox didn’t make the move. The Twins seemed to value their prospects the most – a bit too high in my opinion but that’s their right.

    A YF January 25, 2008, 10:48 am
  • Oh, I don’t doubt the Sox a. really would like to have Santana, and b. really would like the Yankees to not have Santana without paying a lot, and so made an offer that would be just enough to serve both those purposes.
    But I don’t get how it’s somehow not a serious offer that the Twins won’t take because, apparently, it’s not really there. An offer is an offer. How much damage would it do to the Sox’ future bargaining position if they made an offer that the Twins couldn’t actually accept, if they so chose?
    It could have happened the way you’ve described, Sam, but I don’t see that as being the most likely conclusion of what has been reported (although I wouldn’t consider it unlikely either). It’s certainly not something I could “easily conclude,” as the blog states.

    Paul SF January 25, 2008, 11:00 am
  • To me the fact that the Sox couldnt find a combination with all they had to work with is what makes me suspicious of their true intentions. I understand they wouldnt want to over pay in terms of prospects but at a certain point one has to think they could have agreed on a package…

    sam-YF January 25, 2008, 11:03 am
  • I still think this is the Twins’ fault. I mean, the Sox offered two packages, each with at least three players that we know of, have eben willing to interchange parts all throughout those packages, but balked — like the Yankees did — at including two of their top three prospects.
    I guess the way these talks have gone leads to only two conclusions: The Twins want more and made moves about being so close to a deal with Boston (seeking Lester’s medical records, for example) to try to induce the Yankees and Mets into upping their offers, or the Twins actually did try to accept one of the Sox’ offers and the Sox pulled back, a la Sam’s scenario.
    The overwhelming majority of reports seems to favor this first scenario, but as this goes on, I agree the second becomes more and more plausible.
    So after this is all concluded one way or another, when will the first big behind-the-scenes article on this come out, and who will write it?

    Paul SF January 25, 2008, 11:12 am
  • “So how exactly does a team make such an offer?”
    This is simple. You just submit the offer in invisible ink.
    “Okay, so here we have the Red Sox offering Buchholz and Ellsbury and… WTF? Where did it go??”

    FenSheaParkway January 25, 2008, 12:02 pm
  • Or make the offer and then pull an Obi-Wan Kanobi on them. “These are not the prospects you are looking for.”

    Atheose January 25, 2008, 12:07 pm
  • “These are not the prospects we are looking for.”

    FenSheaParkway January 25, 2008, 12:11 pm
  • There are two ways to make an offer that is a ruse. You do it the “JT Way” (not Justin Timberlake, but Joe Torre), whereby you offer something less than credible and/or insulting (at least to the party receiving the offer), or you say “uh, so I have this sealed envelope, and if you open it up you we have a deal and you just might find the names of Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester inside, but then again it might be JULIAN TAVAREZ INSTEAD HAHAHAHAHAHA”. If Theo Epstein made an offer, had it accepted, then said “ha, just kidding!”, he’d probably end up a pariah and rightly so. He’d have no integrity whatsoever.
    If the Sox have made an offer and have not rescinded that offer, then it’s probably a “real” offer, or was a real offer before the rescinded it. The only way it’s not or wasn’t a “real” offer is if it hadn’t actually ever been made, which is a distinct possibility considering the widely illegitimized reporting done on the Santana front in general.

    SF January 25, 2008, 1:17 pm
  • I really don’t see much of a reason to doubt the notion that the Twins were always trying to wheedle a 2 top prospect offer and never got it, and they figured time was on their side because someone would cave eventually, especially given Little Stein’s A-Rod reversal earlier in the offseason. Now, with spring approaching, the Twins are trying to stir the pot a little more urgently, and (as indicated by the “offer diminishing by the week” story), the Red Sox at least sense this. The Yankees have been ambivalent at best about dealing Hughes and maybe Cashman convinced Hank to hold back. Meanwhile it seems like the Mets are where the Yanks and Sox were a while back, with a decent offer to which the Twins are saying “we want one more top prospect.” At this point there’s such a pattern that I don’t think any team will cave to the Twins, and they’re stuck either taking a deal that they previously refused or keeping Santana as spring training and perhaps the season begins.

    Kevin Youkulele January 25, 2008, 1:34 pm
  • Or make the offer and then pull an Obi-Wan Kanobi on them. “These are not the prospects you are looking for.”
    Very nice!

    pastorsteve January 25, 2008, 3:49 pm
  • Long time, no see, Pastor Steve. Where ya been??

    Paul SF January 25, 2008, 7:11 pm
  • Just busy — I never seem get here at the right time to make a timely comment.

    pastorsteve January 25, 2008, 9:14 pm
  • Despite Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, GMs remain friends
    WAYNE, N.J. — Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein share a friendship that belies the often acrimonious rivalry between their teams, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

    Jb_yf January 25, 2008, 9:29 pm
  • I wish I had known, that’s not far from me. I am sure that would have been a blast to hear.

    John - YF January 25, 2008, 9:53 pm
  • “There Is No Spoon.”
    Is this a quote from _The Matrix_?
    With respect to a Santana trade, I guess you could thus say that “There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

    SoxFan January 26, 2008, 6:22 pm
  • “Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein share a friendship that belies the often acrimonious rivalry between their teams, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.”
    “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” – Vito Corleone :)

    The Sheriff (Andrews) January 27, 2008, 1:32 pm

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