December 4, 2007

All Santana, All The Time

Part of my job at Rotoworld involves collecting information that's reported from various newspaper, radio, television, and online sources in order to pass it along to readers. Rotoworld's player news page essentially serves as a clearing house for news and rumors. As my colleague Gregg Rosenthal once put it, Rotoworld's goal is to aggregate every piece of information and have every interesting scrap of news posted to the site faster than anywhere but the original source. We see it, we post it.

Given that goal, you can imagine how busy we've been with the winter meetings in full effect this week. Yesterday alone Rotoworld's player news page contained literally hundreds of "blurbs" passing along information on free-agent signings, trades, and rumors. Johan Santana led the way with 32 updates in a 24-hour period. In other words, Rotoworld passed along a new, fully sourced Santana update every 45 minutes for an entire day.

Included among yesterday's Santana sources: Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star Tribune,, Boston Herald,, St. Paul Pioneer Press, New York Times, Los Angeles Times,, Newark Star-Ledger, Providence Journal, New York Daily News, and New York Newsday. If there was a piece of Santana-related information out there, we found it, shared it, and analyzed it. And my guess is that the Santana rumors and speculation (and perhaps news) will be even more plentiful today.

Rather than simply point you to Rotoworld today, I'm going to try something a little different by bringing the Rotoworld-style news gathering to Instead of my usual one-post-per-day approach to this site, I'm going to pass along (and comment on) Santana information from various sources as it pops up. In other words, for one day at least this site is going to be an actual blog rather than a daily column masquerading as one.

If you're anywhere near as obsessed with and intrigued by the ongoing Santana trade talk as I am, my hope is that you'll stop by multiple times throughout the day to stay up to speed on everything that's going on (or at least rumored to be going on). Notes will be posted in reverse-chronological order, so the most recent stuff is at the top and the older stuff is at the bottom. Enjoy and feel free to hang out in the comments section and ... well, comment. And away we go ...

  • 6:20 P.M. UPDATE: LEN3 checks in via his blog to say that the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Rangers, and Mariners are all "interested" or "still interested" in Santana, while the Angels are "not interested, but have talked to the Twins about other players" and "might change their minds on Santana." He also notes that "it appears unlikely a deal will be reached this week." In other words, the past 72 hours appear to have been a whole lot of nothing. Well covered, widely read nothing, but still nothing.
  • 5:15 P.M. UPDATE: Santana's agent, Peter Greenberg, told the New York Post that he's "hearing" that the Mets are talking to the Twins and "reading" that the Yankees are out of the mix. "Everything seems to change on a daily basis," Greenberg said. While it's possible that he's not being completely forthright with reporters, Greenberg figures to know when a trade is nearing because he's expected to negotiate a long-term contract extension between Santana and the team that acquires him.
  • 1:35 P.M. UPDATE: In addition to Heyman's report that the Mets are "trying to get back into the mix," Ken Rosenthal of writes that the Mariners' interest in Santana could increase if they miss out on Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. The Mariners are seemingly a good fit for the Twins, because they could build a package around high-upside, MLB-ready center fielder Adam Jones while also including some combination of Brandon Morrow, Wladimir Balentien, and Jeff Clement.

    Rosenthal also notes that "the Red Sox still appear to be the most likely match for the Twins," but quotes an unnamed source as saying that the two sides "are just not matching up right now."

  • 1:05 P.M. UPDATE: Amid speculation that the Twins and Red Sox are still negotiating, Jon Heyman of reports that "the Mets have been aggressive in trying to get back into the mix" for Santana. Heyman indicates that they remain unlikely to part with Jose Reyes, but suggests that the Twins "are at least listening to Mets proposals that don't include Reyes." Heyman also notes that "the Angels say they aren't involved and rumors that the Dodgers may jump in couldn't be confirmed."

    Any Reyes-less proposals figure to include some combination of Gomez, Fernando Martinez, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Mulvey, and Philip Humber. Gomez projects to be a similar player to Ellsbury, but isn't nearly as MLB-ready at this point, and Pelfrey, Mulvey, and Humber are each at least one step below Lester. Martinez is the best prospect in the bunch and has superstar potential, but he's 19 years old. The Mets' best fit for the Twins was probably Lastings Milledge, but they traded him earlier this week.

  • 12:50 P.M. UPDATE: While various sources have reported today that the Twins may end up leaving the winter meetings without a trade for Santana in place, Ed Price of the Newark Star-Ledger passes along information from an unnamed "baseball official close to Boston management" that the two sides "are continuing to negotiate on players in a possible deal" and "the Red Sox are making offers as if there is still competition for Santana."
  • 12:00 P.M. UPDATE: At, Peter Gammons writes: "Don't expect to see a Twins-Red Sox or Twins-Yankees whopper. The sense is now that Minnesota will hold onto Santana." That sounds newsworthy, but Gammons may simply mean that the Twins plan to hold onto Santana past the winter meetings, which is essentially what LEN3 (and others) reported earlier. If he means that the Twins plan to hold onto Santana, period, then the situation has changed dramatically in the past 24 hours.
  • 11:10 A.M. UPDATE: LEN3 checks in to say that "a lot of us here are coming to the realization that the Twins may head home from the winter meetings with Santana still on the roster" in part because even an agreed-upon deal would be delayed by Santana's new team hammering out a long-term contract extension with him before the trade becomes official. He adds that "the Twins continue to negotiate with multiple teams," which jibes with Law's report about the Mets, Angels, and Dodgers earlier today.
  • 10:00 A.M. UPDATE: Friend of and ESPN analyst Keith Law reports that the Twins reached out to the Dodgers, Angels, and Mets regarding Santana. I'm not sure that the Mets are an especially good fit, although the Twins are no doubt very high on speedy 22-year-old center fielder Carlos Gomez. However, the Dodgers and Angels both have more than enough young talent to put attractive packages for Santana together if they feel like jumping into the mix.

    Of course, with the Yankees potentially out of the picture (for now, at least), the Twins may simply be trying to find another way to apply some pressure to the Red Sox.

  • 9:20 A.M. UPDATE: Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe, who's one of the best beat writers around, speculates that the Twins can choose between a package that includes Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and Justin Masterson or a package that includes Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Lowrie, and Masterson. In other words, it comes down to whether the Twins would rather have Ellsbury or Lester and Crisp. If that's the case, my hope is that they go with the Ellsbury-based package.

    Lester has the potential to be a No. 2 or No. 3 starter, but the Twins aren't hurting for long-term rotation options and Ellsbury could be the team's center fielder and leadoff hitter for the next six seasons. He's somewhat overrated coming off an impressive postseason run and his lack of power would make it tough for him to become a superstar, but Ellsbury looks capable of developing into a cross between Kenny Lofton and Johnny Damon. Think .300/.370/.425 with good defense and 50-steal speed.

  • 7:55 A.M. UPDATE: Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reports that the Yankees turned down a 4-for-1 deal that would have sent Hughes, Cabrera, Jeff Marquez, and Mitch Hilligoss to Minnesota. Most previous reports speculated that the Yankees balked at including Kennedy along with Hughes and Cabrera, but Madden suggests that general manager Brian Cashman turned down a version that didn't even involve Kennedy because he "never wanted to do the Santana deal in the first place."
  • 6:15 A.M. UPDATE: Despite various reports suggesting that the Twins had informed teams that they wanted to have an agreement in place by the end of the day, Rob Bradford of the Boston Herald was "the last person in the lobby" last night and notes that Tuesday came and went without a deal being worked out. Depending on how early Theo Epstein and Bill Smith feel like waking up, there should be a whole new batch of rumors rolling in shortly.
  • 12:45 A.M. UPDATE: According to the Boston Herald, "the Twins are in no hurry to conduct business" and the two sides may have called it quits for the night. The newspaper suggests that the Red Sox are "as curious as anyone else what the Twins' next move will be." The lack of urgency involved from both parties seems to suggest that they aren't as close to a deal as some have speculated and the Twins might still be fielding offers from other teams. Sounds like we'll have to pick this up in the morning.
  • 12:20 A.M. UPDATE: T.R. Sullivan of reports that the Rangers talked to the Twins about Santana on Tuesday, but came away thinking that they weren't a good fit.
  • 12:05 A.M. UPDATE: Official Twins Beat Writer of LaVelle E. Neal III reports over at his Star Tribune blog that "the Twins have not been told by the Yankees that they have pulled out of the Santana sweepstakes." LEN3 adds that "it doesn’t look like anything is close," telling his readers to "go to bed." Despite feeling the need to go public with everything, it's clear that Hank Steinbrenner doesn't speak for the entire Yankees organization.

    The odds of the Yankees letting the Red Sox acquire Santana without making one last effort to swoop in seem pretty slim, even with Steinbrenner's self-imposed Monday night deadline having long expired. Various reports suggest that the Yankees have offered Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera, plus at least one other player. The Twins are said to have asked for Ian Kennedy as that "one other player," which the Yankees have apparently balked at so far.

  • Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.

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