By Joe Christensen
Before I get to the update on a certain lefthander, here’s something former Blue Jays manager Buck Martinez (now of XM Radio) told me yesterday:
I think there are going to be more trades. Just like the deal the Twins just pulled. There are going to be some big names being switched, and people in Minnesota probably don’t understand what a good player Delmon Young is. He’s a marvelous player. He’s got this black eye, but I’ll tell you what, I think the black eye is fading dramatically. He’s a sharp kid. He’s a great baseball player, he’s a good person, and he made a mistake. To me, he’s got Twins written all over him.
Souhan caught up with Delmon’s brother, Dmitri, who offered this gem: “This is the perfect time for him to become known as a new Twin and not ‘the Bat-Flinger.’ “.
By the way, here’s a link to the audio clip from Delmon’s infamous bat-flinging incident.
OK, sizing up the Johan Santana sweepstakes this morning, it sure sounds like it’ll be the Yankees, Red Sox or nobody. (Shocking, I know.) La Velle noted the Mariners involvement in his story today.
The New York Times notes that the Yankees have offered Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera and one other prospect, perhaps outfielder Jose Tabata, but not Phil Hughes. And there is a feeling within the Yankees that if they insert Hughes for Kennedy, that would be enough.
The Boston Herald has noted that the Red Sox are willing to include Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz in the deal — but not more than one of those three. There’s some great perspective in this Tony Massarotti piece about what trades like this have brought teams in the past:
When the Red Sox acquired Pedro Martinez from the Montreal Expos in 1997, the package was Carl Pavano and Tony Armas. And when the Sox obtained Josh Beckett from the Florida Marlins after the 2005 season, the key prospects were Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez. (The package grew more complex because of Mike Lowell’s involvement and concerns about Beckett’s shoulder, leading to additional players being involved, like Guillermo Mota.)
An exception to the rule? The Bartolo Colon deal in 2002. In that trade, the Cleveland Indians sent Colon and pitcher Tim Drew (yes, J.D.’s brother) to the Expos for a group that included Lee Stevens, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips, the latter two of whom are now All-Star-caliber players. And while Lee had a miserable 2007, he is still just 29 (and left-handed) with a career record of 54-36.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll be happy when this is over. La Velle has been handling our main news coverage this week, and it’s still been exhausting for me, trying to help us stay in front of the story baseball people are talking about from coast to coast.
One of the New York writers told me this has been the most hectic offseason he can remember in eight years around the Yankees. It’s been non-stop: A-Rod, Torre, Girardi, Posada, Mariano, A-Rod again, and now … Johan. Actually, as crazy as the Santana Sweepstakes are, things are slowing down a little in Yankeeland.
I’ll miss Johan. But if and when this trade finally happens, I’ll probably greet it with a sigh of relief. Torii already wiped out Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping Johan spares Christmas.