One AL executive theorized, "There are a few teams who could match up with the Twins. Would the Yankees deal Melky Cabrera and an Ian Kennedy for Santana? How about Boston? Would they send a Clay Buchholz and a Jacoby Ellsbury for him? The Mets? There are few teams who could handle the paycheck you’d have to give Santana and also be able to part with key prospects."
If that logic is correct, it narrows the list of suitors considerably.
MLBTR readers made the astute point in the Kemp/Kershaw comments that if a team is going to give up two Major League-ready prospects, the deal would be contingent on a re-signing of Santana. A one year rental is most likely not going to appeal to any GM handing over otherwise untouchable commodities such as a Buchholz/Ellsbury or a Kennedy/Cabrera or a Kemp/Kershaw.
Which teams, therefore, can afford the likes of baseball’s best starting pitcher?
Here’s an intriguing twist. As most already know, it’s safe to assume Santana will not finish in the top 3 in Cy Young voting this year and therefore will not be gaining his no-trade clause for 2008. However, he still gets to choose up to 12 teams to which he can’t be traded. If for some reason he didn’t want to leave the Twins next season, could he strategically choose every team capable of dealing for him?
Despite not having a no-trade clause, it’s safe to note Santana will have considerable say in any deal.
Posted by: Nat Boyle