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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Yanks should say no thanks for Santana

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Dec 27, 2007 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

By the time 2008 rolls around, the Johan Santana Rumor Mill will get cranked up again.

The latest bit of speculation is that Minnesota would accept a package of Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Marquez for their lefty ace. I’m sure that sounds acceptable to many fans.

But, for a second, look at the bigger picture. Are the Yankees developing their kids to play them or trade them?

Santana is terrific, no doubt about it. But adding him to the roster would cost $20 million a season plus a 40-percent luxury tax penalty. The Yankees will be paying for what Santana did in Minnesota.

Santana could be great again. He was 15-13, 3.33 last season despite a lack of run support and only will be 29 in March. But he has thrown 932 innings over the last four seasons, counting the postseason. Sure, he could be terrific. Or he could be the next Mike Hampton. Nobody knows. Name me all the long-term contracts for pitchers that worked out well over the years.

Hughes and Cabrera are symbols of what Brian Cashman is trying to do with the Yankees. The organization did a great job of scouting, drafting and then developing Hughes into the best pitching prospect in the minors.

Cabrera is a guy they rushed to the majors in 2005, screwed up and then built back up into a player good enough to take a job away from Johnny Damon. He would have been cut or traded five years ago.

Trade these guys now and the message is pretty clear: The Yankees are only paying lip service to development. This isn’t trading a few B-level prospects for Bobby Abreu in July. This would be an old-school Yankees move.

It’s their money, not ours. But I sit there at the Stadium and listen. People cheer loudest for the players who came up in pinstripes. People respect A-Rod but they love Jeter. They wanted Clemens do well. They adored Andy Pettitte.

Cashman has somehow made it cool for Yankee fans to care about Jose Tabata even though 99 percent of them have no idea what he looks like.

Spend the money on draft picks, Dominican shortstops and Taiwanese pitchers. Go find kids in Korea, Australia, Venezuela and everywhere else. Hire more scouts and go see every junior college prospect in Texas. Go find the next Santana, don’t trade for the old one.

Let Santana go to the Mets or the Angels or better yet, let him stay in Minnesota where he belongs. If the Red Sox were serious, they would have done the deal weeks ago. They’re pushing chips around the table hoping somebody in Tampa will go all in so they can fold.

We’ve spent two years wondering how good Phil Hughes could be. Let’s find out.

UPDATE, 8:52 a.m.: After seeing all the comments and e-mails, let me clarify something. Santana is a wonderful pitcher. I’m not anti-Santana or against the idea of making trades. I’m with Cashman on this, at some point you have to give these kids you develop a shot. Santana didn’t just arrive one day and win the Cy Young. The Twins developed him over several years.

To me this isn’t a money issue, it’s a philosophy issue. Are the Yankees going to do what they always do and overpay for their starters or develop their own?





333 Responses to “Yanks should say no thanks for Santana”

  1. mel December 27th, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Wow. That’s all I got to say. You’ve drunk the koolaid and it tastes pretty sweet, huh?

    Now, if Santana showed up at the door Nov. 2008, it would be rude to not invite him in. :)

  2. Jeremy December 27th, 2007 at 12:39 am

    Amen. As I wrote a few weeks back, this is about what sort of team the Yankees will be, not just about whether they win this year.

  3. Bob December 27th, 2007 at 12:43 am

    Amen is right.

  4. lil' m December 27th, 2007 at 12:44 am

    Tell it, Pete!!!

  5. Andy Hawkins December 27th, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Can’t put it any better than that, Pete. The reason ’96 was so great is because it was a lot of home-grown guys getting their chance to carry the team. I’ve always said that with the Yankees’ financial resources, they can maybe hit the right combination every once in a while throwing it all at the major league roster. But if they threw a much higher percentage of their funds into development, they can be unbeatable every year. That’s what the Yankees of the 30s and 40s and 50s were — built from within because they had the most cash and the best scouts and they didn’t miss on the Mickey Mantles and Joe DiMaggios and Whitey Fords. I know there’s a draft now, but when you can get Joba in the sandwich round or Ian Kennedy 21st overall or whatever he was for financial reasons, that’s the kind of draft the Yankees can excel with and build through.

    You’re going to get a lot of people who want a new toy on the roster every year, Pete. But give me Phil Hughes. He’s a Yankee.

  6. Hello December 27th, 2007 at 12:57 am

    Wow…right on the money Pete,I agree with everything you just said!!!

  7. Lil Jimmy Norden December 27th, 2007 at 1:01 am


    Well written Pete. Even if it means Santana goes to the Sox I don’t make this deal. I want to see what Hughes can do long term rather than how Santana can manage in his 30′s after a pretty big workload the last few years. We have a chance to really get the youth movement going, let’s not give up now.

    There’s also a chance we can pick up up as a free agent if we have to have him. A small chance maybe, but still a chance. No need to deal all the kids, at least I dont think so.

    Finally, even though the Yankees would pay millions as well for Santana, a tiny silver lining if he goes to Boston would be the bloating of their payroll and having them tying up 20+ mil in one guy. I think that hurts them a bit more than it would the Yankees.

  8. JoeT YANKEES December 27th, 2007 at 1:02 am

    i love watching the “kids” play. Pete hit it right on the head there people respect a-rod and LOVE jeter for a reason, it’s great to watch them come up and grow into their roles.

  9. Philo Farnsworth December 27th, 2007 at 1:05 am

    Pete is correct. We’ve been waiting to see what the prospects can do. Let’s find out this year. Having Santana on the team would be very nice, but the Yanks will field a very strong team in 2008 without him, and the long-term implications of such a trade are bad. Yankee fans have been pleasantly surprised over the last few years with the emergence of Cano, Wang, Melky and Joba. Let’s give Hughes and Kennedy a chance now.

  10. fred December 27th, 2007 at 1:09 am

    Bravo. Hopefully they’re listening in Tampa.

    farnsworth shooting “deers” – hysterical..

  11. whoa December 27th, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Kudos, Peter.

  12. Brian Cashman wanna b December 27th, 2007 at 1:15 am

    For the first time this year you finally make sense…


  13. Raf December 27th, 2007 at 1:17 am

    If we knew for sure that Santana isn’t going to the Red Sox, then I think it’s fine not to trade for him. But if they do, then we’ll have a team with a $215 million payroll, who will finish in second place in their division, and might not make the playoffs, if the Central Division is as good as it could be.
    Melky is good, but not great. There is a Melky-replacement somewhere in the system. His poor on-base percentage should raise a few red flags.
    Marquez may or may not be a solid prospect, but he’s not even in the same breath as 8-10 other young Yankee arms. The chances of him ever making the rotation are slim.
    And Hughes may or may not be great. But Santana is. I’m not buying into all the talk that he had a bad season, and he’s not a dominant pitcher. He didn’t have a great year, but was still one of the best three pitchers in the league. And he’s left-handed. And he’s still under 30 years old. He will thrive at Yankee Stadium as a lefty.
    Sure, it’s great that we develop young players, but Johan Santanas aren’t going to come around very often.
    The only reason NOT to make this deal is financial. But it’s not our money. As fans, we just want to see the team win. And I’m sure we’d all agree that we’d feel more comfortable if the Yankee Red Sox rotations were Santana-Wang-Pettitte-Chamberlain-Mussina vs. Beckett-Mastuzaka-Schilling-Buckholz-Wakefield instead of Wang-Pettitte-Hughes-Chamberlain-Mussina vs. Santanta-Beckett-Matsuzaka-Schilling-Buckholz.
    Unless Cashman knows for sure that Johan is going to the Mets or Mariners instead of the Red Sox, you have to pull the trigger.

  14. mel December 27th, 2007 at 1:17 am

    When Phil was on the table before the winter meetings, there was a huge outcry from the fans. The Yankees, more specifically Hank “I’m the Owner” Steinbrenner heard the call to keep Phil. Potential backlash from trading Hughes now on top of paying 140% of his salary may save the Phil.

    It would be interesting to see if Kennedy, Tabata, & pitching prospects would get the deal done.

    If it doesn’t cost too much in prospects I think the Yankees do it if the Twins are willing.

    There’s only one team that’s able to pay Santana what he deserves.

  15. Dewey December 27th, 2007 at 1:18 am

    You are 100% correct, sir.

  16. Josh December 27th, 2007 at 1:27 am

    isnt it cashman’s job to acquire the best players?..using the idea that a player has more value just because he’s homegrown is ridiculous…if ya wanna argue the money aspect of the situation, fine…but the fact that hughes and melky are homegrown should have no input in the trade

    …imagine if we had santana and the twins were offering up hughes and cabrera, no yankee fan on this planet would do that

    people love jeter and pettitte more because they were on all the championship teams than because they are homegrown…same goes for tino and o’neill who werent from our system

    there’s a much higher probability that hughes doesnt win 100 games in his MLB career than that he’ll win a cy young…i’m not arguing we should always trade prospects, i’m just supporting the idea that the farm system is used for more than one thing and if its trading your best prospect for the best pitcher in the game, then i’d be willing to do it

  17. mike f December 27th, 2007 at 1:32 am

    great post pete, very eloquent and persuasive.

  18. plank December 27th, 2007 at 1:33 am

    Check out the link in the website. It calculates the expected standings with the various Johan trades. Not worth it in my opinion.

  19. Rusty December 27th, 2007 at 1:36 am

    damn straight.

  20. Giuseppe Franco December 27th, 2007 at 1:37 am

    people love jeter and pettitte more because they were on all the championship teams than because they are homegrown…same goes for tino and o’neill who werent from our system

    That’s partially true, but not entirely.

    Yankee fans LOVE Melky, Joba, and Hughes as well. None of these guys have won rings.

    Nobody gets more cheers these days than Joba and he’s only thrown 20+ IP in the majors.

  21. Jerry December 27th, 2007 at 1:44 am

    I understand the sentiment in keeping young prospects. It is fun to see young guys come up though the system and become top notch major leaguers and possible future stars. It was great for Yankees fans to see the likes of Jeter, Petitte, Rivera, Posada and Williams grow and develop from the Yankees system to lead the Yankees to several world titles.

    But here is a scenario that many want to ignore. What if the Red Sox pick up Santana and the Sox win a few world titles in the next couple of years and the Yankees may have been able to prevent that by trading a few young players to land Santana. Hughes may develop into a top pitcher in a few years, in a time period in which the likes of Jeter, Posada and ARod probably will be in decline and past the point in which they can be key players on a team gunning for a world title. The Yankees are in a tough spot. The fans and ownership do not want a $200 million team that is set to come up in second place every year and falter in the playoffs. They want to win now, and the Yankees need to act relatively fast while veterans like Jeter, ARod, Petitte, Rivera and Posada are still capable leading a team to a championship. Keeping and developing Hughes is a nice luxury, but Santana gives the Yankees a much better shot at winning a world title while the current Yankees core is still playing in top form.

  22. Irabu's Son December 27th, 2007 at 1:50 am


    This is your best blog entry in about a year.

    Well done.

    Happy New Year.


  23. Hello December 27th, 2007 at 1:53 am

    The game of baseball is not played on paper. Yes, Hughes replaced by Santana looks nice on paper and logically one would think it gives the Yanks a better chance of winning a WS. But guess what baseball does NOT work like that. So to say that Santana gives the Yanks a better shot than Hughes is to fall into the trap of looking at the game on paper rather what can/may/actually take place during the 162 game season.

  24. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 1:54 am


    Spend the money on draft picks, Dominican shortstops and Taiwanese pitchers. Go find kids in Korea, Australia, Venezuela and everywhere else. Hire more scouts and go see every junior college prospect in Texas. Go find the next Santana, don’t trade for the old one.


  25. Matt Nokes December 27th, 2007 at 1:57 am

    Hell NO the Yanks shouldn’t say NO TO SANTANA?! What is wrong with you?! GO … GET … HIM! YESTERDAY! DO IT!

    In related NEWS:
    The Minneapolis Star Tribune believes that Kei Igawa’s name has come up in some discussions between the Twins and Yankees regarding Johan Santana.
    There have been plenty of mixed messages about whether the Twins are interested in taking back any salary in a Santana deal or not. Judging from what they’ve spent to land Mike Lamb and Adam Everett, they seem to be open to picking up $3 million-$5 million players, and Igawa is right in that range if the Yankees are willing to give up on him. Still, the Twins probably wouldn’t look at him as a major part of a deal. There’s been nothing to suggest the teams have talked at all so far this week. LaVelle E. Neal III only says the Twins checked in with the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets before the holiday break.

    Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune

  26. matt frags December 27th, 2007 at 1:57 am

    Johan Santana had 235K : 52BB last year. LIKE WANG, he had a finger issue which hindrered his ability to throw his slider and he was upset when management tanked the season and dumped Castillo. In his final 19 starts… 4 times he allowed more than 3 runs. All 4 times he allowed 4 runs.

    Actually… in 33 starts… He allowed more than 3 runs 10 times… Of those ten starts where he allowed more than 3 runs… 8 times he allowed 4 runs and twice he allowed 6 runs.

    SO… in 33 starts… Johan Santana allowed 4 runs or less in 31 of those starts! With the Yanks’ offense, JOHAN could win 25 games.

    I LOVE PHIL HUGHES and would hate to see him go… BUT… Yanks have Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy who are MLB ready… Alan Horne and Humberto Sanchez are right behind those guys… They have Andrew Brackman, J-Heredia, Betences, McCutchen and a slew of others who are coming… THEY HAVE PLENTY of talented arms.

    I think back to two years ago… I love Cano, but if I could go back and trade Wang-Cano for Josh Beckett… I would do it. WHY? Yanks would be champs right now.

    Johan Santana is a risk… sure… SO is Phil Hughes. After all, who got hurt and missed 3 months this year?

    Does anybody regret trading Eric Milton for Chuck Knaublauch?

    AGAIN… This is Johan Santana we are talking about. He will be the better pitcher the next two years. That’s what counts… Pettitte, Posada, Jeter, Arod, Abreu, Matsui all hope for the best in 2008 and 2009. Let’s worry about 2012 later on! If Johan comes and Yanks win two WS titles… does it matter how good Phil Hughes is?

    AFTER ALL… if all the talent in the farm is as good as people claim… we can afford to give up one arm… Chamberlain, Kennedy, Horne and Sanchez can hold the fort while we develop the others!

  27. SAndMan December 27th, 2007 at 2:01 am

    I like Hughes but Pete is such man of words but theres always a line of BS.Yes Santana has threw over 900 innings in four years.But thats after he was 25.We got three rookies under 25 who if they all here will be forced too throw 200 innings at least twice before 25…can anybody say Kerry Wood or Mark Prior.This isn’t a rebuilding year.

    If Santana was in a competitive team last second half year even with a 3 Era he still had other better stats then Beckett and C.C Sabathia and had more stikeouts then last year.

    SAntana is in his prime and we need something now so we don’t force Joba and Kennedy to risk their future by trying to force them to be our ace.Because Andy -4 Era- Pettitte and Chien-Ming -overrated stats- Wang can’t be that good.

    Pete you should stick with a Patriots blog because short changing Santana and saying he might be Hampton is a joke.He is the best pitcher since Pedro.What a post you had with lots of BS.

  28. Champagne Dreamin' December 27th, 2007 at 2:01 am

    I don’t want to trade Hughes. He’s the ‘showcase’ piece of our next generation of Yankees. The rebuilding of the farms seemed to begin with him – ‘The Franchise’ DESERVES To Be A Yankee for this next Dynasty.

  29. Peter Abraham December 27th, 2007 at 2:06 am

    You can’t make moves based on what Boston could do. You do what is best for the Yankees, period.

    My post is pro-Hughes and pro-development, not anti-Santana. He’s great. But no player should lead to you abandoning your philosophy.

    Sandman: you rip every post I make, which is fine. But if I’m such a dope why do you so avidly read and post on my blog? Hey, thanks for the traffic.

  30. Patrick Bateman December 27th, 2007 at 2:07 am

    Trading 1 top prospect out of 3 is “paying lip service to development”?

    Breaking news Pete. Not every single one of the players in our farm system are going to make it to the major league team. There isn’t enough room on our 40 man roster for every single AAA, AA, and A+ player. Get used to saying goodbye to one or two if it strengthens a position.

    Just like that real valuable 4th round pick you gave away for Randy Moss.

  31. mel December 27th, 2007 at 2:07 am


    Why does it have to be Hughes?

  32. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 2:09 am

    LaVelle E. Neal III is full of crap, has been driving the deal through his blog constantly, it’s terrorist alert bar with him, he’s going to Boston, 100 % it’s done , then oopssorry my bad sources say Boston not happy w/ deal now if I can deal Kennedy and Igawa hell yes do it ! but Hughes, Tabata or Jackson Minny and Bill Smith and whoever else wants to do this deal can go take a flying leap somewhere !!!

  33. Ed December 27th, 2007 at 2:09 am

    Josh, if we traded for Johan Santana, the odds are better that he doesn’t win another 100 games than that he wins another Cy Young award. The odds work that way on all pitchers at all stages of their careers.

    But for the Yankees, homegrown players do have a lot of value. I’ve never seen a player come up through the Yankee system, be unable to handle New York, then succeed somewhere else. But for players that started their careers elsewhere, it’s been total hit or miss as to whether or not they can handle New York. Look at Randy Johnson – he couldn’t even handle the media while walking to his physical before offically joining the team. Yet look at his amazing job under pressure in the World Series while in Arizona. And let’s not forget our buddy Pavano, who decided Tommy John surgery was more fun than pitching in New York.

  34. whoa December 27th, 2007 at 2:13 am

    matt frags December 27th, 2007 at 1:57 am

    Johan Santana had 235K : 52BB last year. LIKE WANG, he had a finger issue which hindrered [sic] his ability to throw his slider.

    I have never read that, and Googling turned up nothing. Can you post a link?

  35. Patrick Bateman December 27th, 2007 at 2:14 am

    How can you compare Johan Santana to a 41 year old Randy Johnson?

    When was the last time the Yankees had a legitimate number 1 starter? Whats been killing the Yankees in the post season?

  36. SAndMan December 27th, 2007 at 2:15 am


    Well I don’t like to rip your post because you do report good stuff but again you are short changing the best pitcher right now and the past 4 season.Would you rip on Pedro because he wasn’t good against the Yankees.

    I want young talent but we got enough were we can give up yes a great Prospect but we don’t know how good he can be.And what a 4th outfielder in Melky, a future 7th inning relief guy in Marquez.

    Even if Hughes becomes great Santana isn’t gonna bomb.If Wang can win 19 games with 199 hits in 199 innings and 104 strikouts the Yankees can win alot of Santana problems.And a team will give Santana 8 years and the Yankees won’t do that.

    If we keep Hughes I’m happy but I fear we can hurt our young guys in the rotation by forcing them to be the aces of our staff.

  37. SAndMan December 27th, 2007 at 2:20 am


    The whole Yankees pressure is a myth.Randy Johnson wasn’t perfect because he was 41 and had back surgery the next year.If we had him when he was 29 we would have had 6 championships in the 90′s.Pavano was a man like Kevin Brown made of glass.Wright failed his first physical.

    Jeff Weaver,Conteres were not good anywhere for more then a year.They didn’t have talent.

    All great busts in New York came with old age,no talent,overrated stats,or injury guys.No pressure problems thats why I don’t give our players that.

  38. Paul Vlachos December 27th, 2007 at 2:21 am

    Save Phil Hughes.

  39. george December 27th, 2007 at 2:23 am

    I agree about not dealing Hughes.

    However, would there be a deal for both sides along the lines of Tabata, Horne, Betances, & Gonzalez?

  40. matt frags December 27th, 2007 at 2:26 am

    This is from the Minny paper… 8-20-2007:

    Blister not a concern

    Johan Santana’s slider was the pitch that gave him the most trouble when he was dealing with a cracked fingernail and blister problem in recent weeks.

    Only four of Santana’s 112 pitches were sliders in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Texas, but he said the finger wasn’t the reason. He said he also threw very few sliders when striking out 13 Rangers in a 7-1 victory May 22.

    “I wasn’t really thinking about my finger or my slider,” Santana said. “I was just trying to get people out.”

    Though Santana’s finger is mostly healed, Gardenhire did cite it as one reason not to push him past the eighth inning.

    “We were going to give him the decision,” Gardenhire said. “With him tipping his hat and everything, 110-plus pitches, coming off a blister, broken fingernail and all those things, we were going to give him a decision, but you know, what? He did his job. He did everything he was supposed to do.”

    I just found this in the notes section doing a quick search… I just remember hearing about it at the time… How it was impacting how and if he threw his slider. LIKE WANG, he ahd a cracked finger/Blister issue… THUS, was reduced to throwing two pitches… I’m sure this wasn’t the entire problem but I do suspect it had some impact on his pitching…

    On top of this… Santana was vocal and upset when the Twins dealt Luis Castillo… I bet his heart wasn’t 100 percent into last year… I’m not saying he quit on his team… nothing like that… BUT… along with his inability to effectively throw his slider… I’m sure this was the reason why he pitched only like an All-Star, and not an immortal.

  41. matt frags December 27th, 2007 at 2:36 am


    I do think it’s HARD to deal Phil Hughes… He was 4-0 in SEP/OCT, when it mattered most. Was great down the stretch, in a pennant race, in NYC atmosphere, at sucha young age. He was getting outs pitching at 75 percent and then, when his legs returned and that FB found its late life again… He was an ace.

    Youngest Yankee EVER to wina post season game, had MLB’s second lowest era the final 4 weeks… All that Jazz!

    Had he started Game One… Yanks win the series…

    What’s there not to like! hughes actually blows away Johan’s numbers… Compare Santana’s rookie year to Phil’s!

    Santana was good, not great, then he was “forced” to learn a third pitch… his changeup… and the rest is history.

    Same thing with Phil Hughes… as soon as he masters the Change… Cy Youngs are coming. He learned his curve in a few weeks, and developed it into one of milb best. I suspect he will learn from Edwar how to toss that change.

    WITH ALL THAT SAID… NYY should do the deal… I have faith that Kennedy-Horne-Sanchez are good and if our system keeps producing… then this is a no-brainer. Santana-Pettitte-Wang is a nasty 1-2-3 punch. With our offense!

    Suffice to say… I’ll be happy either way. Yanks should just keep calling MInny’s bluff… let MInny keep Santana… Go into next season… keep Hughes and then just make a run at Johan after 2008… Have him start opening day 2009, in the new stadium!

  42. Inferno December 27th, 2007 at 3:02 am

    TOTALLY agreed Pete, totally agreed.

  43. Mr. GoodKat December 27th, 2007 at 3:14 am

    Can’t agree with this.

    You know who had a great young core at one time? The Los Angeles Clippers.

    They had Elton Brand, Lamar Odom, Michael Olowakandi, Darius Miles, and Quentin Richardson all around the same age. You want to know how many of those guys ended us as true stars and are still on the Clippers today? 1 in Elton Brand. You want to know how many that were huge flops? 2 in Olowakandi and Darius Miles. You want to know how many became role players and left to get inflated contracts elsewhere? 2 in Odom and Q-Rich.

    How does this pertain to the Yankees?

    The fact is that while it’s great to fantasize about how we could have three great aces in our rotation for years to come, the fact is that likely only 1 out of this group will fulfill their potential and become one. Injuries or just a lack of special ability will likely derail 2 of the other 3 from ever reaching stardom in some way or another. It is stupid to have a pitching rotation core that is the same age because it rarely works out. We are talking about a bonafide ace right now. We like to talk about homegrown talent, but the Yankees’ teams of the 90′s thrived with acquisitions like Clemens, David Cone, David Wells, Chuck Knoblouch, Tino, David Justice, etc. The Yankees took a risk on an injury prone pitcher with great stuff in the first round in the 20′s and it paid off, they can TRADE him for the best pitcher in baseball. I don’t see a better 1-2-3 punch in all of baseball then Santana, Wang, and Pettitte.

  44. TomoPogo December 27th, 2007 at 3:42 am

    “Santana could be great again. But he was 15-13, 3.33 last season and will be 29 in March.”

    It sounds like you think Santana was not great last year. You can’t seriously be judging him by W-L record. Do you realize how horrible his run support was last season? The Twins scored 3 runs or less in 18 of his 33 starts. For comparison’s sake, the Yankees scored 3 euns or less in 4 of Wang’s 30 starts. Wang had 2 full runs of higher run support on average per start over Santana. That is a huge difference. Yet Santana still had 15 wins. Think about how many wins Santana would have had with the yankee offense behind him. He most likely would have won the Cy Young award. Beckett had the same run support that Wang had – 2 full runs more per start than Santana. And the Red Sox scored 3 runs or less in 6 of Beckett’s 30 starts. Santana was put in those unfavorable situations 18 times out of 30+ starts. Think about that. You can try to defend the Win stat all you want, but you cannot deny that run support was a huge factor there. And there’s no other possible way you can try to suggest that Santana wasn’t great last season. Beckett’s WHIP (in a career year) was 1.14. Santaan’s WHIP in a “down” year was 1.07. Santaan has had WHIP’s under 1.00 in 3 of the last 3 seasons. He was great last season. Beckett’s ERA was 3.27, Santaan’s was 3.33. That is a difference of about one earned run. Which means there is essentially no significant difference. Santana’s gap in WHIP and K/9 were far far greater than that. Santana was terrible at giving up homers last year. That is the stat you should look at if you want bring up red flags regarding Santana. Not his W-L record and ERA. I’ll paste it again:

    “Santana could be great again. But he was 15-13, 3.33 last season”

    I mean come on, don’t you see now how foolish that sounds? Santana has been great every season for the last 5 seasons. Which leads to the next foolish statement…

    “He also has thrown 932 innings the last four seasons, counting the postseason. Sure, he could be terrific. Or he could be the next Mike Hampton. Nobody knows.”

    Wow. This might be dumber than the previous statement. Are you seriously comparing Johan Santana to Mike Hampton? Santana is the best pitcher in baseball over the last 5 seasons and is in the beginning of his prime. You say he is 29 years old like it is a bad thing. The fact that he is 29 is the good news. This is not 40 year old Randy Johnson coming to save the day. This is a guy the Yankees will pay not only for what he has done in the past but also for the dominance they expect in the future. Mariano is a guy they are paying for what he has done in the past. Ditto for Jorge. In fact that is the case with most players who are signed in their mid to late 30′s. But that’s not the case with Johan. It goes both ways with Santana. He deserves to be well paid for what he has done in the past, but they expect huge things out of him in the future FOR A LONG TIME. This is not some short-term move that the old-style Yankees would make. The Yankees aren’t trading the farm for a one or two year fix. Santana is expected to be dominant for at least the next 5 years. That’s a long time, in case you don’t know.

    The 932 IP for Santana is not a bad thing. Brandon Webb has thrown 921 IP over the last 4 seasons and is 28 years old. Yeah sure that must mean his arm is going to fall off any day now. When you look at guys that have thrown the most innings over the last 3 or 4 seasons, you generally see the elite pitchers in baseball that have stayed healthy like Santana, Webb, Peavy, Oswalt, etc.

    Santana has been remarkably healthy. And having guys that throw 200+ IP per year saves the bullpen immensely. In case you haven’t noticed, the Yankee bullpen is a mess. Do you realize how helpful it is to have a guy like Santana that can throw 230 IP a year, in terms of saving the bullpen from overload? Hughes is going to throw 180 max this year, and probably less. Of course it would be foolish to trade Hughes based solely on the fact that he won’t throw 200 IP this year, but my point is that the fact that Santana has thrown 900+ IP over the lst 4 seasons is a GOOD THING. When he is healthy he is a innings eater and saves the bullpen, in addition to providing 200+ insanely dominant innings. The Yankees only had one pitcher that broke 200 IP last year. And there’s no way Joba/Hughes/Kennedy are doing that in 2008. Mussina likely won’t get there either. Santana’s presence will help the bullpen tremendously every year. And he has been healthy every year. In fact who has the more recent injury history, Santana or Hughes? So maybe Hughes could be the next Mike Hampton instead? Any pitcher can get a freak injury. That is the danger with signing a pitcher to a long-term contract. But saying that “nobody knows”, as if that random chance is reason enough to stay away from Santana, is flat-out absurd. Your point should have been this: signing pitchers to contracts of more than 4 years has generally not worked out in most cases. There is no need to imply that Santana is going to get injured because he has thrown 900+ innings. The Baseball Prospectus guys have shown that pitcher injuries are not correlated closely with IP. Instead, injuries are highly correlated with how often a pitcher exceeds a benchmark pitch count, like for example 110 pitches. The point is that total IP are misleading when considering how much wear and tear a pitcher has accumulated. Wang threw 199 IP last year, and Pettitte threw 215 IP last year. That’s only a difference of 16 innings, yet Andy Pettitte threw 534 more pitches than Wang did. So this goes back to my main gripe here: the fact that Santana has thrown 900+ IP over the last 4 seasons is a good thing. It shows that he is one of the healthiest and most effective pitchers in baseball. If you want to get worried abour injury possibilities you should analyze pitch counts. Mark Prior and Kerry Wood were ruined because Dusty Baker didn’t know how to manage a pitch count. The Twins always kept Santana at a reasonable number of pitches. This goes a lot deeper than “oh Hampton got injured so any pitcher that sings a long-term deal has a decent chance of getting injured too.”

    I don’t know if I am in favor of the proposed trade or not. I like Hughes and would love to see the Yankees win some titles with him and Joba and Cano, etc. However, Johan Santana is heads and shoulders above every pitcher in baseball and he is the one guy that is so darn good that you actually do have to consider trading the untouchable Hughes for. It’s a tough call for me. SJ44 has already argued many times that the trade is a no-brainer for the Yankees to make. Lots of other people feel that way as well. I’m kind of undecided at this point. But why you think Santana’s age and IP over the last 4 seasons are warning signs is beyond me. And the fact that you think he was not great in 2007 is also hard to believe. He’s the best pitcher in baseball and is as reliable and consistent as they come.

  45. TomoPogo December 27th, 2007 at 3:49 am

    Sorry for the poor typing.

    I meant that Santana’s WHIP was under 1.00 in 3 of the last 4 seasons.

    And I don’t know why I spelled Johan’s last name incorrectly so many times.

    I guess I need to take a typing class!

  46. TomoPogo December 27th, 2007 at 4:04 am

    “But adding him to the roster would cost $20 million a season plus a 40-percent luxury tax penalty.”

    The money factor is mostly irrelevant for the Yankees. This would be a good argument for not trading for Santana for just about any other team in baseball. But the Steinbrenners are willing to spend the money to put a better team on the field. The tax threshhold is raised to 155 million next season. Then the Yankees will be losing a lot of payroll in the next offseason with Giambi, Farnsworth, Mussina, Pavano, Abreu, and Pettitte’s contracts ending. At least those first 4 guys will be gone, and that’s close to 50 million right there. If one of Abreu/pettitte also are not re-signed that will be another 16 million cleared up. There are a lot of good free agent pitchers next offseason (especially compared to this offseasons garbage offerings) and if the Yankees don’t spend 20 million per year on Santana right now, they will likely sign some other starter next offseason for like 15 million per year, like Sabathia.

    But basically my point is, the Yankees are the one team where your point about Santana’s financial cost does not matter much at all.

  47. TomoPogo December 27th, 2007 at 4:21 am

    “Trade these guys now and the message is pretty clear: The Yankees are only paying lip service to development. This isn’t trading a few B-level prospects for Bobby Abreu in July. This would be an old-school Yankees move.”

    This is also incorrect. The Yankees have shown that they are very serious about having a strong farm system. Just look at the Yankee signings this offseason – none of them were Type A free agents from other teams. This means that the Yankees did not lose any future draft picks. If this was the old-style Yankees, Rowand would probably be wearing pinstripes right now and Melky already would have been traded for Gagne back in July. This is not the old-style Yankees. What this is, is a chance for the Yankees to acquire a rare talent and the best starting pitcher in baseball.

    Having a strong farm system is good for multiple reasons. If you actually expect every high draft pick and top prospect to stay with the organization for the next 10 years then you are nuts. Ideally many of them do in fact show enough ability to become productive mainstays on the MLB roster down the line. But having a deep farm system also provides you with more trade possiblities. The Yankees can afford to lose Hughes/Melky/Marquez for Santana because the farm system is so strong. Losing Melky would actually be the bigger blow in 2008 since he is so good defensively and there is no obvious replacement in 2008 for that aspect of his game. Losing Hughes is obviously a bigger long-term loss than losing Melky, but that’s ok because Santana will likely be much better than Hughes over the next 5 years, and by then the Yankees will probably have more prospects like Hughes/Joba in the minors. This is because the Yankees are drafting very intelligently in recent years and using their financial resources to sign high-ceiling players that other teams will stay away from. They are also very active in the international market and have an advantage there over most teams. There will be more guys like Hughes in Yankee minor league system. So losing him for Santana is not in any way a sign that these are the old-style Yankees. Don’t let this one move overshadow what’s been obvious over the last couple of years: The Yankees are serious about drafting and player development, and this makes them more self-sufficient as well as a more flexible trade partner, as well as less dependent on mediocre free agents that cost them high draft picks like the Farnsworths of the world.

  48. Faiaz December 27th, 2007 at 4:28 am

    What we need is a little luck. All that needs to happen for our best interest is for Santana to stay a Twin for 2008. With around 85 mill coming off in 2009 and around another 25 mill saved in 2010, we can surely get Santana in 2008 and not give up Hughes, maybe go for a proven 1st baseman in their prime and . Looks to me like the miracle years are making a comeback very very soon, by 2020 we should have 32 rings at least…HOPEFULLY

  49. NYhunter December 27th, 2007 at 4:33 am

    Easy solution here: trade Wang instead of Hughes… If Minny didn’t like Wang that much, add one or two more B-level prospects in the package! even some cash(for Wang’s arbitration) included…

    We save Hughes, and get Santana for 6 years or so. Wang is one-trick phony! 19-win is overrated, but it might make him valuable as a trade bait.

  50. sang December 27th, 2007 at 4:39 am

    Hughes is cheap. Wang will be getting good money in the next couple of months from arbitration, probably 5 to 7 million.

    The Twins are cheap. They won’t go for that.

  51. eelz December 27th, 2007 at 4:52 am

    god i love you and your firggin face.

    build a team of people. they aren’t REAL but they are still homeslice YANKEEZ.

    I’d ratha looze with my peepz than fail with negative four billions thousand dollerz.

    at this point does it even sting when the sox win the world series.??? not more than herpes!!!!!!!!!!!?!! and we’ve all got that. kevin brown gave it. then he shot us.

  52. EY December 27th, 2007 at 5:03 am

    Amen, Peter.

    I especially like the part “Spend money on…Taiwanese pitchers” ;)

  53. E-ROC December 27th, 2007 at 5:15 am

    Don’t make the friggin’ deal, Hank!!

  54. kasey December 27th, 2007 at 5:23 am

    sorry, pete. agree to disagree. hughes, cabrera and marquez? you do that deal.

    hope you had a great christmas, pete. enjoy the pats game saturday and your new year.

  55. NYYStadiumInsider2 December 27th, 2007 at 5:24 am

    It is more fun to support the kids any day. There’s even a keep Hughes blog now.

  56. John December 27th, 2007 at 6:03 am

    This is perfect. Exactly everything I’ve been thinking. As touted as they are, people don’t realize just how enormous the potential of Hughes/Chamberlain is. They’ve both got nasty stuff and are both good bets to win 20+ down the road. A dynasty built around likable, non-steroid home-grown pitchers with ace stuff would make being a Yankees fan something to be proud of again. Forget Lester and Bucholz. This is a different type of pitcher, and the Yankees should hold on to both of them (Kennedy can come too).

  57. black_tiger December 27th, 2007 at 6:07 am

    If the deal is Melky, Phranchise and Marquez for Santana, then that deal has to be made. I appreciate your feelings of the “new Yankee philosophy” about retaining the kids,
    but dealing 3 of them for the best lefthander in baseball is a no-brainer.

    We still have tons of talented kids in the system and making this trade doesn’t affect them or signal and exodus of minor league talent.

    It’s one trade and you HAVE to make it. The true Yankee philosophy is to win the world series. If it means parting with unknown prospects (with unproven pedigree)to win the world series, you do it.

    Santana on the Yankees is our best bet for multiple playoff success.

  58. Matt (In Toronto) December 27th, 2007 at 6:09 am

    Totally agree. Lets win with what we’ve got.

  59. vrsce December 27th, 2007 at 6:45 am

    You have captured the essence of being a fan.
    It is not only about winning.

  60. murphydog December 27th, 2007 at 7:09 am

    When all is said and done, developing and using your own talent is the right course – - most of the time. With any trade, you do what you can to improve your team. If your team is owned by a “win-now” guy, however, it’s tough to be 100% pro-development because development takes time and patience.

    I must admit that I was surprised to see the calculations in the website linked in plank’s screen name (above, 1:33 AM). I thought acquiring Johan would contribute more wins than that.

    [And for anyone following last night's bloody blogodrama about McNamee, Clemens and Mitchell, I was kidding about my specialty being house closings].

  61. murphydog December 27th, 2007 at 7:29 am

    McNamee’s lawyer is really spinning. Poor Brian. All Brian wants is a normal life with his family. From today’s NYT.

    [McNamee has declined all interview requests. “He’s hoping for a normal life with his family,” Ward said. “He wishes that it all had never happened. His life has been in such a state of disarray right now.”

    Ward said that during the time McNamee injected Clemens with the banned substances, he did not tell anyone about it. Contemporaneous statements to others can be used in legal settings to corroborate circumstantial evidence. On the other hand, a pattern of dishonesty can be used in the same settings to discredit an allegation.

    The most damaging incidents in McNamee’s background, Ward said, were instances of lying to journalists for years to protect Clemens and a 2001 case in Florida in which McNamee was accused but not charged with sexual battery and with giving a date-rape drug to a woman. That investigation was closed because of what a Florida prosecutor called “insufficient physical and corroborative evidence.”]

  62. Vader December 27th, 2007 at 7:38 am

    What’s wrong with house closings? I mean you must be so… busy these days.

    Regarding Clemens, no matter what he does, his reputation has been soiled and it will be really hard to change the minds of the people, since most people had thought it before he was put in the Mitchell report and most people either love or hate the Yankees. I wonder what I guy like Moose thinks right now, I mean he’s won 220 some odd games and it appears to be legit, maybe he would be a sure fire hall of famer if he used PEDs.

    Regarding Congress and the whole steroid thing, I wish they would worry more about my health insurance and oil/gas prices. Also, when will the steroid question come up in the next Hillary Obamma or Rudy McCain debate? Doesn’t the masses want to know where they stand on the issue???

    Lastly, I have mixed feelings regarding Santana, on one side I would love to have him, but I have been following Hughes for at least three years now and really believe he is going to be a stud. I’ve said it before at the age of 19 in the AA post season against Portland he had something like 13K in 7 innings. That says something to me, as well as what I saw down the stretch and against Cleveland. In a perfect world he stays in Minny and opens the new Stadium in 2009.

    Pete thanks for the posts during your vacation, Have a Happy New Year. Something-like 58 days until pitchers and catchers report.

  63. Tom December 27th, 2007 at 7:39 am

    Let me begin by saying that while Johan has thrown alot of inning the major problems are: he is a small pitcher and they do not stand up in the long run, he did not throw his slider late in the year a pitch that is hard on the arm this means that he either had a tender arm or shoulder or worst a tender elbow.
    I have been a Yankee fan since 1964 when I was in fourth grade. I was happy to see the Yankees keep Phil Hughes. All of the ccouts say that he is a furture number one starter and in fact pitched the second half of the season on one leg. He did not regain his fast ball of 95 plus, sharp curve ball and change up until the playoffs. Many people like to point out that at one time the Mets had three young starters and they did not make it. They forget that each of the three had problems. Wilson had the best stuff but even before he was drafted had shoulder problems. Puls could not repeat his motion and had touble with his secondary pitches. Izzy also had trouble with his secondary stuff and in fact many scouts thought he would be better off in the pen. Where he is now.
    The Yankee big three all have easy motions and can repeat it. They all have 3 average to above pitches. As you know a team considers itself lucky to find one but the Yankees have two top ones in Hughes and Chamberlain and with Kennedy not far behind. I almost forgot Horne who Bob Montgomery called the best pitcher he had seen in the minors until he saw Chamberlain. Given time these pitchers might turn in to the Braves old staff and be together for 10 years.
    With most of you being Yankee fans would it be nice to see this?

  64. Jorge Steinbrenner (formerly Mitchell's Eleven, which no longer makes any sense) December 27th, 2007 at 7:40 am

    Yes, Pete, by all means, let’s keep Phil Hughes. I don’t think your analysis of Santana is valid, though, especially if you’re using, of all things, his won-loss record from last year, as proof. He’s got plenty in the tank. You just, as Mista Cashman says, don’t pay twice for the same guy, and you don’t pay for ANYTHING with Phil Hughes.

  65. gargoyle December 27th, 2007 at 7:47 am

    “If the Red Sox were serious, they would have done the deal weeks ago. They’re pushing chips around the table hoping somebody in Tampa will go all in so they can fold.”

    This is best, and truest, part of Pete’s statement.

  66. On D Ball December 27th, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Millions for rookies, but not one player for Santana.

    The late great Branch Rickey taught us that.

  67. Bryan December 27th, 2007 at 8:04 am

    But in the course of his argument, Abraham strays a bit from his analysis. He writes: “Santana could be great again. But he was 15-13, 3.33 last season and will be 29 in March.”

    Now, as far as my reading of this statement goes, Abraham’s use of the “but” indicates that Johan Santana was not great in 2007 because he won only two more games than he lost. It’s a classic sportswriters mistake. Johan Santana didn’t win more games because the Twins’ offense was terrible. They were 25th in runs scored and 27th in team OPS.

    Despite this poor offensive production, Johan Santana still managed to win 15 games. But that’s neither here nor there. Let’s look at some of the other stats the once-great Johan Santana put up. His 3.33 ERA was 7th overall in the American League, trailing John Lackey by 0.31 runs. His 1.07 WHIP was tops in the AL, and his 235 strike outs trailed Scott Kazmir by just four. His strike out-to-walk ratio was 4.52, good for fourth in the American League.

    In a word, Johan Santana in 2007 was great.

  68. Bill Porter December 27th, 2007 at 8:11 am

    Spot on Pete. As wonderful as he has been we should just say no to Johan. A dominant five man home grown rotation; with the resources the Yankees possess it can and should be be done. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  69. Alan December 27th, 2007 at 8:11 am

    The integrity of the farm system! The symbolism about the old vs. new Yankees.

    It’s nice, but the goal of the Yankees is to win World Series; it’s not about keeping the integrity of your symbols as your watch the BoSox walk away with them.

    I think the Yanks ought to go with Santana and keep developing prospects. There’s no “once-in-a-lifetime” Santana or Pujols in the system, so let’s make a deal.

  70. VOIII December 27th, 2007 at 8:15 am

    You guys who fret over Santana going to Boston are not looking at the big picture…Even if we get Santana and mortgage our future for him we do NOT pass Boston now and we will definately not pass them in the future…Boston is built for now and the future with Bucholz, Ellsbury, Pedrioa,Lester,Papelbon and some new guys waiting in their farm system like Lowrie amd Masterson…Let Boston mortgage their future and we will blow by them in two years with our kids leading the way. Trade the kids away and we are looking up at Boston for the next 10 years not the next 2…

    Also, there is safety in numbers… Lets say you “prospect pessimists” are right and only one of the “big three” pans out…What if the one that pans out, is the one we traded away? I don’t believe this is the scenario that will play-out and IMO all three are legit Major Leaguers right now, But, what if?

  71. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 8:24 am

    I am not against the idea of going into 2008 with the 3 young pitchers. But, if acquiring the best pitcher in the game really only costs Phil Hughes, to me it’s still a no-brainer.

    I think part of any team’s philosophy should be to maintain the strength of the farm system, with the goal of developing your MLB team from within. But, part of the reason your farm system is there is to develop MLB players, or use talent from the minor leagues to acquire what you think might be the last piece to a championship puzzle. To me, that is what Johan is.

    and because Cashman has put such an emphasis on drafting and developing young pitching, the Yankees have the unique opportunity of trading one ‘Grade A’ pitching prospect, but still going into the season with two or three other pitching prospects who would be ranked top 5 in any other organization.

    the money means nothing to me, honestly. the Steinbrenners have shown they are willing to spend, and who am I, or really any fan for that matter, to sit here and count pennies for them. you took the hit on the luxury tax for Clemens last year, and you knew what you were getting was much less than a #1-2 SP on an AL staff guy… so why whine about the luxury tax burden when what you are getting back is undoubtedly a #1-2 type pitcher?

    and I like Melky, and he’s a nice player, but to me, he’s a defense first guy. Players like him are a dime a dozen around the league.

    and you dont make this move to get Aaron Harang or John Smoltz, or some other above average pitcher with no track record in the AL.

    but you do make the move when it could mean a World Championship for 2008, and beyond… when the player you are getting back for your stud prospect is himself still in the prime of his career, and will be for the next 5 years.

    again, i like Hughes and I like Melky, and if we go into the season with them, I’ll root just the same and i wont berate Cashman for not making the move… but i dont think anyone can fault Cashman or the organization for rolling the dice on a player who is top 5 in the league right now.

  72. randy l. December 27th, 2007 at 8:25 am

    the problem with anyone thinking they know what the present administration of the red sox is going to do is that they have a track record for acting in surprising ways.
    -they traded an icon garciaparra in the middle of the season
    - they traded top rated prospect in hanley ramirez who would have anchored their infield for years to come
    -they spent over 100 million dollars for matsuzaka when everyone thought the yankees were the leaders in getting him

    the yankees should always expect the unexpected with the red sox.

  73. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 8:28 am

    and i could care less about what the Saux do. they want to get him? fine, we’ll just take our chances with what we’ve got agaist what they’ve got.

    i’m not one to sit here and say the yankees need to get him so the red saux dont. but i am for improving our team, and noone can argue that acquiring Johan doesnt make this team better.

  74. sunny615 December 27th, 2007 at 8:30 am

    What’s the saying?? “All prospects are suspects.”

    Santana is a proven commodity. If the Twins take that deal, you have to make it. The Yankees have enough depth in their system to recoop. I love Phil Hughes but if the opportunity came along to get a proven pitcher – a true ace – you get it done.

  75. Jim PA December 27th, 2007 at 8:45 am

    The Yanks already committed to spending a fortune this winter, with ARod, Posada and Rivera (who still doesn’t think he got enough). Let Santana stay in Minnesota, or Boston can break the bank for him- which they won’t, either.
    The Yankees have lots of possible choices and the whole month of March to sort out a starting rotation and bullpen. Stay the course, Cashman.

  76. Don Capone December 27th, 2007 at 8:50 am

    I’m with you, Peter. Let’s see how good Hughes is this year. With a year that included a post season win already under his belt, he could put together a great season on 2008.

  77. randy l. December 27th, 2007 at 8:51 am

    i’m trying to save some money on a house closing. can you help me out?

    last night was a fascinating legal discussion on the holes in mcnamee’s statements in the mitchell report. it was good to see several attorneys on the blog voicing similar concerns i had with the report, but with an obviously much better understanding of the way the legal system works.

    it would be interesting to see some attorneys from the dark side give their view of the mitchell report. if the mitchell report is really a flawed legal report, the report itself will be on trial in the court of public opinion. mitchell’s reputation would be at stake.

    if somehow clemens comes out of the 60 minute interview in good shape, i’m expecting a counter punch from mlb and maybe mitchell himself. i don’t think mitchell or mlb thought clemens would react as strongly as he is.

    mitchell himself hinted that all that was dug up should be left in the past. it was as he was saying to the players to just take it and it will blow over.
    clemens isn’t playing that game, which is going to force mlb to defend itself.

    i think this is really a situation where the nail that sticks up gets pounded down. the big question is who the nail is and who the hammer is here.
    this may become a test of player strength vs ownership strength.

  78. Jason December 27th, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Total agreement with you here. The Sox are clearly bluffing and once Giambi, Pavano, & Abreu are off the books next year and Johan becomes a free agent, we can invite him to come play with us for $20 mil a year and he can pitch along side Hughes and Kennedy and Joba without the 40% luxury tax burden. Something about a homegrown Yankee gives me butterflies in my stomach and makes winning feel so much better. Our kids will be great!

  79. blez December 27th, 2007 at 8:58 am

    I sure hope that someone in the yankees front office read your post pete.


  80. Grant December 27th, 2007 at 9:02 am

    Symbols don’t get wins, plus the Yankees system has a deep enough farm system that it wouldn’t hurt too bad. Having said that, I am on the fence. IMO, there is no chance Santana will be anything like mike Hampton.

  81. Florida Yank December 27th, 2007 at 9:09 am

    Boston’s farm system is overrated from what Gammons would lead some to believe and make no mistake about it, playing games about wanting Santana is exactly what they’re doing. Their game is to see the Yankee farm system erode and return to what it was before Cashman’s plea to return to building from within as a primary talent source.
    In reality, Boston is getting tired of playing financial hardball with the Yankees and would far prefer not to carry a Santana contract for the sake of what future they presently have in Ellsbury, Lester and Buchholz. Schilling, Wakefield, Timlin, and even Manny Ramirez are nearing the end of the line with no viable prospects showing enough to replace them. This makes a Santana contract even more weighty.
    The old adage of never having enough pitching still applies and the Yankees have that edge in upcoming pitching talent.
    Anybody realizes all that talent will eventually develop according to plan but there’s strength in numbers and some of it can be used in trading chips. Put the Santana deal on the back burner.

  82. Jim Clark December 27th, 2007 at 9:12 am

    I would make the deal because nowadays highly regarded pitching prospects seldom pan out. Remember how 5 years ago people were going ga-ga over Mark Prior and how the Yankees messed up by not signing him in 1998? His signing yesterday for a one year deal could be Hughes in 2013..a brief note in the 20-20 update. But if Cashman et al want to kep the Young Arms I won’t protest too much. Abraham is right about loving your own kids more than imports. But there are exceptions such as Ruth and Jackson (and Reggie was hated most of his time).
    Keep the kids..sign Santana in 2008 when useless salaries
    like Pavano, Giamonjuicebi, Mussina come off the books. I’m sure someone can discreetly send a message to Santana’s agent like Torre did to the Dodgers.

  83. randy l. December 27th, 2007 at 9:13 am

    “Boston is built for now and the future with Bucholz, Ellsbury, Pedrioa,Lester,Papelbon and some new guys waiting in their farm system like Lowrie amd Masterson…”

    what are they going to be- a great pitching staff and the seven dwarfs? if pedroia and ellsbury are all they can come up with on offense that isn’t going to scare anyone.

    at some point the red sox are going to have to add some thunder to their lineup. the power in it is getting older, not younger. getting santana would severely limit their financial ability to add some power to the lineup.

    no matter what happens with santana and the red sox , they will have some problems . varitek, manny, drew, lugo ,lowell, and even ortiz probably have their best offensive years behind them.

  84. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 9:15 am

    I dont see this as simply either you develop players or you pay for your players.

    would the yankees be paying/buying a player? yes.

    are the yankees giving up talent to get this player? yes.

    do the yankees still have two other young pitchers developed from the system to step in and play a vital role on the 2008 team? yes.

    does trading Phil Hughes mean you’ve changed philosophy, and are willing to sell off the entire system you’ve taken 2-3 years to redevelop? not by any means.

    can you simultaneously develop pitching while also acquiring a more proven commodity? of course, and thats what this move would be accomplishing.

  85. JJNJ December 27th, 2007 at 9:16 am

    I agree with you completely, Pete!

  86. wood is good December 27th, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Your opinion Pete seems to say “we should never trade any of our homegrown prospects.” Losing Phil to gain Johan, while we have at least three other great youngsters either starting or going to start in 2008, is not that painful. And yes, Melky is a fan favorite and has done well taking Damon’s job away. But he’s not the second coming of the Mick.

    If Phil + Melky + Marquez get it done, I think it’s a good move. And as far as money is concerned, I’m in the “It’s the Yankees, they’re gonna spend one way or the other” camp.

  87. Mark December 27th, 2007 at 9:24 am

    I’d rather have a dynasty a few years from now than to fail miserably in the 1st round of next season’s play-offs. Keep Hughes, Cabrera, and Marquez!

  88. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 9:32 am

    I dont understand why people think that you cant have a dynasty with Johan at the front of your rotation 3 or 4 years from now. Thats why you can afford to trade a pitching prospect of Hughes’s caliber; because Johan is still so young, you can assume that he’ll remain effective through his tenure here in NY.

    this isnt trading for Randy Johnson, knowing you’ve got only 1 or 2 years of him, and then your window is closed.

  89. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 9:37 am

    “because Johan is still so young, you can assume that he’ll remain effective through his tenure here in NY. ”

    considering he wants a 7 year contract, you can’t assume that at all.

  90. bwd December 27th, 2007 at 9:37 am

    TomoPogo basically said it all.

    I can’t believe someone who gets paid to write about baseball could say this about Johan Santana: “Sure, he could be terrific. Or he could be the next Mike Hampton. Nobody knows.”

    I’ll keep reading this site because it covers breaking Yankee news, but this “analysis” is just laughable.

  91. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 9:39 am

    “does trading Phil Hughes mean you’ve changed philosophy, and are willing to sell off the entire system you’ve taken 2-3 years to redevelop? not by any means.”

    for the record, i agree with you here.

    i don’t want to trade Hughes, but i don’t think it’s a philosophical change to trade him for Santana.

  92. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 9:44 am

    and hmmm, while i agree that for 7 years, no pitcher is ever the same in year 7 that he is in year 1… thats just the way it is, not with pitchers but any player you sign long term.

    but do you take Johan for 7 years, knowing he could be at the top of your rotation for the next 4? i would, because while you have him to front the rotation now, you take the next 4 years to develop the next Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, who can take the reigns as the #1 in years 5-6-7 of the Johan deal.

  93. Tex Antoine December 27th, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Since you were the guy who guaranteed us that Don Mattingly would be the next Yankee manager and that aliens would land in Central Park before A-Rod resigned, I don’t take your pronouncements on what the Red Sox will or won’t do very seriously. Why don’t you just admit you’re blowing smoke and don’t really have any clue who might or might not trade for Santana?

    As far as Hughes goes, we HAVE seen enough to know what he can do. He’s a guy with a 90 MPH fastball and no out pitch. From what I saw last year, he doesn’t look any different from Wade Taylor, Ryan Bradley, Ed Yarnall, or half a dozen other overhyped Yankee pitching prospects of the last 20 years. If the Twins are dumb enough to take him, a fourth outfielder, and some scrub from the minors for a left-handed ace in his prime, then I say let’s make a deal.

  94. Doreen December 27th, 2007 at 9:48 am

    It’s interesting to me how people can say, without a doubt, that Boston is the unquestioned front-runner for years to come. If I’ve learned anything in the last several years, it’s to not count the chickens before they hatch. The Yankees (our team) has won the division every year since 2000, save last season, correct? And in that time, they’ve appeared in the World Series 3 times, winning only once. Every year, at the start of spring training, they have been tagged not only to win their division by many “experts,” but to win well over 100 games. In the last 3 seasons, which seasons did not go past the first round of playoffs, the Yankees did not win their 100 games, and last year did not win the division, but at least made the Wild Card. And even with that, the Wild Card winner was “a lock” to come out of the Central Division. In the last 3 seasons, the Yankees have suffered and overcome all manner of injury – in 2005, their pitching staff was decimated and only the “lightning in a bottle” pitching of Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon, and the surprising ability of Wang and Cano saved their season; in 2006, they had to overcome the loss of Sheffield and Matsui to their regular lineup, and Melky Cabrera rose to the occasion; we all know how 2007 started out.

    All that to say, you just don’t know how things are going to turn out. To say that if Boston gets Santana they are “a lock” for the next however many years is just foolishness. Which is not to say it couldn’t happen. But there’s no more certainty for them than there is for the Yankees if they get Santana. Santana is one player. The truth of the matter is that if everything goes according to plan for ANY TEAM, then they stand a great chance of winning. But in baseball, anything can and usually does happen.

    I am firmly on the fence about Santana. He is a proven star in the American League. I don’t think the New York stage would be detrimental to him. But I do like the idea of having all those home-growns and the possibilities they provide. I’m willing as a fan to watch their careers unfold. I think the Yankees still have the offense that would allow these pitchers a chance to develop – succeeding overall while being “picked up” by that offense on occasion. But I wouldn’t be upset if the Yankees got Santana in the right deal.

  95. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 9:50 am

    “As far as Hughes goes, we HAVE seen enough to know what he can do. He’s a guy with a 90 MPH fastball and no out pitch.”

    you are clueless.

  96. FYI December 27th, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Santana had an off year only in comparison to himself. He probably still had the best overall numbers in the AL. He had 235 strikeouts, walks-hits at 1.073 (usually under 1) His ERA was 3.33 – closer to the average than his usually under 3 He was the best pitcher in baseball, still.
    That said, I’d keep Hughes and the kids. Lets roll with the kids, have some fun watching them develop (the good and the bad) and see the future.

  97. randy l. December 27th, 2007 at 9:52 am

    the above link is an interesting simulation on the different trade options of yankee/red sox and santana.

    one thing it leaves out is what the yankees could do with player acquisition with all the money saved on not getting santana if the red sox get him. the yankees would have appox 25 million to react to the three-four game swing that santana to the red sox would create.

    the fact that the yankees have a 25 million optional chess move to make if santana goes to the red sox, to me, makes it worth taking the chance santana will be available for just money next fall.

  98. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 9:57 am

    “but do you take Johan for 7 years, knowing he could be at the top of your rotation for the next 4? ”

    i see the arguments on both sides.

    it’s a REALLY tough decision, and i don’t have an answer.

    i can see the Yankees going for it, and i could see them walking away.

    that’s the one thing that bothers me about this debate, people on either side claiming it is a “no brainer”.

    if it were a no brainer, a trade would have been made already. maybe with the Yankees, maybe with the Red Sox, maybe with the Dodgers.

    it’s NOT a no-brainer. if it were, there would be more teams involved.

    the fact is that the price in talent and dollars is VERY VERY steep.

    would anyone here argue that the Angels will get more wins out of Johan over the next 5 years than Torii Hunter? than why aren’t the Angels involved? why pay Torii Hunter $18M if you can get Johan for $20M?

    it’s b/c giving ANY pitcher 7 years is a HUGE risk, and one with a very poor track record of being a good investment.

    if the Yankees do it, i’ll understand their thinking. but it’s also silly to claim that they “HAVE TO” make a trade.

    that’s really all i am saying.

  99. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 10:03 am

    while i’m not really on the fence so much as more in the camp of make the deal, I agree with the POV’s of both hmmm and doreen.

  100. pat December 27th, 2007 at 10:05 am

    I can see both sides of the argument on the Yankees trading for Santana. Santana is a proven commodity but it’s fun to watch the kids develop.

    I agree with Pete on the idea that keeping Hughes is a referendum on Cashman’s vision. However, when it comes to pitchers, Cashman has not exactly had 20/20 vision.

    It is fun watching the kids develop but there will be hiccups along the way with the kids. I think Cashman is willing to live with those hiccups. I’m not as sure that some of you here will be willing to accept them when reality replaces rhetoric.

  101. Anthony December 27th, 2007 at 10:07 am

    I think it also should be added that Hughes is very young and, because he was brought up so early, he will be in his prime (only 27) when he reaches free agency. Let’s get him back after the Twins develop him into an ace.

  102. Nick-YF December 27th, 2007 at 10:08 am

    You develop young players for a number of reasons. One of which is that it enables you to have more options when constructing your roster. A couple of years ago, the Yanks wouldn’t have been able to get a meeting with the Twins about Santana because their farm system was barren. In other words, trading elite young talent for established elite talent is one of the reasons you want to develop a farm system. Do any Yank fans lament losing Russ Davis, who was a very good prospect, in the Tino/Jeff Nelson deal ten years ago?

    I’m pretty torn about what the Yanks should do in regards to the Santana situation. I find Pete’s argument about the financial situation the most compelling. However, I don’t buy into his argument that this trade would be a turn away from the Yanks’ youth development philosophy. Sometimes you have to trade a Hanley Ramirez for a Josh Beckett.

  103. Spyder December 27th, 2007 at 10:12 am

    At this point the Yanks should be getting players that can help them win a championship. The Yanks have no pitcher that is the same caliber as Beckett and the other top pitchers in the league.

    I think you are just anti Santana and have been brainwashed by Cashman. Who cares about development when you have a 2 time cy young player avaliable, sounds like the Giants with Manning. Lets go with a player who has done it as ooposed to someone that might.

    I hardly think that Johan thinks he is over the hill at 29 and I hardly think he is either.

  104. E-ROC December 27th, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Josh Beckett won’t cost $20 million a season and some luxury tax dollars.

  105. Nick-YF December 27th, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Right, E-Roc, and my point is not to diminish the financial aspect of this deal. On the other hand, the Yanks might very well not lose someone as good as Hanley in the deal and might add the best pitcher in baseball. I used that deal as an analogy to point out that completing such a deal didn’t mean the end of youth development in Boston. It helped lead to a World Series. In fact, the Sox also got Lowell back in the deal, making them add a total of $18 million a year when they could have had Hanley cost-controlled.

  106. C GAR December 27th, 2007 at 10:22 am

    An opinion about the Yankees from a guy who rocks a Pats hoodie means nothing to me.

    You are obviously a Red Sox fan.

  107. Doreen December 27th, 2007 at 10:23 am

    You see, I’m not so sure trading Hughes is a referendum of Cash’s vision because he has always said you develop pitchers of your own for two reasons: either to keep them to compete for you or to use them in trade to improve your team. However, if Hughes plus Kennedy are included in any trade, then I think you’re going back to what drove the Yankees for too many years – trading too many blue-chip prospects.

    I do see, however, that if the Yankees can get the deal done including Kennedy INSTEAD of Hughes, it’s better all around – because as a p.r. statement, they would be saying they they’re keeping the guy who epitomizes the new direction – the guy who’s gotten all the press – the “franchise,” if you will. I believe Kennedy has the potential to be just as good, but the fan base is not as invested in Kennedy as they are in Hughes.

    But who’s to say that Kennedy doesn’t end up succeeding and Hughes does not? It’s a crap shoot whatever they do.

  108. Spyder December 27th, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Cashman has opened himself to some serious second guessing, when some of these young arms get injured as they were last year and don’t quite produce to the level that some seem to have elevated them to, the fans and the media will be in a foul mood, especially if Santana is in Boston throwing BB’s.

    Hard for me to imagine that we could be so stupid as to let it happen. Brian Cashman has been radioactive and he sure has set himself up as ground zero on this one,

  109. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 10:24 am

    “In other words, trading elite young talent for established elite talent is one of the reasons you want to develop a farm system. Do any Yank fans lament losing Russ Davis, who was a very good prospect, in the Tino/Jeff Nelson deal ten years ago? ”

    this is a good point.

    however, go back to December 7, 1995 and substitute Derek Jeter for Russ Davis. now how would you feel about it? Jeter was just a “very good prospect” at that point (yes i realize this isn’t a perfect analogy).

    but isn’t that really the crux of the argument? is Hughes a Davis or is he a Jeter??

    the Yankees have to make that evaluation, and none of us sitting here on an internet message board know exactly what they think.

    if you think he’s Davis, you do the trade, if you think he is Jeter, you don’t. simple as that, no?

    that’s all they can do with the information they have now: make your best evaluation based on your scouts and your stats, and stick with your convictions. no one can see the future.

  110. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 10:27 am

    “Cashman has opened himself to some serious second guessing, when some of these young arms get injured as they were last year and don’t quite produce to the level that some seem to have elevated them to, the fans and the media will be in a foul mood”

    if Brian Cashman made decisions based on the “mood” of Yankee fans and the media, the Yankees would be a TERRIBLE team.

  111. Nick-YF December 27th, 2007 at 10:27 am

    C Gar, please apologize. You might disagree with me but calling me a Red Sox fan crosses a line. I didn’t grow up rooting for Cecilio Guante, Andy Hawkins, Rick Rhoden, Andy Stanky, Matt Nokes et al,, to have some new generation Bomber fan call me a Sox fan. Retract your comment now!

  112. Chris NY December 27th, 2007 at 10:28 am

    7 years is too long to sign ANY pitcher to a single contract.

    Unless Santana would take a 4 or 5 year deal (including his remaining contract), keep the kids.

    and even if he would take a 5 year deal, keep Hughes.

  113. 56Bomber December 27th, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Trading a couple of prospects does not equate to changing the teams philosophy. Interesting that many posters who are so adament about not trading Hughes because of youth would be willing to let Kennedy go instead.

  114. Nick-YF December 27th, 2007 at 10:30 am

    “but isn’t that really the crux of the argument? is Hughes a Davis or is he a Jeter??”

    good point, although I think the crux of Pete’s argument is much more based on a dogma.

  115. C GAR December 27th, 2007 at 10:34 am

    “Trade these guys now and the message is pretty clear: The Yankees are only paying lip service to development. This isn’t trading a few B-level prospects for Bobby Abreu in July. This would be an old-school Yankees move.”

    What “old school” moves did the Yankee’s make that compare to trading Phil Hughes?

    The last 10 or so years the only valuable player, raised in our farm system, we traded is Soriono. Which didn’t hurt.

  116. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 10:38 am

    “What “old school” moves did the Yankee’s make that compare to trading Phil Hughes?”

    i’m assuming he is referring to the pre-Stick/Cashman days.

    Al Leiter, Jay Buhner, Fred McGriff, etc.

  117. C GAR December 27th, 2007 at 10:38 am


    Pete rocks the pats hoodie. I have no clue what you wear.

    If you like the pats and the yanks you must be the scum of the earth.

  118. Nick-YF December 27th, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Nope, I hate the Pats. Not a football fan, but I’m rooting badly for the G-Men to take those New Englanders down.

  119. bill December 27th, 2007 at 10:41 am

    Sorry to the Phil fanatics, but that’s a deal that has to be made. IMO, Hughes doesn’t look like a guy who will be a true, dominant number one starter, like Santana already is.

    I listened to the Yanks/Tigers game that Hughes started, and the Detroit radio guys were wondering what the hype was about after about the 20th HR Hughes gave up in that game.

  120. bill December 27th, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Sorry to the Phil fanatics, but that’s a deal that has to be made. IMO, Hughes doesn’t look like a guy who will be a true, dominant number one starter, like Santana already is.

    I listened to the Yanks/Tigers game that Hughes started, and the Detroit radio guys were wondering what the hype was about after about the 20th HR Hughes gave up in that game…

  121. Holdstrong December 27th, 2007 at 10:42 am

    This isn’t about giving anyone, kids or vets, a “shot”. This is about putting together the best team possible.

  122. Anthony December 27th, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Here is what I do not get as a Yankee fan.

    For seven years now, we’ve all complained about not winning another World Series Title. Right now, if we get Johan Santana, we have the best shot to win a World Series.

    Phil Hughes has the POTENTIAL to become a great ace pitcher.But right now, at this moment, Johan Santana is without question the best pitcher in baseball. He is 29 years old, a left handed pitcher, and can match up with the Red Sox Josh Beckett.

    We give up Hughes, Cabrera, and Jeff Marquez for the best picher in baseball… a pitcher the Yankees need badly. Santana provides secuirty in that rotation.

    We need him if we want to win a World Series this season and future seasons. He’s not old, he’s not on the downside of his carreer… he still is the best.

    And aren’t the Yankees always about being and having the best?

  123. Boston Dave December 27th, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Pete –

    It seems that your opinion is of the majority in here… but we’ll see how many people stand up and admit they were wrong if Hughes is nothing more than a pretty good #3 starter. The idea of Hughes being a dominant #1 is awesome and I really hope it happens. I dont think anybody can argue that the best scenario is keeping Hughes and having him develop into a future hall of famer. It’s just that the likelihood of Hughes outperforming Santana is slim and its a bit surprising that people seem to challenge that.

  124. Lauren December 27th, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Well said Pete and couldn’t agree more. . .if only Hank felt the same way.

    I just got a #65 Yankees t-shirt for Christmas, I really hope I can make use of it for years to come in support of “Franchise” Phil.

  125. plank December 27th, 2007 at 10:49 am

    “The last 10 or so years the only valuable player, raised in our farm system, we traded is Soriono. Which didn’t hurt.”

    How about Mike Lowell and Jake Westbrook? Wily Mo Pena? Nick Johnson? Juan Rivera?

  126. C GAR December 27th, 2007 at 10:54 am

    hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 10:38 am

    “What “old school” moves did the Yankee’s make that compare to trading Phil Hughes?”

    i’m assuming he is referring to the pre-Stick/Cashman days.

    Al Leiter, Jay Buhner, Fred McGriff, etc.
    I did say the last 10 or so years

    Trading Al Leiter, Jay Buhner and Fred McGriff for peanuts does not compare to a hugues for santana deal.

    you can compare it to soriano for a rod.

    which i think worked out well for us

  127. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 10:54 am

    “I listened to the Yanks/Tigers game that Hughes started, and the Detroit radio guys were wondering what the hype was about after about the 20th HR Hughes gave up in that game…”


    seriously, there are many many reasons to make this trade.

    this is not one of them.

    holy crap, what pitcher springs fully-formed at 21 years old into a major league ace??

    when Johan HIMSELF was 21 years old he had an era of 6.49.

    he gave up more HRs per 9 innings than Hughes did.

    Johan at 21:
    2-3, 6.49 ERA, 1.15 HR/9, 6.7 K/9, 5.6 BB/9

    Phil at 21:
    5-3, 4.46 ERA, .99 HR/9, 7.2 K/9, 3.6 BB/9

    again, there are many good arguments in favor of the trade. using 1 bad start in his rookie season is not one of them.

  128. Boston Dave December 27th, 2007 at 10:54 am

    plank, you can go through every big market team and find a laundry list of traded prospects that turned out to be pretty good. bottom line – you make the best moves you can. if you got burned in a deal in 2001 and you let that prevent you from making the right deal today, that’s a problem. bringing up the guys from the past is valid, it just shouldnt keep the yankees from making this deal IF they feel its for the benefit of the team.

  129. Boston Dave December 27th, 2007 at 10:55 am

    good point hmmm…. people with bias find whatever limited evidence they can to support their argument rather than look at the whole picture.

  130. C GAR December 27th, 2007 at 10:56 am

    How about Mike Lowell and Jake Westbrook? Wily Mo Pena? Nick Johnson? Juan Rivera?

    give me a break… you can’t compare them to Phil

  131. BPHILL December 27th, 2007 at 10:57 am


    LEN3 checks in with the latest Johan Santana rumors this evening.

    The Mets appear to be a solid contender, even without offering up Jose Reyes. Neal ponders whether the Twins would prefer to send Santana to the NL so they can avoid him. Matthew Cerrone has been saying this for some time, adding that Santana would prefer to come to the NL as well.
    Interesting note – Neal says Kei Igawa’s name has surfaced in regards to the Yankees talks. It wouldn’t materially change the deal though.
    Neal says talks with the Red Sox are currently dormant.

  132. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 10:57 am

    and what have Wily Mo, Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera or Jake Westbrook really done to say the Yankees have missed them?

    Every team has prospects they’ve traded away that in hindsight, you’d say that they’d have had a chance to be good in pinstripes, Lowell among them for the Yankees…

    but these other guys above dont count in that argument… and in fact, you could argue that they are the reasons for sending Phil Hughes away, no?

  133. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 10:58 am

    “I did say the last 10 or so years

    Trading Al Leiter, Jay Buhner and Fred McGriff for peanuts does not compare to a hugues for santana deal.”

    i wasn’t arguing with you, just guessing at what Pete was referring to.

  134. LV Yank December 27th, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Keep Hughes. Good post Pete. Majority of Yankee Fans want to keep Hughes from everything I have read.

  135. stuart December 27th, 2007 at 11:01 am

    if it is a tought deision and not a clear cut decision which will cost the yanks about $200 mill. you do not make it.

    gamble that Minny will not trade Johan and sign him next yr. the financial costs which everyone says does not affect the yanks will be mitigated and they will keep Hughes.

    BTW the Yanks do need to look at finances like everyone else…

    The long term contracts for pitchers NEVER ARE WORTH IT.. I know Santana is different but again they never work out>>>>>>

  136. plank December 27th, 2007 at 11:01 am

    “give me a break… you can’t compare them to Phil”

    That’s my point. You can’t compare them to Phil Hughes. Trading him right before he approaches his prime would be a mistake.

    By and large, players peak at the age of 27. There are of course exceptions to every rule, but look at any player and you will see a peak at or near 27. Trading Phil now when he is getting better every year and playing for the minimum versus paying $20 million for Sanatana when he is getting worse every year is a huge mistake in every year except maybe the first year.

  137. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 11:03 am

    December 27th, 2007 at 2:23 am
    I agree about not dealing Hughes.

    However, would there be a deal for both sides along the lines of Tabata, Horne, Betances, & Gonzalez

    my GOD HELL NO !!!

    I’m getting sick of these people wanting to sell everything for Santana, stand pat man up, the pressure isn’t suppose to be on us

    these are the same fickle fans who the season before wanted Hughes and Tabata traded for Abreu, same idiots that wanted Joba for Saltalamacchia or Teixiera, in the offseason wanted Melky Cabrera to be traded for Mike Gonzalez, some of you you were clamoring for the Yanks to trade Ian Kennedy to KC for Octavio Dotel ..Where the hell are you guys now ?

    I’m seriously hoping just like all those deals that we don’t pick up Santana, 900 + innings in the last four years, that is a heck of alot of innings to mortgage your farm. Again I don’t want to trade Hughes,I don’t want to trade Betances sure as hell wouldn’t trade Tabata or Jackson, sometimes enough is enough what the hell is this pick Hughes back up at 27 yrs. old when you see him develope for Minny, how about HELL NO, how about 21 yr. old Phil Hughes develops in NYC where he belongs.

  138. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 11:04 am

    yeah, i don’t think the Yankees regret trading Westbrook at all.

    the Yankees maybe miss the playoffs in 2000 without David Justice and don’t win the World Series.

    also, Justice turned into Ventura, who had a good season for the Yankees and then turned into Proctor, who had a good season for the Yankees and then turned into Betemit, who should be a useful role player for the Yankees this year.

    not bad.

  139. saucy December 27th, 2007 at 11:04 am

    lets say we can see into the future and can look into the future and see that Hughes will have a slow start to his career, posting say a 4 or 5 + era for 3 years, then blooms into a pitcher with numbers similar, and maybe better than Santana for years to follow. would you make a Santana trade now, knowing that?

  140. saucy December 27th, 2007 at 11:06 am

    i worded that funny, but you should get what i’m saying.

    put me on the list for wanting an edit button…

  141. Jeff NJ December 27th, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Generally I agree, it would be a pity to lose Hughes and Melky for Santana. Bigger problem is the monetary commitment needed to get him. The one counter argument I would make to Pete is that the Red Sox made a move for an ace a few years ago and traded two outstanding prospects to get him. It worked out, they won the world series. I would sure love to have a real ace on the Yankees, question is, who is more likely to be that ace per dollar, Johan or Phil?

  142. plank December 27th, 2007 at 11:06 am

    “Every team has prospects they’ve traded away that in hindsight, you’d say that they’d have had a chance to be good in pinstripes, Lowell among them for the Yankees…”

    First of all: huh?

    But Mike Lowell, Nick Johnson, and Jake Westbrook would all have been huge additions to the Yankees had they not been traded.

  143. C GAR December 27th, 2007 at 11:09 am

    I dont want to trade phil
    but comparing a Hughes/Santana trade to the moves trades in the 80′s is dumb. It’s a redsox fan opinion.

  144. randy l. December 27th, 2007 at 11:10 am

    “BTW the Yanks do need to look at finances like everyone else…”
    then why have the yankees had a to be named later first baseman in their lineup for the past few years.

    the yankees get twitchy when they go over 200 million. positions like relief pitching and and first base are the place they make do with when they hit their limit. the yankees do pay attention to money. their twitchy point is just higher than other teams .

  145. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 11:10 am

    plank: disagree, for reasons like what hmmm posted above, and then its also assuming Nick Johnson wouldve stayed healthy, which he’s never done.

    i dont think the yankees regret trading any one of those players at all.

  146. filthy slider December 27th, 2007 at 11:12 am


  147. C GAR December 27th, 2007 at 11:13 am

    Nick Johnson is/was always hurt. Javier Vazquez was very much needed at the time.

    I think Nick would be perfect for the team this year and bet we could get him for cheap

  148. BWH December 27th, 2007 at 11:17 am

    I am in total agreement with your post, Peter.

    The thing that I don’t understand is why so many Yankees fans seem to want a superstar at every position. Melky? He’s great – he’s not (yet?) an All-Star, but he fits the team in that he plays very good defense, Torre talked about him being spark-plug for the team, and he gets on base at a reasonable, if not good, clip (from both sides of the plate!).

  149. plank December 27th, 2007 at 11:17 am

    If we kept Johnson, we wouldn’t have needed Giambi. That’s $20 million a year saved. Just looking at the numbers without considering pre-free agency status doesn’t tell the whole story.

    The Yankees money is not limitless. Look at Beltran in 2004(?) he was willing to sign with the Yanks for less but we couldn’t afford it. That in theory could have lost us a championship or 2.

  150. E-ROC December 27th, 2007 at 11:17 am

    I just think there is nothing like watching your homegrown players succeed at the ML level. Also, Phil Hughes is the face of Cashman’s newfound control of the franchise.

  151. Jonathon December 27th, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Agree 100% with Pete’s post. Develop talent, don’t trade it away.

    Don’t pay for past performance.

  152. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 11:18 am

    December 27th, 2007 at 11:09 am
    I dont want to trade phil
    but comparing a Hughes/Santana trade to the moves trades in the 80’s is dumb. It’s a redsox fan opinion.

    just because he doesn’t agree w/ your opinion which alot of Yankee fans on this blog don’t and some do doesn’t mean you have to keep insulting Pete like that. He’s a Red Sox fan ok yet he worked 15 years to build this blog and yet you type in it, if you don’t like it leave, this isn’t the Capulets vs. Montagues we share opinions and really I’d say Pete is one of the most fair weathered Red Sox fan on his blog he doesn’t throw that around so come w/ a stronger point next time.

  153. Drew M December 27th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Come on, Peter- keep your story straight. I’ve been one of the people saying that Melky is not a throw away piece of a deal and people are too often guilty of underrating him. You blogged that Yankees fans over value him. Now you say he was rushed to the majors and you imply that his future with the Yanks could be bright. So, which one is it?

  154. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 11:20 am

    if we kept Johnson, we wouldve been looking for a replacement anyway, considering he couldnt be kept on the field healthy.

    and not adding Beltran was not the reason why the Yankees havent gotten back to the WS since 2004. dont be so naive.

  155. east side yankee December 27th, 2007 at 11:20 am

    You people can debate this all you want…like you will find the magic statistic or statement that will prove it is right (or wrong if that is your sentiment) to make the trade…

    2 1/2 years ago very few of you even knew anything about the Yankee farm system. Last Year when some people were dreaming about a pitching rotation with all farm grown pitchers practically everyone on this board and (every other yankee board) said it was impossible for a myriad of reasons
    It sure is funny what a year can do…Now you have people talking about how the Yanks will be able to draft another Kennedy and Joba dus to signability issues…like the rest of MLB isn’t aware of the 2006 draft

    What I’m trying to say is that we should just let Yankee management do what is right. There is no one on this board that would have drafted Hughes, Kennedy or Joba…Oppenheimer and Cashman did…I trust the Yanks to make the best decision for the team…YOU SHOULD TOO

  156. plank December 27th, 2007 at 11:22 am

    “Javier Vazquez was very much needed at the time.”

    You’re right. That would have been a great trade if we didn’t reverse it the next season. But it’s the Yankees so we needed proven commodity Randy Johnson.

  157. Buddy Biancalana December 27th, 2007 at 11:22 am


    Well said!!!

  158. plank December 27th, 2007 at 11:25 am


    How is that being naive? I just offered it as a possibility (losing out on Beltran.) I don’t see how it’s any different than saying Santana in ’08 brings a WS to NY.

  159. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 11:34 am

    this is an all-world offense, and has been for some time. it’s been the pitching, not the offense, that has plagued this team for the past couple seasons.

    Johan is a difference-maker on the mound, which is where i think most yankees fans agree the improvement needs to come from, and why this situation differs from attempting to sign Carlos Beltran.

    and the money wasnt the issue then, either. Yankees management had to decide if they wanted to add SP or add another position player for the money they were going to spend… they chose wisely with the SP; but not so wisely on Randy Johnson, as we look back on it.

  160. plank December 27th, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Replacing Bernie with Beltran in CF would have helped the pitching more than adding Sidd Finch.

    Besides, Even if the offense is the best in baseball, it can get better. Making the offense better by 50 runs is as valuable as making the pitching better by 50 runs. If you have bad pitching and good hitting it’s cheaper to improve the pitching but doesn’t make it more or less important toward winning more games.

  161. Jay December 27th, 2007 at 11:43 am

    pete i cant agree with you more. We need to keep hughes and cabrera because they are the potential stars of the future. Hughes is what 21? hes got alot of time to become like santana.

  162. Will December 27th, 2007 at 11:43 am

    I think if Santana is going to Boston they will offer up the Hughes deal in the final hour. Otherwise, they will try to land him with a deal of Kennedy and a combination of other players. If Boston is indeed bluffing, then they will try to get him without Hughes. The ideal scenario is that Santana stays a Twin and we just cut him the check he wants after next season.

    I know the philosophy is that you cannot make decisions based on what Boston does but the fact that they already have an ace in Beckett complicates things. Adding Santana to that lineup would make them VERY difficult to beat in a playoff series. I’d be willing to take the chance with our current rotation against their current rotation hoping that Hughes or Joba really step it up this season. But facing them with our rotation and adding Santana to theirs would be a scary situation.

  163. Cliff December 27th, 2007 at 11:55 am

    The Yanks will get Santana. I don’t think that the Yanks have gotten any better this off season. They are no closer to competing with the Sox. The Devil Rays actually made moves to improve. A front line of Kazmir, Shields and Garza is probably as good as any 3 starters the Yanks have at the moment. The Yanks are a billion dollar a year biz once you factor in merch, tv, ticket sales, licensing ect. Paying a luxury tax of 25 million really isn’t a big deal. Santana is an ace. We need someone to go head to head with Beckett and it isn’t Wang. Wang isn’t an ace. He’s a nice pitcher but until he develops another pitch he is a #2 w/ yanks run support that looks like a 1. Petitte is a year older. Moose is washed up. Hughes looked really good at times last year and I thought he should have started a play off game. Melky doesn’t mean much to us. There are always free agent bats available to fill holes. Posada is a year older not better. Mo can still be dominate at times but he has struggled for outs. The yanks made most of these moves to please fans. Who wants to sign 38 year old pitchers? We need a top of the line starter. As it sits right now can anyone say the yanks are positioned to be anything other than a wildcard? Tigers got way better. Angels still look strong. The Tribe look good still. A healthy liriano w/ santana means the twins can make a run esp with delmon young in the mix. Bottom line our play off chances are in danger. I don’t think the Yanks want to open a new stadium coming off a season of not making the play offs.

  164. Blargh December 27th, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Aww, I kinda wanted to see speculation on why we’re hearing talk of Bill Smith lowering his price and what implications that would have in Minnesota/Boston/here

    I’m also interested in seeing Cashman continue this poker game and if he can get Smith to lower his price (further?) xP

  165. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Mr. Neal III saids Santana to Mets

    According to La Velle E. Neal III at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the New York Mets could still be a possible landing spot for Johan Santana. Neal seems to feel that the Twins like enough of the Mets’ prospects where a deal could possibly get done. Also, it would make sense that the Twins would prefer to deal Johan Santana to the National League so they would not have to see him a handful of times each season. The Mets have outfield prospects Fernando Martinez & Carlos Gomez, with young pitchers Phil Humber, Mike Pelfrey, and Kevin Mulvey to offer. Throw an established bullpen arm like Aaron Heilman into the mix, along with Deolis Guerra & Joe Smith as young up-and-coming relief pitchers, and the Mets might have enough.

  166. Doreen December 27th, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Boston wasn’t all that much better than the Yankees last season. A normal start for the Yankees, and they win the division. Also, Boston wasn’t dominant over the Indians, even though they ended up winning the AL pennant. The Yankees and the Red Sox are closer than some of you seem to think.

  167. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    a Mets deal with the Twins would be identical to what the A’s got for Haren, in that the Mets dont have a Hughes or an Ellsbury/Lester, so they’d give up quantity over a pure quality centerpiece.

    this is nothing new, just that the mets fans are sitting in the corner, crossing their fingers hoping for a miracle.

    i think its been said here before, but if you are the Twins, you cant worry about trading Johan within the league… the Twins need to get back the best package, whoever that may include in their estimation, from whatever team is offering it… should it be the Yanks or Saux, so be it… but they shouldnt just settle for a bunch of decent guys just to get him out of the AL.

  168. C GAR December 27th, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    I don’t want to trade Phil or any of our young guys. i’d rather lose with our home grown guys then win with high price gun slingers to be honest.

    I just don’t like comparing the potential trade to anything done in the 80′s. Those were unproven prospects who turned out better then average.
    Harping on the moves the Yankees made in the 80′s are what bitter yankee haters do. It’s just another way of saying the Yankees bought all their talent to win in the 90′s. Which is BS.

    As far as the people saying.. if you don’t like pete being a redsox fan then leave.. I really do love reading this blog b/c of the constant updates. if you know another yankee beat reporter blog, beside kats, tell me.

  169. C GAR December 27th, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    How can a red sox fan not be bias toward the yankees?

  170. FYI December 27th, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Roger C,
    Boston has more established pitching over the Yankees. Whether their arms are superior to the Yankees remains to be seen. Lets roll with the three young guns, Pettitte and Wang and see what happens.. The Yanks can always improvise

  171. saucy December 27th, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    agreed Doreen. the yanks and red-sox were both down 3 to 1 in a series vs cleveland (they were fortunate enough to have an opportunity to play them a few more games). and it also seems like people are forgetting that we beat the sox more during the season. but it seems some people are under the impression that we are light years behind them and need to catch up.

  172. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Turn Two if they get a Pelfrey,Heilman,Gomez,Martinez,Smith, Humber and Guerra that’s not really a bad move for Minny

  173. saucy December 27th, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    “but who saw cleveland coming outta the central last year??”

    i saw them a number of times on pre-season division winner picks lists…

  174. Dampfi December 27th, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Pete, you ask

    “Are the Yankees developing their kids to play them or trade them?”

    I think the Yankees need a much more balanced approach than in recent years, but swinging the pendulum to one side or the other gets you the All-Aging-Allstar-Team (we’ve tried that) or the Devil Rays (ooops, sorry, the Rays).

    If the goal is winning, I say get Santana for Hughes / Melky / Marquez. He’s a true ace, something the Yanks have been missing for quite a while, and frankly, something they need to win in the postseason. Hopefully the kids will give us the necessary bullpen strength. And we can look forward to the most successful postseason in quite a while!

  175. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Brandon, do you seriously think the Mets are going to give up 7 players for one?

  176. plank December 27th, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    “but who saw cleveland coming outta the central last year??”

    i saw them a number of times on pre-season division winner picks lists…

    Seconded. Lots of people thought they would be good last year.

  177. plank December 27th, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    Hey Clemens,

    show me the proof

  178. mel December 27th, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Wow. Lots of discussion and ideas this morning. The best one is La Velle with yet another prognostication. Maybe I’m overvaluing our guys, but Heilman might be the kicker?

    I wrote late last night: The Yankees are the only team that can afford to pay Santana what he deserves. We shouldn’t give up primo prospects because it’s just us bidding against ourselves. Cash saw the picture clear as day and ended the shenanigans before they even started.

  179. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Coming up with a plan to win in 08 is the easy thing. Sign Johan, move Joba to the pen and bring in Mike Cameron. The tricky part is winning for the next 10 years, those moves weaken us for the following years. Andy and Moose will be gone in 09, so we will need to pick up someone or promote another kid. Joba will need to build up arm strength the following year, putting his progress in being our future #1 a year behind schedule. If we sing Cameron (which I think is a terrible idea since he strikes out 160 times a year and hits .240), it will be a short term contract. So Damon, Matsui, Abreu and Cameron will all be gone in 2 years. The fact that you have 60M invested in 2 players….Arod and Johan, weakens your flexibility to make big splashes in the FA market for the next 8 years. We have some kids coming up for the OF spots, just not that many.

    Its better to have a deep 1-4 than an Ace. Santana’s been on the Twins and pitched at the highest level in the league since 2002. The Twins have not made it to the WS in any of those years. Each of those years they had one of the best bullpens in the league, decent hitting and excellent fielding.

    Santana’s postseason stats =

    5 starts…1-3…3.97ERA…34in…35hits…32K

    Having Santana at his best didnt get the Twins any further than the Yanks have been. We may have better hitting, but again Minny’s bullpen has been one of the best in the league for the past 4-5 years and their defense was superior to the Yanks over that same time. Getting Johan weakens our D even further by losing Melkey. He may not be the best defensive OF in the league, but he’s the best one on the Yanks.

    Also, if we sign Santana and he gets hurt, the Yanks are going to be in trouble since they gave away their youngest SP and youngest position player and now have to pay 30M to a hurt pitcher. If they dont sign Johan and Phil gets hurt, the Yanks have flexibility in signing someone else since Phil costs them peanuts.

    Peter is correct as well, Johan led the league in innings pitched over the past 4 years. If you look it up, history is not on Johan’s side to repeat what he did these past 4 seasons. Can we really expect those numbers over the next 7-8 years at 30M? There is more risk in signing Johan than people realize.

  180. Kevin December 27th, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    The downside of keeping the 3 kids is high if they don’t pan out. But, there is strength in numbers and it’s likely at least 2 of the 3 will do reasonably well. The downside risk of Santana is much higher. You’d have given up pitcher(s) that may go on to greatness and Santana may break down. I actually think there is less risk keeping the 3 kids. If they trade a future star and Santana breaks down, it will take years for the Yanks to recover. This is a “win now” team, but the more conservative approach of keeping the kids is better. A win-no team with a broken down ace is a disaster.

  181. Kill Schill December 27th, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Pete, with all due respect, I suspect, that like Murray Chass yesterday, you miscalculate the cost of Santana’s contract.

    The Yankees are only certain to pay a 40% premium on Santana in 2008 when he earns $13 million dollars.

    After the 2008 season, the Yankees’ pay roll will discard approximately $80 million in contracts. (Pavano $10m, Mussina $11m, Giambi $21m, Abreu $16m, Farnsworth $5.5m, Pettitte $16m)

    Jettisoning those contracts would bring the Yankees’ payroll about $40 million dollars under the $162 million luxury tax threshold for 2009 ($200m – $80m = $120 million)

    If you add $20 million for Santana, the Yankees can still allocate another $20 million dollars for arbtitration increases and new free-agents without exceeding the $162 million threshold.

    In 2010, the Yankees also lose another $26 million dollars in payroll when Damon and Matsui’s $13m contracts expire. What’s more the luxury tax threshold rises to $170 million in 2010. That provides them another $30 million dollars to spend without exceeding the threshold and incurring a 40% tax on Santana’s contract.

    The guy at the Yankees Republic wrote about the luxury tax misconception when the press was debating the cost of retaining A-Rod, but I think the logic still applies to Santana, especially if Pettitte retires after the 2008 season. Check it out.

  182. Roger Clemens December 27th, 2007 at 12:37 pm


    there you go fellas.

    2 guys picked them to win the WS, and i think 3 picked them to go to the playoffs over all..

    so if you saw them a number of times.. your lying, and alot of people thought they would be good.. agreed…
    but everyone thinks the yanks will be good.. and we continue to suck..

  183. Roger Clemens December 27th, 2007 at 12:37 pm


    ill show you the proof that i inject steroids.. look at my ass

  184. plank December 27th, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    I don’t understand your point, Clemens. That clearly shows experts thinking the Indians were going to be in contention in 2007.

    btw, did you delete your post further up?

  185. Peter Abraham December 27th, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    First off, good baseball talk on this thread. Unlike some forums, it’s nice to see people can discuss baseball without being jerks about it.

    Meanwhile, the idea that the Yankees can spend money because they’ll have money coming off the books after 2008 doesn’t fly with me.

    Yes, they could lose Pettitte, Giambi, Abreu, Farnsworth, Mussina, etc. But they’ll keep some of those guys and they’ll have to replace the rest. Getting a starter to replace Pettitte won’t be cheap. Teixeira at first base? A power hitting corner OF?

    The Yankees aren’t suddenly going to have a 100 million payroll. They would have to get under 160 million to avoid the tax in 2009. I don’t see that happening. Meanwhile, as every year passes the contracts of Posada and Rivera will become burdens. What do you think Jeter will want (and get) when his deal expires? Wang and Cano will be FA before too long, etc.

    It’s not the money or the prospects, it’s the philosophy. Will the Yankees develop their own own starters or buy somebdy else’s. Trade Hughes then trading Kennedy becomes easier. Then Horne, then Brackman, etc.

    Invest in the process and become a powerhouse at that. Use your revenues in the draft and the international market.

  186. saucy December 27th, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    clemens, you’re making it seem like clevelad was the 07 version of 06 detroit. now that’s a team i don’t think anyone had on their lists.

  187. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Peter, i think fundamentally, the philosophy doesnt change… special players call for special circustances. while Phil Hughes is pretty much untouchable, when you have a player of Johan’s ability, he needs to be considered among the options.

    and just because you trade a Phil Hughes doesnt automatically mean that the rest of the system is up for grabs… in my opinion, trading a Phil Hughes for would actually make it more difficult to move an IPK, Horne, Brackman, Betances, McCutcheon, etc, because you are one less on the depth chart… however, the depth chart is still expansive enough to take the hit of moving one stud at the top.

  188. Kill-Schill(ing) December 27th, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Needless to say, I endorse trading for Santana, if the Yankees only have to yield Hughes, Marquez, and Melky.

    Trading prospects and cultivating youth aren’t mutually exclusive. Some prospects you retain, Some you trade– because not all of them will fulfill their expectations.

    As much as offering any pitcher a 6 to 7 year deal unnerves me, signing Santana for that long worries me far less than entrusting 60% of the rotation to 3 untested rookies, not one of whom can pitch 200 innings, or has demonstrated his minor league promise will translate into major league success over an entire season.

    I love Hughes and would regret losing him. But let’s not let sentimentality cloud our judgment.

    Acquiring Santana, apart from his own contribution, would relieve Joba and IPK of some of the enormous expectations that presently saddle them and would allow them greater latitude to develop. How many young guys dominate as soon as they’re promoted? I can recall only one of late. Justin Verlander. The rest experience considerable failure before they ultimately thrive.

    A 30+ yr-old veteran roster doesn’t enable the Yankees the luxury of patience, not with 60% of their starting rotation certainly.

  189. mel December 27th, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    I don’t know what you guys are you arguing about, but just wanted to say that ALL of the experts expected Cleveland to compete in 2006. For a variety of reasons, it didn’t happen. So their success in 2007 was not a surprise to anyone with media credentials or anyone who follows baseball for that matter.

  190. FYI December 27th, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    Another possibility….

    Twins goal is to sign Santana, not trade him
    Thursday, Dec 27, 2007 12:28 pm EST

    The trade talks with both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are stalemated, however, the President of the Minnesota Twins told the St. Paul Pioneer Press Wednesday the team is serious about keeping Johan Santana in the Twin Cities.

    The Twins have offered Santana, who already is guaranteed $13 million for 2008, an additional four years for a guaranteed $80 million. That contract would make Santana the highest-paid pitcher in baseball with a multi year deal.

    “That remains our goal, our first choice, and I’m not going to veer from that,” Minnesota team president Dave St. Peter said. “We are comfortable with that scenario if that’s the best thing for the Twins’ organization. Right now, Johan Santana is our opening night starter against the Los Angeles Angels and Torii Hunter, and I like our chances (of winning).”

    Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press

  191. GMAN December 27th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Hanko & Cash faded the Alias Smith & Epstein Bluff at the MLB Winter Poker Meeting for Johann and the bids for Santana will not again be as high as Hughes, Melky, and whoever else the Yanks had shown.

    Santana is a free agent after next season and currently enjoys a full no trade provision in his contract with the Twins. Gammons and all the other ESPN insiders that were either in cahoots with Smith & Epstein or played as stooges by Smith & Epstein…look more foolish by the day as they hem and haw over the delay in Boston’s ability to bring in Johann.

    Bill Smith lost all leverage after he and Epstein were exposed as a poor poker players in Nashville.

    Right now Bill Smith is praying the Yankees have a very poor record early in the season along with injuries to Yankee front line pitchers….he’s also got to hope that another phenom does not emerge from the Yanks system.

    Good luck with that Mr. Smith.

    The Twins will get 2 extra picks in the draft when the Yanks sign Johann after the 2008 season concludes.

    The only other scenario for Smith is to trade Johann now for 2 or 3 genuine MLB prospects that have progressed nicely through the Yankees minor league system as they will be a couple of years closer to the Majors (rather than ground zero draft picks). Smith will not get any Ready for Prime Time Players.

    The last scenario is the Trade Deadline in mid-season. Smith has to hope some team is desparate and will pay through the nose for a 3 month Santana rental…like the ‘stros did for the Big Unit…only to watch him dash to the Diamondbacks at season end.

  192. FYI December 27th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Yep.. Indians were considered an up and coming team in 2005.. and fell flat in 2006, with virtually the same players.. young players.

  193. Fernando Alejandro December 27th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Its still nice to remove Mussina, Pavano, Giambi, and Farnsworth off the books. I like Mussina, but he just isn’t the pitcher he used to be, and he’s set to earn $11 million next season. Even then though, Giambi is owed a $5 million buy out, and Pavano a $2 million buy out.

  194. Laura December 27th, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    I say trading a 23 yr future superstar for a 29 year old guy with hundreds of innings on his arm is a gamble. Keep Hughes and try and get Santana on the FA market. Forget about worrying whether Boston gets him. If we can hit Beckett (which we can), we can hit Santana (who has lousy numbers at Fenway, BTW). Keep the kids. The Yankees need youth!!

  195. YankeeFan December 27th, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    this one’s tough now. at the beginning i was all for giving up hughes. now though, i’m on the fence.
    santana is the best in baseball and will be for a couple more years at least. money isn’t that big of an issue and his durability shouldn’t be an issue. (he throws mostly fast/change and doesn’t go over 120 pitches/game.)

    hughes wasn’t lights out like chamberlain was last year, but he had a couple of great outings. he also had a few terrible outings which is expected. the thing that impresses me are his intangibles. he handles pressure well. and yes, playing in new york is different from playing in minnesota/etc. he can have a terrible outing, then a great outing. hughes has “it”.

    so now, i’m on the fence. i hope cash pushes to keep hughes and only offers kennedy / cabrera / +1. i don’t think boston is very interested unless they get a steal. i don’t think we should offer too much since santana probably only wants to go to us or boston.

    if a gun was pointed to my head, i’d have to give up hughes / cabrera / marquez. why? santana is already an ace, he is left-handed, and we have a deep farm system. we may not get another hughes, but we already have a chamberlain, a kennedy, and several more who could easily be just as good.

    go cashman!

  196. Laura December 27th, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    Oh and another thing. I’m not sure why everyone is so gun ho about trading Melky. Damon in CF is scary. I think I have a better arm than he does.

  197. SAndMan December 27th, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    Pete just said next year it won’t be cheap to replace Pettitte.Thats why we get Santana now so we don’t overspend and lost out on Santana.

  198. mel December 27th, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    One more thing about Phil. He’s demonstrated yet again that incredible knack of adjusting relatively quickly to each new level of competition. He was hindered by injuries (which people hold against him), but through grit and determination he fought back to not only revert to pre-MLB form but to eventually adjust to the MLB.

    He’s got that “it” factor.

    Another thing. He’s a symbol of the new Yankee Way and I can understand the reluctance of Cashman to offer Phil up for Santana.

    And another thing. As soon as Cash saw the rubbish that Boston was offering they pulled their offer spouting rubbish about Santana being too rich for their blood.

    A deal might get done, but I don’t think it’ll include Phil. We are the only ones who can pay Johan what he wants.

  199. Mr. Faded Glory December 27th, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    *Are the Yankees going to do what they always do and overpay for their starters or develop their own?*

    Why can’t they do both? If Santana stays a Twin through ’08, they could sign him to replace Moose and Pettitte, and you’ve got a rotation that’s 4/5 homegrown in Wang, Kennedy, Hughes, Chamberlain and Santana.

    Also as for Melky, he seems like a nice kid but really I would have no problem giving him up for any sort of pitching.

  200. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    “The Yankees are only certain to pay a 40% premium on Santana in 2008 when he earns $13 million dollars. ”

    this is a minor point, but i think Santana is asking for a 7 year, $140M contract. under this deal, they would tear up his old contract, and he would make $20M in 2008.

    it’s not really important in the grand scheme of things, but i believe that is what he is asking for. if he is traded, he probably won’t make $13M in 2008.

  201. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    “santana is the best in baseball and will be for a couple more years at least. ”

    how can we say this when he wasn’t even the best in baseball in 2007?

    i am not arguing that Santana is in some sort of fast decline, or that he won’t be excellent in 2008…but in 2007 he wasn’t the “best in baseball”, so how can we confidently say he will be the best in baseball for the next few seasons?

  202. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Brandon, do you seriously think the Mets are going to give up 7 players for one?

    why the hell wouldn’t they ? they aren’t stacked in the minors will not get many oppurtunities to net Santana, certainly as hell do not want to get in a $$$ bidding war w/ us for him, it’s clear Minny wants quantity in this deal hoping 2 or 3 studs come back in a deal, on top of that the Mets collapsed last season and aren’t even the favorite in the NL East, they need to make this deal more than us.

  203. migames December 27th, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    “i am not arguing that Santana is in some sort of fast decline, or that he won’t be excellent in 2008…but in 2007 he wasn’t the “best in baseball”, so how can we confidently say he will be the best in baseball for the next few seasons?”

    So anyone who said in 2006 that Arod is the “best in baseball” was wrong?

  204. Kill-Schill(ing) December 27th, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Fair point about the payroll, Pete. I still have, respectfully, to disagree with you about the broader ramifications of trading Hughes however.

    The Yankees don’t necessarily revert to their profligate 80′s philosophy, sacrificing their future for the present, merely by trading one elite prospect, however promising he may be.

    I realize Hughes has a symbolic significance because he epitomized Cashman’s new commitment to the farm system. But Hank’s public comments reflects how important he regards building from within the system and how critical he once was of his father’s philosophy during the 80′s.

    I don’t see how trading Hughes somehow commits or ordains the Yankees to trade Horne, IPK, Brackman or anyone else.

    It’s not like Yankee management, by trading Hughes, contracts some contagious disease or dismantles some pivotal fortification that renders them susceptible to repetition.

    I thought the whole idea of cultivating a farm system was two-fold: first and foremost, to develop your own players, pitchers, in particular, but secondly, to develop trade chips as well when elite players, like Santana, are available. After all, not every one of the Yankees’ prospects is going to fulfill his promise.

    The Red Sox seem to have struck a happy medium between trading and retaining promising young talent. They traded Henley Ramirez and Anibel Sanchez for Beckett. Then again, they’ve refused to trade Buccholz, and both Lester and Ellsbury. (I concede they erred in the Gagne trade but I don’t know that relinquishing Gabbard will haunt them.)

    Cashman could do worse than emulate the Red Sox’s recent success in this regard.

  205. Yankee Jay December 27th, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Great post Pete. A few of us here have been preaching essentially the same thing, though not as eloquently. Let the kids play.

    I know the chances of a member of the “Trinity” becoming an “Ace” are not good according to history. That said, there is far more risk in dumping $150 million into an overworked (albeit great) pitcher, who will earn most of that money in his 30′s, than there is in fielding 3 rookies in your starting 5.

    Let’s say all 3 flop, you still have options, and $150 million to fix your rotation. If Santana signs a monster contract and can’t handle NY or blows out an elbow and you traded Hughes to get him, what options do you have?

  206. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Carlos SIlva – last two years

    11-15..5.94 ERA..1.542 WHIP..180 in..246 hits..70 K
    13-14..4.19 ERA..1.312 WHIP..202 in..229 hits..89 K

    Just signed at 4 years 48 Million

    Gil Meche – two years before his contract
    10-8..5.09 ERA..1.570 WHIP..143 in..153 hits..83 K
    11-8..4.48 ERA..1.430 WHIP..186 in..183 hits..156 K

    07 signed at 5 years 55 Million

    Ted Lilly – two years before his contract
    10-11..5.56 ERA..1.528 WHIP..126 in..135 hits..96 K
    15-13..4.31 ERA..1.431 WHIP..181 in..179 hits..160 K

    07 signed at 4 years 40 Million


    So at the very least if we want to sign a #4/#5 starter, we will need a MINIMUM of 10M. The fact that Silva got 4/48 shows that the market increased from 10per to 12per for an average SP. If we trade away our young talent for a 30M dollar Johan, then add another #4/#5 SP in the 12M per year range…well, you see what Im getting at here. A cheaper rotation gives the Yanks the option to sign Mark Teixeria when he becomes a FA after next year, along with anyone else we want…Joe Nathan, CC Sabathia…or even Johan himself next year.

    The ‘flexibility factor’ has to play some type of role here.

  207. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    “So anyone who said in 2006 that Arod is the “best in baseball” was wrong?”

    i apologize if i wasn’t clear:

    i am not arguing with part of the statement that Santana IS the best in baseball.

    i am objecting to saying that he definitely WILL BE the best in baseball for the next few seasons.

    how do we know this? we don’t. at all.

  208. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Maybe Im a little biased, but based on his minor league stats and multiple minor league rankings, I dont think Lester is that good to head any package. I think the Yanks can put a package together headed by Ian, that doesn’t include Phil, that exceeds the Lester package.

    Kennedy is just flat out better than Lester

    Ian has a better ERA, Win/Loss record, H9, HR/9, BB/9, K/9, WHIP…every minor league stat you put the two head to head in Ian come out on top. Then factor in their brief major league stats and you find more of the same.

    Lester – 23 years old…32-31…3.33 ERA…7.99 H/9…0.56 HR/9…3.78 BB/9…8.31 K/9…1.31 WHIP
    Ian – 22 years old…12-3…1.87 ERA…5.62 H/9…0.36 HR/9…3.14 BB/9…9.97 K/9…0.97 WHIP

    Melky is better than Coco, cheaper and younger

    Last two years

    06 – 26 years old..413 AB…264 Avg..702 OPS..67 K’s
    07 – 27 years old..526 AB…268 Avg..712 OPS..84 K’s

    06 – 21 years old..460 AB..280 Avg..751 OPS..59 K’s
    07 – 22 years old..545 AB..273 Avg..718 OPS..68 K’s

    Justin Masterson ( BOS )
    minor league totals
    22 years old..15-9..3.74 ERA..185in..148K’s
    just came off a season in AA that he went 4-3..4.34 ERA

    Jeff Marquez ( NY )
    22 years old…35-32…3.40 ERA..485in..345K’s
    just came off a season in AA that he went 15-9..3.65 ERA

    Jed Lowrie ( BOS )
    23 year old SS…1072 AB…291 Avg…834 OPS..20 HR..14 SB

    Alberto Gonzalez ( NY )
    24 years old SS…1613 AB…277 Avg…715 OPS..10 HR..38 SB Gold Glove caliber defense, better than Lowrie

    Other than Lowrie, the rest of the Yanks prospects are better than the Sox prospects. To make up for the difference the Yanks could also throw in a 5th player.

    Marcos Vechionacci – 21 year old 3B – 16 HR – 40 SB

    Or to seal the deal =

    Daniel McCutchen
    24 years old…16-4…172 IP…2.41 ERA…1.01 WHIP…133 K’s

    So the Red Sox best offer.


    is not as good as a similar package the Yanks can put together

    Gonzalez and/or McCutchen and/or Vechionacci.

    Thats not just opinion Red Sox fans, those are facts. We should not include Phil in any package.

    Bucholtz = Hughes

    Hughes 21…25-8…2.03 ERA…275in…311K’s..66BB..0.86 WHIP
    Clay 22…19-10…2.46 ERA…285in…356K’s..77BB..1.00 WHIP

    If the Twins are not demanding Bucholz from the Sox, why are they demanding Phil from the Yanks? We have secondary packages that exceed the Sox offers without including Joba, Phil or Cano.

    There is some BS going on here and Im glad the Yanks pulled out. If the Twins want to deal Johan..


    Is the highest the Yanks should go. That package would only be beat by the Sox including Lester, Ellsbury, Masterson and Lowrie…which I dont see them doing.

  209. erikp December 27th, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Pete, I don’t follow the philosophy argument. Why is it important to have a “philosophy” about player moves one way or the other? Isn’t it an advantage that the Yanks have the resources (read: money) not to be bound to a philosophy at all? Sure, they have to make good decisions, but a team like the A’s has a certain philosophy thrust upon them because of their lack of money while the Yanks can and should be able to operate either way and respond to the best deal out there. It’s like in the Bruce Lee flick “Game of Death”… the optimal fighting style is no style, which means all styles. Again, they still need to make the best decision and I am not arguing for or against trading for Santana here, but what I don’t understand is making or not making this trade merely because of a self-imposed philosophy.

  210. G. Love December 27th, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    I’ve been clearly on the “trade Hughes” for Johan camp from day one.

    While I wish there was a way to get Johan without giving up Hughes, I would not hold up a deal for Hughes.

    If you don’t make this deal and Johan goes to Boston, now the pressure is on Hughes to be a #1. To match Johan. Everything Hughes will do will be compared against what Johan does.

    That adds pressure to a young pitchers development. If Hughes had some of the moxie that Joba had, I wouldn’t worry so much, but I think Hughes is a bit more sensitive and still finding himself.

    Which leads me to another point, Hughes is still learning how to pitch. He has a straight fastball and a curve. The rest of his pitches are works in progress.

    So if we hold up the trade because of Hughes, now you’re putting all this added pressure on a kid who still doesn’t have the arsenal to be a top starter.

    How many games did Hughes barely make it to the 5th? He seemed to throw a lot of pitches in his starts last year.

    Is that going to change? Hopefully. If it doesn’t change, he’s the next Jeff Weaver instead of Johan.

    Johan is compared often to Pedro, which makes sense except in some areas.

    Johan seems more committed to baseball and winning. I doubt Johan is going to bring his own personal dwarf with him to NY like Pedro had in the clubhouse in Boston.

    Pedro’s a screwball. Johan has character and would fit in well with the win now veterans our roster is primarily comprised of.

    Which leads me to my final point. Jeter, Arod, Posada, Rivera, Abreu etc. are all either in their primes or slightly past their primes.

    This team needs to win now. Our positional talent and our closer are older.

    That’s why Posada came out and stated he wanted Johan on the Yankees. These guys know, after watching Wang curl up in the fetal position during the ALDS, that the team needs a true #1. A guy who you can count on to go out and deal and give you a chance to win the big games.

    I trade Hughes for Johan in a heartbeat if that’s what it’s going to take.

  211. Drive 4-5 December 27th, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    I’m sorry, but the Yankees have developed a lot more talent than just Phil Hughes, Melky and Jeff Marquez. Trading any or all of them would still leave Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Jose Tabata, Austin Jackson and a lot more.

    As far as financial reasons go, I just received my bill for my formerly known as Section 2 Tier Reserved seaon tickets. The Yankees have jacked up the price by a whopping 30% and renamed all nose bleed seats between Section 1 – 18 ” Tier MVP” seats.

    With the Yankees payroll and luxury tax less thaan it was 3 years ago,Yankee fans are being fleeced. It’s hard to imagine the prices will go down next year if the Yanks payroll is reduced by $75mil.

    As far as I’m concerned, we’re already paying for the Johan Santanas of baseball. Go out and get him!!!

  212. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    I understand your point, as I do with all Yankee fans that want to sign ‘The Great Santana’. We are at the dawn of a new Yankee era. Cano, Joba, Phil, Ian, Melk are just the beginning of the new crop of Yankee stars. Our AA, and AAA teams led their leagues in wins this past year. The AA team won the title while the AAA made it deep into the playoffs. No other organization in the league can claim that. What does it mean? It means that the talent level of the minors is very high and is close to being ready. Is also means that there will be a turnover in the Yankee roster within the next 5 years. In 2 years the following players will be gone….Giambi, Matsui, Damon, Abreu, Farny, Andy, Moose, Pavano. Of those names listed above, how many have won a ring? Just the homegrown product, Andy. We built up a dynasty in the 90′s with our homegrown talent. Then we got greedy and signed every FA we could get our paws on. Has the method worked since 2000? All the players we signed were cant miss players. How many times in the past 7 years have we heard ESPN or sports radio shows talk about how Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown, Jason Giambi or countless others were going to put the Yank over the top. How many of these cant miss FA’s have we seen the Bronx chew up and spit out? When will enough be enough. Believe me I know how great Johan is, Ive followed him as closely as anyone due to fantasy baseball. We need to stop this madness though. Enough is enough, even for Santana. We tried the ‘giving away young talent and signing the best FA’s on the market’ method already, it hasn’t worked for us. Why not give this way a chance? All Im asking for is one year, just for one year lets try and focus on developing our homegrown talent? If it doesn’t work Im sure we will go back to the tired method of bring in more overpriced vets to stink up the roster, I promise.

  213. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Listen nobody is going to convince me that trading away Hughes, Kennedy, Melky and Horne or another top prospect is worth Santana. I base this on my belief that there is just no way he can duplicate the numbers these past 4 years over the next 7 or 8 years. I also think that Melk will be a 20/20, +.300 hitting cannon armed CF for the next 15 years. I also believe that Phil and Ian will go on to great things over their career, more so with Phil. Even if it was a 1 for 1 deal and Phil is 75% of Johan, he’s still 8 years younger and has much less wear on the arm ( Johan led the league in innings the past 4 years ).

    On the flip side I know that I cannot convince anyone that trading for Johan is a bad thing. I mean 4 prospects for the best SP in the league? AND he’s a lefty? AND he’s not even 30 yet? The cards are stacked against me and my brethren big time on that argument. Its like trying to stop an avalanche with a shovel.

    Like so many things though, its not as black and white as trading 4 maybes for a definite. Lets look at this another way.

    We trade for Johan….give away the 4 guys I listed earlier…sign Johan to a 7 year, 200M dollar extension. 75% of Yankee fans are against the trade; I base this on a Newsday poll that asked if we should trade for Johan or continue with the building from within plan, 75% of the Yankee fans wanted to keep the kids and build from within. On top of that the Yankee GM publicly said he did not want to make the deal. Now that is a lot of pressure going against Johan. Can he live up to that pressure? Maybe, nobody can answer that question. Many players claimed to be ready for the big Apple, but failed. But lets continue with our best case scenario of the Yankees signing him, him being healthy and ready for the spotlight. Now with all that pressure comes great expectations. Johan is pitching against the Sox. Lets say Johan goes 8in…4hits…0ER…12K. Now I don’t know a Yankee fan on the globe that would not be happy with that line. My question for you is how happy? Would it be a feeling of “Oh my god, did you see that game!” Or would it be a feeling of “good, that’s why we paid him all the money and gave away all the prospects, that’s what he’s supposed to do”. Now on the flip side. Lets say Phil is pitching against the Sox, he also has a line of 8in…4hits…0ER…12K. What’s the buzz around the water cooler the next day? It would have that “Oh my god, did you see that game!” feeling to it. Amazing!

    Now I know what some responses will be to that statement. “Hey Dru, dummy, The fact that Johan’s line is more of a normal event than Phil’s speaks volumes for Johan. If any lower level SP does that it has buzz.” That’s true, but the thing is, it would be our buzz. No Yankee hater across the country could give anything but praise for Phil doing that. To me, that value carries a lot of weight. Now if Phil stinks the rest of the year its doesnt mean a thing. What if though…WHAT IF that is just the start of something great? WHAT IF he figured out his changeup and throws that along with his hammer curve and pinpoint fastball? WHAT IF it was the start or his greatness? The buzz around NY would be higher than any buzz Johan could produce, why? Expectations…its a killer!

    I have another question to all the Santana supporters. What if Phil didn’t get hurt in Texas and pitched a no hitter? Who knows what Phil could have done if 100% healthy all year. What if he ended up getting ROY and had great numbers like he did in Sept. Would we be having this discussion? Would Phil be involved in this offer? I don’t think he would. Joba and Phil would be untouchable. Or maybe Yankee fans would be saying trade Joba. My point is that we don’t even know for certain, bad or good, what we have with Phil. Arent any of the Johan supporters at least interested to see what Phil can do over an entire season? I am. I cant wait to see Phil 15 years from now still in pinstripes going for the Yankee all time wins record Don’t you guys think there is something wrong that Ford is the all time win leader at only 236? Or that the Yanks only have two guys with 200 wins?

    Ford = 236
    Ruffing = 231
    Gomez = 189
    Guidry = 170

    We have a chance to have our own 300 game winner, not just getting one at the tail end of his career, but a true 300 game winner from start to finish. A player that will be called a “True Yankee”. Will Johan ever fit under that cat? He would need to win the CY Young and WS every year of his contract to be considered a “True Yankee”. I think the opportunity to have a Yankee legend from start to finish is worth the risk of taking a step back in 08.

    Im sure people will spit back fire from this post because it assumes much. Again, try to remember that I am throwing rocks at an Abrams tank; I have to swing for the fences. You guys have all the stats in your favor, Im trying to give this issue a different spin. There is more to being a baseball fan than W’s and L’s. My dream is that Phil lives up to the expectations and 15-20 years from now I can bring my son to the game and tell him about Phil Hughes, the all time Yankees Win leader, the guy we almost gave away.

  214. joltin joe December 27th, 2007 at 1:32 pm


    You summed it up perfectly.

    Let’s not be stupid here. We are the only players in this game. Santana said it himself, he wants the big stage. Which team do you think he was referring to? We can wait this out. Let him tryout for the varsity. Maybe he is on the downslide. The Twins can have our picks, now or later.

  215. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    “Johan seems more committed to baseball and winning. I doubt Johan is going to bring his own personal dwarf with him to NY like Pedro had in the clubhouse in Boston.

    Pedro’s a screwball. Johan has character and would fit in well with the win now veterans our roster is primarily comprised of.”

    the only problem with this is that Johan only has half of Pedro’s talent.

    but at least he doesn’t have that dwarf!!

  216. Russell W December 27th, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Pete – while I agree somewhat with what you are saying, the fact is: if Pettitte leaves in 2009, the Yankees have ZERO veteran pitchers. And no, Wang is not a Veteran. The Yankees need a top level Veteran pitcher and Santana could fill that gap perfectly. I don’t see this as a message that the Yankees are switching back to overpaying for already developed players.

  217. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Think about when you were 21 years old, may be harder for some…lol. Now rewind a couple months ago to Game 3 of the ALDS. The Yanks are down 0-2 after Wang got hammered in game one, and we lost a heart breaker in game 2 (THE SWARM). We come back to Yankee stadium and the great Roger Clemens takes the mound. 2 1/3 innings later Cleveland is up 3-0 and Roger is getting hammered. 4 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. The season is about to end tonight and we’ve only gotten 7 outs. Runner on 1st with one out in the 3rd and Phil Hughes comes in; with the entire season on the line and 55K fans screaming his name, to relieve one of the best SP’s of all time. So how did he do?

    He got 11 outs ( 3.2 in )…63 pitches, 43 for strikes, 2 hits allowed, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. If Phil starts that game he goes 7 strong easy.

    How many people have we seen melt in the bright lights of the big city? We have a 21 year old, 21!!!! who proved, even for a short amount of time, that he can embrace the spotlight. That he can succeed even when the cards are stacked against him. That he has no fear in throwing strikes and getting batters out on the biggest stage. That my friends is something that cannot be overlooked.

    People complain that he doesnt have a great 3rd pitch. Again, I cannot dispute that fact, being only 21 he needs a little more time to get the feel for his change. What does he have already? He has pinpoint control of his 95mph fastball. His 2 seamer bites and his 4 seamer rises out of the strike zone. I remember when he was in Arlington last year and wherever Jorge put his glove, Phil hit it. When you have control and can move your fastball all over the strike zone with 95 on it, you will be hard to hit. In the minors he’s even reached back for 97 on occasions. His 2nd pitch is his curve, and it too is outstanding. He throws it for a strike during any count. He was voted as having one of the best curves in the minors before last year. Here’s a little secret…he didnt start throwing a curve until 3 years ago when Nardi Contreras told him to shelf his slider and go to the curve. It will only get better with time. Now on to his 3rd pitch, he worked on his changeup all of 2006, the Yanks forced him to throw it as many times as his curve. It is a pitch that will continue to improve over time. With how hard Phil works, its just a matter of time before that is a + pitch as well. Once that happens and he can throw it for a strike, WATCH OUT!

  218. S.o.S.27 December 27th, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    I want to start off by saying, dont any of you sleep? Lets say it all together, I am an attic to this blog.

    Question? Would you trade Delmon Young for Pujols? Isnt this similiar to what were talking about. One has a ceiling of potential and was the #1 prospect. The other is proven M.V.P. older and more expensive. My choice and most would be Pujols.

    All thats saying keep our young guys must have forgotten names like Knoblock,Broscuis,Oneil,Justice,Martinez,Strawberry,Cone,Wells,Girardi, need I go on. We won Championships with a mix of free agents,trades and homegrowns. We arent the d-rays or marlins to sit on homegowns and hope they turn out as expected.

    Peter-Meanwhile, as every year passes the contracts of Posada and Rivera will become burdens.

    This is the exact reason why we pull the trigger. Our core of players arent getting any younger. Therefore we have to look at our window being open for about 3 years. Who gives us the chance to win right away? Thats simple Santana(given his track record). Will Hughes turn out to be an ace? Who knows. Kennedy could end up surpassing the other two by the time their carreers are over.

    The real question is would you take Santana for 4 good years of 7 and live with maybe a 3 or 4 starter or hurt in his last 3?

    My call would be 6 years max, hoping to get 4 good years.

  219. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    ” if Pettitte leaves in 2009, the Yankees have ZERO veteran pitchers. And no, Wang is not a Veteran. ”

    Wang won’t be a veteran in his 5th season?

    what is a “veteran” then?

    this argument makes no sense.

  220. Ben(I'm happy Hughes will stay) December 27th, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    I AGREE WITH PETE A 100%!!!

  221. Kill-Schill(ing) December 27th, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Drive 4-5, I’m in the same section, Tier Reserved Section 2.

    What row are you in?

    I had the same reaction to the price increase. BTW, count on another identical increase next year for the new Stadium, that is, if we’ve even get to retain our seats in an equivalent section.

  222. Major Deegan December 27th, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    If you look at this from the point of view of the position players, doesn’t the addition of Santana get you closer to a few more rings before you go on the memorabilia tour? By the time we have to wait for Hughes, Kennedy and Chamberlain to all develop into the unstoppable rotation they MIGHT be, Derek Jeter could be doing retirement community commercials like Eric Estrada. The clock is ticking on Posada, Damon, Mo and yes even Jeter.

    I love Phil Hughes and he really showed something to me in the playoffs this year. Is he going to win 18-20 games and be an absolute playoff stopper for us this year? Maybe, but that Santana guy is pretty good too.

    If the Red Sox mortgage THEIR future to get Santana, guess what they get in return? 3-4 more World Series Rings and the Dynasty title! 2 really good pitchers get you really far in the playoffs even when you can’t hit (i.e. Cleavland this year and the D’Backs of 2001 Grrr).

    So I say, if Santana goes anywhere this year it has to be the Yankees. If he stays in Minnesota, then all the better, we can keep all of our young talent. Then we can fight over Johan with the Red Sox next year and we’ll all be begging Hank to raise our ticket prices by 50% to get it done.

    Let’s all Chant! “4 More Rings! 4 More Rings!”

  223. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    “Question? Would you trade Delmon Young for Pujols? Isnt this similiar to what were talking about. One has a ceiling of potential and was the #1 prospect. The other is proven M.V.P. older and more expensive. My choice and most would be Pujols.”

    this is not a good analogy at all because i think (i hope) everyone here would trade Hughes for Pujols. even those that oppose Hughes for Santana would trade Hughes for Pujols.

    Pujols is a much better player than Santana.

  224. joltin joe December 27th, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Why would Pettitte leave in 09? New stadium and all. Possible 20M paycheck. Would you go?

  225. plank December 27th, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Hughes is much better than Delmon Young.

  226. S.o.S.27 December 27th, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    My 10 greatest athletes of all time.

    2.Michael Jordan
    3.Bo Jackson
    4.Roberto Clemente
    5.Muhammed Ali
    6.Wilt Chamberlain
    7.Barry Sanders
    8.Tim Duncan
    9.Michael Johnson(track)
    10.Lance Armstrong

  227. Drive 4-5 December 27th, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Kill Schil,

    I’m in Row J. How ’bout you?

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we get comparable seats next year!

  228. What Are the Odds? December 27th, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    What are the odds that Johan vetoes a trade to either team and opts for free agency after ’08? Sure, a sizeable extension is paramount to his approving any trade, but theoretically he can get that money and then some on the open market. Granted Scott Boras isn’t his agent, but this seems to be in his best interest (much to the dismay of the Twins).

  229. E-ROC December 27th, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    I would trade and pay $20 million for Pujols than Santana. Pujols is an everyday player and plays a position doesn’t put wear and tear on a person’s body.

  230. Ben(I'm happy Hughes will stay) December 27th, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Whats Santana’s numbers in the playoffs?

  231. Phil December 27th, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Save Phil Hughes!

  232. joltin joe December 27th, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Cash is playing this just right. By waiting them out, which is a no-brainer because Santana wants us anyway, we keep everyone and if he has another year like last year, maybe we get away paying less or for less years.

  233. Bart December 27th, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    this is not little league – the Yankess develop players to build a team capable of winning championships. Some of those players have to be traded for others. Getting Santana has no downside given the state of pitching in the Yankees minor leagues. The up and comers are nearly interchangeable. Hughes, Kennedy and Melky would have been hard but worth it. Hughes, Marquez and Melky is a fair deal. The tax is infinitely less important to the bottom line than it would be for the Yankees to reenter the late ’80s and early nineties. They are in grave dange of not making the playoffs with this current pitching staff. If it matures as is hoped they will then be in grave danger for the next five years and Cano and ARod have to be the offense and defense.

    Hughes, Kennedy an Joba are not going to get the team to the post season with Boston, Detroit, Cleveland and at least 2 west coast teams in the way with this current offense. They can’t make up for the frailty of Mussina and Pettit even if they become 180 inning studs with 2.50 ERAs By the time they are capable all but ARod and Cano will be in dotage – Mariano will finished as well. They wil then not be able to carry the depleted offense in the AL.

    To win while Kennedy or Hughes and Joba develop they need a #1 pitcher for the season and more importantly for the off season. Hoping Mussina returns to 2005 from is foolish – he is aging rapidly. Pettit is one pitch away from another barking elbow — A rotation of Santana, Pettit, Wang, and Kennedy, Musinna, Joba might just work and help these two kids and a couple more in the Minors mature. You will not miss anyhting but Melky’s smile after you watch Gardner play. A little hammy from Damon, or Matsui and he will be in the lineup every day. Hopefully running down fly balls for Santa – the premier lefty in the game in Yankee stadium current and new.

  234. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    I dont buy the window of opportunity bit. The Yanks will ALWAYS be in contention. Next year the big FA’s will be Teixeria and CC, the year after that Kazmir, Webb and Hafner and so on and so forth. By the yanks devoloping a young sturdy rotation, they have the options to sign whomever they want. We keep the kids and our rotation will get better and better every year.

    ?? That 5th can be Alan Horne, or a CC Sabathia or Brandon Webb. Also, who plays CF if we make this deal? Noodle arm Damon? PPPLEase. Signing Santana while giving away our two youngest starts is the old Yankee way. Not only does it make an old team older, we are saddled with another 25-30M contract. If you think Boston will dominate with Johan, imagine if the Yanks sign him, give away all our prospects, give him 30M and he gets hurt. The Sox with Ellsbury, Dustin, Clay, Lester, Masterson and all the other young core players they kept, would dominate us for years to come. The Sox won the WS and have set themselves up for the future. Who cares if they won the WS last season, we cant chase them and make over the top moves to counter that, whats done is done. We have to worry about our own team, not just in 08…but for the next 10 years down the line.

  235. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Save Phil Hughes!

    this movement will never die !

  236. â™ fleas December 27th, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Let me put this simply.


    I still thinking regardless of Boston’s approach on Santana… that we are a far better team with Santana than without him. However, the Deal of Hughes, Cabrera, Marquez should be done if it absolutely has to. Otherwise, I am 100% all for.. undoubtedly packaging Kennedy, Cabrera, Igawa, tabata or similar..

    If the Twins would agree to a deal without Hughes, then that is a “NO BRAINER” if we have no choice but to include Hughes… well, I am still going to do the deal but I will wait it out as long as possible.

    If Boston’s staff is:

    Santana, Becket, Dice-K, Shilling, Wakefield


    Wang, Pet, Hughes, Moose, Kennedy (I see Joba in the setup role personally)

    Boston’s staff is far superior and more of a ‘sure-thing’ than ours.

    I Know Pete said don’t make moves based on what Boston is doing.. which I agree to an extent.. but I don’t think they should be ignored as if this was a fight over Gagne…

    Do you think the redsox ignored the fact that the Yankee’s were after Arod? Do you think the Yanks weren’t aware of the Sox getting Arod? C’mon, nothing is that black and white.

    If Santana goes to the Sox, we can all revisit this situation in November… and I promise that the majority of you saying.. “We don’t need Santana” will be very sorry about it. If you have the ability to promptly admit your mistake, then there will be a lot of apologizing.. otherwise, get ready for all the denial…

    I remember all the same folks being overly emotional calling for Arods throat, I remember all of the same people saying the Yankees did Torre wrong.. and how we are devestated as a result. You are the same people who said, “Torre was the reason for the Yankee’s success” when in fact, I have always felt the opposite “The Yankees are the reason for Torres success” and here I am again, disagreeing with the majority here who think we should not get Santana.

    The Yankee’s have not had a “real Ace” in how many years? Here is a chance to get one.. and what do you folks do?

    Does Boston have an Ace? Yes, Beckett.. do they have a potential second Ace? Yes, Dice K.. if they get Santana will they have another Ace? YES 100%.

    so boston in OUR division should not be considered for what moves we make??? Even when..

    (+.5 = potential ACE)
    Boston Aces,

    Santana: +1
    Becket: +1
    dice-k +.5
    Bucholtz +.5
    Lester: +.5

    Yankees Aces:

    Wang: +.5
    Hughes +.5
    Kennedy +.5
    Pet: +0
    Moose: +0

    == RESULTS ==

    Boston: 2 Aces 3 potentials
    Yanks: 0 Aces 3 potentials

    yeah, okay.. we have nothing to fear!!!!!!

    You do the math on who is more of a potential and who is not…. doesn’t matter.

    You think 14.5 games back was bad? Give Santana to the Sox and how about 20+ games back? Sound good to you guys??? I Hope so, because that is the risk you are willing to take!!!!!

  237. YankeeFan December 27th, 2007 at 1:55 pm


    here are the #’s:
    15-13 3.33 235 52 1.07 (219)
    20-7 3.27 194 40 1.14 (200.2)
    19-7 3.21 209 37 1.14 (241)

    santana (in a down year for him & since he couldn’t throw his slider much) still has a better K ratio and a better whip. i’m not a strictly #’s guy, but it seems like that’s what your basing your judgments on. and he’s done that for over 4 years. here’s his average over the 3 years prior (04-06):
    2.75 249 49 0.96 (231)

    so, the #’s & the actual performance in games, means he’s the best — to me. essentially you ask yourself who you’d want to be your ace for the next 6 years… me, i take johan. but that’s in a vacuum.

    yes, he is in very slight decline and may be towards the end of his prime, but still…

    this doesn’t mean that hughes won’t be better than santana in 6 years. anyone could be, this just means i believe santana would give us what we’d expect.

  238. grafxkid December 27th, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    I’m sick of all the talk (good talk, at that), I just want the season to start again. My withdrawals are annoying…

  239. joltin joe December 27th, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    It’s Pettitte. You gotta spell it right as a Yankee fan.

  240. S.o.S.27 December 27th, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    hmmm-this is not a good analogy at all because i think (i hope) everyone here would trade Hughes for Pujols. even those that oppose Hughes for Santana would trade Hughes for Pujols.

    Pujols is a much better player than Santana.

    Guys your missing the point. Im trying to compare apples to apples. Hughes is a pitcher so is Santana. Pujols and Young are everyday players. All im saying is if you are the #1 prospect (Hughes and Young)you are exptected to shine in the Bigs. Key word EXPECTED. Pujols is one of the top 3 hitters in the league. Santana is top 3 pitchers. Isnt it basically banking on someone to reach his potential vs. someone who is already elite?

  241. YankeeFan December 27th, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    can’t compare pitchers to position players.

    also, position players don’t bring championships. we have arod, along with the best lineup in baseball… it hasn’t helped.

    a pitcher gets you closer to a championship than a position player.

  242. joltin joe December 27th, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    pettitte, santana, sabathia, hughes,wang, kennedy =09 rotation. joba , set-up

  243. Kill-Schill(ing) December 27th, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Drive 4-5, DUDE!!!!!!!!!!1

    I’m right behind you, man: Row K.

    How do ya like that?

    Do you sit near the guy who always wears his Mariano Rivera jersey and stays wired to the radio throughout? I think he makes every game because I share a 46-game package and I’ve seen him at every game I’ve ever attended.

    I’m near the aisle, first few seats in the section on the 1st base side.

    I hope we keep our seats. Half the reason, I don’t want to move further down is to retain seats behind home plate in the new Stadium.

    Hasn’t anybody heard how the Yankees plan to allocate the seats?

  244. plank December 27th, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Hey Pete,

    Would you be willing to make DRU’s proposed trade:


    for Santana?

    I would. I think it would make the Yanks better next year and beyond.

  245. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    I need everyone to rememeber a couple things.

    1. the Yanks tanked in April setting a MLB record for most rookie SP’s, hence the 14 game lead.
    2. from June on the Yanks had the best record in the league, better than the Sox.
    3. We took the Sox in the season series.

    I would take my chances with the Sox giving up Ellsbury, Lester, Masterson and Lowrie for Santana. Johan guarantees them nothing. How many years did the Yanks make he big splash and all the new outlets say “The yanks are the favorites for the WS” How has that worked out for us the past 7 years?

    Listen, Im not disputing that Johan is the best in the league right now, based on past preformances. You cant pay someone for what they did though, you have to pay them for what you think they can do for you in the future. Look at history for SP’s the threw over 900in in 4 years and guys like Zito pop up. He was dominate, never had a major injury, was 29 and a lefty…how has that worked out for the Giants? That contract buried them.

    Also, how come Johan refused the throw his slider in Sept when he got lit up? Why is he pushing the Twins to trade him in the offseason? Elbow hurting you Johan?

    Its easy for anyone to say, Johan makes the Yanks better. No sh!t, thats the easy part. Anyone would be hard pressed to think that Johan can duplicate his numbers from the past 4 years…he didnt last year. Led the league in HR’s allowed. The difficult part is trying to keep that balance between the present and the future, I think Cash Money has done an excellent job at that.

    I am 100% in not trading him.

  246. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    You will respect Phil Franchise’s sexy :)

  247. joltin joe December 27th, 2007 at 2:05 pm


    do you ever have extra seats? We love those seats behind the plate.

  248. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Plank – Thats what the offer should be, Hughes and Joba should be untouchable.

  249. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    the same package has been reported for so long, I wonder if there are variations of other packages of players that are on the table that we dont know about (and i’m sure there are/were).

    remembering back to what Bobcat said here, there were several lists of players that went back and forth, and i wonder what the package(s) not including Hughes actually were, or could be.

    for example- it makes sense for the Twins to want Melky, because he is mlb-ready now, but dont you think if we kept Melky and offered Austin Jackson instead, it might carry enough value/upside to take Hughes off the table?

  250. S.o.S.27 December 27th, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Where is bobcat when we need him!!

  251. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    “The up and comers are nearly interchangeable. ”

    no they aren’t.

  252. Drive 4-5 December 27th, 2007 at 2:13 pm


    How cool is that? I know the guy you mean. There’s a couple of characters in our row, but if you ask my wife or daughter, I’m the worst. One of my joys is spotting a Red Sox hat and starting the section in a round of booooos LOL. My wife hates that, but for some reason I just can’t help myself. LOL

    I have 4 seats in the middle of the row. We’ll have to hook up for a beer sometime!

  253. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    As far as the Yanks setup to win now…the yanks will ALWAYS be setup to win now. Next year if we sign Teixeria…we will have Teix, Cano, Melk, Phil, Joba, IPK…with Miranda, Jackson, Tabata, Montero, Cervelli, Humberto Sanchez, Melencoln, Cox on the way…thats is a SOLID core of young talent.

    Gone will be the dead weight =

    Giambi, Pavano, Moose, Damon, Matsui, Abreu, Farny…all the guys that got us 0 rings.

    We will still have vets like Alex, Jeter, Jorge ( at the end mentoring Montero )…with the rest of the talent on the roster, we will be set in 3-4 years from now. Aside from Jorge and Mo, 5 years from now, our team will be a force. Each year the young guys will get better to make up for the differnce in the Jeter and Arod declines.

    Again, no matter what, we will always be setup to win now. After this season, if we wait, we will reap the benefits down the line by not having to spend 12-15M on a crappy 5th starter, or 30M on an aging starting pitcher in Johan.

    If you want to keep up with the Jones ( Sox ), we have to not just look at 08. The Sox are getting younger, we need to as well.

  254. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    slow down DRU Montero is atleast 2 – 3 yrs. away from replacing someone, but I do see you forgot CJ Henry the new OH HENRY in baseball eversince he got contacts :lol:

  255. Yankee Jay December 27th, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Anyone who thinks we are getting Santana for less than Phil, Melky, and (insert prospect here), is nuts!

    We already made the Twins that offer and they refused. Do you honestly think that Bill Smith’s first big time move as GM will be to trade the best pitcher in franchise history for less than that now? Chances are Smith’s entire legacy in Minny is going to be judged on what he gets for Johan (if he trades him). He’s not an idiot, don’t think that we can just get together a bunch of B level prospects and get back in the game.

  256. hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    “Guys your missing the point. Im trying to compare apples to apples.”

    i’m not missing the point. i knew exactly what you meant.

    i just think it’s a bad example.

  257. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    mid season we will I’m perfectly fine w/ it, mid season they won’t even sniff Hughes and as for the package it won’t get better than what we offered, though I do hope he goes NL

  258. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Yup, 4 years from now when Jorge is about to retire. In 2 years Cervelli will replace Monlina, then he will be our Joe Girardi behind the dish. One Montero gets up to speed ( read great things about him on ), he will be a FORCE!

    Help is on the way folks…lets just hold down the fort for one more year!

    FYI – Sox won it in 04…got swept in the ALDS in 05…missed the playoffs in 06…then won the WS in 07.

    Sometimes you need to take a step back to move forward. Making kneejerk reation moves didnt help us the past 8 years. How about we try a different approach eh?

  259. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Jairo Heredia

  260. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Yankee Jay – If you look at my previous post, the Sox have offered Lester, Coco, Masterson and Lowrie…we have a better package with Ian, Melk, Marquez and McCutchen.

    If the Sox are going to take the “take it or leave it stance” and not include Clay, why should we big against ourselves and offer up Phil? Huhges is the best prospect for any offer the Twins have.

    Here to hoping that he stays in Minn or is shipped out to Uncle Joe in LA.

  261. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Brandon (Proud supporter of “ALEX BEING ALEX”) & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!!


    Yes I forgot about CJ

    Look out for Dave Robertson to make a Joba like splash either this year or in 09. That guy is NASTY!!! He’ll start in AA after moving up three levels in dominate fashion.

  262. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    I think Christian Garcia or Mark Melancon will make the big jump

  263. Blargh December 27th, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    If the rumors are true, then Smith is budging already
    Push him as far as possible

  264. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Kennedy, Melky and Marquez or no deal, I could careless how Smith is feeling

  265. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    I really think the Twins have decided to move Santana, but thought that the way to get the best package was to hold out and let the teams bid against each other, and that has backfired.

  266. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    YES..LOVE Melancon!!! Humberto, Melancon and Cox will be a great 1-2-3 in the pen. Then add in a touch or Robertson and Garcia and we might have something brewin in the pen.

    Good stuff Brandon

  267. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    PETER!! We are with you 100% buddy!!!! Keep up the great work.

    Have a good one all!

    GO YANKS!!!!

  268. small schools December 27th, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    pete, i don’t know what led to your about face, but AMEN. I’ve been saying this since October, along with a few others who have retained their sanity; thank you for providing a breath of fresh air amongst the mostly sensationalist NY baseball media. Hopefully the Steinbrenners read your blog and realize that not every voice in NY wants to gamble the future. One thing I disagree with you on, though, is that it isn’t our money. It might not be yours, but it is ours. When I started sitting in the bleachers in 2003, tickets were $8. For 2008, they’re $14. And those are just for the cheapest tickets; increases have been much more for the more expensive/family friendly seats. A family of four attending four games a year medium price seats is probably paying an extra $250 a year or so now than they used to. And don’t forget concession prices that feature $8 for a beer and $4 for a water. Every fan is paying the price for organizational missteps.

  269. Doug December 27th, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    It is very easy to say I would keep Hughes in Dec. I just wonder if we will be saying the same thing in July.

  270. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Johan reportedly already pulled a Todd Helton, meaning its before spring training or never.

    to say that you can offer less at the deadline to get him is assuming he’ll be available at the deadline… and from what we can tell, that isnt going to be the case.

  271. String Beanfellow December 27th, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Turn Two, Where did you hear that Santana said either by ST or nothing?

  272. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    i originally read it linked to an article from the Twins Cities area on mlbtraderumors, i think within the last 2 weeks or so… but specifically, i couldnt get you a link right now.

  273. Jennifer - Save Phil Hughes! December 27th, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    I didn’t read thru the comments, but this is an interesting article.

  274. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    String, here it is from Ken Rosenthal on 12/3…

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It might be now or never for the Twins if they wish to trade left-hander Johan Santana.

    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.

    Players with no-trade protection occasionally adopt such positions when they are in the free-agent years, fearing that their performance could suffer if they change teams and/or leagues just months before hitting the open market.

    The Twins have said privately that they will be content to keep Santana if they do not receive the right offer this off-season, then entertain the possibility of trading him in July. But Santana’s stance greatly increases the chances that the Twins will act quickly.

  275. Winning Over Promise December 27th, 2007 at 3:08 pm


    You’re crazy. It’s real simple:

    Boston: Beckett/ Schilling/ Matsuzaka/ Wakefield/ Bucholz or Lester w/ the possibility of them trading for someone else.

    2 World Series championships the last 4 years incl. this year.


    Hughes, an overhyped kid with 13 career M.L.B. starts expected to be the #3 starter
    Chamberlain, a ridiculously overhyped kid with ZERO M.L.B. starts expected to be the #4 starter, #3 if Hughes falters
    Mussina no longer a #3 or better who’s never been a money postseason starter for the Yankees, expected to be the #4 if Chamberlain falters, the #3 if Hughes falters

    Kennedy with only 3 M.L.B. career starts, Karstens with Mussina now,
    Chamberlain is too inexperienced, and Wakefield
    has shown he can own the Yanks when he’s on

    Now let’s look at the 2008 Yanks with Santana shall we?

    Santana/ Wang/ Pettitte/ Chamberlain/ Mussina

    Santana vs. Beckett EVEN
    Wang (RHP between LHPs) vs. Schilling EVEN
    Pettitte vs. Matsuzaka EVEN
    Chamberlain/Mussina vs. Wakefield EDGE BOSTON

    Sorry Peter, that is a World Series championship contending rotation and that’s the bottom line. They’re the New York Yankees, not the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. 2008 is/ should not be a rebuilding year.

    Hughes will most likely be a Twin 2008-14. The Twins will win 70-something games this year if they’re lucky. Their 2008 rotation will be Liriano who has only one year of M.L.B. experience under his belt and missed all of 2007 as their ace, Hughes as the #2 (he has to be by virtue of being the centerpiece in the Santana trade), Baker, Bonzer, and Slowey and who’s to say all three make the rotation? They traded Garza and let go of Silva, Radke retired, Milton was let go years ago, Lohse was traded awhile back. This team is probably a sub-.500 team for at least the next 2-3 years. Hughes is rendered harmless and who’s to say he’ll amount to anything making half his starts in a bandbox? ‘Say Hughes goes 15-8 with a 3.55 ERA next year and Santana goes 20-8 with a 3.21 ERA. So what? You really want Hughes to be the Game 3 starter in the A.L.D.S. over Santana if the series was tied or the Yanks were down 0-2? Oh wait, Santana wouldn’t be the Game 3 starter: he’d be the Games 1 and 5 starter with Wang in Game 2, Pettitte in Game 3, and Chamberlain or Mussina in Game 4.

    That’s the difference between Santana and Hughes pal.

  276. mel December 27th, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Did a search for “johan santana refutes rumors” to confirm what I read that santana’s agent refuted rumors that johan would refuse a mid-season trade. Look what I found:

  277. FYI December 27th, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    The Dec. 3 article you posted is a long time ago and a lot has changed. It’s hard to say Ellsbury is on the table or Hughes. It looks like, thankfully, Hughes is off the table, if Cashman gets his way..

  278. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    :sinister laughter:

    HA !

  279. mel December 27th, 2007 at 3:18 pm


    The offers must really be bad, huh?

  280. String Beanfellow December 27th, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    TurnTwo, Thanks.

    Mel, I don’t think Santana will sign for that, but you never know. If Santana wants to play for a team that will contend then I don’t see him accepting a deal with the Twins.

    It wouldn’t bother me to see Santana stay with the Twins. That might be the best solution to all this.

  281. Blargh December 27th, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Wasn’t he offered 4 years, 80 million a while ago and then he rejected that? Or it’s just been sitting there all this time?

  282. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    Mel I think it’s Sahara Desert for Bill Smith :D

  283. mel December 27th, 2007 at 3:26 pm


    From what I hear, Santana is a very loyal guy. He has settled for less to stay in Minnesota. However, he must see the writing on the wall. His owner is cheap, cheap, cheap. Did I mention the owner is cheap? He was upset when his teammate was dumped.

    $20M when guys like Silva are getting $12? Uh, I don’t think so. That’s definitely a face-saving move. If Santana bites, great you get the best pitcher for the next 4 years on the cheap. If he refuses, it sets up an ungracious exit from Minneapolis for Johan.

    I still think we’re the only players and I don’t want to see us bid against ourselves.

  284. CaptainsCorner December 27th, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Twins are a joke. They have tried and tried to bring a 3rd team into the mix. Since they haven’t been able to do it they are using themselves as the 3rd team. If they intended to keep him then they would of offered him another extension a month ago and would not have wasted there time trying to get into bed with the Yanks and using Boston as a fling. The recent comments are just trying to get the Yanks or Bostons blood going again and get the teams nervous that he might not be traded so they over pay for Santana. He said “as of right now” he is our opening day starter basically the words mean nothing. I have a feeling they will talk again on Jan 1, and he will be traded by the 2nd or 3rd of the new year they are not keeping him. The way their team is built they are not paying a pitcher $20m.

  285. String Beanfellow December 27th, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    I think Smith and Theo thought they would be able to fleece the Yankee farm system by working together. It backfired and now they don’t know how to deal with it.

    I think that was the amount talked about before for Santana, but I believe he was looking for more years, which is where the 7/140 million comes from.

  286. TurnTwo December 27th, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    String, agreed.

  287. Ban Bud December 27th, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    “One thing I disagree with you on, though, is that it isn’t our money. It might not be yours, but it is ours. When I started sitting in the bleachers in 2003, tickets were $8. For 2008, they’re $14.”

    Since 2003 the Yankees have had more than $250 million taken from them by Bolshevik Bud Selig’s various “revenue stealing” scams. Your money is paying for the empty seats in Kansas City and private jets in Minnesota. You’re paying the price for Selig’s greed, not Mr. Steinbrenner’s.

  288. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    oh Mischa why :(

    The 21-year-old actress, who starred on Fox’s teen drama “The O.C.,” was driving on La Cienaga Boulevard in West Hollywood when she was stopped at about 2:45 a.m., authorities said.

    Deputies saw her vehicle straddling the lanes and failing to signal for a turn, according to a sheriff’s press statement.

    “During Ms. Barton’s detention, it was determined that she was an unlicensed driver and was driving while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage,” the statement said.

  289. Clare December 27th, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Where’s Dr. Acula? Didn’t he promise us some new pictures today?

  290. randyhater December 27th, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Santana’s in his prime, he’s never had a significant injury, and he’s arguably the best pitcher in the sport. What are the odds Hughes even matches his durability over the next 7 years, much less his effectiveness?

    Keep in mind that if the Twins had the same financial resources that we have, there is no way they’d do this deal, talent for talent. None. Our money is our leverage, over them and other teams. What’s the point of having it if we don’t use it?

    As to moving prospects, where would we have been without Marty Janzen and 2 others for Cone? Or Matt Drews for Fielder? Or Davis/Hitchcock for Tino? Or Milton for Knoblauch? Or Westbrook/Ledee for Justice? Or Claussen for Boone?

    Where would the Sox be without Lyons/Fossum for Schilling? Or Ramirez/Sanchez for Beckett?

    Where would the ’86 Mets be without Neil Allen for Keith Hernandez? Or Brooks/Youmans for Gary Carter?

    I love Hughes as much as anybody and I’ve always been a big Melky guy, but this is a deal we have to do. Prospects are great but with Posada, Mo, Jeter, Pettitte, Arod, Matsui, and Damon, we are still a win now team.

    Make the move Cash.

  291. Frank Marco December 27th, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    alwyas look for Pete to be the voice of reason!

  292. â™ fleas December 27th, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    Not one person commented on what I said. Why? Because as usual I am right!

  293. Brandon (Proud supporter of "ALEX BEING ALEX") & dammit SAVE HUGHES !!! December 27th, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    because of this

    I am 100% all for.. undoubtedly packaging Kennedy, Cabrera, Igawa, tabata or similar..

    I’m sorry there are just some players I’d rather keep him Jackson, Betances, Melancon, Montero…those are my hand offs go to a flying leap in any deal unless you tell me Liriano and Santana untouchables.

  294. mel December 27th, 2007 at 3:58 pm


    I agree with paragraph 2. The Yankees, IF they want Santana, are in the driver’s seat.

    1. In the words of Flo Rida the offers for Santana are “Low, low, low, low, low, low, low”

    2. Who else is going to pay Santana what he wants?

    3. They know that the Yankees are willing to go to battle with the kids. (translation: Yankees are not desperate)

    4. We’re the Yankees

  295. Mike NYY- Save the Big Two December 27th, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    I love RLYW’s post on how much Santana really helps. It imrpoves the Yankees by about 1 or 2 games and that`s it next year and that doesn’t even count whatever prospects it would take. Wouldn’t it make more sense to wait until the off-season and then spend the money on Texiera and hope Santana or Sabbathia hit free agency?

  296. dimagg4 December 27th, 2007 at 4:13 pm


    Someone should print this post out and express-mail it to Hank in Tampa.

    Beautifully put.

  297. Giuseppe Franco December 27th, 2007 at 4:13 pm


    Nobody responded to your comment because you aren’t changing anyone’s mind – no matter how much gibberish you spew.

    Every Yankee fan chose a side of this debate long ago and are going to stick with it.

    You don’t do something to keep him from a rival. You do it because it makes the most sense for your team.

    Obviously, Cashman doesn’t want to do it and neither does Theo or it would have been a done deal long ago.

    Most Yankee fans are absolutely fine with Santana staying in MIN for the time being.

  298. Peter North December 27th, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    Keep Hughes

  299. Norm December 27th, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Pete, I agree completely. We love our homegrown stars, and we finally have some guys to hang our hats on. Let’s see what Hughes, Kennedy, Joba, Horne and the rest can do. The more guys we have in play, the more chance we have of developing our own aces.

  300. Dirk from Rockland December 27th, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Keep Hughes….

    Hope that Santana stays in MN for the year. Red Sox and Yankees rather bid on Santana in the open market where they don’t have to give up any prospects (but may pay a little more thru the nose). But for the Yankees, there are people coming off the books after the season.

    Rotation in 2009:


    with the possibility that the Yankees can sign CC from the Indians– tho getting both is a pipe dream— but with optimism of Rebecca– this is possible


    (Kennedy in long relief)

  301. Kill-Schill(ing) December 27th, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Absolutely, Drive 4-5, if I forget before the season starts, remind me.

    I’m sure I’ll be posting here right through Spring Training and on into 2008.

    And we have Pete to thank for founding this forum and turning it into the broadest, most inclusive medium I’ve ever witnessed for Yankees fans’ participate in.

    I doubt we have much influence one way or the other. But it’s therapeutic to have a place to vent, even if only fellow fans, and Pete himself, listen and respond.

  302. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    flea…I didnt read your +1 +.5 gibberish, but many of my posts did respond to what you said.

    The problem with your post is that you did not consider any seasons after 08, or that the Sox would need to give up Lester if they got Johan On top of that, you are only ranking the pitchers today. Would you have rated Beckett an Ace after last season?

    16-11…204in…158K…5.01 ERA…1.295 WHIP

    You see things do change year to year. Maybe Josh could go back to leading the league in HR’s in 08 like he did in 06? Maybe Joba or Phil or IPK break out like Josh did when he was 23 ( 142in…152K…3.04 EWRA ) did anyone think he was going to put up those numbers i nthe 02 season when he finished with a 4.10 ERA?

    Your argument is flawed and obviously didnt read any of the posts following it since they answered most of your questions.

    Such as…I would not mind if Johan went to the Sox. Sure they would be the “favorites” in 08, but that guarantees them nothing. Just like it didnt guarantee the Yanks anything when they picked up Randy Johnson, who won the CY young the previous season. Or Jason Giambi, who won the MVP 2 seasons before we picked him up. How many times were the Yanks the favorites over the past 7 years only to fail? How about every single year we were ranked #1, and got 0 WS rings.

    The Sox would be the favorites in 08, but the Yanks would get better and better each season after as the young guns build up endurance and arm strength. Plus adding a Teixeria and CC Sabathia with the extra money saved is another factor. There were too many holes in your statement to crown yourself “as usual I am right!”. Get off your high horse and join the rest of us peasants on planet Earth my friend.

  303. Old Yanks Fan December 27th, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    Kill-Schill: “After the 2008 season, the Yankees’ pay roll will discard approximately $80 million in contracts. (Pavano $10m, Mussina $11m, Giambi $21m, Abreu $16m, Farnsworth $5.5m, Pettitte $16m)”
    That’s 6 players, 5 of whom have to be replaced. If we make the trade, we have to replace Melky also. So after 2008:
    $120m payroll
    + $20m+ Santana
    + $10m Arb for Wang and Canp
    + $8m raise ARod and Mo
    + $10m CF
    No we have 2 starters, 1 BP guy, 1 DH, 1 RF to replace.
    + $40 for 3, saying we use 2 kids
    Thats about $210m

    This is all guesswork because maybe 1 kid works out, or 3.
    If our kids are really good, their price will continue to go up. Maybe we spend more then $40m on 2 starters and a DH.
    The Yankees will probably always be over the cap until 5 years from now IF the farm really pulls through.
    Santana’s money and length of contract ARE an issue.

  304. GreenBeret7 December 27th, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    An interesting wrinkle to Clemen’s appearance on “60 Minutes”. He’s inviting writers/journalists to watch the viewing with him, followed by a “Question And Answer” period. It’s getting interesting. Only a player/person that is extremely confident and sure of the situation is going to open himself up for this.;c_id=nyy

  305. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Old Yanks Fan – Excellent info! Thanks!

  306. Andrew December 27th, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Thank You PA…..keep the big 3 please. hughes and chamberlain could become 2 santanas. screw santana and screw his huge salary. u wanna be paying divison rivals for his services via luxury tax….no thanks.,

  307. mel December 27th, 2007 at 5:11 pm


    Thanks for the link. I’m curious about this quote:

    “in the buttocks four to six times with testosterone from a bottle labeled either Sustanon 250 or Deca-Durabolin”

    Does anyone know how many doses are in a bottle? I also find it funny that he doesn’t remember the name of the steroid. The names are dissimilar as can be. If I was doing anything to Roger’s butt, I’d sure as hell would remember every detail. Ewwwww.

  308. Buddy Biancalana December 27th, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    hmmm December 27th, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    “The Yankees are only certain to pay a 40% premium on Santana in 2008 when he earns $13 million dollars. ”

    this is a minor point, but i think Santana is asking for a 7 year, $140M contract. under this deal, they would tear up his old contract, and he would make $20M in 2008.

    it’s not really important in the grand scheme of things, but i believe that is what he is asking for. if he is traded, he probably won’t make $13M in 2008.


    If the Yanks trade for Johan, they would ask for 72 hrs to negotiate an extension in addition to his $13M 2008 salary. They would never rip up his 2008 deal. No way he makes $20M in 2008.

  309. Russell W December 27th, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    “Wang won’t be a veteran in his 5th season?
    what is a “veteran” then?”

    Someone who has been around the block – understands the postseason. Someone who can talk to the young crowd – as everyone paraded Clemens about. Someone who can give some sound advise to a 22 year old handling a screaming, racist, Fenway crowd.

  310. Mr. GoodKat December 27th, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    The point at stockpiling young arms is not too develop them all, afterall, there are only 5 spots in the starting rotation.I have yet to see a starting staff of 10 pitchers. Stockpiling arms enables you to make a trade if a truly special player comes around like a Johan Santana. Everyone in baseball can always use pitching, so young pitching is like U.S. currency because everyone will accept it. Trading Hughes, Marquez, and Melky is not selling the farm either. The Yankees have enough depth of pitching prospects that they can sustain such a blow (plus they’ll yield two more high picks in this year’s coming draft). They have two top notch OF prospects in Tabata and AJax with tremendously higher ceilings and tools than Melky.

    Please name me a better 1-2-3 punch than Santana, Wang, and Pettitte! Santana is a bonafide ace, Wang is an excellent #2 perhaps the best #2 in baseball (him or Carmona), and Pettitte is the big-game pitcher I’d love to see as our #3. You put Kennedy or Moose as the #4 and bring Joba out of the pen come the postseason…and what weakness do we have?

  311. GreenBeret7 December 27th, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    Mel, I agree. It was also interesting that he knew the exact date of an obscure get together at Canseco’s house in Miami, but, not what type of steroids or how many he gave clemens or Pettitte, two-four years later. Also, you would think that if Clemens was taking these shots, Canseco would know about it when they were all with Toronto and later with NYY. Canseco said he didn’t ever see Clemens taking shots or hear about it. If he had, it would have been in the first book.

  312. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Mr. GoodKat – Two things.

    1. We have good arms coming up, but who knows if they will ever be as good as these three. Horne, Marquez, McCutchen, Brackman, Betances are all solid prospects, but none have the minor league numbers that Joba, Phil and IPK had. You can never have enough pitching prospects. The leftovers go to the pen to form a young cheap rotation and bullpen.

    2. Melk might not have a high celing, but he’s proven in a short amount of time that he can hit 280, with a 360 OBP. He is only 22 ( AA age ) and will be a 20/20 player in the near future. He also has a cannon arm, better than Jackson and Tabata. I think people are underrating Melk. Sure he’ll never be Sheff or Vlad, but when he’s 25 he could be.

    .300 Avg…375 OBP..only stikes out 50/60 times a year…20 SB..20 HR..cannon arm…and he’s cheap.

    Guys like that dont fall off a tree and wont be replaced easily. Think Gary Matthews making 12per year. We would have Melk locked up for years on the cheap.

    On top of that, who will play CF this year? Please no Damon!

  313. Don from Tucson December 27th, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Pete I’m on board from Tucson.

    Honestly we know Boston will not sign Johan. It goes against their 4 year deal ethos. I believe should should adapt that as well. Yes we are stock piling arms but every team goes through injuries. We have the opportunity to be deep. Remember the 13 plus different starters we had last season. With that we still won over 90 and made the playoffs. Now a full season from Hughes-Kennedy-Joba who isn’t pumped about that ?

    Fix the bullpen. I still think Joba should work his way into the rotation after the first 2 months.

    Melky in CF and we can move Jackson or Tabatha to LF in 2010.

    Folks we finally have youth that can help us win lets not screw it up old school Yankee style.

    Look for my boy Melancon in the 7th inning by July.
    Go Cats.

  314. Winfield killed my seagull December 27th, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    Hey finally something that makes sense!!! Leave Santana alone and let these kids go out and win.

    and Mr. Goodkat, the answer to your question… is the same as last year. They have lost their bats in October. That is our weakness!!

  315. jessica December 27th, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    I just want to point out one thing:The run support Wang got from yankees’ offense in 2006 and 2007 is not as good as you guys thought.The difference of offense between Yankees and Twins is the ability Yankees have to score more than 8 runs a game for their pitchers.I am not saying Wang is as good as Santana,but Wang would still be 15.16 games winner if Wang were in Twins.

    Santana Run Support
    Runs: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Others 10 12
    Times: 2 1 3 3 6 2 7 4 4 0 1 1
    06: AVG5.11(174/34)
    06: AVG4.75(152/32)-Minus 2 Starts Twins score more than 9 runs
    06: AVG4.28(120/28)-Minus 6 Starts Twins score more than 8 runs

    Wang Run Support
    Runs: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Others 12 15 16
    Times: 0 1 7 3 5 5 3 1 1 3 2 1 1
    06: AVG5.57(184/33)
    06: AVG4.44(129/29)-Minus 4 Starts Yankees score more than 9 runs
    06: AVG3.76(94/25)-Minus 8 Starts Yankees score more than 8 runs

    Santana Run Support
    Runs: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Others 10 11
    Times: 2 2 5 9 3 2 2 4 0 1 1 2
    07: AVG4.30(142/33)
    07: AVG3.66(110/30)-Minus 3 Starts Twins score more than 9 runs
    07: AVG3.48(101/29)-Minus 4 Starts Twins score more than 8 runs

    Wang Run Support
    Runs: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Others 10 12
    Times: 0 2 2 0 5 3 3 3 5 3 1 3
    07: AVG6.43(193/30)
    07: AVG5.65(147/26)-Minus 4 Starts Yankees score more than 9 runs
    07: AVG4.44(80/18)-Minus 12 Starts Yankees score more than 8 runs

    AVG:Total Run Support/Starts

  316. jessica December 27th, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    That’s why I am with Peter on this topic.Let give kid a chance and don’t trade them for Santana.

  317. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    For all the Melk haters out there I have something for you all!!!


    I agree he did have a down year last season hitting .273. For a 22 year old that didnt have a place in the lineup in April, then was handed the starting CF job, I cant complain about a slight dip in Avg ( .280 @ 21 – .273 @ 22 ). Try and remember his age though as it is a huge factor. Most people at AA are 21-22, he’s doing this in the majors. When he was called up at age 20 ( usually A ball age ), everyone remembers he was having a hard time. Then at the start of the 06 season they started him at AAA, how did he respond?

    31 Game – 122 AB’s – 19 Runs – 47 Hits – 6 2B – 2 3B – 7 HR
    24 RBI – 3 SB – 10 BB – 9 K – .385 Avg – .430 OBP – .996 OPS

    Those are TREMENDOUS #’s for a 21 year old at AAA. All together in 1432 minor league AB’s he hit .294. He IS a future .300 hitter any way you look at it. He is also showing more and more power each year which is typical of a young hitter. He’s had 50 doubles, 10 triples and 15 HR’s over the past two MLB seasons. Those numbers will continue to rise ending off in the 20-25 range per season. Melk also stole 25 bases the past two MLB seasons ( 12-13 ). Those numbers will also go up over the next couple years topping off in the 20-25 range once he moves up in the order. On top of that the young man has shown an excellent eye at the plate.

    56BB / 59K in 06…43BB / 68 K in 07, with a .340 OBP in his 1st two MLB seaons.

    The low K rate indicates a future .300 hitter as well since he puts the ball in play so much. Those OBP numbers will also increase over time as he gets more comfortable. So what do we have with Melk?

    1. He has a cannon arm, not just average, how many times did you see him nail a runner at home on the fly? answer = multiple times, he’s got a rocket arm and led the league in assists. Sure great OF’s have less assists over time, but teams will learn not to run on him. If we trade away Melk, who is going to fill that role? Nobody on the current roster. So now we need to spend an additional 12-15M to bring in some garbage AKA Cameron.

    2. He is only 22 and has shown great patience at the plate, that will develope more working his OBP into the .380 range which is EXCELLENT! Here are some other star players and their OBP.

    Berkman – .386
    Beltran – .353
    Soriano – .337
    Carlos Lee – .354
    Chris Young – .295
    Konerko – .351
    Morneau – .343
    Uggla – .326
    Gonzalez (SD) – .347
    Rollins – .344

    So you can see what Im gettin at here, his OBP is going to rise and will be among the league leaders in that cat. A perfect fit for the Yanks who love those grind em out AB’s.

    3. He will continue to improve his power numbers and base stealing ability to get into the 20-20 range, with a celiing at 25-25
    Lets look at other 20-20 guys.

    Granderson – 23-26
    Cameron – 21-18 ( .242 avg + .328 OBP )
    Nick Markakis – 23-18
    Carlos Guillen 21-13
    Garry Matthews 18-18 ( .252 avg + .323 OBP )

    Again you can see what Im getting at here. All those players make tons of money, or soon will. Now imagine Matthews SB + HR totals with a .290 Avg and .375 OBP. Old Melk would be considered a top 20 OF. Getting to 18-18 is only a couple years away, maybe by 25. Imagine that for a minute, when he’s 25, if he can put up those type of numbers. we would have ourselves a stud OF locked up in the Bronx for at least another decade.

    But lets go back to 07 – Did Melk led the league in walks? Heck no, was he even in the top 50? Negative on that as well. What I was trying to establish is that his K/BB ratio is excellent for a 22 year, an age when players are usually getting their feet wet at AA. Again, if you faced the Yanks the last thing you would do is walk Melk with the top of the order coming up. Pitchers were throwing him strikes, 1/2 the months he took advantage of it, the other half he did not.

    I think I see why so many Yankee fans are down on Melk this offseason. I remember him having a bad Sept, I forgot how bad though.

    Sept – .180 Avg – .456 OPS – 8 BB – 20 K

    I took a look and confirmed that was his worst month ever in his young career.

    Take a look at the 3 previous months after he got the starting CF job.

    June – .298 Avg – .811 OPS – 10 BB – 10 K
    July – .368 Avg – .939 OPS – 7 BB – 15 K
    August – .306 Avg – .818 OPS – 7 BB – 8 K

    Those are excellent numbers for a guy that turned 22 on August 11th.

    His minor league splits indicate that he has patience at the plate as well. 1432 AB’s…108 BB…214 K good for a .347 OBP. Again not the best in the league, but pretty good. As he gets more comfortable at the plate, his eye will be even better, in a couple years he will be in the .375 OBP range, that will put him in the top 25. Im sure you know guys know that you dont start out with a .400 OBP your rookie year. For comparison sake lets take a look at someone else who had an excellent eye.

    Age 22 – .238 Avg – .336 OBP – .686 OPS – 48 BB – 57 K
    Age 23 – .280 Avg – .354 OBP – .760 OPS – 29 BB – 36 K
    Age 24 – .268 Avg – .333 OBP – .733 OPS – 53 BB – 106 K

    It wasnt until this player was 25 that his OBP reached .384, he also would never strike out 106 times for the rest of his career. That switch hitting CF was none other than Bernie Williams. If we didnt stink so bad back in 91, 92 and 93, maybe this kid Bernie Williams would have been included as the 2nd player in some package. You never know what you have until years later…so lets give Melky a chance.

  318. â™ fleas December 27th, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Mr. Goodkat

    I’m with you 100%


    Keep letting your emotions dictate your moves… it’s a sure way to lose at chess.

    Melky will never make the all-star team. He is nothing more than an average player with a great arm. His raw natural talent is in his defense not offense. Poor kid looked lost up at the plate almost all year! (I blame that on the hitting coach partially)

    The streak that Melky had was not much of a streak, he was still hacking at the ball and a lot of those hits happen to “just fall in”… can he get better? Sure, but he is not and will never be a threat like Cano. Nice try defending him though.

    Most people here like Melky (Including me) because he plays his heart out.

    You guys can defend not trading for Santana all you want.. come the end of next season you will cry your eyes out… if we don’t get the mighty Johan.

    I just don’t get the people on this blog sometimes, I swear.. your “stick with the kids and that’s that” attitude will get you to be another non-contending club.

    You’d guys really would help us become the Montreal Expos.

  319. DRU December 27th, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Flea- Im actually an excellent Chess player, just so you know…lol

    So Melky will never be an All-Star? How can you be so sure? You keep stating things on your feelings, I continue to give stats and examples. If you were running the show in the mid 90′s you would have traded Bernie and Andy for the “sure thing”. Based on the stats I gave comparing Bernie to Melk, Melk looks like the better player at age 22. So you would have said Bernie would never be an All-Star? Cant have it both ways my friend..

    All Im saying is that we tried the method of signing the next best thing on the market every year since the 2000 season. Have any of those moves worked out? Each year there is a shiny new Yankee under my Christmas tree, that Spring all the experts pick the Yanks to WIN IT ALL! The following Fall? More excuses why this “cant miss” player failed. We did it that way in the 80′s and we have been repeating that since 2000. Dynasties are not built that way; they are built from within. The FA’s in the late 90’s were brought in to supplement those pillars. The Mo’s, Andy’s, Bernie’s, Jeter’s, Posada’s. We keep bringing in these highered assassins that dont wear the pinstripes with pride. All Im asking is for one year, just one of us standing pat and seeing what we have with the young guns. You, and many other fans, are so scared that the Sox are winning that you want the easy fix, the sure thing. Well my friends, there is no shortcut to forming a dynasty. Its done with hard work and making tough decisions that go against the grain, sometimes not making the ‘popular’ trade is the best course of action. Im just glad that there are men at the front of this organization who believe in the young men we’ve compiled. We’re with you Cash! Keep the kids!

    And yes, Im willing to take a step back this year to set ourselves up better for 09 and beyond.


  320. Greg Molyneux December 27th, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Great post Pete, excellent read.

  321. ML December 27th, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    I wouldn’t trade Hughes, but I would trade Kennedy, Melky, Marquez for Santana. Kennedy looks good, but he’s just a prospect w/o the upside of a Santana. Melky and Marquez are VERY replaceable in my book. But I do agree that we should jealously guard our young guys. It’s all about balance; you can’t live at one extreme or the other. If the deal is right, you have to pounce.

  322. Yazman December 27th, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    DRU, great analysis! Thanks for that.

    I’m still in favor of getting Santana if we can do it while keeping 2 of our 3 top prospects, and most of our top 10. That’s very different from yesteryear’s selling of the farm for far less than Santana.

    But when I hear that the Twins value Melkie less than the Yanks do, I’d love to see the Yanks add more prospects to the deal and keep Melkie.

    Hey, if the Twins like Crisp, they can probably have him for a half decent prospect.

  323. tony December 27th, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    Huzzah, Pete. Well said. I agree 100%. Much better to play with who you have than to go spending all the money you have on one guy. I have nothing against trading for pitchers and Santana is awesome, but at some point his arm is gonna get tired. And fans might welcome him now but they’ll be pretty pissed when Hughes goes 15-1 in another uniform.

  324. Matt Carnicelli December 28th, 2007 at 5:07 am

    I agree completely. I will be greatly disappointed if Philip Hughes is dealt for Santana. And now that all the FA centerfielders are off the board, the Yankees should not even consider moving Melky in this kind of a deal. If Santana wants to play in NY, he should become a FA. To both pay him a scary contract and give up serious talent is the old, ugly George way of doing things.

  325. Born in da Bronx December 28th, 2007 at 6:25 am

    I believe in building a team. Hired guns or arms has not been very successful. I want guys that want to be a Yankee and know what it means to be a Yankee. I want guys that love to play the game win or lose they go all out. To me that is a team and they have fun doing it. My two cents. If Santana wants to be a Yankee then he should say so and make it happen, this year in a trade next year at FA.

  326. Tony (Yonkers,NY) December 28th, 2007 at 9:54 am

    I agree with you to a certain point. Yes, it’s important that the Yankees develop their own players, but keep in mind that they can’t all be in the rotation. I mean, we have Joba, Hughes, Kennedy, Marquez, Horne, etc. There’s only 5 spots in the starting rotation. What’s wrong with trading 1 or 2 of them for a #1 pitcher? I think we are forgetting that Santana is an ACE!! In the playoffs it has been proven that you need an ACE, a la Beckett, that can carry you through the playoffs. I think we’ve all had enough of making the playoffs and getting bumped in the 1st round! So yes, let’s be prudent and develop our own players, but when the rare occassion presents itself to acquire not only an ACE, but perhaps the BEST pitcher in baseball and he is under 30 years old, you do it.Keep in mind, in ’09 the New Yankee Stadium will open, who better than to pitch on opening day? You guessed it, Johan Santana!

  327. Joba the Hutt December 28th, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    We all know that the Yanks are infamous for NOT extending contracts before season’s end (Pettite – the first time around, as well as Posada and Rivera this year), and if Santana doesn’t want to hear what Hank & Cash have to say at the end of ’08, he could walk. Now we’ve just lost Hughes who is our proejcted #1 by 2010 (that’s only two seasons away), and our centerfielder for the next 10 years. As much as I love Wang, I don’t think he’s an ace. He’s a true-blue number two in my mind…like Pettite was to Cone for all those years. Wang is 1-3 with a 7.58 ERA in the playoffs. I think that speaks for itself. He’s participated in the postseason for three years – enough to make a judgement, I think.

    As far as Melky’s low average (.273 this season), lest we forget it took four seasons (two half and two full) for Bernie Williams to develop into the five-time All Star, perrennial 25hr/100rbi MVP candidate that he became. Don’t give up on Cabrera so quickly, guys. Who else will fill that void? I love Matsui, but he’s getting old, Damon can’t throw, and Abreu stay away from the wall like it’s going to get him sick or something.

    Keep Hughes & Cabrera and see how good they become. If Phil had the kind of year Joba had, this conversation wouldn’t even exist…let’s give him that chance.

  328. Mr. GoodKat December 28th, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    For all of you Melky lovers, I’d like you to compare these two players:

    Player 1: Melky Cabrera

    .273 Average
    8 HR’s
    73 RBI’s
    .327 OBP
    .391 Slugging
    13 SB
    .989 FPCT

    Player 2: Mystery

    .269 Average
    8 HR’s
    45 RBI’s
    .304 OBP
    .386 Slugging
    37 SB
    .990 FPCT

    You want to know who the mystery player is? It’s Corey Patterson formerly of the Baltimore Orioles. So for those thinking we can’t go a season without Melky patrolling center think again, and I doubt Corey Patterson would cost anything more than 4 million at the most. He’s a great fielder too with a strong arm, and he’s a much better base runner than Melky.

  329. YankeeFan December 28th, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    people are over-valuing malky. i love him, but he’s not a .300 hitter yet, he can’t hit 20 hr’s, he’s already just an average fielder due to his limited range.
    he truly is average but i like him because he’s ours and he can handle playing for us.

  330. T. Kim December 29th, 2007 at 9:11 am

    What do you think of swapping in Ian Kennedy for Phil Hughes and adding some more prospects to the list? Let’s say

    1. Ian Kennedy
    2. Melky Cabrera
    3. Alan Horne
    4. Brett Gardner
    5. Jeff Marquez

    for Johan Santana? That’s 2 major league ready players including 4 top 15 prospects in the Yankee organization for the best pitcher in baseball, for any other team that could mean stripping the farm and ruining the future but in a system as stacked as the Yankees’ I think its a pretty fair trade.

    So that’s saying that Phil Hughes is worth Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne and Brett Gardner, I think a future ace in Hughes is worth a future number 2-3 starter with possible ace production in Kennedy, a 3-4 starter or solid setup man in Horne and an average to above average outfielder in Gardner. If they ask for more than that I would even throw in a another lesser prospect. Or… even better imagine a package of the following:

    1. Melky Cabrera
    2. Jeff Karstens
    3. Alan Horne
    4. Austin Jackson
    5. Dellin Betances
    6. Damon Sublett
    7. Jeff Marquez
    8. Juan Miranda/Zach McAllister

    This is a pretty huge haul, wouldn’t you say? That’s two major league ready players in Melk-man and Karstens, and 5 top 15 prospects including 3 top 5, not to mention McAllister/Miranda are ranked in most top 25′s. Is this too much? Maybe we could get away with offering less, like making it a 6-7 player deal, subtracting Marquez and/or Miranda/McAllister? Ask the Twins, but I highly doubt it. Either way I hope you catch my drift… we can give them quantity while still providing much quality. They are asking for 2 major league ready players, we give them Melky and maybe they would take Moose, Karstens or Igawa as the other? An 8 player deal huh? We would likely ask for some prospects back but wouldn’t get any value in them.

    Imagine being able to keep the big 3 and adding Santana? You would be killing the farm, but it’s so stacked that the Yankees still have some sort of life. Doing this could even move Joba to the bullpen and our rotation would be:

    1. Santana
    2. Wang
    3. Pettitte
    4. Hughes
    5. IPK/Moose

    IPK could even be the long man/spot starter to limit innings, and then when Moose falls apart he could take over as the number 5. Sign Texiera next year to clear up the first base problems, heck if the Twins want another big bat give them Giambi for a year as a filler even pay his entire contract, with Joba able to fill the 8th we could even give the Twins Farnsworth if they want so they could trade Nathan (to us hopefully as part of the Santana deal) and get even more prospects. Or we could just give them a bunch of fillers and add Moose to the mix (if he’d waive his no-trade) We saw the Diamondbacks get Haren and a throw in 6 players, none of which seem to be major leaugue ready. So imagine another scenario:

    1. Mike Mussina
    2. Melky Cabrera
    3. Jeff Karstens
    4. Kyle Farnsworth

    5. Alan Horne
    6. Austin Jackson
    7. Dellin Betances
    8. Damon Sublett
    9. Jeff Marquez
    10. Zach McAllister

    Is a 10 person trade even possible? Obviously we would be getting Santana plus Nathan in this deal, maybe something else too, like a lefty reliever or 4th outfielder, doubt it. We would also have to send cash to cover Moose’s contract as well as Farnsworthless’. Unless we get Nathan, I would stick to the 6-8 prospect trade listed before this one. We would be swapping 2 one year contracts in Mussina and Farnsworth for a one year contract in Nathan, not to mention we would be adding some amazing talent to their farm while also allowing them to contend somewhat in ’08. Mussina and Karstens fill out their rotation, filling the void left by the departures of Silva and Garza, I actually think Mussina and Karstens will do better in ’08 than the combination of Silva and Garza. Yet, the Twins become the ’07 Yankees and have no true ace; Santana’s void is filled by the farm system that has just become one of the best in the league, as well as the return of Liriano. Nathan’s void is filled either through the farm system or some magical reinvention of Kill Farnsworth. Imagine this for the Yankees then…

    1. Santana
    2. Wang
    3. Pettitte
    4. Hughes
    5. IPK
    CL: Mo
    Setup: Joba, Nathan
    Relivers: Hawkins, Albadejo, Ohlendorf, Britton/Igawa (Igawa is a situational lefty/long-man)?
    All of a sudden our bullpen is the best in the league, as is our starting pitching. Our lineup barely takes a hit as well, our farm system may be somewhat depleted, but nothing too damning… we still have an average at worst system.

    1. Damon (CF)
    2. Jeter (SS)
    3. Abreu (RF)
    4. Arod (3B)
    5. Cano (2B)
    6. Posada (C)
    7. Matsui (LF)
    8. Giambi/Duncan (DH)
    9. Minky/Betemit (1B)

    Until we sign Teixera to a 5-7 year contract with an average salary of approximately $20-25 million we could sign Minky to a 1-year $1.5 million contract and have him and Betemit handle the bulk of 1B duties while having Giambi and Duncan switch off at DH. That’s some nice platoon action for both DH and 1B. I think that leaves us 2 more spots? We could add more bullpen help, or sign two more bench players preferably an outfielder who can handle center in case Damon gets injured.(Maybe bring back Bernie for the 4th outfielder spot unless anyone sees a better option?

    Now a lot of this is just me messing around, but who knows, I think some is at least feasible. We, of course, sell out and strip our entire farm system for Santana, yet we keep the big 3 which is fine by me, since we won’t be needing any pitching prospects for at least 10 years… and can just buy Cy Young winner C.C. Sabathia in ’09 in the range of 4-6 years and an average salary of approximately $15-20 million annually. The only gaping hole with the Santana trade is the void in the outfield defense left by Melky’s departure, but he was part of all the trade talks anyway, plus above average fielders with average bats are a dime a dozen, unless you’re talking $4 million for Killin’ Me Farnsworth.


  331. plank December 30th, 2007 at 1:51 am

    Um, that trade is not really feasible for lots of reasons. Why would the Twins want Mussina? He’s old, probably won’t be league average and is not cheap. He has negative trade value. Karstens is okay but players like him are available pretty easily. I would say Farnsworth has negative to neutral trade value given his salary, especially to the penny pinching Twins.

    That plus a few prospects who are a few years away for Santana AND Nathan? Why not add in Liriano, Morneau, and Mauer too?

    There is no reason the Twins would want to make this deal.

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