Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Report: Twins Lowering Demands?

New York Times writer, Murray Chass, contends the Twins are backing down on their demands from the Yankees in a trade regarding Johan Santana.

The Twins’ trade talks seem to be in a timeout. The Yankees and the Red Sox apparently are the teams most serious about Santana, but their interest isn’t necessarily sincere.

The feeling among baseball people is the Red Sox, with a solid starting rotation already in place, don’t need Santana, would be reluctant to pay the price he would demand — $20 million or more a year for five years or more — and remain in the bidding only because the Yankees are in it.

The Yankees’ go-slow approach stems from their ambivalence over whether they want to keep Phil Hughes and a younger pitching prospect, Jeffrey Marquez, or have Santana pitch at the head of their rotation.

At one point, the Twins were said to be holding out for Hughes and Ian Kennedy, another of the Yankees’ attractive triumvirate of major league-ready young pitchers (the untouchable Joba Chamberlain being the third), but the Yankees wouldn’t give up both, so the Twins asked instead for Marquez, a 23-year-old right-hander.

General Manager Brian Cashman wants to hold on to the young pitchers. No one with authority is pushing for Santana, but Hank Steinbrenner may be heading in that direction.

There you have it. The GM wants to keep the young pitchers and no Yankees higher ups have shown contrary opinions - except for the new head honcho himself, Hankenstein.

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