December 2, 2007

More Santana Talk

Buster Olney says the Red Sox have changed their offer for Johan Santana, putting Jacoby Ellsbury into the pot, but pulling Jon Lester out.

According to Olney, Boston will not include both players in the deal. (Of course, they might include them both later.) Olney also reports that the Yankees have told the Twins that "they are going to pull their offer off the table soon -- perhaps by Tuesday at the latest -- unless they get an answer".

So perhaps Theo is stalling here -- moving some pieces around, keeping the Twins interested -- while the MFY's clock ticks down. No idea if the deadline is real, but perhaps Epstein can get New York to toss in one of its "untouchables". And if the Yankees truly walk away -- which seems unlikely (and who can believe anything they say this off-season?) -- Theo can rachet down his offer considerably.

The nice thing here is that Theo will not panic. He knows (and has known for a long time) exactly what he'll offer for Santana and he will not go over that. He knows what his top final final offer is.

Sources expect a decision within the next 72 hours.

Also: the Red Sox offered arbitration to Eric Gagne, but not to Bobby Kielty, Eric Hinske, Doug Mirabelli, Royce Clayton and Matt Clement. The Sox can still negotiate with those players, though.


allan said...

Stark on Santana:

"Santana has led the American League in fewest baserunners allowed per nine innings for four straight seasons. So who else, you ask, has done that?

How about nobody?

Lefty Grove led the AL in that category for three straight years, from 1930 to '32. But that's as close as anyone gets in that league.

In the National League, only two pitchers ever did it four years in a row -- Carl Hubbell (1931-34) and Sandy Koufax (1962-65). And that's the whole list. ...

But in those same four seasons, Santana also has finished first or second in the league in strikeouts. (And it easily could have been four first-place finishes in a row, if rain hadn't forced him to exit early in his final start this year.)

And that's where Santana separates himself from Koufax and Hubbell.

Koufax slipped to fourth in strikeouts in 1964. Hubbell tumbled to sixth in whiffs in 1934.

So Santana is the only pitcher in history to run off a four-year stretch combining that kind of strikeout domination with allowing so few baserunners to run around.

What about Pedro Martinez? Just missed. He was first or second in strikeouts every year from 1997 to 2000, but he fell to third in baserunners per nine innings in 1998. No other active pitcher is even in the discussion.

Over these past four years, Santana has averaged more than a strikeout an inning, pitched at least 219 innings in every season and piled up at least 4.5 whiffs for every walk in each of those years. Let's put that in perspective.

The only other pitcher in history to do that four straight seasons was Randy Johnson (1999-2002).

Just one other pitcher in the history of baseball has done that more than one year in a row even -- Curt Schilling (two).

In fact, no American League pitcher has ever had more than one season like that in a row. Not Nolan Ryan. Not Roger Clemens. Not Pedro. Nobody. Amazing."


Of course, this is what Santana has done, not what he will do in the future. But it's impressive as all hell.

s1c said...

I knew he was good so these just strengthen the reasons why the Sox should make a play for him. Took a look at his stats vs the Yankees 5 starts he's 3-0 with a 2.51 ERA in 32 1/3. Wouldn't mind seeing that on a regular basis.

allan said...

BP sez:

"Boston is expected to sign manager Terry Francona, who has an 8-0 career record in World Series play, to a two-year, $6 million extension that will keep him under contract through 2010."

allan said...

Dan Roche, 5:55 pm:

"The Red Sox have now made outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury the "centerpiece" of their trade offer ... As for the rest of the mix? The names that are out there include Jed Lowrie, Justin Masterson, Michael Bowden, and possibly Clay Buchholz or Jon Lester."


Not really news, I suppose.

Zenslinger said...

This is getting both very exciting and somewhat bewildering. I don't have any idea what's too much for Santana. I'm at the point with this issue that I sometimes get to in a very tense playoff game. When I really can't take the stress of an important at-bat, I sometimes just remind myself that the Sox hitter who's up is a professional and it's his job to hit the ball and not mine. He's got a decent chance of doing his job well, so I have to let him let it rip, so I in turn can just let it go. As RS said, Theo must have a good idea of how much is too much.

Still waiting with baited breath for this to play itself out.

When the news came that the Yanks were throwing Hughes in, there was some pretty serious gnashing of teeth over at Replacement Level.

allan said...

I agree. I don't know which way I feel about this deal anymore. ... If we can keep Buchholz, then I guess I want it.

Theo has to think about Santana's mega-contract also -- which is usually talked about as being in the $150 area -- not just giving up LBJ, Lowrie, etc.

Jere said...

Heyman (Cantstandya!) at SI says the Yanks' deadline is Monday now.

allan said...

"According to major-league sources, Santana has informed the Twins that he would not waive his no-trade clause during the season, ending any chance that he could be moved before the July 31 non-waiver deadline."

"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."

Rob said...

heo has to think about Santana's mega-contract also -- which is usually talked about as being in the $150 area -- not just giving up LBJ, Lowrie, etc.

That's what makes Dan Haren so attractive to me. He'll still be under contract for the next three years, which makes extending him not an immediate issue.

allan said...

But to give up a Santana-esque package for Haren? NFW.

Rob said...

No, I agree. I wouldn't trade Ellsbury for Haren. I might trade Coco and Lester for him, though. Not Ellsbury, not Buchholz. Of course, if it were me, I wouldn't trade either of them under any circumstance.

allan said...

Rosenthal: The Padres "have have made significant progress toward signing right-hander Jake Peavy to a three-year contract extension. ... The deal, which would lock up Peavy through 2012, will average between $17 million and $17.5 million per season, according to a major-league source."

Shit. Was hoping we might have a shot at him as a FA.

For Peavy, I trade Clay+ in a minute.

Kennedy said...

Less than 24 hours until Santana is either our new favorite daydream or nightmare from now until april.

One move remains for the Yankees who appear to be unwilling to give up both Hughes and Kennedy. They may make Jackson, Tabata, Hughes, and Melky all available, where the twins would pick 3. This would be the best deal to its point being that the Ellsbury (+2) deal isn't as sweetened as the twins had asked.

If the red sox were then to make Lester available I don't know what would happen because you would have two 3 player offers that are as identical as you can possibly imagine.

The twins (who will not add extra players) would have to act, because they will never get two better offers. The deciding factor may be something hilariously inane for such a highly publicized trade.

allan said...

Finally, some Hankapalooza:

"I’m not going to be played against the Red Sox. That’s not something I’ll do. That’s not something the Yankees should ever do ... So if they want the best offer that has been offered to them, then they need to make up their minds. ... the fact is that I’m not going to play the game. We’ve made them the best offer. And at this point, it’s not going to get any better. So they can decide. At this point, it’s up to them. I don’t think they want to lose us in this thing, obviously. Nobody wants to lose the Yankees in a negotiation."


"I think our offer is the best offer. We have the best young pitchers in the game, even better than Boston."

All class, this guy. Can't stop runnin' his mouth.

allan said...

Carfardo, Globe, on the Sox's systematic approach:

"If Jacoby Ellsbury is included in the package, the rest of the package won't include Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz. ... They're telling the Twins, you can have one of these guys, but the rest of the package won't include our three best prospects. The rest of the package will be something less than the Twins desire. ...

"What's the end game? If the Red Sox succeed in raising the price for the Yankess to acquire Santana they'd enjoy that. If they land Santana, they'll enjoy that, too."

SoSock said...

Hi Guys
Long time no see.
Rosenthal said put this up in the last hour or so -
The Red Sox also remain in the mix for Santana, offering a four-player package that includes pitcher Jon Lester or center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury along with shortstop Jed Lowrie. The Sox would include center fielder Coco Crisp if the Twins chose Lester.

Ellsbury, sources say, has been available to the Twins from the start of their discussions with the Red Sox, but not in a deal with Lester. The Sox have told the Twins they are willing to be creative if the Twins are that adamant that Ellsbury is included in the deal.

Pretty much the same as already heard - You want LBJ, then no Lester. Noy so sure I see a correlation, but whado I know? I'm glad to see Buck is not being dangled, especially not with Lester. 2 serious young pitchers would be a lot harder to recoup than a position player, even 1 as potentially dynamic as LBJ.

SoSock said...

re: my last post - Thinking out loud (as it were)
Why bother offering Lester OR Ellsbury. Do they really think the Twins might take Lester over Ell.
Twinkies need a CF, their rotation is not bad even without Santana. Of course they would get Coco with Lester, which fills 2 spots, so ....maybe?
Probably not, but we can hope. I still say getting JS and keeping LBJ & Buck seems too good to be true. I do hope if they deal Lyndon they lower the value on the other 2 a bit, maybe sub Bowden for Lowrie

9casey said...

SoSock said...
re: my last post - Thinking out loud (as it were)
Why bother offering Lester OR Ellsbury. Do they really think the Twins might take Lester over Ell.

Yes, they are going to need pitching you can't let Santana go for a kid with 2 months experience in CF.....

I read that same thing and I actually believe Theo has no desire of getting rid Ellsbury, He assumes they want pitching, so they have to take the Yankee deal with Hughes and Cabrea ,its a better deal than Just Ellsbury , Lowrie and whoever else not named Lester or Buchholz

Colin said...

Still sticking to my guns on this one and discouraging trading LBJ for Johan. Unless we're calling a bluff I really hope Theo makes the right moves in this bit. Honestly I'd still rather see a dependable, developing outfielder stay with the Sox and accept the fate of not getting Santana. I'm one for the full of potential.

9casey said...

Colin said...
I'm one for the full of potential.

The Red Sox will always have great potential in the system now thats they way there are building themselves, but if you can give up a CF full of potential for a proven multi-cy young award winner you have to make that move....Joahnn Santana can very easily win 20 games for you can a CF with not much power win 10 games for you?

Is Jacoby ever going to the best the CF in the game, most likely no, don't get me wrong he's going to be good and I would really enjoy watching him grow as a player. But to watch Santana mow the Yankees down 4-5 times a year that would would be fun.....

SoSock said...

I'm one for the full of potential.

It's true they are SO much fun to watch, and it's so easy to live their success with them, and watch their wildest dreams come true. But how many times have we seen that hottest young flame die out after a year or so, often even less. I don't expect that with Ell, but then again you never expect it when they're having their coming-out party and on top of the world.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing against keeping LBJ - I think he may be the real deal. But any of them could turn out to be the real deal, and it's only smart to trade SOME of that potential for a proven winner, then hope you were right.
If any of you missed s1c's link to a great article recapping some of the great trades of recent history, it's worth checking out. Go back to the last JoS post (also about Santana) and it's in one of the last few comments, labeled "hot Stove Recaps" or something similar

allan said...

ProJo: "Boston's reported move to include Ellsbury in the deal ... led some associated with the Yankees to express concern yesterday that the Red Sox were nearing an agreement for Santana. ... [Santana] told the Twins that he would veto a trade to any team except the Yankees or Red Sox."

Patrick said...

These talks are so exciting. Everyday I come home from work and there has been a different deal made, or Hank makes some bold statement. I was worried this would be long and drawn out. It still might, but it might be over real quick.

I think if the Sox actually want Santana, they would throw Lester and Ellsbury together with Lowrie. From what I've heard about the Twins really wanting Ellsbury, I think that would do it.

If the Sox aren't looking to get Santana, they probably couldn't offer Ellsbury with Lester, because it might win. As much as it would be a great deal to make the Yankees offer up more prospects, there would be too great a chance of the Twins accepting. It would be like tilting a pinball machine too far.

If Monday (today!!!) is really the Hank imposed dead line, then I have no idea who ends up with Santana. My brain tells me the Yankees, but my gut says he's going to be reunited with his homeboy Big Papi, and we can all delight in watching the two bring joy to the clubhouse.

Rob said...

If your team is in the same division as the New York Yankees, you may want to push a little harder to make sure Santana doesn't end up in New York. The Houston Chronicle reports that Andy Pettitte will not retire just yet, and will pitch for the Yankees in 2008.

Pettitte, Santana, Wang, Mussina, Chamberlain, and Kennedy here and there. That doesn't look very fun to go up against.

allan said...

More from Hank the Entertainer:

"How can I go any higher? What do they want — Hughes, Kennedy and Cabrera? I can’t do that kind of thing. It’s crazy. It’s suicidal. In the past 20 or 30 years, teams have always asked more from the Yankees than they have of anybody else, and that’s going to stop. I’ve made the best offer Minnesota is going to get ..."

andy said...

Coco is probably wishing he could pitch right about now. He is just a throw in if the twins don't want one of the Sox rookies. Before the rise of Lyndon, ocoC was all the rage as the best CF ever. Now he is just Royce Clayton.

allan said...

Star Tribune:
"A Twins official this morning confirmed that the club is not pleased with comments made by Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner about negotiations involving ace lefthander Johan Santana. When asked if he thought the comments constituted tampering, the official replied, "We're not happy. We'll deal with this internally."

"There are diverse thoughts within the Boston organization on Jon Lester's ceiling. Ask John Farrell, whose voice carries a great deal of power, and he'll argue that Lester can be a No. 2 starter and win 15-18 games next season. So that's why Theo Epstein told Bill Smith this weekend that, OK, Minnesota can have Jacoby Ellsbury in a Johan Santana deal, but not Ellsbury and Lester.

So, as Hank Steinbrenner seethes, it comes down to whether or not the Twins' future is better suited with Ellsbury or Phil Hughes. We can learn on Santana and Cabrera soon, as in the next 48-72 hours."


If the Sox think Lester can win 18 games next year, why do we need Johan?

Even if Hughes is a better propsect than Lyndon, Twins may need OF help more than pitching at this point.

Red Sox also talking about Haren and Ben Sheets.

Also sounds like Pettitte may be back, making the MFY less desperate in the short term.

andy said...

lester to twins and some other minor leaguers for haren. why not try to stack the deck?

andy said...

hell even go after cabrera. send the marlins Drew and pay for his contract.

charlie pioli said...

Lets all remember that if Santana does got to the Yankees, Big Papi and Manny both hit him pretty damn well. Probably one of the best in the league.

Anywho, I don't think the Sox should deal Ellysbury, he's too good, and who really wants Coco in the order every day!

allan said...

Jack Curry, Times: "The Twins, who need a center fielder, rate Ellsbury as a better prospect than Hughes."

If true, this can't help the Chokers:

"The Twins, expected to resume discussions with the Yankees and Red Sox about left-hander Johan Santana on Monday, are considering filing tampering charges against the Yankees because of Hank Steinbrenner's public comments about the pitcher, according to a major-league source."

allan said...

SI: "The Twins acted like the [MFY] deadline was no big deal, but Red Sox people seem ready to bring this to a head, as well, so Monday may be the day."

Or it may not.

s1c said...

Re - Monday being the Day.

I think it will be the day because Theo wants to get on with other things and he really won't be able to do that until this is settled as a couple of his $25 chips are involved. As for Hank, he seems to be the George of the late 70's and 80's, a real chip off of the old block!!!

Zenslinger said...

I feel like the sudden rise of Hank as the center of attention is a policy on the Yankees' part to have him be the media point man. I don't think it means that Cashman has been supplanted; he probably has the same amount of power as he had before -- not absolute, but still significant. Hank's just the Steinbrenner replacement as blowhard and lightning rod. Lets Cashman do his thing.

I am starting to worry more about paying Santana's salary than giving up people for him.

nick said...

I gotta admit this stresses me out. I don't have it in for oCoC, nor, as much as I dig LBJ, am I convinced he's the second coming of anything -- but yowsas. I'm not into high-pressure wheeling and dealing. I hope they decide something soon, I've got work to do.

allan said...

According to Edes, Cashman had not yet arrived in Nashville as of mid-afternoon, which seems surprising.

allan said...

Heading out for the evening. It's unlikely anything earth-shattering will happen while I am gone.

Zenslinger said...

If the Big One hits San Francisco while you're out, you're going to have some explaining to do.

s1c said...

Wilbur has a pretty good plus / minus up at He goes into some detail about the various options for theo at the meetings. I have one question though, if the Sox don't get Santana, why should they go after Haren? It is not like they are pitching poor on this team. I can understand why the Santana deal since we are talking about one of the top five pitchers (if not the top pitcher) in the game, but is Haren better than Daisuke?

It just seems to me, that the strength to this team is its starters for the quality and depth and the bullpen because of its closer and the set up men. The bench would seem to be the biggest weakness on the team, so why not focus on that as opposed to obtaining Haren or even Ben Sheets.

BTW - on one of the posts it was talked about the Sox worth and I found the latest Forbes ranking (april 07). They had the Sox with 155 mil in gate receipts for 2006 with an overall revenue of 234 mil. Remembering that the owners are still paying off the debt accrued during purchase I am really not sure what the actual +/- but I would not be surprised looking at this to see the Sox being willing to add 1/6 in payroll (or about 25 mil). Surprisingly Forbes is showing the 07 payroll being less than the 06 payroll of about 8 million.

Navot said...

Keep Ellsbury! I want to rout on our guys... guys who came up through our system and were drafted by our front office and trained by our couches. I want our guys to play on our team.

1 Million Strong for Ellsbury!

andy said...

how about tejada? dump lugo and all his BS and pick up a proven hitter to hit 7th-9th. His D will be as good as Lugo. He is on the market quietly but enough to be on the orioles official site as being available. Send them lugo 1 for 1
or add a minor leaguer.

give them our SS prospect or a young pitcher from AA. Will Baltimore EVER be able to compete for more than 1 year ever? Ever? They should just be our farm team. Anyone but the yankees. That should be the motto for the Jays and Orioles. And the Rays are just a joke and actually are a farm team for the Sox.

In fact baseball should restructure like the NFL did. make 4 divisions in each league. Even split up the MFY and the Sox. One in the AL East and one in the AL North.





Zenslinger said...

That's a brilliant idea! And the bonus is that TB and LAA would have so much more time to review video on the flights! I'm sure they'd jump at the chance.

Or maybe we should make a sub-league in the MLB and call them The Farm League for the Yankees and Red Sox. A public-relations coup!