Santana's Return

Will the Johan Santana sweepstakes ever end?
Just when it appeared the conclusion of a deal was gaining momentum over the strenuous winter meetings, the Miguel Cabrera blockbuster either set Nashville off-kilter or Red Sox GM Theo Epstein decided to celebrate Hanukkah rather than force a deal. All kidding aside, we

Categories: Jacoby Ellsbury Jed Lowrie Johan Santana Jon Lester Justin Masterson Melky Cabrera Minnesota Twins New York Yankees Phil Hughes

15 Responses to “Santana's Return” Subscribe

  1. Ethan Michaels December 21, 2007 at 2:32 PM #

    I don't think there's any doubt why the Twins would prefer a package of Lester/Lowrie/Masterson/? to a package of Hughes/Melky/?
    Melky's not a quality prospect. I don't know if he's a fourth outfielder, but he's certainly a well below average starting outfielder. And the Yankees are even hesitant to add any quality lower level prospects to their deal. So essentially, the Twins would be dealing Santana for one quality pitching prospect (who will likely never be as good as Santana) and some throw-ins.
    On the other hand, they could get a quality pitching prospect in Lester (although not quite at the same level of Hughes), a quality middle infield prospect in Lowrie, and ANOTHER quality pitching prospect in Masterson in the least. Then they'd get a throw-in centerfielder who unlike Melky is least a plus defensively.

  2. pete December 21, 2007 at 2:48 PM #

    i really think we (redsox)need to deal a knock out blow to the yankees and get my opinion that would sew up the A.L.east for the next 4-5 years.i know we're a long way away,but i would like the sox to chase down the # of yankee titles.sighning Santana along with 2004,2007 is a great start.the curse of the bambino is dead,now the yankees have the curse-the A-ROD curse.

  3. Ethan Michaels December 21, 2007 at 3:30 PM #

    Buchholz ranked as top pitching prospect in baseball.

  4. Frank December 22, 2007 at 3:02 AM #

    forget about santana, let's dump Lugo and Coco and just plug in Lowrie and Ellsbury, look, Lowrie's defense probably isn't that great but i have read on a lot of sites and many scouts believe he will be a better hitter than Pedroia and that is way beyond Lugo, i would rather have Lowrie up here even if he plays some awful defense but if he hits, who cares, hey, it works for the yanks.

  5. Eric SanInocencio December 22, 2007 at 10:17 AM #

    Well written Zach. While I might dispute some of your claims, you articulately broke down both proposals.
    The bottom line is this. If you are Bill Smith, do you want the best quality or the best quantity? I have no trouble saying that the Red Sox offer brings more quality players to the table (and a position of greater need in SS). However, the best overall player mentioned in this article is Phil Hughes, so in most trades whoever gets the best player wins.
    I would go with the Yanks offer for two reasons.
    1. Having a cost-controlled possible ace for six seasons (Hughes) outweights have a 2-3 for the same amount of time. Melky, whether you think he's good or not, is a capable CF on the team the Minnesota Twins will be for the next few seasons.
    2. Melky comes cheaper than Crisp, which we have to assume is the way that billionaire owner Carl Pohlad thinks. So in return from the Yanks you'd get a top of the rotation starter, a starting CF and another arm (Marquez, Horne). If you go with the Sox offer, you'd get a SS (Lowrie) and a mid-rotation guy (Lester) and a good relief prospect (Masterson).
    Both packages offer their good points, but I'd go with the Yanks because of Hughes. If I am going to trade the best pitcher in baseball, than I have to get something great possibly in return. Good article.

  6. Ethan Michaels December 22, 2007 at 3:01 PM #

    Eric, think about the Yankees package for a moment. They're willing to offer Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, and a throw-in (which the Yankees reportedly aren't willing to make one of their better low level prospects).
    Is Phil Hughes better than Jon Lester? At this stage in their development I don't think there's any doubts about that, at least from reasonable fans. And Hughes is a couple years younger.
    BUT, Lester is hardly a slouch. Last year, Hughes was rated as the second best pitching prospect in baseball (according to Baseball America). The year before, Lester was rated as the 5th best pitching prospect in baseball. Lester could potentially be a number one but I think it's more realistic to project him as a number two.
    ALSO, the Twins wouldn't only be getting one major league ready, or near major league pitcher from the Red Sox, as they would from the Yankees. They'd also be getting Justin Masterson. If you're unfamiliar with Masterson, check this article out –
    Masterson projects as another number two, possibly number three starter. And I can't think of a single team that (barring they already have a good rotation put together) wouldn't prefer two potential top of the rotation starters to one potential top of the rotation aces.
    And you're right that the Twins would prefer Melky over Crisp because of the money involved. But what if the Red Sox were to send some money? Both players hit very similarly, but Crisp is a plus defender and is a threat on the base paths. If it wasn't for the money, I think the Twins would prefer him.
    Then PLUS the Twins would get Jed Lowrie from the Red Sox. Lowrie has more patience and power than Melky's ever had, plus he'd be cost controlled for longer.
    Barring a very drastic difference in ability, I think any team would take four major league ready, or near major league ready players than take only two. And since Melky and Crisp's abilities are basically a wash. The Twins would have to prefer one projected ace starter (Hughes) over two projected top of the rotation starters (Lester and Masterson) and a projected plus middle infielder (Lowrie). Could you really justify the value of Hughes being greater than those three other players who are cost controlled?
    Let me know what your thoughts are on this. I'd like to hear what you think.

  7. Dan Order December 23, 2007 at 12:56 PM #

    Ethan: I've been reconsidering my stance on the Johan offer a little bit, but I concluded that I still agree with the offer the Sox are putting forward. It is very possible that Jed Lowrie is going to be a great hitter. He's also improving his defense at shortstop. However, it's also very possible that Lugo had the same year that Mike Lowell did in 2004 and is able to rebound in the same way. The big player in this deal is Masterson. Papelbon, Okajima, and Delcarmen being the respectable names of the bullpen concerns me a bit. Hopefully something will click with Hansen so that we don't regret not trading him when his value was sky-high. If it takes the Ellsbury deal to get Santana I say hell no, but otherwise, with the package we're offering, I still say to do it.

  8. Ethan Michaels December 23, 2007 at 2:35 PM #

    I definitely think Lowrie would be an improvement over Lugo next year. I don't think Lugo is going to rebound all that much. But the difference between Lowrie and Lugo isn't going to be anything like the difference between Santana and Wakefield. And I don't like to lose Lester and Masterson either as I believe they will both be top of the rotation starters. But if the Red Sox could get the best pitcher in baseball without giving up Buchholz or Ellsbury, I think they've made themselves a pretty nice deal.

  9. t December 23, 2007 at 8:03 PM #


  10. Daniel Rathman December 23, 2007 at 9:59 PM #

    Nice writeup, Zach.
    If Theo can get Santana for Lester, Coco, Lowrie, and Masterson, it's a deal he has to make, IMO. We're getting arguably the best pitcher in baseball for a #3 starter, an easily replaceable center-fielder, a 2B/SS prospect with no spot, and a sinkerballer who may never be more than a decent setup man. It's not a bad haul for Minnesota, but it's not all that costly for the Sox.
    On the other hand, the Ellsbury package is more of a head-scratcher. I'd do Ellsbury, Masterson, and maybe Kalish (though I think he's got a pretty high ceiling) for Santana. Then I'd try to dump Lugo on someone else and plug Lowrie in at short. Basically, I don't want to give up two promising bats in this deal. Pedroia-Lowrie could be a VERY productive middle-infield for a decade, with both playing decent defense and posting OPS over .800.
    Not sure if anyone else has mentioned it, but Nick Cafardo wrote today that he expects the Twins to ask for best offers shortly after New Year's, and then make a decision. He says that Santana will likely be going to Boston unless then Yankees package Hughes, Melky, and Kennedy. Newsday also reported that the Yankees haven't made an offer to the Twins since the Winter Meetings.
    I actually wouldn't necessarily mind Santana going to NYY all that much if they have to give up Hughes AND Kennedy. I'm not sure that Beckett-Dice-Schilling-Buchholz-Wake/Lester isn't superior to Santana-Wang-Pettitte-Joba (half season in rotation?)-Mussina, especially long-term, and considering that the Sox's bullpen is stronger.
    (BTW, big thanks to whoever the DSL provider is in Tahoe for leaving me internet-less for three days. In my world, that's pretty darn close to hell.)

  11. Guest Columnist December 23, 2007 at 10:34 PM #

    Open Letter From Red Sox Nation
    "According to my friend, it's not that they're cocky, it was because Red Sox fans have a kick-em-while-they're-down mentality. Now I give my friend credit for not claiming he dislikes Red Sox fans because they're cocky. Because that would have been a pretty lame excuse. Yankees fans are notorious for their "confident" and "bold" attitudes themselves. And when a fan base's favorite team does well, I feel as if they kind of have a right to to be a little cocky.
    But this "kick-them-while-they're-down-mentality" I found to be especially interesting. Now the Red Sox haven't been all that successful until this decade. And growing up as a Red Sox fan in the early and mid-90's I seem to remember a certain fan base that kicked me while I was down quite a bit."

  12. RollingWave December 24, 2007 at 3:34 AM #

    While i agree that the Sox package is better. I think we are slightly not too objective in some of the prospect ratings here.
    Masterson: he's a good prospect, but to say that he's a ceiling 2 is really pushing it. his stuff might be there. but his results have been pretty far from that. the Yankees have several guys that easily beat that level of performanec even throwing out Hughes and Joba Chamberlian . he's got pretty good ceiling, but there isn't enough performance backign right now to seriously say he's a top prospect.
    Melky: he's minor league line is somewhat deciving considering how fast the Yankees pushed him. given his age there's a realistic chance that he still take a few more step foward.
    More importantly is that you must judge Melky and Coco's value to the Twin by considering the money . Melky is still under control for 4 year and 1 of them is league minimum . Coco makes over 10 M for the next 2 season combined with a 8M option that is unlikely to get exercised (0.5M buyout) . that in itslef probably make Melky a lot more attractive to Coco even if you don't think Melky develop much from here considering that Melky might not even make half of that in the 4 year combined.
    Coco is a stop gap that is going ot cost some serious doh (for the Twins.) Melky is also a stop gap, but he's a lot cheaper, and is a younger player that might improve. Coco is better right now sure, but the difference is pretty limited.
    And the impact of getting Santana would be interesting, if the Sox dont' up their payroll considerablly it would effectively be replacing Manny with Johan after this year. that would make the Red Sox Offensive rather questionable going foward espically if Papi have any health / decline issue.
    It would be fun to watch, but we probably should also take a precaution that getting Johan won't neccesarily mean a long WS run… the Yankee run in hindsite didn't really have that many great pitchers in their prime. while the team that did at the period. (Braves) won 1 series.

  13. Daniel Rathman December 24, 2007 at 6:55 AM #

    FWIW, Papi doesn't see it happening.
    From Rotoworld, per the Herald:
    David Ortiz said Sunday that he doesn't expect the Red Sox to trade for Johan Santana.
    Ortiz probably doesn't have any inside information, although he is friends with Santana from their time together in Minnesota. "No," Ortiz said. "I was [following the rumors] for a minute, but I guess they stopped. They don't want him to go. [Minnesota] already gave Boston too many good things already. Me, and now Santana? No way." Don't forget Kevin Garnett and Randy Moss.
    I don't know how familiar Papi is with Theo's dealings, but…if he's friends with Santana and that's the vibe he's getting, it may not be a good sign. On the other hand, maybe his friendship with Santana will draw Johan to Boston…
    But that's probably putting too much stake in Papi's $0.02.

  14. Gerry December 24, 2007 at 3:40 PM #

    Seems to me that the Sox ought to focus on fixing the main problems of 2007. Coco did OK but could have done better at the plate. Ellsbury's arrival took care of that issue. Julio Lugo was a disaster at the plate, and with 19E, didn't help us there either. Why not continue the PawSox Youth Movement by getting back Hanley Ramirez. If his defense doesn't improve (24E), then his bat will find a place, maybe in left or right field in a couple of years. What a dream lineup of high BA, extra base production, stolen bases, and still top level defense.
    The other, more pressing problem is adding to the bullpen to replace Gagne, Donnelly, Pineiro, Romero. Why not get a couple of rock solid relievers like Huston Street (50 in, 2.88, 63K, 16SV) and Casey Janson (72 in, 2.35, 39K, 6SV) or Chad Quals (82In, 3.25,78K, 5SV), to support Pap and Oki, and bring back some more young PawSox studs we traded that may be available like Anibal Sanchez or Harvey Garcia or Kason Gabbard.
    Johann Santana? We win it all with or without him with our rotation, with our lineup . . . but it will be easier with more in the bullpen and Hanley Ramirez at SS.

  15. Geno December 27, 2007 at 6:33 AM #

    Boy, I had heard Sox fans were a bit delusional, but I never thought it would be to this degree. Get real guys – Hughes is far more valuable than any player offered by the Sox. Melky's far better than Coco – it's not even close. And comparing Masterson to Horne or Marquez? Laughable. You guys are funny, but in a tragic kind of way.