Thursday, December 6, 2007

The New York Mets' Interest in Johan Santana Is Resurfacing

With the winter meetings nearly over, the Minnesota Twins' ace remained on the market Wednesday night and the Mets hoped to get seriously involved in trade talks. The Mets, who insist they won't deal speedy shortstop Jose Reyes, were not considered major contenders -- but the Yankees said Tuesday they had stopped pursuing Santana, and Minnesota's negotiations with Boston seemed to have stalled.

The players the Mets are willing to trade for Santana remind me of the players the Tigers gave the Marlins in their trade. That is, a bunch of mostly unknown potential players. New York could offer a package that includes some combination of young pitchers Mike Pelfrey, Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey along with outfield prospects Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez.

At this point, the Twins are better off keeping Santana. After all, did they ever consider they need his pitching expertise as well? The Twins maintain they don't necessarily have to trade Santana. New general manager Bill Smith has said his first choice is to sign the pitcher to a contract extension, though it would probably be difficult for Minnesota to meet Santana's asking price.

Even if the Mets don't get Santana, they are still going after pitching. The Mets also are interested in Baltimore lefty Erik Bedard as well as Oakland's Dan Haren and Joe Blanton, who could come cheaper than Santana.

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