By La Velle
It doesn’t surprise me one bit that the Twins are willing to trade Joe Nathan and Johan Santana.
As painful as it is for fans to watch good players leave, the talent the Twins could receive for these two players could put them in position to make a run in 2010 when the new ballpark opens.
It’s not like they are gutting the roster. The M & M boys will be around in 2010, as well as several pitchers who should be polished by then. Florida has successfully moved good players and reloaded twice – the main difference being that they have won two World Series titles while the Twins have only made it out of the first round once in four tries since 2002.
But if the Twins’ history of identifying good players serves them well, they should get some talented players back.
What they should still be criticized for, however, is not staying ahead of the market. Hunter, Santana and Nathan all could have been signed a year ago. The Twins needed to be proactive.
They shouldn’t make the same mistakes with Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer.
Trade rumors: Told you things were about to heat up. Joe C. and I were in chase mode yesterday.
There was a report from a radio station in L.A. that the Twins were about to send Morneau to the Angels for Ervin Santana and Casey Kotchman. We looked into it but there doesn’t appear to be anything cooking there.
I did get a call last night about the Twins and Boston’s Coco Crisp. Crisp is really starting to get attention because clubs don’t want to overpay for Aaron Rowand and Andruw Jones. I was told that 1. The Twins remain very interested in Crisp but 2. If Santana gets dealt to the Red Sox, the Twins want Jacoby Ellsbury in the deal. So there’s a chance that Santana is traded elsewhere and the Twins could go after Crisp.
Also heard a rumor that Lew Ford is drawing interest from the Hanshin Tigers.
I reported today that the Twins have had discussions with the Angels, Red Sox and Yankees about Santana. I’m sure more teams are interested, like the Dodgers and Mets. I prefer to get it confirmed that the team has actually talked to the Twins instead of assuming that they have. We’ve read plenty of stories about teams prepared to enter the Santana sweepstakes if he becomes available. I’m looking for more than that.
I know the Brewers need a closer, but I reached out to someone I know in that area and the response I got was that Brewers GM Doug Melvin really wants to hold on to his young players. Nathan might not be a fit there, but that could change.
We also head a Boof Bonser-to-the-Devil, er, to-the-Rays deal. Looked into it but found nothing. Again, there could be something there but we just haven’t tapped into the right information source yet. Seriously, this is CSI Minnesota sometimes.