As was written here earlier this week, the Red Sox had to get involved with Johan Santana if only to make it hurt for the Yankees.
It would seem they have accomplished that mission by getting the Yankees to put Phil Hughes in the deal. Now the Yankees seem willing to send Hughes, Melky Cabrera and a prospect to Minnesota for Santana.
However … will the Twins and Red Sox squeeze more and try to get the Yankees to include Ian Kennedy? If that becomes a sticking point, the Yankees might have to walk away. As good as Santana is, do you give Minnesota two of the three prospects you worked so hard to sign and develop? Young, talented and inexpensive starting pitchers are the most valuable commodity in baseball.
I believe much of this is inspired by the reality of Andy Pettitte being 90 percent retired. Pettitte decided to delay retirement during the Winter Meetings last season and agreed to the parameters of a deal with the Yankees. Now the Meetings are upon us again and Pettitte is telling teammates he wants to end his career.
Joe Torre worked him hard last November to come back and Andy probably had a good idea that Roger Clemens would join him. Now Torre is in L.A. and Roger seems finally finished. Pettitte is not one of those guys who can half-ass it all winter and show up in February to try and pitch. If he doesn’t have his legs, he doesn’t have his fastball.
There’s not much point in having a 975-run offense if the rotation is Wang, the three kids and Moose. But a rotation of Santana, Wang, two kids and Moose has a chance.
As I wrote a few days ago, Santana said back on July 4 how much he enjoyed pitching in New York. By the time the Yankees leave Nashville, they could be fitting him for pinstripes.
A question for a different day is whether this show is being run by Hank Steinbrenner or Brian Cashman.
For the better part of two years, Cashman has been working to build an organization that would avoid just the kind of move the Yankees are about to make. Cashman succeeded in building a player development powerhouse. But just when it looked like the Yankees were going to change, Hughes could be on the way out. And while Joba Chamberlain became a cult hero, a lot of people believe Hughes is still a better prospect and has a better makeup for New York.
And do not underestimate the loss of Melky Cabrera, another player the organizational guys were proud of developing. How many times did we hear Torre say last year how much the team needed his energy? You have to give up talent to get talent and the Yankees will be giving up a lot.
But, as always, their business model demands it.
Thanks to everybody who posted on Friday. Last I saw there were close to 1,600 comments. It speaks to the passion of Yankee fans, even in late November. I’ll be back to work on Sunday night when I travel to Nashville.
If you haven’t yet, change your bookmark to http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ The old link gets screwy sometimes. The new one puts you directly into the new server.