Sunday, December 2, 2007

Yankees Set Monday Deadline

According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees have told Minnesota if they do not come to an agreement by the end of Monday, the bombers will retract their offer for Johan Santana.

From the article:
The Yankees have set a Monday deadline for the Twins to respond to their proposed trade of top young pitcher Phil Hughes, center fielder Melky Cabrera and a third prospect for superstar pitcher Johan Santana, has learned.

So assuming the Yankees strictly stick to their deadline, it is very likely there will be a resolution regarding Santana -- widely considered baseball's best pitcher -- by the end of Monday.

The Red Sox continue to put up their smokescreen, adding Jacoby Ellsbury to the mix, though a Red Sox trade proposal would only include one of Ellsbury and Jon Lester, essentially making their recent trade activity with Santana all the more transparent. Now, more than ever, Boston's hand has been tipped, revealing their sole intention to drive up the price for the Yankees.

Nothing wrong with such an action, as surely the Yankees would operate the same way if it were Boston who desperately needed an ace starting pitcher. However, once the hand is tipped [Red Sox], the potential trading partner [Twins] loses leverage on the other trade partner [Yankees], and considering this situation, Minnesota loses nearly all their leverage. After all, Santana wants to pitch in NY, has a full no-trade clause and is a free-agent at the end of the year.

* Meanwhile, during Hank Steinbrenner's supposed "last interview," the overzealous Lil' Stein was quoted as saying the most important thing he learned watching the Yankees system work in year's passed was "the mistake of trading young pitching."

When asked by Bill Madden why they were willing to offer up Phil Hughes now, Hankenstein responded "There's a big difference, Santana's only 28 and just coming into his prime."

Maybe all three parties realize there is only one legitimate trade-partner for Minnesota to discuss a Santana deal [Yankees] and consequently New York pulls back the current Hughes offer and stamps down a Melky, Kennedy, Horne and Tabata proposal. Take it or leave it.

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