Saturday, December 29, 2007

* If You'd Like To Make A Call, Please Hang Up and Try Again

Johan Santana is becoming a pain in major league baseball's ass; especially considering the soreness left by years of needlemarks revealing the sport's compromised integrity. Anyway, here is a cute Bill Smith piece from today which essentially offers little to no actual significance.

"We have one big issue to deal with," Smith said. "Maybe if we get that taken care of, we'll answer the other questions."

The issue is Santana, of course, and the reality the Twins have no chance to meet the contract requirements of a two-time Cy Young Award winner.

"You get a player like this, and then the teams involved are the highest-profile teams from the largest market ... there are going to be a ton of rumors," Smith said. "But that's what they are: rumors."

The Twins [have] three obvious holes in the lineup: center field, shortstop and third base.

"We have four players for three positions," he said. "We have two righthanded hitters [Harris, Everett], a lefty [Lamb] and a switch-hitter [Nick Punto]. I'm not worried about our infield."

That leaves center field. Is that player here yet?

I'm sure we heard a hint, though, that any deal for Santana would bring a center fielder -- validating the rumors that Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, or the Yankees' Melky Cabrera or the Mets' Carlos Gomez would be part of any Santana deal.

Right, Mr. Smith? "As I said, we have one big issue," he said. "If we can resolve that, maybe we'll know where we stand there [center field] and with our pitching."

So wait, the Twins are going to trade Santana? I don't know if I can take this suspense anymore... yawn. We all understand that the action Smith takes regarding Johan will, without question, define his career moving forward in major league baseball.

However, it's time to take that step forward because pretty soon he'll be sitting on the summer trade deadline wondering how his best potential deal became Aaron Heilman and Mike Pelfrey.

* Don't worry, there's always a daily update from the Four Letter. This one comes from Jayson Stark: "talks have moved so slowly it's now possible a trade may not get done 'for several weeks,' a source with knowledge of the discussions told's Jayson Stark."

Thank God for that.

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