Friday, March 14, 2008

Santana Was Almost A Texan

According to Sports Illustrated, Johan Santana and Torii Hunter were close to becoming Texas Rangers this offseason. Something tells me the Rangers never came quite as close to acquiring the Twins twosome as they lead on.
Several weeks before Santana went to the Mets, the Texas Rangers came very close to making a blockbuster trade for the superstar pitcher, people familiar with those talks say.

The Rangers kept their intentions and progress remarkably quiet this winter, but sources indicate that they were actually the most aggressive early pursuer of Santana, who they viewed him as a rotation-transforming pitcher. Some are suggesting now that they believe the Rangers would have been willing to pay Santana as much or more than the $137.5 million, six-year contract -- or technically, $124 million, five-year extension -- he got from the Mets.
Indications are that Texas' trade discussions with the Twins progressed to the point where there was either agreement or near agreement on the young players going back to Minnesota. At that point, executives involved in the talks believed that the trade was very likely to be consummated if only Santana gave a more enthusiastic response when Twins higher ups quizzed him about whether he'd accept a trade to the Rangers.
Word is, Santana actually thought about the Rangers long enough to have quizzed his long-time Twins teammate Torii Hunter, a free agent, about his own intentions. But it appears that when Hunter, a resident of Prosper, Texas, and close friend of Rangers manager Ron Washington, was noncommittal about whether he'd sign with the Rangers (he eventually signed with the Angels), Santana appears to have followed Hunter's lead.
Also from Jon Heyman's column comes a tidbit on Andy Pettitte in which the SI scribe writes it was Brian Cashman - and not Pettitte - who canceled his last Spring Training start "as a precaution."

Heyman also says "Boston isn't expecting miracles from Bartolo Colon."

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