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This entry was posted on Friday, January 11th, 2008 at 2:49 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.

santana1.jpgI love print media. But I also love the internet, and yesterday’s Santana buzz was a perfect example of why it’s such a gosh darn exciting place. Joe Christensen of the Star-Tribune set the hot stove ablaze yesterday with his report that the Mets could land the Twins’ Johan Santana if they were to add Fernando Martinez to their current offer of Carlos Gomez, Deolis Guerra, Kevin Mulvey and Phil Humber. While reporters in New York were publishing “filler” articles on the Mets resigning Duaner Sanchez, Christensen’s story was making its rounds around the blogosphere and back again. In fact, the last people to pick up the news was the New York print media, who had to wait a whole day to squeeze the hot rumor into today’s editions.

Interestingly some of the coverage of Christensen’s scoop in the New York papers today seems a tad antagonistic to me, with the Daily News going so far as to call the report “a wild pitch” and “off the mark.” I guess a writer is forced to put their own unique slant on things when they’re essentially reporting yesterday’s news. The News’ source indicates that while the sides are embroiled in negotiations, Minnesota hasn’t actually indicated that the deal would be done should Martinez be included. The paper comes off as far too eager to discredit Christensen and quite frankly, I trust the Star-Tribune’s sources in Minnesota far more than those of the Daily News. Thumbs down to reporters Ian Begley and Adam Rubin on this one.

Meanwhile, in the Post today, Kevin Kernan says Just Say Nohan, and writes that Mets sources have indicated they are unwilling to surrender a five-player package that includes all three of Fernando Martinez, Carlos Gomez, and Deolis Guerra. Martinez appears to be a deal breaker, as the Mets view him as a premier power bat in the corner outfield.

There is also a sentiment among some that unless the Yankees and Sox jump back in the mix soon, the Mets are essentially bidding against themselves here and do not need to bow to Minnesota’s demands. One thing that’s clear: As well as events seem to breaking for the Mets in these discussions, they’ve broken just as badly for Twins’ GM Bill Smith, who appears doomed to accept a substandard deal for the game’s premier lefthander.

Essentially, the way I read the situation is that the Mets prospects really are not as awful as we were perhaps led to believe during the Winter Meetings. Buzz has been generating over the last couple of weeks on the high-ceilings that scouts envision for both Fernando Martinez and Carlos Gomez, both of whom are projected to be far superior players than either Jacoby Ellsbury or Melky Cabrera. Likewise, Deolis Guerra is a name that most fans hadn’t heard of a few months ago, but who has quickly risen to the top of the Mets crop of young pitchers and appears to be a prospect that a lot of people are excited about. The problem, of course, is that he is only 18 years old. Martinez is only a shade older at 19, while Gomez, 21, is the elder statesman of the trio.

Minnesota would love to get their mitts on any one of these young guys, but they are extremely hesitant to make a deal that guarantees not to pay dividends for another two to three seasons. Thus, it appears the hold-up all along hasn’t been that the Twins don’t want what the Mets are offering, but rather they are scared that their major league roster in 2008 could resemble a skeleton crew if they don’t get back a player such as Ellsbury or Jon Lester or Phil Hughes, who they know can step in and contribute next season.

Further complicating matters for Minnesota’s braintrust is the fact that the Mets appear to be Santana’s first choice of new homes. Like most pitchers, he is curious to see what his already-sparkling numbers would look like when translated to the pitcher-friendly NL, and according to the Post, would love to get regular at-bats since the pitcher “loves to hit” and owns a .258 lifetime average.

metsblog.gifFor the record, practically every word above is what Matt Cerrone on MetsBlog has been saying all along. He started singing that tune even before the Winter Meetings and has continued to sing it even as reputable reporters around baseball refuted him. I, ever the cynic, believed the main-stream media, and doubted Cerrone, and thought perhaps his recent deal with SNY (congrats, by the way) had gone to his head. I thought, “Who does this guy think he is? Insisting one thing while nearly every major media outlet is insisting differently.” Well as it turns out, he was the only one who remotely knew what he was talking about. So consider this an apology, Matt. We will never doubt you again.

Incidentally, for Cerrone’s latest take on the Santana discussions, read more here.

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