Here is an list of what the Yankees need to handle in Nashville:
Johan Santana: Deal or no deal? The Twins can get Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera, but not Ian Kennedy. That seems to be the state of affairs at the moment. The Twins will try to turn this into a Red Sox-Yankees bidding war but Cashman and Theo Epstein are smarter than that. If the Yankees keep Kennedy and Alan Horne, it’s a good deal. If not, it’s bad.
All sides are spinning here. The latest out of Minnesota is that the Twins are willing to keep Santana and take the draft picks when he leaves as a free agent. The Red Sox are sending out word that they would trade Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankees are making noise about a deadline.
Believe what you will. Much of it is just postering. The Yankees and Red Sox both want Santana but would relish making the other team pay a high price for him. If the Yankee trade away Hughes, Cabrera and Kennedy plus spend $150 million on a new deal for Santana, they become older and less financially flexible. The Red Sox would welcome that. The same is true of the Yankees. Sure, send Lester and Ellsbury to Minnesota and drop another $100 million on a pitcher. Our offense will still mash and you’re stuck with Coco Crisp.
If not Santana: Then who? Danny Haren is Plan B. But dealing with Billy Beane is no picnic.
Bullpen: Putting Joba Chamberlain in the rotation opened a huge hole in the pen. The Yankees badly need help here. They’re fooling themselves if they think Kyle Farnsworth can rebound. Luis Vizcaino is a free agent as well. They also need a lefty. To me, this is a far bigger problem than the rotation.
First base: Let’s see, they have Andy Phillips, Jason Giambi, Shelley Duncan, Wilson Betemit and maybe even Juan Miranda, who tore up the Arizona Fall League. Might they want Mark Loretta, too? Keep in mind that Jorge Posada will be playing here at some point.
Sign on the dotted line: They still haven’t officially announced the deals for Mo and A-Rod.
Andy Pettitte: His agents, the wily Hendricks Brothers, will be in Nashville. Maybe Hammerin’ Hank Steinbrenner can be of use here. This is where you come up with the Pettitte Family Plan.
I’m off to Nashville. Check in later for updates.