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IFallsRon

Santana “will be moved for sure.”

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IFallsRon

Santana Could Fill a Big Hole for the Yanks

By TYLER KEPNER

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 8 — The general managers meetings are the appetizer of the baseball off-season, a chance for teams to gauge the market for trades and free agents. The winter meetings next month will be more intense, and with Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins expected to be dangled then, the Yankees will move aggressively to get him.

As the general managers meetings broke up Thursday, the Twins had not made Santana available because they were trying to re-sign him. But as a two-time Cy Young award winner who is only 28 years old, Santana is expected to command $20 million a season. He is signed for one more year and the Twins cannot possibly afford him beyond that. The Yankees can, and they may have the young pitching to entice Minnesota.

The senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said Wednesday that the Yankees would not trade Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy for a position player. That may cost the Yankees a chance at Florida’s Miguel Cabrera, but it could put them in position to land Santana next month.

Some executives believe Santana will be traded, and though most would not comment on another team’s player, the Philadelphia Phillies’ general manager, Pat Gillick, told USA Today that Santana “will be moved for sure.”

If Santana becomes available, the Yankees may have competition from the Mets, who expect to lose Tom Glavine to the Atlanta Braves. Mets General Manager Omar Minaya said it would be easier to acquire a top starter in a trade than through free agency. “I think there’s potential out there,” Minaya said.

At this point, the Yankees are counting on their three young starters to play a vital role in 2008, especially with Andy Pettitte unsure if he will return for a final season. Chamberlain, Hughes and Kennedy are highly sought by others but virtually indispensable to the Yankees.

“There’s clearly an argument that can be made that I can’t afford to move some of our young starters even if I wanted to,” General Manager Brian Cashman said. “I’m looking to replace some innings right now without Andy, because we don’t have him.”

The Yankees have pitching depth besides their top three young starters, with Dellin Betances, Alan Horne, Mark Melancon, Daniel McCutchen, Ross Ohlendorf and Humberto Sanchez also highly regarded prospects. The Yankees would rather use those players to acquire third-base help.

“We’re thankful we have a lot of good young arms coming — power arms,” Cashman said. “That certainly bodes well for our future but also gives me opportunities to line up trade discussions. We have a lot more choices now.”

Hughes made 13 starts for the Yankees last season, Kennedy made 3 and Chamberlain worked solely in relief. The Yankees cannot count on them to work 200 innings each, so they have a great need to restock their bullpen, in which the erratic Kyle Farnsworth — who could draw interest from the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers — is the lone veteran under contract.

But the bullpen is a lesser priority than re-signing the free agents Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, who will receive new offers from the Yankees before other teams can start negotiating with them Tuesday.

Posada and Rivera will be at the former manager Joe Torre’s Safe At Home Gala at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan on Friday, along with the current Yankees Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui. Pettitte and Roger Clemens canceled this week, Pettitte because of his son’s football game and Clemens because he is filming a commercial.

“They have the highest regard for Joe Torre, and that has not changed,” their agent, Randy Hendricks, said in an e-mail message.

Cashman cannot be there because of family commitments, but he said the Yankees had made a donation. Cashman speaks regularly to Torre, including a conversation Thursday.

“Even though he’s wearing a Dodger uniform, he’s a Yankee,” Cashman said. “He’ll always be a Yankee. He’s been a big part of this franchise’s history, and he’s dearly loved behind the walls.”

Barring a surprise turn in negotiations, third baseman Alex Rodriguez is another former Yankee, although not as dearly beloved as Torre. The Yankees left the meetings with more information on potential replacements for Rodriguez, but the team is a long way from unveiling his successor.

“That’s something that’s going to take some serious time to materialize,” Cashman said. “When you’re trying to line up a trade, if you do it this quick, somebody usually overpaid. If you move fast as a pre-emptive strike, it’s usually costly, and dealing with the Yankees, it’s tougher to get people to move quick.”

Besides Cabrera, Baltimore’s Miguel Tejada, who would shift to third from shortstop, and the Chicago White Sox’ Joe Crede are other possible trade options. Unless the Yankees switch Robinson Canó to third and pursue a second baseman, their best internal option is Wilson Betemit, who hit .229 with 14 home runs and 50 runs batted in over 240 at-bats last season.

“He’s the only option right now,” Cashman said. “How realistic that becomes depends on our conversations throughout the winter. I can’t tell you right now that I’m going to be doing anything different than what we have in-house. But I’m hopeful at some point I can bring some clarity to that.”

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Scott K

If the twins trade him, they better get the house for him, if not they are stupid! They have the best picture in baseball, I am certain every team out there would want him, so if they are going to trade, get everything you possibly can for him, and hope its a NL team. He will be missed. But the twins can better themselves by getting position players they are in need of.

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bassNspear

i agree, we need to get alot for him in order to make the trade. We need to get some postion players out there, to field a solid team. I dont have a problem with him moving on, but they better do the trade right.

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Scott K

I read that the managers meeting, the twins said that he will not be available, that the twins are going to do everything in their power to get him signed.

Thats fine with me, it shows they are willing to spend some money.

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Jarrod32

I know they'll try to sign him, I hope they can, but I'm not holding my breath. I am on record in this forum saying they should trade him to the National League...but...

"the Yankees would not trade Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy for a position player. "

If the Twins can get two of those three and another minor league player or two, that wouldn't be a bad deal...

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Dahitman44

I read in the paper on-line this morning that they are looking at either Delmon Young or BJ Upton as well. Both of these guys are good offensive players but have had bad attitudes in the clubhouse and with coaching -- That is all we need, another fight with the M and M boys. wink.gif

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Willy

Trade him to the Mets, but if that happens, I want David Wright. He has to be part of the deal or it is a no go. David Wright plus Mildedge and it is a done deal.

I do not want to send him to the Yankees, but if he has to, I want Hughes or Cano, plus one of their other prospects or Melky Cabrera. Without Cano or Hughes name, sorry Yanks.

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Coach1310

I would say it would take more like..."Hughes AND Cano AND a prospect" not a Hughes or Cano or Cabrera etc. etc. I have heard that they really covet Cano, so he would most definetly be part of the deal. I'm not sure what that means for Alexi Casilla, but if they move Santana, which they should, they gotta get 3 impact players back. In the end I think we will hold onto him until the deadline, get less than we should and start over again!!

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bassNspear

if we move him, we have to make it right. They have to do it the right way and get people for him. Not Prospects, PROS.

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Willy

Yes, that would be nice, but it is a little far-fetched. One impact player preferable a power hitter that fits our need (3B, DH, 2B), plus a top lever prospect is about what he would fetch IMO.

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Dahitman44

Willy --

I think David Wright would be AWESOME, but that is wishful thinking, I am afraid.

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Willy

Quote:

Willy --

I think David Wright would be AWESOME, but that is wishful thinking, I am afraid.


Agreed. He is a hometown boy to them just like Mauer is around here. They don't want to let him go, but that is definitely the first guy I ask for when they come a callin.

Then go from there. They have lots of positional prospects and young kids that are good. Reyes, with a couple more of their prospects looks good too.

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Dahitman44

I would lOVE to see Reyes as well, but I don't think they will part with him either.

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Willy

You have to give up something to get the next coming of Sandy Kofax. Remember, we are talking about one of the great pitchers of this era.

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Dahitman44

I hear you willy, and I side with you 100 percent. That said, the Twins will not be looking for that type of guy. They will want somebody young and unproven and more than likely a few of them.

Remember the Aggie trade from the Mets?

I would love to see Hawpe and Atkins Buchholtz and a couple of minor league players, but I am dreaming too.

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