Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Time Is Running Out For The Johan Santana Trade

This From ESPN The Magazine:

Executives involved in the Johan Santana trade talks expect the Minnesota Twins to make their decision soon, perhaps as early as Tuesday, on what they intend to do with the left-handed superstar, after the team asked on Monday for last and best offers from teams involved in the trade talks.

Johan Santana


The Twins could weigh the offers and decide to keep Santana into spring training, in the hope that a more aggressive market for the left-hander develops.

For instance: If Andy Pettitte's involvement in the Roger Clemens-Mitchell report case seems to be distracting the left-hander, Hank Steinbrenner -- who has been the most prominent member of the Yankees organization in favor of making a Santana trade -- could spur the team to give the Twins the package they have requested, which includes pitchers Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. Or if the Red Sox suffered multiple pitching injuries, they might push for a Santana deal.

Or the Twins, who just signed Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer to extensions totaling $104 million, might prefer to turn the page and make a deal now. The Mets have the most obvious need for Santana and reason to be the most aggressive, and have indicated a willingness to offer a package of four or five players.

The Red Sox have talked in the past about deals built around either pitcher Jon Lester or center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Two sources involved in the discussions say the Red Sox have indicated they won't trade Lester, and another highly placed source says Lester remains on the table. A fourth says the Red Sox are willing to deal Lester only in a package with little window dressing -- in other words, Lester and Coco Crisp and little else.

It's unclear, as well, whether the Red Sox would be willing to offer Santana a deal close to the six-year, $150 million package he will seek in order to approve the trade. Santana has a full no-trade clause and will want an extension in order to approve the deal. The Twins offered him a four-year, $80 million deal, beyond the $13.25 million he is slated to make in 2008.

The Yankees appear to be not presently engaged whatsoever in the Santana talks.

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