Thursday roundup

Posted on January 3rd, 2008 – 11:01 AM
By La Velle

I just realized there’s only six weeks until pitchers and catchers report. What an offseason…

No major Johan Santana news, but reports elsewhere pretty much gist with what has been written here recently, that the Yanks, Red Sox and Mets are the three main teams involved in the sweepstakes, that the Mets won’t have to give up Jose Reyes, the Yanks won’t have to give up Phillip Hughes and Ian Kennedy in the same package and different trade models remain in play with the Red Sox.

While there were some suggestions that the Yanks had pulled their deal off the table and were backing off, indications I received from the Twins were that the Yanks remained clearly in the picture. This story backs that up. It always helps when Hank Steinbrenner speaks up:

“I think the Twins realize our offer is the best one,” Steinbrenner said Wednesday in a telephone interview with the New York Daily News. “I feel confident they’re not going to trade him before checking with us one last time and I think they think we’ve already made the best offer.”

Steinbrenner said the offer “does not include two of the three young pitchers” – Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, from a group that also includes untouchable Joba Chamberlain – “but it’s still the best one. And let’s face it, we’re the best able to handle the kind of contract (extension) Santana will be after.”

The Boston Globe also had heard the same things we’ve been hearing: That different trade models: One led by Jacoby Ellsbury and another led by Jon Lester, remain in play.

I’m sorry that I’ve been unable to nail down all elements of each trade package. The best thing I read today was Steinbrenner suggesting that he’d like to get something done in two weeks. I can’t wait for this to end.

Anyway, here are some other Twins tidbits, courtesy of GM Bill Smith:

Jesse Crain, on the comeback trail following shoulder surgery in May, has been throwing some and is headed to Fort Myers, Fla. today to continue his rehab/recovery. Still, the Twins don’t know when Crain will be able to contribute, as coming back from a torn labrum and rotator cuff isn’t easy.

Francisco Liriano, who is expected to contribute at some point this season, is expected to travel to Fort Myers sometime this month to continue his comeback from Tommy John surgery. Everything to this point has gone well.

Juan Rincon, who wasn’t part of the Matt Garza-Delmon Young trade with the Rays because of concerns about his elbow, has been pitching for Lara of the Venezuelan winter league. In ten innings at the end of the season, Rincon had a 1.80 ERA on four hits, seven walks and nine strikeouts. He’s expected to pitch for Lara in the postseason, which began Wednesday.

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