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Yankees leaning toward putting Hughes in deal for Santana


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Guys, I've been tossing around this possible trade for several days now and to be honest, I wish Santana would stay with the Twins. First, as a Yankees fan, I have no idea in what we have in Hughes, Joba and Kennedy...I know what Santana has...he's probably the best pitcher out there...for now. He's got a lot of innings on him and to top it off, he will command a contract worth what? $150mil I think. That's a lot of dough to sink into a pitcher who yes, is proven, but again, he's got innings on him...no guarantee on how he performs in NY either. I've seen the Whitson's of the world crumble under the NY lights...I just wish this trade was never out there because I'm excited about those three young guys...when is the last time we had three young guns like this...they may all turn out to be busts, but we don't have the money tied up in them yet...I'm off the ramble box, what say you?

By Buster Olney

ESPN The Magazine

Updated: November 30, 2007, 7:13 PM ET

A pivotal sticking point in the Yankees' trade talks with Minnesota about Johan Santana is the question of whether New York will include talented right-hander Phil Hughes in their offer.

And, within the internal discussions in New York's front office, there is a sense that the team is leaning toward putting Hughes in the deal.

"If they put Hughes in the deal," said one person familiar with the talks, "that could get it done for Minnesota."

Even if the Yankees and Twins build a framework for a Santana deal around Hughes, center fielder Melky Cabrera and another top minor league prospect, this would be only the first step toward completing the trade. Because Santana has a full no-trade clause, the Yankees may have to offer the two-time Cy Young Award winner a record-setting deal of something in the range of $25 million a year for six years.

No pitcher has ever received a multiyear deal for more than $20 million.

Up until now, sources say the Yankees have been willing to talk about pitcher Ian Kennedy, Cabrera and others, but not top pitching prospects Joba Chamberlain and Hughes and second baseman Robinson Cano. The Red Sox have talked about a willingness to offer pitcher Jon Lester, center fielder Coco Crisp, minor league infielder Jed Lowrie and a minor league pitcher -- but Boston doesn't want to surrender center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury or pitcher Clay Buchholz.

But there is more pressure on the Yankees to acquire Santana or another veteran pitcher, because the projected Yankees' rotation, as of today, lacks experience, and because friends of left-hander Andy Pettitte believe there is a real chance that he is going to retire. The Yankees may not learn until late December or January about what Pettitte's plans are for 2008.

Those considerations may nudge the Yankees into adding Hughes to their offer for Santana.

The Yankees and Red Sox are also engaged in ongoing talks with the Oakland Athletics about Dan Haren, an accomplished pitcher who is a much cheaper option than Santana. Haren would cost, in prospects, a package comparable to what Santana is commanding, but he is already under contract for the next three years at $16.25 million (presuming his team exercises an option for 2010).

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why can't we pick up a guy or two like haren who would improve our rotation without giving up future aces? what are we gonna do in a few years when huges is an all star and santana is getting old? trade another future all star to get huges back? This move makes no sense to me beyond the next year. I'd lose in 08 to have the greatest young rotation in 09.

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The Yankees have decided to include Phil Hughes in their proposal for Johan Santana, the New York Daily News reports.

We think a Hughes-Melky Cabrera package trumps what the Red Sox are offering, though that doesn't necessarily mean the Twins feel the same way. They'll probably ask the Red Sox to counter with Clay Buchholz or Jacoby Ellsbury in their package. Boston, though, wouldn't seem to need Santana as badly as the Yankees do.

Source: New York Daily News

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I will make sure that Hughes is not traded. I dont care what I have to do. I will fly to NY and hold him hostage.

HE IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE !!!

Ya gotta give up something good to get something good in return kid. The Twins are holding the cards right now.

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The Yankees have won NOTHING since they started splurging like crazy on free agents. Build from within and keep the kids. The team would be better next year if they made that trade but if Johan gets hurt then what? Don't let it all ride on one player.

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The Yankees have won NOTHING since they started splurging like crazy on free agents. Build from within and keep the kids. The team would be better next year if they made that trade but if Johan gets hurt then what? Don't let it all ride on one player.

Exactly Max...when was the last time the Yanks signed a FA pitcher or one they got through a trade and he had a better season then with his previous team?

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Exactly Max...when was the last time the Yanks signed a FA pitcher or one they got through a trade and he had a better season then with his previous team?

Jimmy Key - David Cone, they worked out but were both SHORT term answers. Mussina has failed when you consider the amount of money he has been paid. At best he did the bare minimum.

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From the News:

The Twins yesterday informed the Yankees they were prepared to deal Santana to the Red Sox unless the 21-year-old Hughes was part of the deal. Fearing Santana would join Josh Beckett to give their World Series champion blood rivals two aces, the Yankees decided to put Hughes on the table.

After hearing from the Yankees, the Twins asked the Red Sox for pitching prospect Clay Buchholz, but the Red Sox refused to part with Buchholz and center fielder Jacob Ellsbury.

Because several executives believed the Twins were waiting to hear Hughes was part of the package, the Yankees' inclusion of Hughes makes them the favorite to land Santana, who will be 29 in March.

Ideally, the Yankees would like to keep the package to Hughes and Cabrera, but they may have to add a third name to the deal. Sources say it won't be pitcher Ian Kennedy.

There was a split in the Yankees' hierarchy in regard to including Hughes, who was 5-3 with a 4.46 ERA in 13 games this past year, when he missed three months due to hamstring and ankle problems. However, the Red Sox' interest - whether real or put in play to hike the price on the Yankees - played a part.

"The only way to keep [santana] from the Red Sox is to get him," a Yankees official said last night. "You can't hope some other team does it for you."

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From the News:

"The only way to keep [santana] from the Red Sox is to get him," a Yankees official said last night. "You can't hope some other team does it for you."

Big problem in baseball-The Yankees are more interested in keeping Santana away from the Red Sox, than having him themselves.

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I just looked at Johan's #s and thought about this a little bit. A rotation of:

Santana

Petite

Wang

Chamberlain

Kennedy\Mussina

wow. That is a good rotation. You take the top 4 and throw them out in the postseason. If they stay healthy that rotation would win it all (yes Andy might not come back I know). But wow.

Hughes I like a lot. And I really hate having the Yankees spend money like this. On the flip side -- Hughes has a lot to prove and has had nagging injuries. I am going to buy my Santana jersey now.

:P

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I just looked at Johan's #s and thought about this a little bit. A rotation of:

Santana

Petite

Wang

Chamberlain

Kennedy\Mussina

wow. That is a good rotation. You take the top 4 and throw them out in the postseason. If they stay healthy that rotation would win it all (yes Andy might not come back I know). But wow.

Hughes I like a lot. And I really hate having the Yankees spend money like this. On the flip side -- Hughes has a lot to prove and has had nagging injuries. I am going to buy my Santana jersey now.

:P

Very nice flip of the switch Max.

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Very nice flip of the switch Max.

That is classic max right there, lol.

The only thing I can hope for, if the Yankees do trade Hughes for Santana, is that the Hughes pre-injury doesnt come back to haunt us. Obviously Santana is ridiculously good, and this trade of him in his prime is like Pedro-to the Sawx back in 1997. Rarely do the best pitchers in baseball in their primes get traded, this is one of those times.

That being said, I cant help but feel that sox werent ever going to give up Bucholz. Maybe the twins really did like that Lester package, but I seriously doubt it. If the Hughes we saw after the injury is the Hughes that will be the rest of his career, then this is a steal. But Hughes will be back throwing 94-95 most likely considering that injury was not a long term thing.

And obviously we got some more pitching prospects on the way, and it would be nice if they panned out as well as Hughes has up to this point.

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That is classic max right there, lol.

The only thing I can hope for, if the Yankees do trade Hughes for Santana, is that the Hughes pre-injury doesnt come back to haunt us. Obviously Santana is ridiculously good, and this trade of him in his prime is like Pedro-to the Sawx back in 1997. Rarely do the best pitchers in baseball in their primes get traded, this is one of those times.

That being said, I cant help but feel that sox werent ever going to give up Bucholz. Maybe the twins really did like that Lester package, but I seriously doubt it. If the Hughes we saw after the injury is the Hughes that will be the rest of his career, then this is a steal. But Hughes will be back throwing 94-95 most likely considering that injury was not a long term thing.

And obviously we got some more pitching prospects on the way, and it would be nice if they panned out as well as Hughes has up to this point.

I think with the ages of the everyday line-up that the Yanks are in a win now mode. The fact that they watched Beckett AGAIN dominate a post season also makes them want their own lethal #1 Ace.

Deal is far from done but Johan added to the guys Max posted makes the Yanks a WS favorite next season just ahead of the Sox. This isn't like getting a over the hill Randy(who still won) or Clemens.....Santana is in his prime. If deal goes through wonder if you add Rowand.

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I think with the ages of the everyday line-up that the Yanks are in a win now mode. The fact that they watched Beckett AGAIN dominate a post season also makes them want their own lethal #1 Ace.

Deal is far from done but Johan added to the guys Max posted makes the Yanks a WS favorite next season just ahead of the Sox. This isn't like getting a over the hill Randy(who still won) or Clemens.....Santana is in his prime. If deal goes through wonder if you add Rowand.

Pettitte better come back. We need him.

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And obviously we got some more pitching prospects on the way, and it would be nice if they panned out as well as Hughes has up to this point.

Hopefully, they all pitch as well as Hughes has so far.

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Yankees making roster plans after adding Hughes to potential trade for Santana

With the Yankees' upgraded offer for Twins left-hander Johan Santana now on the table Saturday morning, Yankees' officials are confident that they will sign Santana if a deal is worked out. And the club's internal plan, if center fielder Melky Cabrera is included in the trade, is to switch veteran Johnny Damon from left field back to center field.

The Twins continue to discuss possible deals from other teams, including the Dodgers and Mariners, and they are scheduled to speak with the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon. Boston's offer on the table is for pitcher Jon Lester, center fielder Coco Crisp and minor league infielder Jed Lowrie, and a fourth player -- a minor league pitcher -- is to be determined. The Twins want the Red Sox to add either center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury or pitcher Clay Buchholz to the deal, and there are indications that if they do, that offer is what Minnesota will prefer.

For now, however, the Yankees are right in the thick of the bidding, having decided in internal discussions on Friday to offer pitcher Phil Hughes, rather than Ian Kennedy, into their offer, along with Melky Cabrera and a third player -- in all likelihood, a minor leaguer. The Yankees have told the Twins that the third player cannot be any of their very best young players Kennedy or Joba Chamberlain or second baseman Robinson Cano, for example, but a second-tier prospect.

Santana, 29, has a full no-trade clause, and could block any deal the Twins try to make. In return for waiving the no-trade clause, it's expected that Santana will want the Yankees or any other team attempting to trade for him to sign the left-hander to a record-setting contract. No pitcher has ever signed a multi-year deal for more $18.6 million per season, but Santana may ask for something in the range of six years and $150 million in an extension.

The Yankees are operating under revamped leadership, with Steinbrenner sons Hank and Hal assuming a greater role, and to date, the sons have demonstrated a willingness to bid aggressively and splurge when they feel it's necessary to get a deal done.

For example: While the Yankees forced Alex Rodriguez to come to them without Scott Boras, they still gave him a record-setting raise. Many industry executives think the Yankees were in position to forced Rodriguez to settle for a deal in the range of $200 million-$225 million, but the Yankees signed Rodriguez to a deal that could be worth anywhere from $275 million to $314 million. And the Yankees gave veteran catcher Jorge Posada a fourth year in their offer, rather than limit their proposal to three years.

Damon, 34, battled injuries in the early part of last season and in his absence, Cabrera played center and so greatly improved the team's defense that when Damon was ready to return to the outfield again, Cabrera remained as the center fielder, with Damon moving to left.

As the Yankees have considered the alternatives in a Santana trade, they've determined to shift Damon back to center field, rather than to pursue one of the many free agent center fielders available -- someone like Aaron Rowand, Mike Cameron or Andruw Jones.

There is more pressure on the Yankees to acquire Santana or another veteran pitcher, because the projected Yankees' rotation, as of today, lacks experience, and because friends of left-hander Andy Pettitte believe there is a real chance that he is going to retire. The Yankees may not learn until late December or January about what Pettitte's plans are for 2008.

Those considerations may nudge the Yankees into adding Hughes to their offer for Santana.

The Yankees and Red Sox are also engaged in ongoing talks with the Oakland Athletics about Dan Haren, an accomplished pitcher who is a much cheaper option than Santana. Haren would cost, in prospects, a package comparable to what Santana is commanding, but he is already under contract for the next three years at $16.25 million (presuming his team exercises an option for 2010).

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.

Not excited about this at all. Damon was better as a LF for us, and I don't think Hughes is worth it. Haren definitely isn't.

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Everyone is crying Hughes

But the sticker for me is Melky

The guy is a great outfielder, and pretty damn clutch

This deal sucks

Melky? Seriously? :)

He'll never be anything special. Too limited. His value right now is probably as high as it will ever be.

And no way Damon is our every day CFer. We saw how that took a toll on him last year.

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i agree that melky would be a big loss for the yankees but not as big of a loss as hughes would be. melky is easier to replace than a good starting pitcher, and they have that in hughes.

I've come to terms with losing Melky, but thinking that Damon is the answer in CF is nothing short of retarded. Melky can be replaced, but not by Damon, so if that is the plan, then the plan sucks ass.

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FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says the Twins informed the Yankees they were prepared to deal Johan Santana to the Red Sox unless Phil Hughes was part of the deal.

Whether they were being serious or just improving their negotiating position, the tactic appears to have worked, with the Yankees deciding to offer Hughes in place of Ian Kennedy on Friday afternoon. The two sides haven't agreed upon a third player in addition to Hughes and Melky Cabrera. Austin Jackson, Jose Tabata and Alan Horne look like the candidates, though the Twins could always push for both Hughes and Kennedy. It's expected that the Red Sox would have to improve their offer to include Jacoby Ellsbury or Clay Buchholz if they're going to land Santana. Dec

The Minneapolis Star Tribune's Lavelle E. Neal III believes the Yankees are now offering Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and Ian Kennedy in return for Johan Santana.

He also says the Twins are no longer interested in a Red Sox package that includes Coco Crisp rather than Jacoby Ellsbury. If both of his beliefs are true, then it would seem as though the a trade between the Twins and Yankees would get done any day now. However, Neal goes on to say that he thinks the Mets are backing down on not offering Jose Reyes and that Santana might prefer the NL to the AL. Color us skeptical about everything presented here.

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Saturday update: The Twins Will Not Compromise [update]

Saturday, December 1st, 2007 The Yankees and Red Sox are the two main teams talking to the Twins about lefthander Johan Santana as of now. The Yankees have included righthander Phillip Hughes to its offer, which is believed to be Hughes, Melky Cabrera and Ian Kennedy. [2:55 UPDATE: Someone following the Yankees situation just told me that New York prefers to hold on to Hughes or Kennedy, so we

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This is stupid unless it's a ploy to get the Sox to trade their farm for Santana.

Yes, the Yankees would be better with Santana, but I am sceptical as to how much better they'd be.

Santana for Giambi, Melky and Kennedy -- No salary relief on Giambi either -- Best offer I'd make.

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