Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Trade Rumors

The winter meetings start in less than a week, and there are already plenty of rumors surrounding the Twins and moves that they might make. I don't know about anyone else, but I find all this talk and discussion very exciting, even if they are only "internet rumors." In any case, talks of deals involving Johan Santana and anybody and young pitching to the Devil Rays seem to have the plenty of legitimacy, while there are other deals like Justin Morneau to the Angels that seem totally ridiculous. The removal of two players (pitchers Errol Simonitsch and Ricky Barrett) make it even more apparent that something is going to happen soon. By the way, Simonitsch and Barrett both cleared waivers and are safely on the Rochester roster. I know you were worried.
  • To start, there has been plenty of discussions of Santana trades, but now it seems that the Twins have begun preliminary talks with teams, at least with the New York Yankees for sure. As much as I hate to say it, the Yankees would be the most logical landing place for Santana, with their basically unlimited payroll, collection of top prospects, and need for pitching. (As a side note, how amazing is it that the Yankees have spent about $400 million already this offseason, and they haven't even added any players? All they've done is resign their own players.) All the other supposedly interested teams that could possibly pay Santana have foreseeable problems in getting a deal done. The Angels and Dodgers have bigger needs for hitters than pitchers, especially with the Angels trading Orlando Cabrera last week. The Red Sox clearly do not want to part with Clay Buchholz or Jacoby Ellsbury, and I don't think a deal centered around Jon Lester is enough. Also, more importantly, the Red Sox seem likely to stick to their word, as they did when they held strong and would not offer Mike Lowell a 4 year deal even after Philadelphia made such an offer. As is well known, the Yankees adamantly declared they would not negotiate with Alex Rodriguez after he opted out of his contract, and then they proceeded to sign him to a contract potentially worth over $300 million just a couple weeks later. Now, to get to the potential offers the Yankees could make. The Yankees have been saying all along that Joba Chamberlain is untouchable and now Robinson Cano appears to be in that same category, though the Yankees' adamant statements can be reversed quite quickly it seems. I certainly understand why everyone is so high on Joba, but I see Phil Hughes as at least an equal piece in a trade, and possibly better, simply because he has proven his stuff over a couple years in the minors instead of just one. If the Yankees are not going to offer Chamberlain, then Hughes is a great building block for the trade. I would want to see any trade with the Yankees centered around Hughes or Chamberlain, as Cano will be hitting arbitration this year, and I would rather see the Twins get a cheaper, younger player as the base of the trade. If the Twins could get Hughes/Chamberlain and Cano, then that would be a great deal, but I'm not too sure that that will happen. I know the Twins need offense way more than pitching, but they can trade some young pitching for young hitters, as a deal like this would give them an even bigger surplus of young pitching. I still think a deal to the Dodgers would work best for the Twins, but at this point I'm not sure how involved they'll get in the Santana trade talks.

  • Joe Christensen, in an attempt to lessen the hopes of Twins fans like me, wrote up what he felt to be a more realistic trade market for Santana. Obviously, no one outside the teams making the offers knows exactly what the Twins could get for Johan, but if these are the deals that are out there, I would rather keep Santana and let him walk after 2008 if he can't be re-signed. Some people might say this would be the same as the Torii Hunter fiasco. Personally, I did not think the Twins should have traded Hunter, but even for people who did, this is totally different. In this case, if the Twins lost Santana for draft picks, it wouldn't be for a lack of trying; the Twins have been proactive in looking to either deal or re-sign him, and that is the key. With Torii, the Twins waited until the summer to make an offer for an extension, and seemingly never discussed trading him. In any case, I would rather have 1 year of Santana than get what Christensen suggests the Twins would get.

  • More indications of talks with the Rays came out today, this time involving Boof Bonser moving to Tampa. I think that a trade of Boof for Rocco Baldelli would be a good deal, although I would feel bad losing a guy with such a great name. Then again, Rocco isn't so bad in itself. If the Twins don't trade Santana, which at this point would surprise me, or if they get another great young pitcher in return (like Hughes), then some of the Twins better young pitchers (like Matt Garza or Kevin Slowey) could possibly be used to get a player like BJ Upton.

  • The rumors of a Morneau-to-the-Angels deal are ridiculous. The Twins should NOT trade him, not for anything. He is their only established power threat, and if they lose Hunter, Santana, and Morneau in the offseason, they might as well change the team name to the Minnesota Sideburns. Not to mention the proposed return on the deal, Casey Kotchman and Ervin Santana, is not even close to fair compensation. (As I typed this, I went to look for the link where I found this, but the thread was deleted. So maybe it was totally made up.)

  • And, if you've had enough of all this trade talk, check out the latest rumor, this one started by Bob Sansevere over at the Pioneer Press. Just think: this guy gets paid to write about the Twins, while I'm sitting here at 2:2o AM with an 8:50 class in the morning tomorrow, none of my homework started yet, and getting nothing for it.

Finally, was anyone else hoping for a scoreless tie in the Dolphins-Steelers game, or at the very least a 2-0 overtime victory for one of the teams? I guess now the only amazing thing I can hope for is an 0-14 Dolphins team beating a 14-0 Patriots team in Week 16.

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