I recently named La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune as Rumor Royalty for the Twins. He answered a few questions for MLBTR, so let’s kick it off.
MLBTR: Are you sick of the Johan Santana saga yet? These talks have been dragging for a month after it seemed like something would get done at the Winter Meetings. Who will cave in – the Twins, Yankees, Mets, or Red Sox?
Neal: Can’t wait for this to end! I think the Twins have sent out signals in recent weeks that they have lowered their demands some in order to get something done. I initially felt that the Red Sox had the best chance to land Santana because I kept hearing how well talks were going. Then I thought the Yankees would step up and make the deal because they have a greater need for a front line starter than Boston. But the Mets have a greater need than the Yankees, and as soon as the Twins indicated that they would accept a deal with the Mets without Jose Reyes being involved the Mets’ chances shot upward.
I don’t blame a team for holding out to get what they want, but Santana will require a hefty contract extension wherever he winds up. A team won’t empty its roster and take on salary. So get what you can and move on.