Ian Kennedy Rumors
According to a source of Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, "the Yankees have apparently expressed interest in Rich Harden." Slusser believes the A's would demand full price for Harden, perhaps asking for Ian Kennedy and young pitchers.
If you look at this from each party's point of view, it doesn't seem like a trade could be reached anytime soon. Harden would be a tantalizing #1 starter for the Yankees, but why pay full price for a guy who's pitched 200 innings over the last three years? Replacing Kennedy with Harden could deplete the team's starting pitching depth.
On the other hand, if you're Billy Beane, why trade Harden at a discount right now? He is nowhere near his peak value. The one reason to do it might be if Beane does not believe Harden will return to good health this year or next. Joe Pawlikowski weighs in on this rumor over at River Ave. Blues.
According to Buster Olney in his blog today:
The Twins tried to re-engage the Yankees Monday night, calling and asking, again, for Hughes to be in a package. The Yankees said no, and the Twins then asked, instead, for Chien-Ming Wang and Ian Kennedy, and the Yankees said no.
This differs from Bob Klapisch's take yesterday. Klapisch said the Twins' last-ditch proposal to the Yankees was for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, and a top prospect. Regardless, the Yankees preferred to enter the '08 season with Wang, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain in the rotation. Kennedy and Mike Mussina will compete for the fifth spot.
Now that the players have been agreed upon for the Johan Santana trade, some depictions of the 11th-hour negotiations have leaked out.
- LEN3 says Santana is expected to get a six-year deal worth around $130MM ($21.66MM annually). He also notes that Santana had given the Twins an end-of-day Tuesday deadline or else he would've used his no-trade clause.
- Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record chronicles Bill Smith's last-ditch attempts to get the Yankees and Red Sox involved. He apparently asked the Yankees for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, and a top prospect and was denied. The Red Sox wouldn't part with Jon Lester or Jacoby Ellsbury. To me this makes the Yankees and Red Sox look really fickle. They were willing to offer up these huge packages a few months ago but now both have done a 180? I know the free agent market has shrunk but it's still crazy that their stances changed so dramatically.
- Newsday says the Mets added Deolis Guerra as the final offer yesterday.
- Joe Posnanski has heard many varying opinions on the deal.
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.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 11:09pm: Hank Steinbrenner weighed in on the Haren-Yankees talks, calling Billy Beane's request "ridiculous." The Yankees are out on Haren.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 2:00pm: Nick Piecoro's source says Conor Jackson is not a part of the Haren talks, actually.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 12:13pm: The Boston Herald's Rob Bradford says the A's and D'Backs have had "constructive talks" about Haren for Carlos Gonzalez, Conor Jackson, and two others.
FROM 12-4-07 at 10:58am:
OK, you already knew that. But Joel Sherman has details.
- Billy Beane sees Dan Haren as equal in value to Johan Santana, all things considered. Over the next three years, that could be true - plus Haren is much more reasonable in terms of salary.
- Beane's focus is young pitching.
- Beane doesn't want Melky Cabrera from the Yankees. He wants a package starting with Phil Hughes and one of Ian Kennedy or Alan Horne.
- Sherman says the Mets don't have the blue-chippers in Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber, and Kevin Mulvey.
- The Dodgers and D'Backs match up better for Haren than the Yankees and Mets, though Arizona doesn't really have the young pitching.
- Joe Blanton won't be cheap either; Beane equates him with Brad Penny.
- Athletics Nation believes Blanton is much more likely to be traded than Haren this winter.
Did you expect anything different? Billy Beane is happy to field offers on Dan Haren and Joe Blanton, but he'll require a king's ransom for either pitcher. Jayson Stark says Beane asked the Yankees for two of Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy for Haren. With the Red Sox it was two of Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, and Jacoby Ellsbury. The Mets would have to pony up Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez. With two starters under contract through 2010, Beane and the A's are sitting pretty.
One source of Stark echoes the popular sentiment that Miguel Cabrera in an Angels uniform would prompt a full-on A's firesale. That would include Huston Street, Dan Johnson, Mark Kotsay, and Rich Harden. You have to admit, that would be fun. Maybe the Brewers won't give up Rickie Weeks for Chad Cordero, but how about Street?
UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 12:02am: Not only will Johan veto any midseason deal, he'll veto any deal to a team other than the Yankees or Red Sox.
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 8:30pm: Hank weighs in, reiterating the deadline. He says the third player actually isn't the sticking point. Thanks Hank!
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 7:30pm: The Yanks' deadline on their offer, which no one is taking seriously, is for end of day Monday. Brian Cashman has given Bill Smith a list of possibilities for the third player in the deal.
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 6:15pm: Ken Rosenthal says Santana told the Twins he won't waive his no-trade clause during the season. It's now or never. The packages the Yankees and Red Sox are offering are definitely better than two draft picks, especially since there's no guarantee one of them will be a first-round pick. I'd be surprised if he's not moved this week.
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 1:30pm: Buster Olney is reporting that the Sox will include Ellsbury in their offer, but pull Lester out of it. Basically the Twins can have one or the other. Olney doesn't say whether Buchholz/Ellsbury is possible, but I imagine it's not. The Twins are expected to choose an offer from Boston or New York soon.
FROM 12-2-07 at 8:45am:
When we left off last night, the Twins and Yankees were still haggling over the third player in a Johan Santana trade. The Twins wanted Alan Horne or Austin Jackson, according to Jon Heyman. Now comes word from Tyler Kepner that those two are considered untouchable in the deal by the Yanks. Dellin Betances, Ian Kennedy, and Jose Tabata round out the five that they will not include as the third player.
It's said that the Yankees will turn to Dan Haren if they don't reach an agreement with the Twins today or tomorrow. The Twins still like Jacoby Ellsbury more than Phil Hughes, so they're trying to get the Red Sox to replace Coco Crisp with him in their offer.
SI.com's Jon Heyman has the latest on the Johan Santana trade talks.
- The Twins want Melky Cabrera plus one of Chamberlain/Hughes/Kennedy from the Yankees. If the Yanks can surrender Kennedy rather than Hughes or Joba, they've done a nice job. Sounds like they would consider giving up Hughes though.
- The Twins want one of Clay Buchholz or Jon Lester plus Jacoby Ellsbury. Lester seems to be the only one of the three the Red Sox would part with, while they'd also be fine with sending Coco Crisp over.
- Heyman names the Mets, Dodgers, Angels, and Mariners as interested parties. First I've heard of the Ms or Halos being in the mix. Regarding the Dodgers, check out an interview with Ned Colletti. For what it's worth, he doesn't seem anxious to deal 3-5 kids for a guy like Santana or Miguel Cabrera.
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
A source of mine with Yankee connections had some good info for me today. Much was discussed yesterday in Tampa.
For starters, the Yanks are expected to make "eye-popping" offers to retain Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera before the World Series ends. The team does not want the pair to file for free agency.
Additionally, the Yankees may make a big play for Aaron Rowand. They believe a package of Melky Cabrera, Chien-Ming Wang, and Ian Kennedy would entice the Twins for Johan Santana. That's a huge price, but doesn't seem out of line to me for the best pitcher in baseball.
My source didn't have anything about Andy Pettitte, who hated seeing Joe Torre go and will take a month to decide if he's even going to play next year.