Philip Humber Rumors
Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a new article up focused on how the ultimate package for Johan Santana may not be fan-pleasing. That's because the Twins "seem most intrigued" with the Mets' offer, which doesn't include household names. They're proposing some combination of Carlos Gomez, Fernando Martinez, Deolis Guerra, Philip Humber, and Kevin Mulvey. Seems it would be one of the outfielders plus the three pitchers.
Christensen notes the Chuck Knoblauch and A.J. Pierzynski trades as examples of deals that were derided in Minnesota at the time but ended up favoring the Twins. However I do believe fans are better equipped to evaluate trades these days, the way prospects are followed. (An aside - I still think we all would've praised Brian Sabean at the time of the Pierzynski/Liriano/Bonser/Nathan deal.)
In other Johan news, Sid Hartman has some fresh Hank quotes if you're interested.
It's time for today's dose of Johan Santana rumors and info. It's funny - I sense that everyone is getting sick of this stuff and would prefer a fresh rumor about, say, Brad Wilkerson.
- Lisa Kennelly wrote this morning that the Mets appear to be sticking to their guns with an offer of Carlos Gomez or Fernando Martinez, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra. However, she says the Mets prefer Erik Bedard over Santana since he will not require a huge extension. The New York Times adds that the Mets "are not engaged in heavy discussions with the Twins."
- MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dives into the situation, summing up recent events and providing some insight from a roundtable that included Ken Rosenthal, Dan Graziano, and Jim Duquette.
- Michael Silverman, with some help from Baseball America, evaluates each reported package of prospects that has been offered for Santana.
- An end may be in sight - the Twins lose leverage if teams truly start to pull out, writes Joe Christensen.
UPDATE, 1-10-08 at 11:29am: Christensen says Mets owner Fred Wilpon gave Omar Minaya the green light to try to acquire Santana, meaning he's amenable to a contract extension exceeding $100MM.
UPDATE, 1-10-08 at 9:38am: Peter Botte of the New York Daily News has a new quote from Hank: he's "leaning away from" from the Yankees doing a Santana deal.
FROM 1-09-08 at 10:54pm:
Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggests the Mets might be the best fit for Johan Santana. He says they're offering four players, three of them pitchers: Deolis Guerra, Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, and Phil Humber. It's a strong package.
Christensen says the Twins would accept if the Mets added Fernando Martinez to the package (not sure if Martinez would replace Gomez, or it would just be five players instead of four).
Something's got to give here in the next few weeks - how long can the Santana saga hold up the free agent pitching market?
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.
UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 5:48pm: Jayson Stark confirms the Reds' interest in Willis. However he suggests that the Marlins would ask for Homer Bailey and then some in return.
FROM 12-3-07 at 11:41am:
SI.com's Jon Heyman checks in with the latest hot stove banter he's hearing. There's some confusion here as Heyman has contrary info to other published sources.
- Heyman believes Johan Santana is "more likely than not" to get traded at the Meetings, and quite possibly today.
- Heyman says the Red Sox and Yankees are the two teams Santana would waive his veto power for, running contrary to LENIII's recent note.
- Heyman reports that the Mets offered Gomez/Humber/Heilman for Erik Bedard, though as you may recall Roger Rubin said it was Lastings Milledge and not Gomez. Whatever it was, the Orioles weren't impressed with the offer. Heyman says the Mets feel they still have a chance. The Dodgers, Mariners, and loser of Santana will be in on Bedard as well.
- Heyman seems to indicate the Marlins are still asking for Adenhart and Ervin Santana in a Miguel Cabrera deal, despite Peter Gammons' comment this morning.
- The Reds may pursue Dontrelle Willis. I was thinking they might, the fit makes sense. A package with Josh Hamilton and one of the Reds' stud pitchers might be required though. Also keep in mind that Joe Frisaro said the Marlins plan to keep Willis at least until July.
- Heyman suggests the Mets could re-acquire Xavier Nady to play right field for them.
The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec has the latest regarding ace Erik Bedard. Some rank Bedard as the best available starter, all-in-all - he's under team control for longer than Johan Santana, doesn't have no-trade rights, and has better stuff than Dan Haren.
- The Orioles and Bedard's agent never actually exchanged salary figures, and now contract extension talks have come to a stop. Andy MacPhail isn't concerned but no one seems to expect the O's to pony up the money needed to retain their ace beyond 2009. Johan Santana should set the bar; Bedard may become a $20MM pitcher.
- Zrebiec lists the Yankees, Mets, Mariners, Angels, and Dodgers as teams that have inquired on Bedard. It's surprising to see the Red Sox omitted from that list.
- The Mets made an offer: Carlos Gomez, Aaron Heilman, and perhaps Phil Humber. That's an OK starting point but the O's could do better.
- The Dodgers have also had talks with the O's, with Matt Kemp, Jonathan Broxton, and Clayton Kershaw coming up. That's certainly worth mulling over.
We've discussed this before...it seems like the Mets don't stack up with certain other clubs trying to acquire available frontline starting pitching. Ken Rosenthal definitely feels this way - Carlos Gomez is considered a blue-chipper but the others may not be.
Rosenthal notes that a package starting with Lastings Milledge and Aaron Heilman doesn't do much for Billy Beane. The A's don't see Milledge as a long-term center field solution, and Heilman is a reliever. Mike Pelfrey and Phil Humber aren't the top-shelf pitching prospects the A's covet in return for Dan Haren or Joe Blanton. It seems as if the very best package the Mets can assemble might only be enough for Blanton.
The Mets are also after Johan Santana and Erik Bedard, but it's the same story. Unless they create a huge hole by trading Jose Reyes, it doesn't seem they can offer the best package. Though the Twins still want Reyes, Adam Rubin and Joel Sherman indicate that's not an option.
Dipping into the free agent market for Hiroki Kuroda or Carlos Silva seems to make more sense. One option the Mets have been linked to in the past, Dontrelle Willis, may be off the market now.
Plenty of action around the Mets lately; Omar Minaya has his work cut out for him. Hat tip to MetsBlog for several of the links.
- The sensational storyline here is that Minaya will meet with Scott Boras to discuss Alex Rodriguez. However, Boras and Minaya might spend more time discussing Kyle Lohse and Eric Gagne than A-Rod - the Mets' focus is pitching.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff reminds us of past trade talks regarding Joe Blanton, Jose Contreras, and Jon Garland. Those talks may be re-opened, though Davidoff notes that the White Sox aren't enamored of Lastings Milledge. Additionally, the Mets will meet with Carlos Silva's people this week.
- Buster Olney discusses the Mets' pursuit for pitching today in his blog. They need a horse, somebody who can chew up innings. Aside from the aforementioned Silva and Blanton, Olney names Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren, Scott Kazmir, and Dontrelle Willis as possible targets (though Marc Lancaster considers the declaration of Kazmir's availability to be "dubious at best." Meanwhile one exec thinks the Rays would only make him available if "his arm is about to blow.") Olney's guess is that the Mets will acquire Blanton. The Mets have some combination of Mike Pelfrey, Philip Humber, Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, and Aaron Heilman to offer. There are pros and cons to dealing each.
- There are other concerns besides pitching: second base and catcher. Besides the forthcoming monster offer to Jorge Posada, the Mets are considering Paul Lo Duca and Yorvit Torrealba as fallbacks. Ramon Castro is looking for a two-year deal, and hopes it's with the Mets. However, the Rockies have their eye on him.
- Pedro Martinez expects to pitch beyond 2008. Whether that will be for the Mets or someone else, who knows.
- Marlon Anderson's two-year deal will be announced today, according to Adam Rubin. The Mets will pass on Jose Valentin and Brian Lawrence's options.
UPDATE: SI.com's Jon Heyman says the Mets have offered Philip Humber to the Nationals for Cordero, but are holding fast with their bigger name prospects. He also confirms that the Diamondbacks are in on Cordero and could offer Carlos Quentin.
According to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, the fates of Chad Cordero and Jon Rauch might be tied to Eric Gagne. Gagne has the lower asking price and limited no-trade protection, and Jim Bowden may wait until that situation is resolved.
Some possible names on the Nats' radar include Wily Mo Pena, Carlos Quentin, and Philip Humber. Humber is one prospect the Mets are willing to trade, according to Jayson Stark. Those names don't exactly gel with the previous demands were hearing from Jim Bowden. Will Bowden back down? Will a desperate team offer a top flight prospect like an Adam Jones? Or will Cordero and Rauch just stay put like last year?
MetsBlog reports that Philip Humber was pulled from his scheduled start against the Portland Beavers today. Humber hasn't pitched since July 22nd, but food poisoning has been cited. There's a chance he's involved in a deal.