While You Were Sleeping (And We Weren’t) …

… the Red Sox became the favorites to land Johan Santana.

While Hank Steinbrenner set deadlines and publicly lusted after Johan Santana, the Red Sox just bided their time and stayed in the game.

And what do you know? As Monday night turned into Tuesday morning at the winter meetings, suddenly it was the Red Sox who loomed as the favorites to pull off a deal for the best pitcher in baseball.

Midnight Eastern time, and midnight Central time passed with Hank Steinbrenner seemingly sticking by his guns.

"Brian (Cashman) was giving them one more shot, and we’ll see what happens, " Steinbrenner said. "It doesn’t look good to me."

Steinbrenner later added: "We’ll sleep on it. Whatever it is, we’ll discuss it one final time. But I’m beginning to think they just don’t want to trade him."

Concurrently, reports surfaced that Boston and Minnesota had resumed talks, then just after 2 a.m. Eastern time, the Globe dropped a bombshell:

The Red Sox have traded medical information with the Minnesota Twins on Jon Lester, which means that talks between the two teams have progressed, with the Twins taking a serious look at the Sox offer.

The sides went to bed an hour later, with the Twins mulling two possibilities, Stark reports: Either trade for the four-player package including Lester and Coco Crisp initially reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press last week or trade for a three-player package featuring Jacoby Ellsbury.

"Momentous news may await in the morning," Edes said in his blog post. Undoubtedly. But, never counting out the Yankees, momentous for whom?

275 comments… add one
  • You will NOT win the Craziest LAtest Up Last Posting award, Paul! I shall not have it!

    Dionysus December 4, 2007, 3:48 am
  • I don’t post here much, but I’ll take a “latest post of the night” award where I can get it.
    Man – Santana for Lester/Crisp/Lowrie/Bowden-or-Masterson would be fantastic for this Sox fan!
    /yes, this is the end of the night for me, not the beginning of the morning
    //hoping for good news when I wake

    Zulu.as.SF December 4, 2007, 6:21 am
  • This year’s Santana sweepstakes is like the Matsuzaka sweepstakes last year in nerves and anticipation as to who will get this year’s prized pitcher.
    Yankees vs. Red Sox.
    Red Sox vs. Yankees.
    All they need is the commissioner opening up a sealed envelope from Price/Waterhouse and announcing And The Winner Is…

    SoxFan December 4, 2007, 6:24 am
  • I don’t know if the request for medical information indicates a deal is imminent. It could. But it could also just be the Twins preening for his Hankness.

    SF December 4, 2007, 8:10 am
  • Well, just like the Arizona GM was gone when he made that horrendous deal with the Sox for Schilling, we will know that Bill Smith will be gone in 2009 after he makes one of the worst trades in recent memory.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 8:13 am
  • The conventional wisdom is that the Twins want Kennedy as well as Hughes in any deal, but from what I gather, they’re happy with Hughes and Melky, but want a top tier prospect as the number three player in a 3-1 deal.
    My guess is, the Yankees will relent on Tabata, Horne, or Jackson.
    To be honest, I can see why the Yankees are holding out on Kennedy, but why Horne? He’s a huge question mark stuff-wise and health-wise. I know Cashman wants to build the Yankees around the young guns and that’s great. But once again, this is Johan Santana. Not Kevin Brown and not Randy Johnson. They’re not looking to deal for an aging pitcher whose best days are behind him. This is a trade for one of the best pitchers in the majors who will only be 29 when the 2008 season starts.

    Jay-YF December 4, 2007, 8:21 am
  • The Yankees are not including another top prospect in the deal because they are including the top pitching prospect in the game. I mean, where does it stop? First it was ‘include Hughes and you got it’, then it was Hughes and other top prospects. It has to stop somewhere. Plus, if Bill Smith really is that stupid to take Lester or Ellsbury – plus other assorted scrap over Hughes and Cabrera, there is absolutely nothing the Yankees can do about it. Their offer of Hughes and Cabrera is heads and shoulders above one of Lester+ or Ellsbury+. Including more at this point would be folly.
    Horne is not a questionable prospect. He is a good prospect, better than the likes of Masterson or Bowden, and would probably be the top pitching prospect on many major league teams. While his health may still be questionable (needs to get through another season before his health becomes less than questionable, maybe), his stuff is absolutely not in question.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 8:31 am
  • I really dont see how that package would be better than Hughes, Melky, and the third but i dont work for the twins and I dont know who the third would be

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 8:32 am
  • He is a good prospect, better than the likes of Masterson or Bowden, and would probably be the top pitching prospect on many major league teams.
    Not to say it isn’t true, but I’ve never heard that before.
    Any idea what time MLB executives wake up after negotiating until 3 a.m.? Hey, the rest of us still had to get up for work this morning…

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 8:41 am
  • I don’t think the Twins should accept just a top prospect and a middling player for someone like Santana. I have refrained from commenting on who should be in the mix for Johan, since I think most of the reporting is suspect and primarily misdirection. But simply put, the Twins should be demanding at least two or three tip-top players for a guy as proven and youthful as Santana. Or, a relatively large quantity of high-upside youngsters. Neither Lester/Ells and Hughes/Melky qualify as great deals for the best pitcher in the world, in my book.
    Because: as great a prospect as Hughes is (and as promising as Ellsbury appears), they are just prospects, with potentially years needed to mature. If Hughes accomplishes a fraction of what Santana has accomplished in the next ten years that would be quite stupendous. If Ellsbury turns into an all-star (and he might not, frankly), that could take a good deal of time as the league adjusts to him. The fact is that Hughes may be two or three years away from being a dominant starter, at which point he is no longer going to be as inexpensive option for the Twins. That’s the hitch: though the players being offered are cheap now, when they blossom and mature they will no longer be so inexpensive. If I were the Twins I’d sit tight on my demands for players that both the Sox and Yankees don’t really need now or in the coming year or two. With Santana in the fold, the Yankees can afford to trade another younger pitcher, and the Sox can too. I’d call both teams’ bluff, if in fact that’s the situation.* It’s only December and Santana is under contract. His threat to not waive the NTC at the deadline is similarly hollow: if Johan can engineer a trade to a team of his liking and an extension in July why would he refuse to waive a NTC? The Twins hold most of the chips, the way I see it.
    Which means that they’ll trade him for not very much and in the next hour.
    * I have also said that I think that Santana will go for less than we all think, so I have now been spun into confusion by all these silly pieces of reporting…

    SF December 4, 2007, 8:42 am
  • Well Paul, assuming Buchholz and Lester are ‘graduated’, he would be the best pitching prospect on the Sox. As it stands, he’s the best prospect behind Kennedy on the Yankees. He’s certainly no where near ‘throw-in’ material.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 8:45 am
  • According to Baseball America’s prospect list this year, Bowden was No. 83, and Horne was unranked. Of course, many of the players have graduated since then, and performance has shifted the rankings, I’m sure. They don’t come out until spring 2008 though, and it’s the only prospect list I could think to find quickly. Masterson is now considered a better prospect than Bowden, so who knows? But I’m still highly skeptical that Horne is as high a prospect as you say.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 8:52 am
  • Baseball prospectus has Horne has the yankees #5 propsect overall with a ranking of 4 starts. This is equal to Kennedy, Jackson, and Tabata. The kid is young but he is routinely talked about along with the “big 3” in reference to the resurgence of the yanks minor league system.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 8:55 am
  • Horne’s 07 AA stats are great.
    153 IP, 12-4, 3.11, 165K, 57 BB

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 8:58 am
  • And much better than Masterson or Bowden. Of course, he’s two years older.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 9:01 am
  • Horne took humongous strides this year. Where were Chamberlain and Kennedy and Buchholz on that list last year?
    Last year’s list means less than nothing now. Bowden went up to AA and struggled. Masterson posted some insane groundball rates but overall only spent 50 innings in AA, and he still wasn’t all that great. Horne was the Eastern League pitcher of the year by putting up a very strong year in AA. He also has much love from scouts as he throws 4 pitches and his 4-seamer is in the mid-90s.
    This time last year, Horne was coming back from TJ surgery and had posted a not-that-great year in Tampa. Of course he was unranked.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 9:01 am
  • Mike has clearly gone insane.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 9:06 am
  • Anyone remember Rocky Coppinger? He was an incredible prospect with incredible numbers at the age of 21 for the Orioles. He flamed out.
    These guys are all so hard to assess. We look at their numbers and see one thing, but the scouts who watch the players see other things. We tend, as fans, to value the statistics over the observational; since none of us have seen performances for the most part we begin to judge our prospects by the sheer data. Hence, we think that one player is by far the better prospect, even though a team’s front office may have other ideas which will end up flummoxing us when said player is the guy who clinches a deal despite lesser statistics.

    SF December 4, 2007, 9:06 am
  • Andrew, my mistake (in part). I was reading an older evaluation of Horne. Still, Baseball Prospectus lists his chances of making the majors at 30% because of health issues.
    That being said, according to Heyman, the Twins were saying they wanted Hughes, Cabrera, Horne AND Jackson to close the deal. That’s just nucking futs and I would have told them to get lost.
    Bill Smith would be a complete idiot were he to accept what the Red Sox were offering after turning down the Yankees.
    Honestly, I can’t figure out what Smith is thinking. Jon Lester has been a great story, but he’s a 3-4 starter at BEST. People will say he’s 11-2, but wins are a poor measure of success. In 63 innings last year, he yielded 10 home runs, had an era of 4.74 and a WHIP of 1.46.
    Hughes has a better K/9 than Lester, better WHIP, better BB/9, better H/9, etc. The list goes on. What the hell am I missing here?
    Then you go on to Melky and Coco Crisp. I would say that Crisp has a defensive edge, with Cabrera having the edge on offense. The biggest difference between the two is that Cabrera is 5 years younger than Crisp, and he’s cheaper.
    But Smith is willing to do the deal because of Justin Masterson? If Theo can get Bill Smith to accept that deal over what the Yankees are offering, then maybe he deserves the title of ‘genius.’

    Jay-YF December 4, 2007, 9:07 am
  • Right, that two year difference is because of TJ surgery. Still, it’s a bit weird that the Yanks are insisting on holding onto a guy with that history. My only guess is because the Twinkies want Ajax too. I mean the Yanks wouldn’t hold it up if it were:
    Hughes + Melky + Horne
    Would they?

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 9:08 am
  • Andrew –
    If the Sox get Santana they’ve now taken the “expected championship” mantle and paying a ton of cash in the process. They really would be the “new” Yankees.
    They win. Meh – it was expected.
    But the Yankees win – Booyah!
    I can deal with that. It hasn’t been much fun every year being expected to win a championship and then the season’s called a failure when you don’t.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 9:11 am
  • Mike i dont understand your logic one bit. Even if with the favorite status, you think sox fans would be any less happy if their team wins? You think yankee fans would be less disappointed? I certainly would not like it.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 9:14 am
  • Mike, I really don’t think the Sox mind being the ‘new Yankees’. That just means they’re going to be successful. It’s not really an insult.

    Anonymous December 4, 2007, 9:15 am
  • If the Sox get Santana they’ve now taken the “expected championship” mantle
    Um, they already have that mantle, sorry to break the news to you. I imagine this has been very difficult for some Yankee fans to assimilate, such is the state of denial that some of you guys seem to be in!

    SF December 4, 2007, 9:16 am
  • I dunno. If that’s the package Twins settle for, it will be apparent that they simply didn’t want to deal with the Yankees. The Sox’ offer is good, but not spectacular. The Yankees were once again asked for the moon AND the stars.
    If anything, this should be another lesson to the Yankee management that they need to develop their own, because everyone else is always looking for a king’s ransom.
    I’m ok if this is what ends up happening. Santana in Boston is less than optimal, but so is stripping the farm for one player, no matter who that player is.

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 9:24 am
  • This is crappy news. Not what I wanted to read first thing in the morning.

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 9:35 am
  • Only two ways Cashman can leave these meetings is if he lands Santana or if Santana winds up in Queens. Anything other then those two options and Brian should find a nice second home down there.

    John - YF December 4, 2007, 9:36 am
  • Hey no bad news here Nick! We would still have all our Minor Leaguers!!! Now we just have to hope the unimaginable happens and they all pan out/stay healthy and in 4-5 seasons we will be right back in the thick of things!

    John - YF December 4, 2007, 9:38 am
  • Lester-Crisp-Lowrie-Masterson…is the offer. Are you kidding me Cash? You can’t ante up and beat that? Wow.

    John - YF December 4, 2007, 9:40 am
  • How are you feeling this morning, YM? I’m a half-hour late to work and very groggy…
    Latest from Hank, via AP:
    “It’s still something that we can’t do,” Steinbrenner said Tuesday morning. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s probably off.”

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 9:42 am
  • Sox Prospect wrote: Lowrie could use another half-season at AAA, but if he played for a smaller market team he would probably start the 2008 season in the majors.
    Anyways, if the deal goes through, and the Sox end up with Buchholz, Ellsbury, and Santana at the start of ’08, I’m sorry YFs, that just makes me pumped! I would be crushed if he went to the Yankees for a similar deal.

    Pat (SF) December 4, 2007, 9:42 am
  • ha, great line from Theo via the Globe:
    Neither Theo Epstein nor Yankees GM Brian Cashman, in separate sessions with reporters, were willing to acknowledge publicly that talks were ongoing with the Twins.
    “Bust out the fiction,” was Epstein’s tongue-in-cheek recommendation to Boston reporters seeking an update on talks with the Twins.

    SF December 4, 2007, 9:42 am
  • Is there any reason why Paul isn’t Nashville right now?! Fox, ESPN, CNNSI, someone has to hire this guy!

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 9:44 am
  • Haha, I’ll be perfectly willing to sacrifice myself for the blog to pay for me to go wherever they’re holding the Winter Meetings next year.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 9:47 am
  • Paul, I’m like a zombie today…and the worst is that we still don’t really know anything, even after the candlelight vigil! Of course the negotiating parties probably won’t wake up until noon.

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 9:47 am
  • Lester-Crisp-Lowrie-Masterson…is the offer. Are you kidding me Cash? You can’t ante up and beat that? Wow.
    They can – all they have to do is cough up Kennedy or Horne+Jackson. But hopefully they won’t, nor should they.

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 9:49 am
  • I love how most of the debate in this situation has been internal — SFs disagreeing over whether to include Ellsbury, YFs over whether to include Kennedy.
    I’m with John on this one. Hughes, Cabrera, Horne, Jackson should be on the table for the Yanks, particularly given their need.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 9:51 am
  • Why YM, please tell me why?

    John - YF December 4, 2007, 9:52 am
  • Um, they already have that mantle, sorry to break the news to you. I imagine this has been very difficult for some Yankee fans to assimilate, such is the state of denial that some of you guys seem to be in!
    Uh, SF, how many times during the season did you say the Sox suck and would never make the post-season?
    Talk about denial! ;-0

    Anonymous December 4, 2007, 9:53 am
  • Well, for one, giving up Cabrera AND Ajax ensures that the outfield stinks not just this season but for the foreseeable future, unless yet ANOTHER uber-expensive free agent is signed. Giving up Hughes+Horne depletes the Yankees’ pitching depth. I’m willing to bet a tidy sum that Horne will be a better injury replacement midseason than one Kei Igawa.
    Paul, would you have traded Lester+Ellsbury+Buchholz? Because that would be an equivalent package.

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 9:56 am
  • Uh, SF, how many times during the season did you say the Sox suck and would never make the post-season?
    Never, actually. I said they weren’t built to go deep into the post-season.
    Splitting hairs, sort of: I was wrong.

    SF December 4, 2007, 10:02 am
  • I don’t think that’s the equivalent package, YM.
    Both teams have a Big Three, the Yankees’ being the more valuable because all three are pitchers.
    Both teams have a solid group of five or so second-tier prospects. For argument’s sake, let’s say they’re all roughly equal.
    I think the Yankees’ max offer should be Hughes, Cabrera, Horne and Jackson (or Tabata or another second-tier bat, if you prefer). That’s one member of the Big Three, two second-tier prospects and a below-average but young MLB player (sorry, but it’s true!).
    I think the Sox’ max offer should be Lester, Ellsbury and Masterson. That’s two members of the Big Three and one second-tier prospect. I could even part with Lowrie in that deal, which would be two Big Three members and two second-tier prosects.
    I think those are roughly equivalent. The Yanks are right to refuse giving up two of their Big Three pitchers, and the Sox are rigt to refuse to give up both of their top two pitchers. But I don’t see the rationale for holding out on second-tier prospects at least 10 months from the bigs when you’re discussing the best pitcher in the game at 29 years old.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 10:03 am
  • Jackson and Tabata may be a ways away from the bigs, but they are not second-tier prospects. I thought that was agreed upon?
    Anyway, I’m not trying to convert anyone to my opinion. Everyone is entitled to one, we’ll just agree to disagree!

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 10:06 am
  • I agree with you Paul. If the yankees lose Santana over a AA prospect Im gonna be unhappy. The fact is I havent seen a single 4 player offer from the yanks and that is a problem in my books. The sox are offering 4 players equal or not, as SF said numbers make a big difference in the prospect game.
    The big problem here is the inclusion of Hughes, the yankees want him to essentially count as 2 since he is such a high level guy. From the Twins perspective thats all well and good but if he doesnt pan, they have no fall back. I think the Yankees should try to put IPK in with Cabrera, Horne, and Ajax. That would be a nice package for the twins and likely better than the sox package. However, since Hughes is already on the table, pulling him back is a major issue. At this point i feel like i should just cross my fingers that the Sox and Johan cant match up on a contract, as likely as that may be.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 10:13 am
  • If the Sox pull off this trade and still have Ellsbury and Buchholz, Theo Epstein should be awarded GM of the Century. The Sox get the best pitcher in the game. They get to play Ellsbury everyday (Isn’t that what Sox fans wanted anyway?) and they get to hold onto their best SP prospect who coincedentally threw a no hitter. But not to worry Yankee fans we still have all our prospects. You guys make me laugh.

    John - YF December 4, 2007, 10:15 am
  • I think numbers do play a big role. Lester is obviously not Hughes, but he IS a starter with a fairly high ceiling (as high as a No. 2), and in addition to him, the Sox are offering to fill their CF need with a superior defensive player, their left-side infield need with a plus-offensive player, AND give them a high-upside pitching prospect.
    That’s more needs met for the Twins than simply Hughes, Cabrera and, well, no one as yet.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 10:16 am
  • John if it goes down like that it seems pretty clear to me that the Yankees price was higher than the Sox price. There is no way to prove it, etc but thats how it feels. I dunno what to say about that but it sucks. I want them badly to make this trade happen but what can we do?

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 10:18 am
  • Why are we discussing this? The midnight deadline has come and gone. The Yankees are out of it, right? I mean, they aren’t going to change the offer now, are they? They can’t backtrack on what they told the Twins about the “deadline”, will they? Really, I think this is getting funny at this point. Im pretty sick of hearing about Johan Santana, and he hasn’t thrown a single pitch for either team.
    Just deal him already.
    On another note, how funny would it be for a team like the Dodgers to just swoop in and give up everything to get him right out from under our noses! ha.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 10:20 am
  • Watching the fans’ reactions over this is priceless.
    The Yanks boards have gone from “Fuck the Twins, we don’t need no stinkin’ Santana!” to “Woe is us, do whatever it takes Cash, just stop Sox from getting him!!!”
    The Twins boards have gone from “Fuck the Yankees, take the Boston offer – Bill Smith is teh awesome hellz yeah!” to “Noooo, Boston offer sucks, go back to the Yankees, I’ll never be a Twins fan again!!!”

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 10:23 am
  • Also, the Twins’ need is hitting, not pitching as much. They still have a loaded roster full of young pitchers. I wonder if Lowrie is a bigger part of this deal than we realized. The Yankees really have no comparable young bats to offer.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 10:23 am
  • YM, I’d like to think that most of the Yanks fans on this site have been consistent througout. The mantra: Johan Santana is Johan Freaking Santana!

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 10:25 am
  • I don’t know Sam, but Cash can’t let that happen. It’s his job to get creative and make this happen. What I don’t get is this, the Twins want IPK, but why? They have their rotation set for next season. Just plug in Lester/Hughes for Santana and then you have Liriano, Baker, Slowey and Bonser. If they were to trade any of those they then have Perkins and Blackburn.

    John - YF December 4, 2007, 10:25 am
  • Paul, that’s exactly right. The Yanks just don’t have that many good positional prospects right now. Tabata and AJax are the best, and they’re young.

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 10:27 am
  • The Yankees have Wilson Betemit, who has considerably more major league experience and upside than Lowrie. If Lowrie was actually a big part of the deal, Betemit would have been involved on the Yankees end.
    The Twins, if they accept the deal sans Ellsbury, are not really getting any hitting. Sure, Lowrie is probably better than Nick Punto, but he is extremely far from a guarantee, and from what I’ve read, needs a nice half-season in AAA before even thinking about contributing at the major league level.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 10:27 am
  • The yankees can easily backtrack on the deadline, nobody took it seriously in the first place. Its a common tactic used in negotiations. They did the same thing during the Randy Johnson talks, literally walked out. As much as some would like to make it seem like weakness or a really bad move if they do come back with another offer, its just not. Feigning lack of interest is a good tactic. As I said last night it helped me get counterfeit DVD’s in china for about half the asking price!

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 10:28 am
  • The Star-Tribune:
    “Around 2 a.m. I contacted someone with knowledge of the negotiations. That person had heard that the deal was for four players: Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson. Notice that Jacoby Ellsbury is not part of the deal.
    I didn’t run with it then because I really wanted to be sure. But I want to let you know this morning that’s what I’m hearing. I’m still trying to get further confirmation of the potential deal. Maybe the exchange of medicals isn’t as serious of a step as we think. Maybe a name has been switched (i.e. Rincon, Juan for Morlan, Eddie).”

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 10:29 am
  • I have never changed my tune, this is Johan Santana, not Rick Rhoden. Prospects are great and being able to say we built our FS back up is wonderful, but what are the chances all these can’t miss guys pan out? Don’t trade the farm, but don’t tell me about Austin Jackson being the next _____.

    John - YF December 4, 2007, 10:29 am
  • John, additionally, prospects are especially great when they can be used to land the best pitcher in baseball! We have a recent object lesson in how prospect value is volatile in Lastings Milledge. Oh from such great heights do we fall.

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 10:32 am
  • Amen Nick. On that note I too can’t let Johan hold me captive. I need to get out and do some things. Damn this Johan keeping everyone glued to the computer screen! I for one will not stand for it a second longer. Congrats Sox fans!

    John - YF December 4, 2007, 10:34 am
  • I really hope this doesnt turn into a knee-jerk trade for Haren. If they are gonna spend the prospects spend them on the best.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 10:36 am
  • John, if the Twins accept this junkyard of players from the Sox for Santana, it wouldn’t matter what the Yankees included, and I can guarantee you it wasn’t Austin Jackson or Alan Horne not being included that held up the deal. Bill Smith may just have an IQ under 70, or Pohlad really has it out for old George. It’s obvious the Yankee offering was being held to a completely different standard than the Sox. For what reason, who knows.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 10:36 am
  • Congrats Sox fans!
    For what, the World Series? Nothing has been announced.

    SF December 4, 2007, 10:36 am
  • Congrats Sox fans!
    Damn you, John.
    He’s definitely going to the Yanks now.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 10:37 am
  • I’d say that Jed Lowrie, while totally unknown with respect to the Major Leagues, has at the least more potential than Wilson Betemit. And he’s going to be far cheaper over the next four years. Betemit had a good half first-season five seasons ago, but has done very little since then. Wilson Betemits are a dime a dozen.

    SF December 4, 2007, 10:38 am
  • so some of you guys stayed up until after 3:00am, now you’re late for work, just getting to work, whatever…it’s after 10:00am and your still blogging….?…i want your job!
    not surprised the sox emerged as the front-runner this morning…the twins are probably annoyed with hank for not sucking up to them…not sure it helps the sox much though because it would appear that they’d still have to give up either ells or lester…apparently hughes is not as highly regarded [by the twins anyway] as we yank fans would like to think…
    john, don’t be too hard on your fellow yank fans for taking a “whatever” attitude about this…there’s not much we can do about it if the twins have a different view of what they think is better for them than we do…it’s human nature to try to convince oneself that not all is lost…being a “sure thing” implies that you chances are very good, but does not guarantee anything…
    paul, start clearing a spot in the trophy case for theo’s executive of the year award if he pulls off this trade with either scenario…he’s outsmarted the yankees again…

    dc December 4, 2007, 10:40 am
  • “If the Red Sox get Santana,” said an executive of one NL team that’s grateful to be in the other league, “they might be the best team in the history of the frigging universe.”
    From Jayson Stark’s column. Talk about hyperbolizing. What a ridiculous overstatement.

    SF December 4, 2007, 10:41 am
  • DC, how did Theo outsmart the Yankees?

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 10:41 am
  • Honestly, Andrew, has it occurred to you that maybe you’re overvaluing the Yankees’ players and undervaluing the Sox’ by just a smidge?
    I like how because a GM apparently prefers a larger package that fills more of his immediate needs, but because that packagae isn’t (reportedly) the Yankees’, he must have a low IQ or has it in for the Yankees.
    Here’s a thought: Maybe he doesn’t value the Yankees’ package as much as the Sox’ and has perfectly legitimate reasons for doing so.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 10:42 am
  • John and Nick,
    I agree with you to a point re: prospects being great when they can land you great pitchers, but I don’t agree with Lastings Milledge as a parallel. Great prospect position players are one thing. Great prospect pitchers are another. The Red Sox have treated Ellsbury as their Milledge in these discussions. I wouldn’t call the Yankees protection of the Hughes/Kennedy similarly.
    Having said that, I don’t know how good an idea it is to hold on to those two at the expense of losing out on Santana. I wrote here a couple days ago that I would be OK – pained, but OK – with Hughes, Kennedy, Cabrera going to Minnesota for Santana and I think I still feel the same way. But I won’t be shattered by this either if it doesn’t work for NY – I’d just be mildly depressed for the next couple years, but happy to watch young pitching talent develop.

    IronHorse (yf) December 4, 2007, 10:44 am
  • “they might be the best team in the history of the frigging universe.”
    i’ll be sure to remember that you neither made this statement, nor did you agree with it sf…

    dc December 4, 2007, 10:45 am
  • I like how because a GM apparently prefers a larger package that fills more of his immediate needs, but because that packagae isn’t (reportedly) the Yankees’, he must have a low IQ or has it in for the Yankees.
    Well he is from New Hampshire, so you never know lol

    TJ December 4, 2007, 10:48 am
  • errr to clarify a bit, not saying he has a low IQ, but perhaps has it in for the Yanks :p

    TJ December 4, 2007, 10:49 am
  • Funny, I thought the Santana deal wasn’t going to be about quantity?
    You’re absolutely kidding yourself if you think the Twins feel this offer ‘fills their needs’ simply by including Lowrie.
    How does Lester fill their needs at all? How does Crisp, who will be making millions of dollars more than he is worth, fill their needs at all? The Twins may have some weird way of looking at players, but to think at this point that it’s smart is pretty silly. This is the same exact deal the Sox offered weeks ago. Even if they think they’re getting a good deal, it’s horrendous negotiating. There is absolutely no way this is a good deal for the Twins, or even on the same planet as Hughes, Melky and Kennedy, which is what they were actually asking from the Yankees last night. Where did these demands go? It’s frighteningly obvious the Yankees were held to an impossible standard in these negotiations. Nothing is confirmed yet, but boy will Bill Smith look stupid.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 10:51 am
  • no one’s mentioning the Twins’ financial incentive to trade Johan to the Yanks! Think about it. No matter where he goes he’s going to make an absurd amount. But if he goes to the Yanks, that means more luxury tax, and revenue sharing for other etams like the Twins. They stand to make a ton of money that they can use for not re-signing their star players who they will then send off to the Yanks to make more money and so on.

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 10:52 am
  • Note that most of this is frustrated and confused ranting.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 10:53 am
  • The Luxury tax isnt part of revenue sharing.

    TJ December 4, 2007, 10:54 am
  • well, then there goes the Yanks’ leverage!

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 10:58 am
  • I believe the tax does go into revenue sharing. It at least gets redistributed to the teams. Where else would it go?

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 10:58 am
  • Don’t worry! I’m sure the Yanks haven’t made their final offer, absolutely sure. Would YFs be happy or unhappy if they went to Hughes, Kennedy, Cabrera?

    Devine December 4, 2007, 10:59 am
  • I may be in the minority on this but…While winning championships is nice, it’s not the only thing, not everything, despite what Derek Jeter might tell you. I enjoy watching baseball for 162+19 days a year, not just the 19 in October. And as such, I will enjoy watching the Yankee youngsters play and develop. Will they be better than Santana next year? Of course not. Will the Yankees be the unbeatable uber team? Nope. But they will be competitive and they will be fun and likeable, and that’s pretty good for me.

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 11:01 am
  • Huge news out of Nashville: apparently it wasn’t NY’s refusal to part with Kennedy that screwed up the deal. The Twins were holding out for the Yankees to chip in 4 of A-Rod’s 6 psychotherapists – Cashman would only give up three. Oh well…can’t blame him for that.
    (Speaking of which, what the hell is taking so long on the A-Rod deal? Yesterday ESPN reported that the deal was done but that he would be taking physicals, allowing a final signing in 1-2 weeks. How many physicals is he taking?!?!)
    Sorry – I needed a break from Johan…

    IronHorse (yf) December 4, 2007, 11:01 am
  • YF’s would be unhappy, because it’s absolutely stupid to give up 2/5 of your rotation for one guy. Especially when the next best offer is about 3 miles below that one.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 11:02 am
  • Where Does the Money Go?
    Contrary to popular opinion, the tax revenues do not go to the “poor” clubs. In fact, they don’t go to any club at all.
    Half of the money will go to player benefits (i.e. pension fund).
    One quarter of the money will go to the “industry-growth fund.”
    One quarter of the money will be allocated for developing baseball players in countries with no organized baseball at the high school level.

    TJ December 4, 2007, 11:02 am
  • IH – they’re waiting till after the Rule V draft, I think.

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 11:02 am
  • This is the same exact deal the Sox offered weeks ago.
    Yes, but weeks ago, the Yankees didn’t make arbitrary deadlines, possibly tamper with the player in question and hold out over the identity of the third player in the deal.
    If anyone took the Yankees out of this, it’s the Yankees. Right now, the only players the Yanks have agreed to include are Hughes, Cabrera and unnamed prospects who are on a level somewhere below the prospects offered by the Sox.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 11:02 am
  • Devine: I would be unhappy. I don’t want this trade, period.

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 11:03 am
  • Anyway, this is all academic. I agree with Devine: the Yanks haven’t made their final offer, and whatever it is, I think they’ll make it something the Twins can’t refuse.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 11:05 am
  • in a Marv Albert voice:
    Paul with the reverse jinx…Yes…and it counts.

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 11:07 am
  • TJ,
    You are right, the luxury tax is not a part of luxury sharing. I don’t know where the luxury tax money goes, but revenue sharing is based on locally generated revenue. Every team puts 34% of their locally generated revenue into the pot, but the Yankees dwarf the amount given by other teams. In 2003, The Yankees, with revenues estimated at $270 million for 2003, paid $48.3 million. They gave $33.2 million in 2002.
    Thats one Santana right there. :)

    Carlos (YF) December 4, 2007, 11:07 am
  • I may be in the minority on this but…While winning championships is nice, it’s not the only thing, not everything, despite what Derek Jeter might tell you. I enjoy watching baseball for 162+19 days a year, not just the 19 in October. And as such, I will enjoy watching the Yankee youngsters play and develop. Will they be better than Santana next year? Of course not. Will the Yankees be the unbeatable uber team? Nope. But they will be competitive and they will be fun and likeable, and that’s pretty good for me.
    This is really well said, YM. I have mixed feelings about this whole deal. Isn’t this bad for the game, to some extent? What happened to the hope of springtime, of seeing uniforms with new names on the back? While part of me says “get Johan!” the other part of me says “wow, how fun would it be to see all these kids grow up in a Sox uniform”. It’s not like the Sox are the bottom of the heap even without Santana. It’s a really tough call as a romantic fan, for me. Such is the way the game works now, I guess.

    SF December 4, 2007, 11:07 am
  • They gave $33.2 million in 2002.
    Thats one Santana right there. :)

    And a half a Giambi!

    SF December 4, 2007, 11:09 am
  • I’m not going to argue against the sentimental value of seeing a young player develop. And as a Yanks fan who rooted for some pretty flawed, but entertaining and not totally awful, teams during the 80’s and early 90’s, it’s not all about winning world series for me. That said, a rotation with Santana and Beckett at the top is making me sick.

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 11:11 am
  • “whatever it is, I think they’ll make it something the Twins can’t refuse.”
    I like that thinking…maybe the final offer will come wrapped in newspaper with a dead fish and the message – “Tyler Clippard sleeps with the fishes…”
    The next morning, Carl Pohlad will wake up next to his favorite pet’s decapitated head in his bed. Signing ceremony set for that afternoon.

    IronHorse (yf) December 4, 2007, 11:11 am
  • Updates.
    “The Red Sox and Twins will resume “serious negotiations’’ later this morning as they close in on a blockbuster deal that would bring ace Johan Santana to the Red Sox, according to a baseball source involved in the negotiations.
    The package of players the Twins receive is still in flux and there are two packages under discussion, with still varying mixes of players in each. …
    Late Monday night, the Red Sox received a call from the Twins requesting the medical records of Lester. After reviewing the information, the Twins were satisfied that there were no red flags there that would block a deal, said the source.
    ‘The Red Sox are legitimate, real players in this now,’ said the source. ‘The Twins like their players.'”
    And Stark:
    “After being told Kennedy wasn’t available if Hughes was part of the deal, the Twins apparently proposed expanding the trade into a 4-for-1 swap, with players they considered to be lesser prospects than Kennedy. But the Yankees quickly rejected that pitch, too.
    That last proposal included Hughes, Cabrera, pitcher Jeff Marquez and either pitcher Alan Horne or outfielder Austin Jackson.”
    So we know the Yanks wouldn’t part with EITHER Horne OR Jackson, not just both in place of Kennedy, as had been rumored. Well, we know that’s what Stark is reporting, anyway.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 11:11 am
  • Thanks, Paul, for providing the definition of \”flamethrowing\”.
    Neither the Yankees or the Sox have offered anything different than they always have.
    The real test for me: No one would be shocked if Hughes won a Cy Young one day. No one else being discussed is in that league – MVP or CY or otherwise.
    Before all the drama from some Yankee fans – let\’s see this deal get done first and then the extension. Somehow I still doubt the Sox have the courage to pull this off. After all, THAT would be an \”uber-team\”.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 11:12 am
  • Sorry for the \”weird\” formatting. I\’m on the road today.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 11:14 am
  • I can’t find the Stark update, Paul…link, please?

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 11:16 am
  • As much, as I am against it, I wonder if the Yankees have considered something around Cano, like Cano + Melky and a second-tier pitching prospect. They can certainly afford the loss of offense, and if it means not giving up the top-tier pitching then they can make out really well. And as I have been convinced, Cano does look a bit like Soriano but with better defense. There is a chance he might not improve much more.
    But certainly not Cano + Hughes, as some here have advocated.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 11:19 am
  • That last proposal included Hughes, Cabrera, pitcher Jeff Marquez and either pitcher Alan Horne or outfielder Austin Jackson.
    if the yankees really turned this down, i think they were just in this to bid up the price for the sox. This clearly didnt work.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 11:20 am
  • I agree with the romanticism expressed by YM and SF, which is what makes the proposed deal such a winner for me as a Sox fan. We get to keep Ellsbury and Buchholz and watch them develop, for better or worse, while still acquiring Santana. Never mind Papelbon, Pedroia and Delcarmen.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 11:21 am
  • YM, it’s an update of the same story that’s featured on ESPN.com’s front page.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 11:22 am
  • Going back to the previous bit – I wrote before about the objective rationale and the sentimental rational doing battle in my head.
    The Twins made that easier by asking for Hughes, Cabrera and Kennedy. Cano and Joba are undoubtely are top 2, but giving up 3-5 of our “young nucleus” troubled. Not because I didn’t think Johan is fantastic, and the idea of Beckett, Santana, Dice-K, Schilling, et al does make me a little sick to my stomach..especially considering that they are only giving up Ellsbury or Lester for it.
    No, my discomfort comes from wanting to see our young players develop, versus seeing a team of all-stars. I don’t know when I became an old fogey on this issue, and I quite frankly don’t know if I’m even right about this. But letting Tyler Clippard go doesn’t bother me; that seemed to be a smart move to fill a need in our bullpen. I’m not against trading good young talent for great prime players. Even 2-for-one. I advocate those trade in basketball all the time.
    But I guess i’m getting sentimental over baseball and the idea of long summer afternoons watching players excel and reminiscing about how you watched them when they were barely in diapers. I guess the trick comes in learning when to make that divide from objective and attached. But I’m attached to Hughes enough that if the Sox get Santana, I’ll find myself talking into the youth movement immediately.

    Carlos (YF) December 4, 2007, 11:23 am
  • No one would be shocked if Hughes won a Cy Young one day..
    Actually, I would. Heck, I’d be shocked if he can finally make it through an entire season.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 11:24 am
  • I’m joking of course.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 11:26 am
  • And Nick, console yourself with actual statistics. Two things I have yet to see in my lifetime (of 36 years):
    1. A dominant lefty pitching half his games at Fenway.
    2. Beckett dominating the Yankees every, or even every other, time out.
    and I got no problem with:
    1. Yankees sticking to their philosophy of drafting highly talented guys and paying when necessary on the free agent market but not trading away high talent AND paying high.
    2. Sox killing their philosophy, emptying their farm, and maxing their payroll.
    Realistically, no team can win every year (and it got a bit, just a bit, old when we did) and I really do enjoy rooting for young talent.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 11:28 am
  • I really don’t think that Cano is like Soriano. Cano doesn’t seem to strike out as often, he seems to hit more for average and less for power like Soriano did. Also, Cano just looks like a more complete player than Soriano did…even if just that it seems Soriano only cared about making the big splash while Cano seems much more determined and consistent.
    That being said, Soriano for all the flaws is still a 40/40 threat when he’s healthy. Thats not something to dismiss out of hand. Second Basemen are not privileged or hard to find, but I don’t know if we just dismiss it.
    Also, Soriano never affected the clubhouse the way Cano did. This isn’t something thats been mentioned, but how much of our playoff drive last year had to do with the vitality and craziness that Cano and Melky brought to a team that previously was considered stodgy and old. The Yankees always seem to be working in some office building, but last season I felt that start to change. People seemed to be enjoying being around each other more, and I think that had to do with Melky and Cano forcing the smiles to come out. I don’t see any one on this new team besides them playing that role…and I do think that in a 162 game season, a little zaniness goes a long way.

    Carlos (YF) December 4, 2007, 11:28 am
  • The Herald has added a Breaking News bug to their front page: “Red Sox, Twins ‘serious’; Johan Santana deal in works”.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 11:30 am
  • A few things. The Sox are not killing their philosophy. They are reaping the benefits of developing their farm in the way they did recently. This is part of their philosophy if anything, and should be part of the Yanks’ philosophy as well.
    Should I console myself with the fact that Josh Beckett has been dominant in two post-season world series runs?
    Should I console myself with the fact that Johan Santana still strikes on almost 10 batters per 9 and is the best pitcher in baseball?

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 11:32 am
  • So are the Yanks getting screwed because the Sox are being asked for a “junkyard of prospects,” as one Yf says, or are they “emptying the farm,” as another claims?
    So many rationalisations, it’s hard to keep them straight!

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 11:32 am
  • Not sure if this is added or if I missed it, but Silverman also says:
    “Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was in meetings this morning but was expected to resume discussions with the Twins before noon.
    There is no other team involved in these negotiations, it is believed. There remains a chance that the Yankees could jump back in by agreeing to include Kennedy but it remains to be seen if the Red Sox and Twins are too far down the road for the Yankees to come back. Right now, it appears so.”

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 11:34 am
  • \”if the yankees really turned this down, i think they were just in this to bid up the price for the sox. This clearly didnt work.\”
    Take a deep breath. That is an absurd statement.
    Cashman knows that he will have a chance to top the Sox offer. And his future will depend on the decision and the results. Suffice it to say, Hughes and Kennedy are both very capable of 15 wins next year, especially with the Yankee offense. If they both pull that off, Cashman looks very good no matter what the Sox end up doing.
    By contrast, if the Sox pull the trigger, they absolutely HAVE to win another championship. Anything less is a huge failure.
    Like I said, I got no problem trading places for a bit. And I know it gives me more reason to be invested in the youth.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 11:35 am
  • // the Twins preening for his Hankness. //
    Soxaholix calls him “Mr. Hanky (the Yankee),” which is pretty funny if you’re a South Park fan.

    Hudson December 4, 2007, 11:37 am
  • Mike I didnt believe that statement. My point was that request wasnt too bad and its hard to swallow that they didnt want to give up those guys. Back to bashing the ball all season and being bounced in the first round. Great.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 11:38 am
  • Pretty simple actually Paul – the Sox farm = a junkyard of Grade B/C prospects. But having them is better nothing. After this trade they have nothing for two years. Not a good place to be when the back of the rotation features two 40 year olds and a youngster who shouldn\’t throw 200 innings next year.
    Carlos – you\’re forgetting the effect Soriano had on the clubhouse in 2001. Everyone at the time said he energized the veterans.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 11:40 am
  • *rolls eyes*
    You’re irrelevant here, Mike. Go away.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 11:43 am
  • By contrast, if the Sox pull the trigger, they absolutely HAVE to win another championship. Anything less is a huge failure.
    Why? I mean, I believe they will because I don’t think any team can match that pitching, but why do they have to win one? The money? They didn’t give up either of their top two prospects, removed the Ellsbury road block, and ensured that their top pitching prospect has a rotation spot, or isn’t in a pressure packed situation.
    Why do they have to win?
    Also, where do you come in with 15 wins per year for those two guys? Is this your opinion or is this a projection somewhere that I haven’t seen?

    Brad December 4, 2007, 11:44 am
  • After this trade they have nothing for two years
    Well, that works out because they don’t really have a need for it. They will need exactly one starter in the next two years, and Buchholz fills Schilling’s spot. Rest of the team = signed.
    Your logic is BS.
    Where exactly are they going to need replacements that they can’t afford when Manny leaves?

    Brad December 4, 2007, 11:49 am
  • And Paul continues to embody the definition of flamethrowing. Back up your barb if you would like, but Lowrie, Masterson, and Bowden are all Grade B/C and there is nothing else ahead of them.
    Brad – look at what Unit did with his performance. Those kids could be league average and they would win 15 games. And Hughes and Joba (and IPK too) have already proven that league average is the minimum to be expected.
    But their PECOTAs will show exactly what I say based on their minor league equivalences.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 11:50 am
  • paul and brad just disengage.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 11:53 am
  • And Hughes and Joba (and IPK too) have already proven that league average is the minimum to be expected.
    Actually, no they haven’t. Joba has yet to throw a single pitch as a starter, Hughes can’t prove he can stay healthy for more than a month or so, and Kennedy hasn’t shown anything less a few starts at garbage time.
    You’re reeking of sour grapes here today, Mike, and really, if they’re grade C prospects as you say, it’s a good thing that Boston seems to be getting one of the best pitchers in baseball for them.
    Maybe a few baseball GM(s) know more than you. Just a thought.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 11:55 am
  • agree, sam. Sorry to feed the troll.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 11:55 am
  • I do think that signing the best player in the game creates expectation that you need to win a world series.
    Not as much because regardless of Santana, the Yanks and the Red Sox have the highest payrolls in the league and that comes with a bevy of expectation automatically.
    This is not a distinction between the little-team-that-could and the all-star-behemoth. Both teams will be behemoth, they will both be heavily loaded with talent, expectation will come.
    If the Sox end up getting Santana for Ellsbury+pupu platter or Lester+pupu platter+extra, then it is giving up alot of future prospects. But as someone mentions, thats part of the reason prospects exist. You get a good farm system to manafacture your own talent. You get a great farm system to get great players from elsewhere.
    It comes down to who do you decide is untouchable. The Sox have made their decision and are working within it. The Yankees have made their decision. I think they both used the same process…the Yankees may have just broadened their untouchable criteria. And maybe thats fair if they truly expect Hughes, Cabrera and Kennedy to play big parts in their future.

    Carlos (YF) December 4, 2007, 11:57 am
  • Pete Abe weighs in with a headline of: “Somewhere in this ridiculous hotel, Theo Epstein must be laughing hysterically.”
    “If Boston gets Johan Santana for Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Justin Masterson and Jed Lowrie, that is a steal. …
    Until we learn who the third player is the Twins wanted from the Yankees, it’s impossible to evaluate whether Brian Cashman should have made a move.”

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • “Hughes can’t prove he can stay healthy for more than a month or so”
    That’s a little ridiculous. Hughes showed the ideal later-in-the-season dominance last season you want from someone returning from injury. He had a great September, and singlehandedly saved Game 3 of the ALDS. People should be expecting big things from him next season.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • What is your problem with me, Sam? I\’ve said nothing that is not true nor am I grandstanding with claims about how the Yankees screwed up this negotiation with deadlines and by withholding prospects. Is this your way of currying favor around here? Any other regular YF please feel free to speak up if you agree with same and I will promptly go away.
    Brad – Who fills in for Lowell or Lugo with an injury? Or, worse, who eats up major innings if Wake and/or Schilling get hurt?
    I know all of these problems well. It is what the Yankees have been dealing with for years. Now they are finally climbing out of that mess, and Sox fans are throwing flames about the Yankees holding on to second-tier prospects. But I point out that the Sox would be trading all of theirs away, and Sox fans take it personally?

    Mike December 4, 2007, 12:04 pm
  • a Yankee friend of mine just told me Melky Cabrera is just as fast as Ellsbury.

    TJ December 4, 2007, 12:05 pm
  • Oh, I agree Andrew. They should expect great things. It only makes the possible outcome more fun. If he does well, he was expected to, but if he is hit hard all year, it makes my posting here soooo much more fun.
    Does anyone here think that the Twins are going to deal Nathan as well?

    Brad December 4, 2007, 12:06 pm
  • Thank you Andrew, I really don’t want to seem like I’m gushing over Hughes..but I did post here during Game 3 about it.
    I think I said something along the lines of “Someone should take Hughes into the dugout and blow him, cause he’s just saved the season and he deserves a reward.”
    I also did mention that last year, although painful was a great learning experience for your young pitchers and hitters. Joba and Hughes both showed that they could perform in October. Hughes more than Joba, but Joba did have an act of God to deal with. Melky and Cano didn’t hit all the well, but I for one am impressed with Melky’s defense at that time. We had four under-24 year old players play big roles in October. I think that process has made them all better.
    Honest question: Did Lester pitch in the postseason? Ellsbury played a little, how did he do? I know that I’m happy knowing that our youth got a shot to experience pressure-packed baseball because I feel it pushed up their developmental process. Honest question: Did the Sox do the same for their young players?

    Carlos (YF) December 4, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • mike my problem with you right now is that I dont agree with what you are saying at all. This is a great move for the sox if it goes down and I dont think it can be spun any other way. I dont blame you over Paul or Brad but i just dont want to see this debate go on again, Ive seen it daily for the last week. I generally like your contributions here but Im having a lot of trouble seeing it the way you do today.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 12:09 pm
  • Mike…there’s still plenty of time at the winter meetings to deal for bench players that could see more time if Lowell or Lugo or whoever gets injured. Don’t we still have Cora (sure, he sucks, but he’s functional)? And as for the questions about injury to the rotation…well, currently it figures to have at least six possible members, so that’s some insurance already.
    I respect the Yankees’ decision to hold onto their young talent if that’s what they go with, and I do think it will help them in the long run if they keep developing and using that philosophy, but it’s not like the Red Sox have had problems promoting from within recently (Paps, Pedroia, Youkilis, Delcarmen).

    Devine December 4, 2007, 12:09 pm
  • – If he does well, he was expected to, but if he is hit hard all year, it makes my posting here soooo much more fun. –
    Ditto a certain lefty in Fenway.
    Or a transitioned NL starter.
    Or an average Japanese starter.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 12:11 pm
  • Carlos: Lester pitched and won the final game of the World Series. He also had two relief appearances against Cleveland: One: bad, one: excellent.
    Ellsbury: 11 G, 28 PAs, .360/.429/.520, 4 2B, 2 SB across the three series. Oh yeah: Many tacos as well.

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 12:12 pm
  • The organization has its expectations, whatever those are. I consider a season disappointing if they don’t make the playoffs or, like in 2005, make the playoffs and perform abominably once there. Once the Sox made the ALCS, I would have been happy with the season regardless of the outcome.
    Even that is much different from my expectations growing up 15 years ago, when simply making the playoffs was a thrill.
    I hope I never become a fan who is so fixated on the World Series ring that he can’t enjoy a good season that ultimately falls a little short of that goal.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 12:12 pm
  • Dice-K was dominant on his first go-around the league also. The jury is still out on Highes, Joba and ILK. As far as Melky, I must be the only fan in the universe who sees him as a 4th outfielder, at best.
    The most upside? Ellsbury – MO
    BTW, if I collected a dollar for every yankee non-miss prospect who missed I’d be a millionaire. The same cannot be said of RS prospects, generally.

    RS Fanbase December 4, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • Ill agree with that Mike. If Johan does have issues in Fenway, it will make posting here much more fun.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • I remember saying to friends after they went down 3-1 to the Indians, “It was still a good season if they lose. If they reel off three in a row, super.” I disagree with what Lowell said in his press conference afterward, that in Boston anything short of World Series victory is disappointment. Nuh uh, not for me.
    And yeah, Carlos, Ellsbury and Lester contributed significantly to the postseason, and the World Series in particular.

    Devine December 4, 2007, 12:16 pm
  • So you do not agree with me Sam, therefore I become a troll? Good to know that is your standard.
    Devine – Maybe the bench can be okay there (though see the Yankees of the last few years). What about the insurance on two 40 year old starters? You want Abe Alvarez pitching 50 – 70 innings? Or David Pauley?

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 12:16 pm
  • Point taken, Sam. We’ve dealt with this problem before, and we will again. I would ask that we reinstate the disengage rule in this case as well. The hallmarks are all the same as our previous problems; we have no reason to believe he is not the same person as the others who have been banned and deleted.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 12:16 pm
  • “BTW, if I collected a dollar for every yankee non-miss prospect who missed I’d be a millionaire. The same cannot be said of RS prospects, generally.”
    Is this true? I’d like to see a study.

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 12:17 pm
  • Or Devern Hansack, or Julian Tavarez, both of whom would probably see starts before either of Pauley or Alvarez. Alvarez is, at best, 4th on our emergency starter list.

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 12:18 pm
  • Correction:
    Although I left a window open with that “generally” the names Pena and Pavano crossed my mind. Losers both.

    RS Fanbase December 4, 2007, 12:18 pm
  • Once upon a time, Paul did a study of the RS drafts over the years and promised to do the same for the Yanks. I forget if he ever actually did. Paul?

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 12:18 pm
  • Brian Rose. I recall fairly high expectations for Wes Gardner once upon a time.
    More recently: Chad Spann to be sure. If I thought a bit, I’m sure I could think of others.

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 12:20 pm
  • It’s an impression I have, Nick. I just cannot think of a single yankee topflight farmhand that has lived up to his billed potential.

    RS Fanbase December 4, 2007, 12:20 pm
  • I would guess not.
    Carl Pavano, Brian Rose, Frankie Rodriguez spring immediately to mind.
    Phil Plantier. Sam Horn. Donnie Sadler, Dernell Stenson. I could keep going.
    This is why you trade prospects when you can get proven value for them.
    Rodriguez was turned into a Rick Aguilera rental that won the division for the Sox in ’95. Pavano was turned into Pedro. But Rose was a loss, as were Horn, Plantier, Sadler and Stenson.
    Considering the Sox had no significant homegrown pitchers and just one significant homegrown hitter (Mo Vaughn) playing for them between Clemens (1984 debut) and Papelbon (2005), I’d say the statement is wildly off-base.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 12:21 pm
  • RS fanbase, its rare to get 4 totally wrong statements in just 1 short post, but you did it:
    1) “Dice-K was dominant on his first go-around the league also”
    -This is wrong. His ERA on may 3 was 5.45
    2) “As far as Melky, I must be the only fan in the universe who sees him as a 4th outfielder, at best.”
    -Melky may not be the best OF in the game but he starts on most MLB teams today.
    3. “The most upside? Ellsbury – MO”
    -You did said its your opinion but Id say a font of the rotation ace starter is more upside than even the best CFs.
    4. “BTW, if I collected a dollar for every yankee non-miss prospect who miss”
    Another completely wrong statement. Every team has tons of prospects who flop. The sox are included among them.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 12:21 pm
  • No, Mike, I want the rotation to be either:
    Beckett-Santana-Matsuzaka-Schilling-Wakefield with Buchholz as insurance (and possibly transitioning to 5th starter depending on Wakefield).
    Beckett-Matsuzaka-Schilling-Lester-Wakefield with Buchholz as insurance.
    Then there’s Tavarez, who is fairly crap, but not an entirely unreasonable alternative as a 5th starter.
    We don’t really lack insurance in the starting pitching department at the moment.

    Devine December 4, 2007, 12:22 pm
  • Was Craig Hansen a can’t miss prospect? Or Dan Bard?

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 12:22 pm
  • No, haven’t gotten to it yet, YM. Sorry! I will though, I promise!

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 12:22 pm
  • Mike I never called you a troll. That was Brad. I wouldnt characterize you as that. It feels like you are spoiling for a fight today and the other two are happy to oblige.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • drafts would be just a part of the equation, YM. I’d assume a study of “can’t miss” prospects would be difficult to do because of the subjective nature of the term “can’t miss”. Who is defining can’t miss? And if the point is that the Yanks fanbase overrates its own prospects, then I’d like everyone to meet every other fanbase. And the sky is blue, too.
    I’ll trade you Ruben Rivera for Casey Fossum.

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • YM – It’s not unreasonable to say that the jury is still out on both, though Hansen’s time in partcular may be running a bit thin.
    If we’re going to use that type of criteria, anyway, then Jason Place needs to be kicked to the curb as well.
    And Paul, wasn’t there some kind of homegrown SS? Garcia-something?

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 12:25 pm
  • wouldnt Derek Jeter more than cancel out Nomar as far as cant miss prospects go?

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • Sam: yes.

    Devine December 4, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • Thanks for those, Paul. You are of course right. As far as Melky, I would have to see him succeed outside that yankee lineup for my opinion to change. Even in that lineup he is no better than average.

    RS Fanbase December 4, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • I\’m spoiling for a fight? I think you have a very slanted perspective to favor the regulars no matter their behavior. Or you\’re just used to their barbs. Or both.
    Meanwhile, I\’m still waiting for another regular YF to tell me to go away.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 12:29 pm
  • Was it about can’t miss cancelling each other out? I was just poking fun at Paul for temporarily forgetting one of our most successful position player prospects, who certainly has fallen lately.

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • I was refering to players traded away. But as Paul has shown, my impression is dead wrong.

    RS Fanbase December 4, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • Devine, you really think Lester over Buchholz for the rotation this year?

    Jackie (SF) December 4, 2007, 12:31 pm
  • For the time being, Jackie. Buchholz has 2 major league starts (admittedly one pretty good and one stellar), Lester’s a bit more of a known quantity (about league average thus far, but with tools capable of more). Would love to see what Lester can do over a full season if we still have him. Buchholz also has an innings cap this year still, right?

    Devine December 4, 2007, 12:34 pm
  • Okay, now that drama is over with –
    – This is why you trade prospects when you can get proven value for them. –
    I think that is true only to an extent. And my evidence is the Yankees of the last few years. If not for Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon they would have been an embarrassment in 2005. They learned a valuable lesson, with the help of Wang and Cano, that the Sox may very well learn in this trade. Neither Wang or Cano, at the time, were Grade A prospects.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 12:35 pm
  • I think Bard is a bit of a stretch. He was only drafted last year.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 12:35 pm
  • this argument is rapidly circling the drain.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 12:36 pm
  • “We look at their numbers and see one thing, but the scouts who watch the players see other things. We tend, as fans, to value the statistics over the observational; since none of us have seen performances for the most part we begin to judge our prospects by the sheer data. Hence, we think that one player is by far the better prospect, even though a team’s front office may have other ideas which will end up flummoxing us when said player is the guy who clinches a deal despite lesser statistics.”
    Incredibly well put, SF. A much needed reality check.
    That one should be in the YFSF HOF.

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 12:37 pm
  • Whoa, can’t miss prospects?! Every team. I’ll repeat. Every team. One more team. Every team in the league has prospects that fail. Go look at the last 5 drafts. Look at the top ten selections, how many of them are still in the league. Its a crapshoot for every one. Hell, look at all the drafts everywhere; young players are always a crapshoot. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t. A team that invest more time and drafts more prospects, might end up with more talent, but i still think you are always looking at a very high failure rate.
    Of the top of my head, i remember a time when Jeff Bagwell was a Sox prospect that was traded away. Who was he traded for? I don’t remember. Every team has prospects that don’t work out, are given away and become stars, or just flame out. I think a great organization limits it, but there is no way that a GM can go through a career without a huge freaking ulcer at the end thinking of all the All-Stars they have given away.
    Also, regardless of the prospects the Yankees have lost, look at the ones we’ve gain since I started being a fan: Mattingly, Williams, Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, Soriano, Rivera, Cano, Cabrera, Hughes, Chamberlain and Kenneddy. I think thats pretty good even if its a low percentage.

    Carlos (YF) December 4, 2007, 12:37 pm
  • Nick, John, where are you? Tell Mike to go away!
    And Paul, wasn’t there some kind of homegrown SS? Garcia-something?
    Knew I’d forget somebody. :-P But still, I think the point stands.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 12:38 pm
  • I think so, but I have the impression that Lester has an innings cap as well – unfortunately don’t have the time to dig up the stats right now but I’m 99% sure he saw limited work last year due to the chemo recovery and the FO seems to be serious about the no-huge-jump-in-IP rule.
    I agree Lester’s more of a known quantity, but Buchholz has a much higher upside. As evidenced by his untouchability in these trade talks.

    Jackie (SF) December 4, 2007, 12:39 pm
  • Trot Nixon, John Valentin, Nomar Garciaparra
    They were pretty significant home grown players for Boston.

    TJ December 4, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • If we’re getting to Valentin and Trot Nixon, then we should probably consider, at the least, Ellis Burks as well.

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 12:43 pm
  • I liked Valentin, but he really only had two good years before getting hit in the head with a pitch and never being the same.
    Nixon had some solid years, but he’s been pretty badly overrated by Sox fans because of his dirty helmet and a couple big home runs — as well, because he actually did make it big with the club that drafted him, and that was such a rarity.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 12:44 pm
  • Jeff Bagwell:
    No way he hits with power while sitting down at homeplate, just as his minor league stats have shown.
    That was the word back then. Most thought the RS stole Anderson. I know I did.

    RS Fanbase December 4, 2007, 12:44 pm
  • Mike, your logic is still flawed. I understand what you’re saying, but the Red Sox are ensuring that they don’t ever have to dip into the garbage heap and pick up bums like Chacon and Small. They are all signed up at other positions with proven performers. Yeah, the bench may take a hit, but they still did not have to give up any top talent, they clear Coco’s contract and remove the Ellsbury road block.
    Unless Santana flat out sucks, this deal is a good one. It’s a good one even if he is a good number two. It shores up the front of their rotation for the next few years, which is something that most teams cannot say: especially when you factor in who it is. Both Beckett and Santana are top tier pitchers in the game. It’s hard to get a better 1/2 no matter how hard you look.
    The Red Sox, by doing this deal, will be improving where they don’t need to, and losing something that they don’t need.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 12:44 pm
  • John doesn\’t count – he only pretends to like the Yankees. :)
    I gotta run any ways. Have fun!

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 12:45 pm
  • But Burks had his best years in Colorado (thanks, Coors!), and was mostly disappointing in Boston thanks to his balky back.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 12:45 pm
  • Oh, I thought he was totally turned loose this year. Possibly to a series of 5-inning starts, given the past, but I thought after this last year (which definitely went very delicately, with very slow increases in innings pitched at AAA and a long wait before he showed upin July), he was ready to go as far as he could.
    If I’m wrong, then there’s a bit less insurance as Wakefield, Lester, Buchholz would work as a combo for our 4th and 5th starters. I thought I remembered reading that Buchholz would start at AAA this year, though.

    Devine December 4, 2007, 12:47 pm
  • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/12/04/tuesday.update/index.html
    “The Twins are expected to decide by the end of Tuesday whether Santana will go to Boston or perhaps New York — though for the Yankees to get back in it they will have to ignore their own Monday deadline.
    The Red Sox are expected to enhance their offer by the early afternoon Tuesday. After the Twins’ talks with the Yankees hit a stalemate over prospects just as the Yankees’ self-imposed deadline hit late Monday, Minnesota put in a midnight call to Boston and requested that the Red Sox make their ‘best’ offer that included young left-hander Jon Lester.
    The Twins and Red Sox exchanged medical information on Santana and Lester, and both sides were said to be satisfied with what they saw, another sign Boston leads the sweepstakes.
    Boston was preparing bids Tuesday morning that included either Lester or top outfield prospect Jacoby Ellsbury, though it still appears that the Red Sox’ new bid will include one — but not both — of those coveted players. Boston’s secondary prospects are also well-regarded, and it appeared possible the Red Sox may just expand the offer to include more of them.”

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 12:47 pm
  • Thanks for not answering my rotation argument, Mike. Apparently I win?

    Devine December 4, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • I had a Burks poster on my wall when I was a kid. ha.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • Eh, two of his better years were in San Francisco, in the Big Phone no less. 99-00. He followed those up with two very good years in Cleveland. He’d have reached 40 HRs outside of Colorado, if he’d been healthy enough for the ABs.

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 12:49 pm
  • Im not saying Valentin or Nixon were superstars, but still significant pieces of the Sox for a number of years.

    TJ December 4, 2007, 12:49 pm
  • I wasn’t following Yankee prospects at the time (I wasn’t that into the sport, and I didn’t watch nearly every game, and come on, they didn’t really have many prospects to speak of), but wasn’t Wang pretty highly regarded? I’d read early scouting reports on him when he was in the Yankee system, and guys said he could hit 98, and that he’d be a big strikeout guy in the majors because he had great, great stuff.
    Cano was a nobody who exploded onto the scene. Lots of Yankee lifers are like that: Posada, Pettitte, Bernie also come to mind.

    Andrew December 4, 2007, 12:49 pm
  • “don’t ever have to dip into the garbage heap and pick up bums like Chacon and Small.”
    Cool it, Brad.

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 12:52 pm
  • My dad used to say that it was something in the water at Yankee stadium that turned average players into great ones (Jeter, Bernie, Paulie).., and since he has reversed saying that it turns great players into bums (Unit, Brown, Giambi..)

    Brad December 4, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • Still, I think we can all agree that outside of Vaughn and Nomar, the Red Sox really haven’t had that many (any?) top prospects pan out the way they expected — at least, with the Sox. Certainly not pitchers, which makes the LHP-in-Fenway argument irrelevant — not least because it ignores Bruce Hurst, who posted a 2.37 Fenway ERA in 1986, 4.30 Fenway ERA in 1987, and a 3.33 Fenway ERA in 1988.
    Those three seasons were Hurst’s best in a Boston uniform, and in each, he pitched better at Fenway than on the road.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • “My dad used to say…”
    Now, that was deep and enlightening!

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 1:00 pm
  • It’s a new age, Paul. New ownership who is apparently more serious about winning than just putting fannys in the seats. The years prior to the current partners do not coount in my book.
    It’s akin to saying the Patriots are a poor organization because of their gaffs prior to 1995.

    RS Fanbase December 4, 2007, 1:01 pm
  • Speaking of over/under-hyping prospects, why does Steve Lombardi have a vendetta against Hughes? Did Phil run over his puppy or soemthing?

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • Gammons on the Winter Meetings ESPN blog:
    “The Twins and Red Sox are supposed to meet this afternoon to continue discussions on the Johan Santana deal. Sources indicate the Twins are still trying to decide between a 3-for-1 for center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, infielder Jed Lowrie, pitching prospect Justin Masterson and the 4-for-1 swap that substitutes lefty starter Jon Lester and center fielder Coco Crisp for Ellsbury.”

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • as a Yanks fan, I’d prefer the 3-1 to happen because, at the very least, a couple of Sox fans would be upset about losing Ellsbury;)

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 1:05 pm
  • Ah, now you try to slip by the Hurst reference once I leave? Luckily I have three minutes before my meeting and can type fast:
    Hurst – Boston
    1983: 107 ERA+
    1984: 107 ERA+
    1985: 96 ERA+
    1986: 140 ERA+ (age 28)
    1987: 103 ERA+
    1988: 113 ERA+
    Hurst – San Diego
    1989: 133 ERA+
    1990: 122 ERA+
    1991: 115 ERA+
    Let\’s see, Hurst pitches well exactly one season in Fenway and at his peak. As soon as he leaves, he runs off three straight seasons better than anything else he did as a Sock.
    What next? You\’re going to tell me Lefty Grove was great in Fenway? Or Cy Young?
    The best part (hopefully – bwahahah!): We shall see!
    Go get him Theo!
    Shoot, now I really have to go.

    Mike YF December 4, 2007, 1:05 pm
  • Um, Andrews. Both guys were DFAed which is equal to being on the trash heap and free to anyone who is desperate enough to pay them. Both guys cought lightning in a bottle and have been terrible since that last ten starts of the season for NY, which equals being bums. I don’t make this stuff up, buddy. They’re both mediocre/worthless starters, and arguing anything else is pretty much impossible.
    Not sure what you want me to cool, man?

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:08 pm
  • Paul specifically mentioned three best years in a Sox uniform.
    But otherwise, great catch Mike. /sarcasm

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 1:08 pm
  • Ohhhh, Nick, you bastard.
    I do wonder at the lack of love for Lester. Maybe it’s because Ellsbury’s like the new toy? Also maybe because we think we’ve seen most of Lester but aren’t sure just how good Ellsbury can be? I think he’ll be a bit better than Coco, but not an insanely good hitter. Still, speed plus OBP is nothing to sneeze at.

    Devine December 4, 2007, 1:08 pm
  • “My dad used to say…”
    Brad I can play that game too. Isnt it fenway water that makes average players become great? See Ortiz, Lowell, Youkilis.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • And, I wasn’t trying to be either deep or enlightning, Andrews. Why the need for a crack there? I was simply saying something that my dad used to say about it.
    It’s okay, though. I’d be upset today too if I were a Yankee fan.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:11 pm
  • But sam. I love that dirty water.

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 1:11 pm
  • Jesus Christ, people. I’m sorry I ever shared it. For fucks sake.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:12 pm
  • Brad come on. That comment was kinda a zing at the yankees, expect to get crap in return.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 1:13 pm
  • “Pete Abe weighs in with a headline of: “Somewhere in this ridiculous hotel, Theo Epstein must be laughing hysterically.”
    “If Boston gets Johan Santana for Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Justin Masterson and Jed Lowrie, that is a steal. …”
    More from the same post:
    “Keep in mind that Crisp is owed $10 million (serious money for the tightwad Twins) and isn’t all that good. Lester is a solid No. 3 starter perhaps but does not have near the upside of Phil Hughes. Masterson is a big guy who had only 115 strikeouts in 153 minor-league innings last season. Lowrie is a 6-foot infielder who just hit .163 in the Arizona Fall League but is considered a good prospect.
    Boston has no use for Crisp whatsoever and little use for Lowrie. Lester is a loss but Clay Buchholz is better.”

    Anonymous December 4, 2007, 1:15 pm
  • That whole “solid No. 3 starter” BS ignores Lester’s upside completely. So, good job with the objectivity Pete.
    I can think of a guy who had less Ks than that in 199+ ML innings! Probably useless if I just put it in as kind of a throwaway line.

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 1:19 pm
  • “Not sure what you want me to cool, man?”
    I’m not arguing that you were wrong about Chacon and small; but as a YF, I have fond memories of what they did that year- your name calling is offensive. There’s really no need for it.
    Same with the quote from your dad. I mean, I could say something similar about the water at Fenway always turning great players like Williams, Yaz, etc into losers – bet you wouldn’t think that was cool either.What good do you expect in return for such comments. We can all waste our time hurling insulting remarks – it’s boring.
    ” I’d be upset today too if I were a Yankee fan.”
    I wouldn’t feel quite so good just yet – nothing’s happened, really…

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 1:23 pm
  • This from Neyer’s chat:

    Mike (NYC): Rob, please expand upon “Joba wont win 100 games.” Why do you believe that? do you believe he doesnt have the stuff or do you think he will be a closer sooner rather than later?
    SportsNation Rob Neyer: (1:17 PM ET ) Neither, Mike. If you make a list of pitching prospects with Chamberlain’s brilliant reputation, you’ll find that most of them did NOT win 100 games. Pitching is really, really hard.

    Um, ok…

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 1:23 pm
  • Am i misreading this here?
    The yankees offered Hughes, Cabrera and a prospect. The Twins said no, but are going to say yes to Lester, Crisp and two other prospects. (or Ellsbury and two prospects.)
    If we want to talk about MLB-ready talent, the Yankees offered two ready-to-start players, as did the Sox, except that the Yankees offered younger players with a higher ceiling (according to nearly everybody.)
    I’m wondering if the Twins really said no to the Yankees, or if the Yankees were bluffing from the beginning and intended to trade nobody.
    I don’t mean to start a flame war, but (roll call!) lets take a vote – which one of these offers is better for the Twins…and if the vote is towards the Yankees’ offer, how can we explain the Twins’ position here?

    Carlos (YF) December 4, 2007, 1:24 pm
  • Carlos, to me they’re comparable. I am not qualified to give the edge to either. But I do see the reasoning behind the Twins liking the Sox package more.
    YM, seems like Neyer is just restating the TINSTAPP argument.

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 1:26 pm
  • Andrews, I wasn’t trying to be insulting whatsoever, man. And no, I would not have taken offense to that remark at all. In fact I think being in Fenway helps a lot for RH batters!
    Whatever, man. I’ll just keep the joke to myself instead of attempting a little bit of humor, which was clearly taken the wrong way.
    You’re right, nothing has happened yet.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:28 pm
  • Carlos, I realy think that the Twins don’t want to deal with New York, and if they do, they’re going to max out whatever deal they can. I don’t think that by taking the Sox offer they’re much worse off, and they may ask Boston to eat the Crisp deal (money). I really think that when I read yesterday that the Twins were contemplating tampering charges against Honest Hank, “negotiating partners” didn’t exactly spring to mind.
    I think if they take the Boston offer, it’s a personal thing, not a business move.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:31 pm
  • “I am not qualified to give the edge to either”
    Neither am I, but with the 12M Crisp is owed, I don’t see the advantage of the Lester, Crisp, etc deal for the twins, who have said they don’t want to add salary…

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 1:31 pm
  • “I realy think that the Twins don’t want to deal with New York,”
    maybe, but that would be silly of the Twins. Of course, it’s not unheard of, but I’d like to think of my big businesses as greedy and self-interested.

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 1:32 pm
  • I think the Lowrie inclusion is the factor here since I rate Hughes and Lester comperable at this point. If Boston eats Crisps money, then those two points are equal, so the other two players offer a better package to the Twins. MO.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:32 pm
  • Well, if that’s the case (personal vs business), there’s nothing Yankees can do, and so be it. I won’t be crying.
    Brad, I think people here are way too sleep-deprived and irritable to appreciate humor at the moment ;-)

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • Thanks for the compliment a while back Andrews. I have been in meetings but wanted to say thanks.
    As for the whole “lefty in Fenway” thing, it’s certainly an interesting dilemma/discussion. Randy Johnson, in 90+ innings in the Fens, has a 5.01 career record. Jimmy Key, a lefty who spent his entire career in the AL East, had a 3.72 ERA in Fenway in 215 innings. Pettitte, in 73 innings, has a 3.70 ERA.
    Santana is better than Key and Pettitte, and an altogether different pitcher than Johnson. There’s good reason to think he will have a harder time in Fenway than in Minnesota. But at the same time it’s reasonable to think that he will do far, far better than Jon Lester or whomever he replaces in the Sox’ rotation if he is traded to Boston (I am unconvinced that he will be a Sox, still). And he will pitch half his games elsewhere. If he puts up an ERA better than Pettitte or Key and is somewhat lights-out on the road, he will still be one of the best starting pitchers in the entire Majors. Suffice it to say if the Sox can get him without giving up either Jacoby or Clay it will be an absolute steal, dollars and possible future injuries notwithstanding. The other minor leaguers will be replaced in short order, and then it will be time to find the next catcher.

    SF December 4, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • “Keep in mind that Crisp is owed $10 million (serious money for the tightwad Twins)…”
    If we’re going to devote 5/$120+ to Santana, I see no reason why we can’t eat a little bit of Coco’s salary.

    Jackie (SF) December 4, 2007, 1:34 pm
  • ” they may ask Boston to eat the Crisp deal (money).”
    I have trouble imagining that, given the fact that the sox will possibly be ponying up 150M or more for Johan.

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 1:35 pm
  • You’re right, Nick. The Twins know that they aren’t in contention right now, or anytime soon. They have to look around and see Cleveland and Detroit and know they aren’t going to compete for real. If they don’t want to do business with NY, there really is no rush to do so. When the time comes to trade Mauer and Morneau…now that’s when they’re going to rack up the top notch prospects!

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:35 pm
  • I simply do not buy into the “Team A doesn’t want to do business with Team B”. When the Red Sox signed Kevin Millar (after he was sold by the Marlins to Japan then claimed on waivers by the Sox) I remember there being noise that the relationship between the Sox and the Marlins would be compromised. How did that work out in the end? Did the Marlins turn down Hanley Ramirez or did they do what they thought was smart, baseball-wise?

    SF December 4, 2007, 1:40 pm
  • Somewhere in here, I think the well-traveled PTBNL is going to be traded yet again!

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:42 pm
  • “I see no reason why we can’t eat a little bit of Coco’s salary.”
    Keep in mind that with the luxury tax (Johan would surely put the sox over the tax free limit), doesn’t $1.00 become something like $1.30?

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 1:42 pm
  • Well, if it’s between eating Coco’s salary and parting with Jacoby instead, the Sox are going to eat the money. Period end.

    Jackie (SF) December 4, 2007, 1:44 pm
  • Yes, which is why I think Boston still has another big move to make.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:44 pm
  • Which is not to say that they will have to eat the money… I’m just saying that I don’t think it will be a deal breaker if the Twins ask the Sox to do it.

    Jackie (SF) December 4, 2007, 1:46 pm
  • The luxury tax is 40% for a repeat offender, and its for money over $128…that was in 2003. Now, the number has crept up to maybe around 140-150. You guys were already above that.

    Carlos (YF) December 4, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • Cabrera and Crisp aren’t too far apart in their lifetime lines (Crisp has a slightly higher OPS, for instance). Cabrera might develop offensively, but Crisp has proven able to hit .300 (though not recently) and his defense outshines Cabrera’s. It’s not a slam dunk in either direction, and the age difference is not *that* big. They’re both young, at any rate.
    I think Hughes has more upside than Lester, but Lester has more ML experience and hasn’t shown his best yet. Still, definitely in the Yankees’ favor, this comparison.
    Where I get fuzzy is the secondary prospects with no ML experience. Can we definitively say which are better or which are more “ready”? They are all prospects after all. And if the Yankees will only part with one of Tabata, Horne, Jackson, and the Sox with two of Masterson, Bowden, Lowrie, where does that leave us?
    It just depends on what the Twins’ perceptions are, of those players and of their own needs.

    Devine December 4, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • The latest from Pete Abe:
    “In the case of the Yankees vs. the Red Sox, there is no verdict. Rumors are flying, many of them imaginary.
    The Red Sox let it leak that that Minnesota requested the medical records of Jon Lester. That could be an indication that something is close or merely another clumsy method to try and shake another prospect out of Brian Cashman…As Cashman said yesterday, Alan Horne, Steven White and Jeff Marquez could be converted to the bullpen just like Chamberlain was.”

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • another clumsy method
    Why “clumsy”, exactly? Why the modifier, other than to add a derogatory tone to the post? And what if the Yankees DO ante up another prospect, does that mean that the Sox were “clumsy”? Will Pete offer a retraction or a correction or a mea culpa?
    And what team offers four prospects/major leaguers (assuming the offers are somewhat accurate) as a ruse? That’s quite a game of chicken.

    SF December 4, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • Well if I were Cashman, what better way to sell not trading those guys away than to comapare them to ANYTHING Joba did, even if it was a move to the bullpen.
    I wonder how much of the negotiating Brian Cashman is actually doing here?

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • cash is definately doing the negotiations. its silly to think otherwise.

    sam-YF December 4, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • why is it silly? The only person I’ve heard anything fron is Hank. In fact, as of yesterday, Cashman wasn’t even at the meetings! Why is it silly to think that Hank has the reigns?

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:55 pm
  • edit: anthing from..
    WasWatching and other websites are speculating as much, Sam. Those are Yankee guys, not a SF trying to start a flame war over who’s in control.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 1:56 pm
  • multiple radio stations, 1 in Texas and 1 in Philly are reporting that the Twins have agreed to a trade to the Red Sox for Johan Santana.

    TJ December 4, 2007, 1:57 pm
  • I think it’d be funny to see Hank during a negotiation. I’d pay good money.
    He makes an offer.
    The other guy rejects.
    Hank flips over the table, leaves the room.
    20 seconds of silence. The man picks the table back up.
    Hank comes back to the room.
    Hank makes offer.
    The other guy rejects the offer.
    Hank flips over the table, leaves the room…

    Nick-YF December 4, 2007, 1:58 pm
  • “I wonder how much of the negotiating Brian Cashman is actually doing here?”
    Good question.
    ” Will Pete offer a retraction or a correction or a mea culpa?”
    SF, why should he do any of the above, when it’s clearly only speculation and opinion on his part?

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 1:59 pm
  • “In fact, as of yesterday, Cashman wasn’t even at the meetings!”
    That’s not true. Where did you hear that?

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • Eh, he doesn’t have to, Andrews. But why is he terming the move “clumsy”? That’s a word used with intent. If the Sox end up sealing a deal then they didn’t release the information “clumsily”. If the Yankees pony up another prospect (the intended result of leaking the medical report swap info) then they accomplished what they wanted, right?
    Why would he use that word, other than to make a team look bad?

    SF December 4, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • So assuming the Yanks-Twins deal has indeed been deep-sixed and Hughes stays, a question:
    Is it better to have Pettitte-Wang-Hughes-Joba-Moose and Kennedy as the long man,
    Pettitte-Wang-Hughes-Moose-Kennedy and Joba back in the setup role (perhaps pitching 2-3 innings every 2-3 days to build up innings for next year)?

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • Nick, that is hilarious. You are a precious asset to this site.

    Devine December 4, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • Where’d you here this, TJ?

    SF December 4, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • Andrews – It was me. I was at Opry Mills yesterday and didn’t see Cashman in the mall’s Johnny Rockets. I assumed that meant he hadn’t come to Nashville at all.

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 2:04 pm
  • “Why would he use that word, other than to make a team look bad?”
    I can think of no other reason.
    Pandering to his audience, I suppose.
    (Not that I minded reading it)

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 2:05 pm
  • WFAN says Dbacks and A’s might have a deal in place with Connor Jackson+ going for Haren. Interesting. I haven’t seen that anywhere else, though.

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • I played a gig at the Opryland Hotel last night with Bernie Williams, and we hung out with Brain after – Rest assured he was there in the flesh. After a few cognacs and a cigar he was chanting: Johan who?

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 2:09 pm
  • Nick, that made me laugh for 20 straight seconds. Hank is going to be a great source of humour for the next few decades.
    Also, the New York Daily News is reporting that the Yankees have completely passed on Santana, and are focusing on Dan Haren now:

    Atheose December 4, 2007, 2:10 pm
  • Andrews : There’s only one part of your story that isn’t believable.
    The Opryland Hotel can get better acts than Bernie Williams.

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • Cashman didn’t arrive until yesterday afternoon, according to the reports I read.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • From Rob Bradford:
    “Colleague Michael Silverman just passed along that the A’s and D-Backs have had constructive talks about a deal which would send Dan Haren to Arizona and Conor Jackson and Carlos Gonzalez along with two more players to Oakland.”

    SF December 4, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • Don’t you mean Grand Ole’ Opry?

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 2:13 pm
  • I think all the talk goes to show that this Santana trade is as much Sox versus Yankees. The Twins are just caught in the crossfire. Both organizations are at least thinking of making the other make a false move.
    Like every one here, I think I just want a deal, any deal to get done, so we can reach the next plot point.

    Carlos (YF) December 4, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • I certainly hope the Haren-to-Arizona deal doesn’t get done soon, because if he falls off the market then the Yankees might jump back into the Santana sweepstakes and up the ante. Ugh.

    Anonymous December 4, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • Some more updates from over the lunch break:
    “After an action-filled night, the Red Sox’ trade talks with the Minnesota Twins have been temporarily suspended as all 30 of the general managers meet to talk about industry topics and discuss the possible introduction of limited instant replay.”
    “Colleague Michael Silverman just passed along that the A’s and D-Backs have had constructive talks about a deal which would send Dan Haren to Arizona and Conor Jackson and Carlos Gonzalez along with two more players to Oakland.
    The deal could take away a non-Johan Santana option for both the Yankees and Red Sox.”
    And speculation based on the Heyman report from Rotoworld:
    “Perhaps that means one more prospect will go the other way. First baseman Lars Anderson, right-hander Michael Bowden and outfielder Ryan Kalish would have to be at the top of Minnesota’s list if it’s going to be a 5-for-1 deal.”

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • I think the person most interested in getting a deal done at this point is my boss, in hopes of recovering at least partial productivity from me….

    rootbeerfloat December 4, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • No kidding, RBF…

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • “Don’t you mean Grand Ole’ Opry?”
    No, that only happens on Friday and Saturday nights.
    “The Opryland Hotel can get better acts than Bernie Williams”
    For the lounge? Nah. They think he’s a pleasant change from the usual shitkickers.

    Anonymous December 4, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • me.

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • Andrews:
    Under the heading: Cashman out of the Santana Loop…
    Again, I was asking a question, not flamethrowing.
    I just wonder that if he’s not there, how could he possibly be calling the shots for the Yankees any longer?

    Brad December 4, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • May I be the first to say: I wouldn’t be thrilled to lose any of the three prospects mentioned in a potential 5-1 deal.

    QuoSF December 4, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • “4 to 1, I have 4 to 1. anyone with 5 to 1, 5 to 1? Yes, 5 to one to the little guy in the front there. Do I have 6 to 1, 6 to 1…”

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • I doubt the Sox would do five-for-one. That really would be cleaning out the farm system.

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • I’m confused. Are Andrew, Andrews, and AndrewYF all the same person?

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 2:24 pm
  • If the Twins wouldnt take the same 4 person package days ago, I would think its either a 5th player or perhaps the Sox are sending cash to offset the Twins taking Crisp.

    Anonymous December 4, 2007, 2:27 pm
  • Cafardo with the bucket of water:
    “Johan Santana’s agent, Peter Greenberg indicated moments ago that he has not begun contract negotiations with any team at this stage, an indication a deal between Boston and the Twins might still have a ways to go.
    Major League sources have also indicated there have been no discussions between the Twins and Red Sox yet today, though talks are planned later in the day. The medical information the Twins sought on Jon Lester was simply “due diligence” according to one official, and that nothing was imminent with the Twins-Red Sox, though that could change rapidly after their meeting later today.”

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 2:27 pm
  • Theo needs to use the Jedi mind trick:
    “Julian Tavarez is the pitcher you’ve been looking for…Julian Tavarez is the…”

    SF December 4, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • Santana’s going to be on the Yankees next year.
    There, I said it.

    SF December 4, 2007, 2:29 pm
  • Olney apparently (via SOSH) is on ESPN Radio, saying the Twins and Sox are meeting right now…

    Paul SF December 4, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • via SoSH:
    Olney on ESPN Radio right now:
    – says Twins and RS are meeting as we speak, expected to pick Lester- or Ellsbury-centered package
    – Twins “like Ellsbury a lot” – but some people in the organization want to get an ML-ready pitcher back in the deal
    – RS “very confident” they will be able to work out long-term deal with Santana

    Devine December 4, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • YM, No.
    I’m not sure about Andrew and Andrew YF, but I’m Andrews.
    You know what? I’m going to make a little change to clear this up some…

    Andrews December 4, 2007, 2:32 pm
  • Dangit, Paul.

    Devine December 4, 2007, 2:32 pm
  • Pete A.:

    Just spoke to a Yankees Exec Who Can Be Trusted and learned this:
    The YEWCBT said that Brian Cashman has made his final offer and will not toss in Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne or Austin Jackson. That would seem to favor the Red Sox but the Dodgers and Angels are now getting in the mix with the Yankees on the outskirts.
    This hillbilly nightmare The Winter Meetings end on Thursday morning, so there is little chance that Santana will be officially traded by then given that a contract extension would have to be negotiated.
    The Yankees, for all of the deadline talk, remain open to the Twins coming back to them. But the Twins seem to love Jon Lester and aren’t crazy about Melky Cabrera.
    Yankees fans in general put too much value on Cabrera. He’s a nice player but he has a career OPS of .728. Outside of his arm, he’s at best an average center fielder. I think he’s fine with the Yankees hitting eighth or ninth. But it’s not like he’s a budding star.
    These GMs get paid to evaluate talent. If Minnesota likes Boston’s package, that is their choice.

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 2:36 pm
  • I’ve always wondered about the Andrews thing. Yeah, name changes help:) ha.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 2:38 pm
  • It sure will suck watching Santana pitch for the Sox next year…
    (Right back at ya, SF)

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 4, 2007, 2:40 pm
  • Man, Pete is getting ready to get a holy shat storm for saying that.

    Brad December 4, 2007, 2:41 pm
  • Brad, why? I don’t see him saying anything particularly controversial there…

    Anonymous December 4, 2007, 2:43 pm
  • Sheriff!
    New Santana thread up top, just to keep things slimmer.

    SF December 4, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • ^ me. Fucking Typepad.

    yankeemonkey December 4, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • “seem to love Jon Lester and aren’t crazy about Melky Cabrera.”
    Seems to me the comparison should be between Lester/Hughes and Melky/Crisp. I sort of agree about Melky in that I don’t think he’s a budding star, but defensively I think he’s comparable to Crisp, and at least lately, he has the edge offensively – plus he’s many millions of dollars cheaper.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 4, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • Crisp’s OPS this season was .712, Cabrera’s was .718.
    And Crisp is a *star* defensively. I don’t know if you’ve seen him much, but the man tracks down balls no one should have a chance at. He can fly and he almost always takes a great route to the ball.

    Devine December 4, 2007, 2:52 pm
  • But certainly, point taken on the money.

    Devine December 4, 2007, 2:54 pm

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