Murray Chass reports this morning that the Twins have scaled back their demands for Johan Santana, at least with the Yankees. He says they are now willing to substitute Jeff Marquez for Ian Kennedy. So the Yankees would have to give up Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, and Marquez (and one more player, I’m guessing).
Marquez is a 23 year-old Double A righty who probably does not fall within the Yankees’ top ten prospects. He seems a more reasonable demand than Kennedy. About three weeks ago, Bill Madden said the Yanks could’ve acquired Santana for Hughes, Cabrera, Marquez, and Mitch Hilligoss but bailed out for financial reasons.
Anyway, Chass adds that the Yanks would be hit by luxury tax if they acquired and extended Santana. For example, a five-year, $100MM deal would result in a constant $7.5MM annually in luxury tax. This does not seem to bother the Yankees.
Nick Cafardo wrote a few days ago that the Red Sox are standing pat with an offer of Coco Crisp, Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, and Jed Lowrie for Santana. For what it’s worth, David Ortiz doesn’t think the Sox will get Johan.