Mets Rumors & NewsYankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2008 at 3:06 pm and is filed under Baseball, Mets Rumors & News, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

The stance of the Yankees and Mets in regard to Johan Santana has been well documented. The Yanks would love to add him, and while the price tag might be a bit hard to swallow for the fiscally-conscious duo of Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner, money is no object to bullish brother Hank. The Mets likewise are not thrilled with the thought of committing to any pitcher for more than five years, however the team is desperate to erase the memory of September’s collapse and now does not appear the time to pinch pennies.

santana-suit.jpgHowever while the Mets find themselves in a position of desperation, the Yanks find their organization approaching a point of stability for the first time in several seasons, and Cashman and Hal appear dead-set against squandering the franchise’s suddenly fertile farm system in addition to writing a potentially record-setting check. And while he clearly isn’t happy with the situation, even Hank Steinbrenner is beginning to sound like he’s drinking Cash’s Kool-Aid. Via the Daily News:

“We went into this with me making the final baseball decisions and Hal more addressing the financial aspects of the company, but we both do everything,” Steinbrenner said yesterday in a phone interview. “We’re equal partners, but at this point, to tell you the truth, I’m leaning away from it anyway, so it doesn’t matter. Same thing with Brian, he’s another integral part of it, obviously, being the general manager, and one day he’s leaning to do it and the next day he’s not sure.

“But what it comes down to right now is giving up a lot (in a trade) and then having to do the big contract, as well. If (Santana) was just a free agent, we could just go ahead and do it. There’s a big difference this way. We have to sign him as if he’s a free agent, plus you have to give up major talent. That’s a tall order.”

“I’m growing more and more comfortable with what we have, and the veteran players I’ve talked to seem to be pretty comfortable with what we have”.

Hank also indicated that even he would be unwilling to slap the left-handed ace with a six- or seven-year extension.

Those quotes must be music to Omar Minaya‘s ears since the Boston Red Sox, the supposed frontrunners for Santana, appear only as interested in the pitcher as the Yankees are. If the Yankees are on the verge of pulling out of the race, chances are very good that Boston could as well. It appears that both organizations would prefer that the dilemma just disappear, and where better to make that happen than the National League?

Even the Minnesota media appears resigned to the fact that the Twins’ haul for their ace will ultimately prove extremely under-whelming. In the Minneapolis Star-Tribune today, Joe Christensen attempts to brace his readership for a potential deal with the Mets, writing:

They have the greatest need. They have the money to sign Santana. And they play in the National League, where he’s less likely to haunt the Twins.

According to Christensen, the Mets have offered top pitching prospect Deolis Guerra, along with center fielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Kevin Mulvey and Phil Humber. While neither Mulvey or Humber project to be much better than a No. 4 starter in the majors, the Twins allegedly like Guerra, an 18-year-old, 6-5 righthander who pitched to a 4.01 ERA in Class A Florida State League last season. The problem with Guerra, as well as Gomez and Mets’ top prospect Fernando Martinez, is that none of them are polished, major-league-ready kids such as Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester. While the prospects that the Mets are offering could very well be better than anyone else on the table, they are several years away from realizing that potential, and could just as likely wind up as complete busts. For that reason, the Twins are extremely hesitant to pull the trigger on the Mets’ best offer thus far, however, Christensen writes that Minnesota has told the Mets they could seal the deal if Martinez were added to the package.

Let’s say that again. The Mets would have a “done deal” for Johan Santana if they were to offer a package of Fernando Martinez, Carlos Gomez, Deolis Guerra, Keven Mulvey, and Philip Humber. Who do you think is sleeping less restfully this week, Omar Minaya or Twins GM Bill Smith?

I don’t want to get Mets fans’ hopes up, but it really does seem as if things are breaking in their favor here. Santana appears there for the taking if management has the stomach to quite literally give up the farm.

Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about the whole situation. I understand the need not to let last September snowball into a baseball recession in Flushing, however, I also wonder how much closer to a World Series the team will be with Santana in the mix. Ultimately, I still feel that big rebound years from both Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado are far more crucial to this team’s success than any pitcher they add to the rotation. I also wonder what the team will look like in the outfield in a year or two. In a perfect world, Mets’ management had envisioned opening CitiField in 2009 with Carlos Beltran flanked by Martinez and Gomez. But with 2007 gone awry, those plans could be swiftly changing, and I worry that in the process more holes will be created than filled.

Of course, I’d probably still pull the trigger here, but it makes me queasy all the same.

Comments are closed.

  • Press Harbor