What if Hank is left holding the bag?

Posted on January 17th, 2008 – 8:40 AM
By Joe Christensen

Reading Hank Steinbrenner’s comments today in Sid Hartman’s column, I thought about how Hank will be viewed among Yankee fans if the Twins trade Johan Santana to the Mets or, heaven forbid, the Red Sox.

As we all know, Hank talks a good game. He wants Santana badly. But his brother Hal, the team’s money guy, and GM Brian Cashman and several of their baseball people have deemed Santana too expensive. Too expensive even for the Yankees? Yes, in terms of the players you’d have to give up and the $140 million or so for a contract extension.

I still think the Twins will trade Santana before spring training opens, and right now, I believe the Mets are the favorites, followed by the Yankees and then the Red Sox. I don’t think Boston will improve its offers, but I think the Mets will, and at that point, they’ll get him, unless the Yankees finally relent.

Without Santana, the Yankees rotation goes: Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Mike Mussina.

Without Santana, the Mets rotation goes: Pedro Martinez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Orlando Hernandez and Mike Pelfrey.

At least one of these teams will be left answering how they passed on the chance to add a two-time Cy Young winner to those question-laden rotations. The Mets are coming off that epic collapse to end the 2007 season. And the Yankees haven’t won the World Series since 2000.

Hank Steinbrenner has done a lot of talking this offseason. Wonder what he’d say then.

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