Yankees Rumors & News
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So, the New York Yankees have reportedly decided to include prized right-hander Phil Hughes in a deal for Johan Santana.

From the New York Daily News:

After two days of internal discussions among front-office executives, the Yankees swallowed hard Friday and decided to offer Phil Hughes to the Twins as part of the trade package they hope will land them Johan Santana.

“We’re going for it,” was the way one club source put it.

Based on their talks with Twins GM Bill Smith, the Yankees knew they couldn’t make a deal for Santana without including Hughes, their 21-year-old righthander widely regarded as a potential staff ace.

phil hughesBoth the Yankees and Red Sox had been resisting offering their top prospects for Santana. For Boston, that means pitcher Clay Buchholz and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. For the Yankees, that means Hughes and Joba Chamberlain.

It’s no surprise to me if it is indeed the Yankees who crack and give Twins GM Bill Smith what he wants. The Red Sox already have Josh Beckett and have won two of the last four World Series. Santana would be nice, but Boston can win again next year without him.

The Yankees have no legitimate No. 1 starter, face the possibility of losing Andy Pettitte to retirement, have lost AL East supremacy and face the prospect of having three rookie starters in their rotation next season. Jorge Posada was right. To knock Boston off the throne the Yankees need an ace. NOW!!

“We need a No.1, and I think that’s one of the reasons we’re going after Santana,” Posada said. “It is a need in October, no question about it. When you look at the past World Series champions, they were able to have a No.1 throwing at least two games to win the title.”

Wallace Matthews of Newsday makes the point that the Yankees have to keep Santana away from Boston. Period.

If Santana goes to Boston, the Yankees go to second place in the American League East for the rest of George Steinbrenner’s life, and maybe Hank Steinbrenner’s, too. It’s as simple as that.

No matter how many home runs Alex Rodriguez hits, no matter how many hitters Chamberlain freezes, no matter how many great years Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada have left in them and no matter how much further Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy develop, the Yankees will never overcome a team on which Josh Beckett is the No. 2 starter.

For that reason alone, the Yankees have to re-think their position on Hughes, Kennedy, Cabrera and Cano. The name of the game now is keepaway, and the Yankees had better master it in a hurry. Santana can go to the Dodgers or the Mets or the Angels or the Cubs, but under no circumstances can he be allowed to set foot in Fenway Park except as the enemy.

I’m with Matthews on this one. I think Hughes will become an outstanding big-league pitcher. The Yankees, simply, aren’t in position to wait for that to happen. If the opportunity is there, and it seems to be, they have to put Santana in pinstripes.

Santana, only 28, is widely regarded as the game’s best pitcher. This is not Randy Johnson or Kevin Brown, former aces hanging around for a paycheck by the time they got the Bronx. This is a guy, who, provided he stays healthy, can continue to be among the best pitchers in the game for many years to come.

What do you think, Yankees fans? Keep the kids or go all in for Santana?

There are currently 5 responses to “Should the Yankees give up Hughes for Johan?”

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  1. 1 On December 1st, 2007, gozer said:

    i would say, keep the kids…but i understand why it’s impossible.

  2. 2 On December 1st, 2007, Frank Negron Jr. said:

    Im very torn on this. I want to see Santana a Yankee no doubt, but I am a big fan of Hughes and want him in pinstripes. If there was any of the untouchables that I would give up, it would be Ian Kennedy. But I agree there’s NO way you let the Red Sox get Johan. If that happens, there’s no way the Derek Jeter Yankees ever see a championship again.

  3. 3 On December 1st, 2007, gozer said:

    also, i’ll believe the sox are serious about santana when i see him wearing bloody socks. until then, i think they’re taking a calculated risk in these negotiations. don’t give up anyone you can’t afford to lose, but make a credible offer that raises the market for the player. worst case, you win the auction and have to pony up $150 million for the best pitcher in baseball. more likely, however, you’ll force the rival yankees to pony up and give up their best prospects to do so. With the money committed Dice-K, the money they’ll owe beckett whenever he needs to be extended, the money they’ll end up spending to either keep Manny or replace him following the year, I can’t see the Sox wanting to write another gigantic check here. They’ve already won twice in 4 years, their team is young and improving, and they make a fortune in that ballpark. With an ownership that’s known for it’s fiscal conservatism when it comes to overpaying players, a move for Santana would seem a bit out of character. I think it’s all gamesmanship, and fairly brilliant at that.

  4. 4 On December 1st, 2007, Frank Coffey said:

    It doesn’t matter. Breaking news just in:

    Fed up with what he termed “insultingly inadequate” offers for their standout lefthander, Minnesota Twins’ GM Bill Smith has traded ace Johann Santana to the Portland Sea Dogs, the Red Sox’ AA affiliate, in exchange for “two Sea Dogs to be named later, and a lot of lobster,” according to a Twins source. “We like the Sea Dogs we’re getting, plus the Maine economy needed a little boost,” the source said.

  5. 5 On December 2nd, 2007, Rob Abruzzese said:

    I don’t have the stomach for this anymore, but that quote about the Yankees being in 2nd place for the rest of Steinbrenners life if the Sox get Santana may be true.

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