Thursday, November 29, 2007

Will the Rich Get Richer?

Those stingy Minnesota Twins are at it again. In the last week, they've lost free agent CF Torii Hunter to the Angels, and they've let it be known that their ace - the best pure lefty in the business - is on the table for the right price. Much like Carlos Santana is a virtuoso with the gee-tar, two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana is a force on the mound.

Of course, you knew the Yankees would get involved first. They need him more than anybody if they want to stay close to the Red Sox. The days of having Mike Mussina and Kei Igawa in their rotation are over. Reports surfaced last week that the Yanks were engaged in talks with the Twins, and that the price would likely involve losing Phil Hughes (their Clay Buchholz) and two or three top prospects. Personally, if I'm the Twins, I'm not making that deal without Joba Chamberlain in it but that's just me.

Over the last couple of days, our boys - the World Series champion Red Sox - have dipped their toe into the Santana pool. Most thought it was an exercise aimed simply at helping to bankrupt the Yanks' system as much as possible by driving the price even higher. After all, we've got a great blend of youth and experience on this team, we just won our second title in four years, and we resolved our two biggest offseason questions (Schilling and Lowell) in the span of a week. Things are rosy, right? My stance all along has been if Jacoby Ellsbury has to be a part of this trade to get Santana - and that's what the Twins have reportedly been demanding - then count me out. I truly believe Ellsbury will be a centerpiece for years to come. Can you say Hanley Ramirez?

Today, though, we read about a new twist. The Twins yesterday made a deal with Tampa Bay in which they're sending their starting SS (Jason Bartlett) and a young, promising pitcher (Matt Garza) to the Rays in exchange for stud rookie OF Delmon Young. What's the twist, you ask? Well, the Twins now need a SS. Unfortunately, Julio Lugo ain't going anywhere for a while - especially not to the money-conscious Twins - but it just so happens that the Sox have another SS in the minors in Jed Lowrie that a lot of teams like. In a noontime post on headlined "Sox may lead pack to get Santana," the parameters of a potential deal now would include Coco Crisp, Lowrie, Jon Lester, and Justin Masterson. So not only no Ellsbury, but also no Buccholz?!? Hankie Steinbrenner must not be very happy at this latest development. Lots of ways this can go, but if that's a deal the Twins will accept, Theo had best be on his BlackBerry right now. GET IT DONE.

One other item that bears mentioning - if you haven't read this ESPN feature story on Bo Jackson, do yourself a favor and check it out. Very cool piece about a guy who still seems surreal in every way.

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