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Santana for Melky, Hughes, and Prospect?

Tim recently posted about the Yanks inquiries into the Twins organization for Johan SantanaPeter Abraham shares what he's heard of the rumors for the lefty ace.

Melky Cabrera would give Minnesota a center fielder to replace Torii Hunter if he bolts. The Yankees could then offer the Twins Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy along with a second prospect.

If Melky and Kennedy plus a prospect can land Santana, I can't see why the Yankees wouldn't do that, even if only for the opportunity to get a leg up on signing baseball's best pitcher to a long term deal.  But I would assume it would take a lot more.  Lots of names are being tossed around along with Philip Hughes, particularly Robinson Cano, names that are most likely the premium the Twins would demand and perhaps a deal-breaker for the Yankees.

Posted by Nat Boyle

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There's a big difference between Kennedy and Hughes, I would MUCH rather have Hughes.

As much as I would like it to happen, Cabrera and Kennedy for Santana is next to impossible. Cabrera and Hughes is a little better, but as has been mentioned previously, the Twins need hitting, not pitching. Cano would be nice, but I see zero chance that the Yankees part with him; he's one of the best second basemen in the game, and he just turned 25. Not to say Santana isn't great either, but to couple Cano with Hughes would be quite a bit, and I don't think the Yankees would bite on that.

I have a feeling Johan Santana, like Alfonso Soriano 2 seasons ago, will stay with his team until the end of the year. The twins are gonna ask for the world, and it just isn't worth it. The Yankees already have an advantage over every other team because they have more money than any other team. So why would they give up any of their youg talent? The Yanks can only get better by hanging on to their young studs. Stockpiling overpaid players has only hurt them. Santana could still end up in NY, but not via trade.

It's a tough situation trading Santana. He's the best pitcher in baseball, so the Twins have every right to expect the most in return. However, for the other team, it's hard to want to part with premium young players for the possibility of a one year rental. Unless an extension is guaranteed, it's hard to imagine it working out. Let's say the Yankees traded something like Hughes and Cano and then Santana did leave after 2008. That leaves them in a pretty bad spot.

Ya, basically the Yankees will never have Johan.

He will either be re-signed by the Twins, or he will be traded and extended by another team that is willing to offer their top prospects, like the Dodgers.

Dodgers make the most sense. They have a near endless supply of outfielders and pitching prospects and while they do have plenty of holes, their farm system is good enough where they could actually trade 2 of their top guys and someone else for Santana.

I just can't see the Yanks doing it because if you let Cabrera go, then you've gotta shell out a ton of money for Rowand and then a RECORD contract for a pitcher (the kind of deal for a pitcher that they seem to be mulling giving to A-Rod) to Santana. So if you trade 2 MLB ready youngsters and a top pitching prospects, you'd end up having to spend a ton of money not only on Santana, but just on inferior or even replacement players. The ends don't justify the means.

QUOTE- "The Yankees already have an advantage over every other team because they have more money than any other team."

when are Yankee fans going to realize its not always about money. for a team that has an advantage over every other team in baseball, theyre not doing so well now are they? ..and when was the last time the Yankees won the World Series? advantage, i dont think so. the best hitter in the game(ARod) could be leaving the Yankees because he wants more money, so being able to spend the most money isnt going to help them keep the best hitter in baseball.. so much for that advantage.

also notice how Wang is no longer mentioned in a trade, hmm guess why, because the Twins dont want his ass.

Hughes/Kennedy/Cabrera is better than Wang/Kennedy/Cabrera ..but the Yankees need to keep going. the Twins dont need more depth at SP. Hughes would be nice, but he should be the only pitcher going to Minnesota.. one of Hughes or Chamberlain.
Hughes/Cabrera/ and another top hitting prospect.

i for one dont like the Yankees so i hope if the Twins are going to trade Santana that they trade him to a different team.. maybe the Red Sox, that would stick it to the Yankees.

Well, having the most money certainly isn't a bad thing. If you are able to offer the biggest contracts to players, you are put at an inherent advantage over other teams. Other factors come into play, but sometimes, money talks. This has nothing to do with the fact that one likes the Yankees or not, it's just fact.

It doesn't make sense for the Yankees to give up that much for Santana. He in all likelihood will be available in a year and then they can outbid others for him if they so desire.

The last thing the Yankees need, especially now is to start giving up the kids and have them turn out to be great players for other teams while they take on huge contracts for older veterans.

Santana wasn't Santana this year so I'm interested to see what the market is. I wonder what kind of numbers Santana would put up in the AL East with the piss poor defense of the Yankees behind him as opposed to playing in the central with pretty outstanding D behind him.

"He in all likelihood will be available in a year and then they can outbid others for him if they so desire."

Wrong. He will either be extended or traded for and extended. The Yankees don't just get everything they want. Geez.

Secondly, are you really questioning Santana as a pitcher? He's been BY FAR the best pitcher in baseball over the last 4 years, and he's just entering his prime. The "market" is still the most valuable player in baseball today.

Also, the Central is a better division than the AL East. It's the best division in baseball right now. If anything, his numbers might be BETTER in the AL East.

The teams may be better in the Central, but the offenses of the East are better than the Central (Royals, White Sox).

I'm already pissed as hell over how the Yanks treated Torre. If Cashman trades any of Hughes/Cano/Joba, I might just stop being a Yankees fan.

Just when you thought they were finally turning the ship around by home growing good talent...

Dude, I would kill for a team thats made the post season 12 years in a row.

Yeah right. The Twins have pitching prospects coming out the wazoo. Melky is a horrible OF. He takes so many bad routes, can't walk, and is incredibly streaky. He's no more than a 4th OF on a good team.

Why would the Twins do a deal like this? Hughes is just another good prospect along with the other 7 or so guys the Twins already have. Cabrera is a 4th outfielder, regardless of how the Yankee fans try to spin it. Kennedy projects in most reports to be a #4/#5.

That's just a crappy haul for Santana.

The Yanks will have to do a lot better. I'm sure there are 15 teams right now who could put together a better package than one very good prospects and two other ok youngsters.

"Santana wasn't Santana this year so I'm interested to see what the market is. I wonder what kind of numbers Santana would put up in the AL East with the piss poor defense of the Yankees behind him as opposed to playing in the central with pretty outstanding D behind him."

You obviously know NOTHING about what you're talking about.

The Yankees were 3rd in the AL in fielding percentage and fewest errors. They were 5th in the MAJORS with fewest errors.

Educate yourself before you comment.

As if fielding percentage and errors are the real measuring sticks of defense. Have you bothered looking at Yankee fielders' range? The only reason the Yanks' fielding % is high and error is low is most of them are slugging types who lack range. You don't make errors if you don't have the range to even make an attempt at a play.

icedrake523: "He's no more than a 4th OF on a good team." Or the starting CF on the team that scored the most runs in baseball (by a wide margin)? Not just "a good team", the best offensive team last year. (And if your response is "well, he wasn't a big part of that", it sort of invalidates your original comment, no?)

zs190: Don't call people out if you don't do your homework. Yanks were 5th in the AL in team DER.
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/teams/

Serious question.

IF Hughes went to the Twins for Santana, and the Twins kept him, would he even make the starting roster? the fact you have to stop and think of an answer shows the Twins don't need him.

Twins can find someone else to play CF, Melky isn't a sensational must get for the Twins, he is a nice fill-in piece, as in 'oh and add Melky to that package and you have a deal'

This is just Yankees fans trying to create a deal for Santana, its not based on any reality.

Twins have said, they need position players, and potential great ones, they need a Kemp, a Loney, an Upton (either), Young, - that is the type of player that gets this deal done.

The Twins are not trading Santana for 3 good players that might fill a short term hole (SP isn't even a gap without Santana)

with the market out there for starting pitching, and how many teams would want Johan I cant see them settling for that little.

They can set their own price and pretty much choose themselves what they want to acquire.

The twins don't feel like they are "rebuilding," since they still have a better rotation than many teams, so this is not a salary for prospects trade. However, I don't see the Yanks tossing in cano. But what do you guys think about the possibility of the Yankees paying the salary of Giambi/Damon/Abreu or Matsui and including them? That would provide the Twins with something they haven't had since Ortiz, a DH. And would only total the amount of money the yanks flushed down Roger Clemens.

I really like Santana but I would be leary of giving huge years to a guy with tommy john history. I know teams are doing it more and more, but I am not sure that Zito gets all the years he did last year if there is TJ on his resume.

I think Cabrera,

They NEED Santana, or they are sunk. They have to throw everything at the twins but they NEED him, Clemens, Pettite = gone. They should throw moose into the junk yard along with Igawa. They must get Santana this year if they want to even compete with the Sox or even the Jays for that matter next year, all the hall of famers have there backs packed

That's not even a real trade rumor.

It's Tubby Abraham's suggestion of a deal that would work.

soxguy,

Tommy John? What? Johan hasn't had TJ surgery. You may be thinking about Liriano, who just had it, but Johan never has. Johan and Zito are the two most durable pitchers in the game over the last 5-6 years. Neither has EVER missed a start due to injury. NEVER.

IMO the Twins will have no interest in Giambi/Damon/Abreu/Matsui no matter how $$ the Yankees eat, theyre all past their prime.

why is it that the only rumours we are hearing about on here are about the Yankees? what about the Dodgers? Kemp/Clayton Kershaw? i think the Twins would rather have Kemp from the Dodgers than Cabrera from the Yankees.
what about the Mets? ..would they deal Lastings Milledge?
what about the Red Sox? ..Ellisbury/and???

Seriously. All these Yankees rumors are fantasy. Let's get some rumors about teams that can ACTUALLY deal for Johan, if the Twins decide to deal him, which is no given.

We only hear about the Yankees because they are the only one that has the incentive to make a trade right now because it would help them keep all the FAs. All other teams can afford to wait.

Dodgers would probably want to wait on Schmidt and/or Wolf to see how they recover from injury (Penny/Billingsley/Lowe/Schmidt/Wolf would be pretty good).

Red Sox has a good rotation already (Beckett/Dice-K/Buchholz/Wakefield/Lester, with outside chance of keeping Schilling) and don't need to make this move.

Mets might have 3 OF prospects but they might not be able to afford to trade any. Alou and Beltran are nicked up all the time, and they need Milledge for RF. Alou is probably in his last year if he does come back and with the injury risks, they will most likely keep Gomez too.

DBacks can't afford Santana, Angels have a good rotation, Cubs is financially tied until new owner next year, White Sox doesn't have the top end prospects, Tigers and Mariners are decent fits if they are willing to raise payroll significantly.

There are very few teams that has both prospects/payroll flexibility to afford Santana right now.

djskilbr

"Wrong. He will either be extended or traded for and extended. The Yankees don't just get everything they want. Geez."

Your omnipotence is truly impressive. I'm glad that all baseball decisions have officially been run by your probability calculator.

If the package they are offered is not better than two first round picks, they let him walk. There is no reason to settle for anything less than desired because those picks are going to be quite valuable, especially if they're willing to break slot.

usc, (which explains your fantasy) they WILL get more than 2 1st rd picks in a deal. Are you kidding me? You don't think they can get what Tex got? 4 top prospects? Santana is much better than Tex. There will be shortage of teams bidding here.

when some of these teams are talking trade with the Twins, isnt it likely they request and are granted a chance to talk extension with Santana? the Twins i think would agree to that because if Santana can work out a deal with the trading team then the Twins could get much more in return.

we havnt even hit the offseason yet, so im expecting to hear numerous other teams with proposals for Santana.

If that is all it takes to get Santana, the Twins are going to regret ever moving him. Cabrera Hughes and another prospect for the best pitcher in baseball? Please. Maybe Cabrera Hughes and Cano. I still don't know if I'd do that if I were Minny. It's going to be very tough for someone to get Santana, they'll have to give up the farm to get him.

Yankee offers are silly unless they include Hughes AND Chamberlin plus Cano. The Twins don't need either pitcher but they could be flipped for additional young positional players.

Please stop with the Cabrera talk. Cabrera is not a replacement for Hunter. Hunter's OPS was a full 100 points higher than Cabrera. Cabrera barely scraped past Coco, an injured Vernon Wells, and Corey Patterson. A healthy Wells puts up a .900 OPS and Patterson at least steals bases. Melky was one of the worst starting CF's in the American League last year. His minor league stats don't suggest that they guy is poised for a break-out career.

Short of a World Series win, Minnesota is going to regret losing him to free agency much more than they'd regret trading him for a Hughes/Cabrera/prospect package. Hughes is a better bet than a mid-to-late first round pick and Cabrera (while likely never a star) is still a much better bet than a supplemental pick. It makes total sense for Minnesota to swap him for known assets, either now or at the deadline.

I do agree that any Yanks package not involving Cano/Joba/Hughes shouldn't end up being the best but, if I'm NY, I'm not moving any of the three. Santana, no matter how good, is only a one year rental. Any one of those three could be in pinstripes for the next decade plus and is cost controlled for atleast 4 years. Just wait a year and, if djskilbr's crystal ball is somehow wrong, sign him in free agency.

BJSGuess: As I said above, I'm not projecting Cabrera as a star like some other Yankees fans, but he's really young for a starting MLB CF. He's exactly (to the day) one year *younger* than Jacoby Ellsbury. Not saying he's better or will be or whatever a reactionary will take from that comparison, just that you need to realize what you're looking at. Almost 1,000 PAs before his 23rd birthday while playing a strong CF (see RZR) is very impressive. Yes, the OBP has to come up, but he's not even supposed to have arrived yet. Give it time before this rush to judgment.

Hughes, Chamberlain, and Cano for one SP? No offense, but are you insane, bjsguess?

Cano had a higher WARP3 in '07 than Santana. You could seriously make a strong case he's more valuable already than Johan is all by himself, without throwing in two elite pitching prospect types with him. Yankees would have be drugged to go anywhere near a deal that ridiculous.

B - you really believe that Cano is better by himself than Johan? How many players do you put on that list ahead of the best pitcher in baseball? I can care less what WARP3 says. Johan is absolutely one of the top 5 players in the game.

I DID NOT suggest that the Yankees were the best trade partners. However, if the Twins were forced to trade with the Yankees that is the package they should land. The Twins would be crazy to accept Hughes, Cabrera, and another decent prospect (as was mentioned in the original post).

The best trading partners will offer cheap, major league ready, positional players.

I can't wait for Yankee fans to go through next year with 2-3 young pitchers in their rotation. How patient will the fans be while Hughes, Chamberlin and Kennedy learn on the job?

Hughes and Chamberlin both could turn out to be superstars. Or, they could perform like Homer Bailey and Ervin Santana. Or they could suffer major injuries like future Cy Young candidates Kerry Wood, Mark Prior and Ben Sheets. Or they could take a normal career path for very good pitcher and actually need a few years to get their footings.

Wonder what Yankee fans will be screaming next year when Hughes and Joba are posting ERA's in the mid 4's while Johan is in contention for the Cy Young award?

Finally when did Yankee fans start worrying about costs. So many posts about how Hughes and Chamberlin will be cheap for years to come. Who cares? In case you haven't noticed, the Yankees don't mind spending cash. Their payroll is 10 times higher than that of the Devil Rays. If you are the Yankees why wait for potential talent to develop when you can go out and snag the best pitcher in the game?

I'm not suggesting that this is a sound strategy for any other team. However, for the Yankees, they have the cash. Why take the risk that Hughes/Chamberlin might just turn out to be good pitchers?

Some great posts today, BJ. Spot on.

I don't know if I'd agree, but I can completely get the argument for it. An upper tier positional player (and Cano is arguably the best all around 2B in the AL) has far more opportunities in a season to change a game than any single SP does.

It's taking a positional player of that level and then sticking him with *two* high value (on a trade market, anyway) commodities for one single SP that I find utterly insane. No front office in their right mind would do that and, given the shift in recent years, I like to think the Yankees' FO is now in their right mind and righting a lot of those previous types of wrongs.

As far as how Yankee fans go, I'd say most of them will wait for kids to get where they'll go for quite a bit. Joba won their hearts this summer and Hughes got his buzz back by his ALDS performance... no one is going to turn on them any time soon, unless they go down in Jeff Karstens 2007 style flames. It's the guys like an A-Rod that they'll try to (stupidly) run out of town, because they're "outsiders" or "frauds" or whatever other bull.

BJ, if Santana were locked up long term I'd agree, take the sure thing (especially with the Yanks payroll). However, I don't think its worth giving up six years of Hughes to have Santana in 2008 when you could very conceivably have both Hughes and Santana in 2009 and beyond. Its just not worth it for just one year extra year. Pettitte is fine as the de facto ace for 2008, Santana can take that role in 2009.

So you're fine as a Yankee fan in not winning again next year? Because Pettitte and Wang as your "aces" will once again guarantee you don't with the other AL contenders' pitching. You could argue that every other strong AL contender has TWO better pitchers than anyone on the Yankees' staff. Detroit, maybe not (Bonderman is iffy), but Minnesota/Cleveland/LAA/Boston all do IMO.

THAT is why the Yanks can't get it done in October.

The Yankees dynasty of 1996-2000 didn't have any "ace" more qualified than Wang or Pettitte are. Wells? Cone? Duque? You're being revisionist. An ace or multiple aces aren't required; there is no formula. The Cardinals last year had one great starter and little else. The 2005 White Sox were strong top to bottom without anyone excelling (Buehrle more of an ace than Wang?). 2004 Red Sox had great pitching and two legit aces. 2003 Marlins were young and strong on the back end but no one that would have been labeled an ace at that time. 2002 Angels were headed by Jarrod Washburn (another in the Buehrle/Wang "ace if you need to label one" mode). 2001 Arizona had dual aces again. There is nothing those staff have in common other than they all won. To say the Yankees need to jump at Santana to get that "ace" tag at the front of their rotation to win is ignoring history, even recent history.

(And I love Bonderman, defend him more than necessary, but to put a guy with a 5.00 ERA in this discussion against Wang and Pettitte is silly.)

the Yankees can just sign Santana as a free agent after 2008? then why talk trade AT ALL? if the Yankees were so certain they could sign Santana after 08 then dont offer anyone significant, maybe offer someone stupid like Miguel Cairo. theres trade talk simply because its no lock that Santana would sign in NY. just because they "could" spend the most amount of money doesnt mean Santana would want to choose NY nor does it mean that the Yankees WOULD be the team bidding the highest for Santana. im sure some of the other higher paying teams would break the bank for thee best SP in baseball.

i also find it hard to believe any team in baseball would take Cano over Santana. Santana is a Cy Young candidate even before the season starts.

its easy to throw around names and values, but theres a big question that could determine the players involved, and thats wheather the team trading for Santana is given the chance to talk contract and possibly sign Santana long term. if a team like the Dodgers were to ask Minnesota for a negotiating window and were able to sign Santana to a long term contract before a trade then they could get better players in a trade. i think Minnesota would prefer that.

I think we've seen the last few years that the postseason can be as much of a crapshoot as anything else. The Yankee rotation was good enough to get into the playoffs this year after suffering numerous issues early on and I see no reason they can't get back there again in '08 if Pettitte returns.

"i also find it hard to believe any team in baseball would take Cano over Santana."

No one has yet figured out the relative value of a very good position player versus a great starting pitcher. If you're a Win Shares or WARP2/3 devotee, you'd say Cano has more value over the course of the season. If you're a typical baseball fan, you'd take Santana everytime I'm sure. Once you factor in years under control and salary, I think its hard to make an argument for Santana in this case. One year at $13MM versus four years at a couple million more total seems to swing this well in Cano's favor. Its not that he's necessarily the better player, just the better value and safer bet.

Nice replies. Always fun to have a reasonable debate.

I should have stipulated my argument by saying that I would only move talent like that with Santana locked down. I believe that any team that trades for Santana will demand the right to negotiate a long term deal. If that doesn't happen the Twins just might hold on to him.

Of course, for one year of Santana I would not give up such a sweet package.

I am definitely a subscriber that if you want Santana to ever play for your organization you will need to trade for him now. His new team will lock him up to 7/160 (or something close to that).

Also, I hope nobody assumed that I am down on Cano, Hughes or Chamberlin. They are all great young players. My point is that even great young pitchers often take years to develop and hit their stride. With a $200m team salary it will be interesting to watch Joba and Hughes struggle (which they will). This will be a true test of the Yankees new philosophy.

Very good thoughts again, BJ, and I agree.

I still think in the playoffs you need an ace to win. There are very few exceptions to this over the last 20 years to me. The Angels are, but they were INCREDIBLY hot. The White Sox yes, but their pitching was still incredibly strong. And Pettitte was a hell of a playoff ace back then for the Yanks. He wasn't what he is now.

If you had to choose something that has held the Yanks back this decade in the playoffs, wouldn't you agree it's pitching? You get Santana, you have a shot at the Sox. Until then, you don't.

Again, I STILL think the Twins will resign Santana, but if not, the only chance to get him is the next few months. Whatever team DOES trade for him if he's not resigned will do so locking him up longterm. There's no way the Twins let him go for draft picks. This is a smart organization. They know the value of CyTana.

You can't keep saying "some team will lock Santana up before free agency". It ignores the (very likely) variable that he won't want to sign a long term deal without first exploring the market. What's the benefit to the player in negotiating with one team instead of ten?

BJG: Pettitte's ERA+ this year is higher than 1998 and 1999 and in line with 2000. Not saying he wasn't great for them, just that he isn't more or less of an ace now than he was during the 2nd half of their run. The Yankees of the past decade plus have never had the type of pitcher you'd put in an argument for tops in the league so its nothing new for them to not rely on a Santana type. Of course it would be nice, but I don't trade away two or three key pieces for one year of another. Let free agency come and then jump.

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