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images1.jpegLet’s see how long it takes the New York press to bash Joe Christensen’s latest report in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. Because once again, if you’re looking for news in the Johan Santana derby, you won’t find it in the metropolitan area.

Today, Christensen reports that trade discussions have reached a “quiet but crucial stage.” The Twins apparently have come to the realization that the Red Sox, Yankees, and Mets do not plan on sweetening their current offers to any great extent, and that ultimately they are going to have to simply choose the package they like the best, regardless of the backlash they will most likely see from fans. Minnesota still intends to trade the two-time Cy Young winner before spring training, despite Buster Olney‘s opine piece yesterday that said the team would be better off keeping Santana through opening day at this point.

Moreover, from where Christensen is sitting, the Mets continue to appear the lefty ace’s most likely landing spot. Via the Star Tribune:

It’s possible the Twins will trade Santana without landing one player who is universally recognized as a big help in 2008.

Lately, the Twins have seemed most intrigued with the Mets’ offer.

The Mets are offering some combination of the following five players: Carlos Gomez, Fernando Martinez, Deolis Guerra, Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey.

Gomez, 22, could step in immediately as the Twins’ starting center fielder, but some scouts are skeptical about his bat.

The Twins are much higher on Martinez, 19, and Guerra, 18, even though they realize both might be in the minors until 2010.

As for Humber and Mulvey, neither projects as better than a No. 4 starter.

But if the Red Sox and Yankees don’t improve their offers — and the Twins have reason to believe they won’t — Santana could wind up with the Mets.

The Twins would make that deal and step into a public relations nightmare.

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