Johan or not?

What a great position the Red Sox are in for these Johan Santana sweepstakes. Flat out, they are not going to give up Ellsbury, they are not going to give up Buchholz. So make the best offer without giving up one of those two. We’ve heard what is likely on the table. Coco, Lester, Lowrie and either Bowden/Masterson. Maybe the Twins will do that. Maybe they won’t.

But if they don’t, it looks as if the Yankees are going to give up Phil Hughes, who could emerge into a bona-fide ace while making as much money over the next six years as Santana will make in one year.

The Red Sox have Beckett, they have Matsuzaka, they have Schilling, they have Buchholz. The Yankees? They have Wang, who proved he’s not good enough to be an ace for a championship team. The Yankees are desperate for Santana. He would be more of a luxury item for the Sox.

So Theo will wait and see how this plays out at what should be an action-packed Winter Meetings in Nashville. If the Red Sox do get Santana, what a dagger that would put in the heart of the Yankees. Where would New York turn from there? Dan Haren?

Joel Sherman wrote a great column in the NY Post yesterday pointing out how every time over the last several years that the Red Sox and Yankees have gone for an elite pitcher, Boston has prevailed. This goes back to Dan Duquette snaring Pedro. It goes back to Theo grabbing Schilling. It goes to Theo’s temporary replacements getting Beckett. Theo and Henry, Lucchino and Werner were bold enough to make the investment on Dice-K while the Yankees stood around. We’ll see how well that one works out. The jury is still out. Meanwhile, the Yankees have gotten Contreras, Kevin Brown, Pavano and other guys who haven’t made a difference.

If the Red Sox get Santana, this could set the Yankees back quite a few years. If they don’t, they’ll still contend for a championship. What a position to be in.

Sorry for the sporadic blogs of late. I should be back on track during the Winter Meetings in Nashville, where the goal will be at least one post a day.

I’ll talk to you from there starting Monday.

Ian.

87 Comments

The Sox are offering:

Lester-Lowrie-Crisp and Masterson/Bowden

If the Twins take Bowden instead of Masterson (3 and 5 in prospect ranks) I wouls go for it. If not, pursue Danny Haren.

Simple fact, if the Sox don’t give up Buchholz (which they shouldn’t) or Ellsbury (who they should; in my humble opinion), then they won’t be getting Santana. The Yankees will get him by giving up Hughes, Cabrera and a prospect.

As for going after Haren after that, I just can’t see Beane giving him up without getting Bucs or Ells in return.

If the Yankees end up landing Santana, their team chemistry next year is going to be a complete mess. For those of you who don’t believe that chemistry is important, I think next year will be a great litmus test for that theory:

If you ever watched a Yankees game, you know that Melky and Cano are tight since they came up through the farm system together. I’m sure at this point that most of the team pretty much despises A-Rod off of the field. They have a young manager who once played with the remaining core members of the team, so you don’t know what kind of respect he’s going to get.

It’s definitely going to be interesting.

Well, sources say that the Yankees are offering Melky Cabrera, Hughes, and Ian Kennedy for Santana. Looks like he’s gonna be in pinstripes in 08. What a shame. I don’t know how the yankees can easily affor A-Rod and Santana? o man. I really dont wanna face Santana if he’s on the Yankees. This could be very tough.

dj992, that one report that claimed the Yanks were including Kennedy along with Cabrera and Hughes has been knocked back by alot of reporters.

This piece by Olney is just one of those reports http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3136495

Ian is right on the mark. What a great position for the Sox to be in. It would be nice to get Santana, but the Sox don’t NEED him. And certainly not at the price of Buchholz and/or Ellsbury.

Yanks need Santana and will be more driven to give up a player they don’t want to give up.

Man, I’m loving this off-season.

ian is right!we already won this war of bid, even if we dont get santana, if what they are saying is true about the yankees raised up the bid with hughes,man that guy can pitch too!

I will be happy if the Sox get Dan Haren. His contract is palatable, and I don’t think he would cost as many top prospects, though Billy Beane certainly won’t give him away.

I know that Santana will make the Yankees better, but personally I don’t think it will be harmful to the Sox, who hit him well.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Hey Jeff, how do you propose we get Haren without giving Beane Ellsbury or Buchholz?

If you subtract Haren from the Oakland rotation it leaves them with:

Blanton =(Mets are interested)

Harden =(How many injuries can one player endure)

Gaudin = (solid early in the season, tired out)

Duchscherer = (releiver?)

Lester could fill in Duchscherer spot, Crisp could back up Kotsay in CF, Lowrie could back up Crosby, and eventually take his position (I feel he is better than a .250 average defensive SS in Crosby), however Oakland doesn’t have any excellent prospects, or any “very good” pitching prospects. So, If the Athletics were looking for a complete starter to instantly fill a rotation spot, Buchholz is the answer. Masterson/ Bowden don’t cut their needs, unless they have patience.

If someone puts a gun at my head and demands Buchholz or Ellsbury, I will say Ellsbury without hesitation, an everyday position player against a young phenom who pitches every 5 or 6 days. I’d like to keep both of course.
It has been said many times getting Santana is a luxury for the Sox and a necessity for the the Next Year Yankees.

I agree with Zachary that landing Santana may have an adverse effect on Yank’s team chemistry. It may also pulling Pettitte more towards retirement.

rsjones, I also like Masterson better than Michael Bowden.

007, as for Santana pushing Pettite to retirement, I can’t see what it’s got to do with it really. Especially with a few reports all ready this week saying that Pettite is leaning more towards retirement as it is. I would have though getting Santana makes the Yanks more competitive this year, and thus encourages Pettite to come back for one more season.

Honestly though, if all that is stopping the Sox from getting Santana is Ellsbury I will be pretty pissed off.

Bob Ryan, Boston Globe journalist, believes that Ellsbury could be by ’09 a
.340/210 hits/50 SB type of a player a.k.a an absolute star.

I enjoy Ellsbury’s enthuisam, but I think he needs to tone it done some . .

ie. Green Monster ramming, knocking #’s off the scoreboard etc.

He could injury himself with ease.

Buchholz is a young pitcher with upside, however he did tire at the end of last season specifically his arm. The Sox must keep his progresstion at a steady and planned pace.

Ellsbury doesn’t have the power of Freddy Lynn, but he has the hype and energy.

KEEP HIM, he worth it.

With all the talk about Lester being traded for either Santana or Haren, it seems as though its not good for Red Sox longevity to win the fourth game in a World Series won by the Red Sox. After Lowe did it 2004, he never pitched another game for the Sox. Maybe that’s the reason the Sox dumped Babe Ruth — He won the 4th game of the 1918 Series in which the Sox beat the Cubs in 6 games. At least he played one more year for the Sox.

Hey, Bosoxbrian — Its looking like we should revisit the bet I proposed about a month ago. What do you say?

According to reports the Yankees will not include Ian Kennedy in the trade. If they don’t the deal will not get done. The Yankees need to get creative, I’m not sure if Cashman can.

dbenjamin,

I’m not a fan of L.S.U. I just think they are the best team in college football. Personally I think Les Miles is one of the biggest jerks of all time. You would not good in a L.S.U. jersey.

If L.S.U. gets selected to play for the championship ( I think they should ) they will be favored over Ohio State by 7 points. It will be the same result for the Buckeyes in the B.C.S. Championship game. I do think Ohio State will get 100 yards of total offense, unlike last year. Ohio State lacks team speed and that will hurt them in the Championship game. It certainly did last year, Florida did anything they wanted to do.

Brian where’s the report that says if the yanks don’t include Kennedy in the deal it doesn’t get done. Would like a read of that, as everything I’ve read has Hughes being in as a replacement for Kennedy, and that the Yanks and Twins are now haggling over Alan Horne or Alberto Gonzalez being included.

olney’s article states that NY if offering hughes, cabrerra, and a prospect. no kennedy inc. boston’s offer hasn’t changed. also states minn will go with boston IF they inc. ells or buch. i’m assuming buch in place of coco or lester. it’s a tough call. the $$ is irrelevent. they know what it will cost to sign johan. if they were concerned about it, short or long term, they would have never made the offer they did IMO. i’m not sure ells is a .340 hittter but he would dynamic in the LO spot. i just wouldn’t wanna go into next year with coco back in center. love him defensively but they need more off out of that spot. olney also says they are in simutaneous talks with oak about haren. i think i’d be more inclined to trade buch for haren than ells for sanatana considering what you give up additionally in terms of players.

georgia and USC are the 2 best teams in the country right now. don’t know if the dawgs will hang on in the BC-mess but they should. i don’t think ohio state can stay close to any of the other potential opp’s. USC, LSU, and UGGA would blow them away IMO.

Heys guys look at wha i found:
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Red Sox are now including Jacoby Ellsbury in their proposal for Johan Santana, though they’ve subtracted Jon Lester.

If it’s something like Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson/Michael Bowden for Santana, we don’t see how that tops the Yankees’ Phil Hughes-Melky Cabrera-prospect proposal. Even if the Twins prefer Ellsbury to Hughes as the centerpiece, Cabrera is still easily the more valuable second player. If the Red Sox were to give up both Ellsbury and Lester, that might be a package the Twins would have to take. Regardless, this does dismiss the silly talk that the Red Sox were only in the Santana negotiations in order to increase the price for the Yankees.

Haven’t we learned anything from this season . . . dynamic pitching can’t always. If we keep Ellsbury and Buchholz, we will have a clear cut shot at another ring, with Santana or Haren the path becomes more misty, mainly because we lose the balance of offense/defense.

can’t always win*

Personally, I think that adding Ellsbury is a chess move to get the Yankees to include Ian Kennedy along with Cabrera and Hughes. Though I hope the Sox do keep Ellsbury, it is much easier to find a center fielder than it is a proven, top-tier left-handed starter. The Sox have a lot of outfield prospects that could be as good as Ellsbury, especially Ryan Kalish. Just think if the Sox acquire Santana and are able to keep Buchholz and Lester. Pitching does win championships, and the Sox would definitely have plenty of it if that is the case.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

DJ, I think that the Ellsbury, Lowrie, Masterson and Bowden package is better than Cabrera, Hughes and a second-tier prospect. It is even competitive if the Yankees add Kennedy or Horne. Lowrie would likely be the Twins starting shortstop since they traded Bartlett (Lowrie is better than Brendan Harris), Ellsbury would be the starting center fielder and Masterson would likely be in the Twins rotation, though if he remains in Boston he will probably start the season at Pawtucket or even Portland.

If the Twins want another left-hander let’s offer them Lopez in lieu of Lester. If Masterson is that promising, let’s substitute Tavarez instead . Unloading Lopez and Tavarez in the deal could free up some $$$ to help defray the cost of Santana. Such a deal would have a minimum impact on the Sox- and in some ways it could be a blessing.

As of 4:20pm on December 2, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Red Sox have now made an offer which includes moving Jacoby Ellsbury to the Twins for Johan Santana, in response to the Yankees adding Phil Hughes into their trade mix. First and foremost I don’t understand the need for the Red Sox to sacrifice young talent to acquire a guy like Santana when we already have a better pitcher in Josh Beckett. Two Cy Young awards at the age of 28 or two World Series rings at the age of 27. To me Santana’s dominance is not worth sacrificing the Red Sox’s young talent especially coming off a championship season where the pitching staff was able to prove its dominance. It is almost like Epstein expects not to have offensive production from any other outfielder other than Manny. After rejecting the opportunity to bring Damon back in 2004, Epstein signed Coco Crisp, someone who has yet to have a consistent season at the plate. It would be foolish to knock Coco’s defensive capabilities, but will the guy ever get a big hit? Then Theo goes out and signs J.D Drew, for more money then Damon asked for. And what has Drew amounted to other then a grand slam in the playoffs. The fact of the matter is Ellsbury is too good and has too much potential to be dealt away.

Ian:

Now I see the rumors that we are talking about including Ellsbury…If you see any of the big three (Epstein, Lucchino or Henry) Please slap them upside the head for me. I like gossip myself, but I am already pissed that they are considering throwing away Lester to get santana, who is likely to be seriously hurt in the next 2 years. Lester & Bucholz spell schilling and wakefield as they retire, and ellsbury is the answer to our prauers in CF. NOt to mention if Lowerie is half as good as promised, then he should be paitent and be Lugo’s replacement at the end of his contract, aLA pedroia & youk…we have a great future ahead of us…the amount of years combined that these guys can give us as compared to santana is reason enough to not make this deal (plus santana wants $25 a year, and he’s not worth it.)

jeff. you may be right about adding ells being a chess move. but it’s a dangerous one IMO. personally the only way i would inc ells is if they plan to go after another center fielder in free agency. i.e. rowand. they have to upgrade their offense IMO to stay atop the div. and baseball. coco has had two years of gold glove def and mediocre plate app’s. they run the risk of becoming an east coast version of LAA. who are going to get cabrerra by the way at some point you would think. of course they could still just back out altogether but that seems unlikely. there’s no question johan is/has been THE dominant pither, not just LH, in the game the past 4-6 years but to me as much as i’d love to have him it’s too much to give up when offense is where you struggled last year. trade buch and a couple of prospects for haren and you still have the best staff in baseball. or top 3 anyway. plus you address yur weakness which is offense. as i said UNLESS you plan to try and get another CF via free agency.

Trading Jacoby Ellsbury will be a huge mistake, in my opinion. I understand that Santana is a sure thing, but Ellsbury provides the one thing that this team lacks: a spark at the top of the lineup. This team is not lacking a #1 starter.

If Lugo or Crisp had been as good as advertised, this would not be an issue. But right now, we have two very good power hitters (Manny, Papi), contact hitters (Youk, Lowell, Pedroia), and then Varitek, Lugo, Drew.

Obviously you’re not going to land the best LHP in baseball for nothing, but I think including Ellsbury is just too much.

apparently the new deal won’t inc lester or buch. ells, lowrie and a pithing prospect. on paper that sounds like a good move but again IMO this team HAS to get better offensively. if they intend to go after rowand do it. if not get haren and be done with it.

Lester has not proven he is a reliable major league starter, in my opinion. I’d much rather see Lester go then Ellsbury.

For everyone worried about losing Ellsbury, I wouldn’t worry too much with the current offer that the Sox have got out. No way this deal gets done with the Twins by adding Ellsbury and subtracting Lester. Both have to be a part of this deal. The Twins will not give away Santana without getting an MLB ready pitcher in return.

And as for Ellsbury, Lowrie, Masterson and Bowden being a better deal than Hughes, Cabrera and a prospect… not a chance. If this is all the Sox are offering then this deal isn’t getting done.

Can I just ask greenspan why he/she thinks Santana “is likely to be seriously hurt in the next 2 years”?

Where has this come from? What a stupid comment.

The Red Sox should just drive up the price for the Yankees. Trading Lester is stupid. First off the kid is only 23 vs. 29 for Santana. He’s under control at cheap money–AND he will probably win 15 games next year in a full season. I think Lester and Buchholtz will pretty much make Wakefield a long reliver/starter or a rest giving sixth starter. Why as World Champions would the Red Sox want to take on a 150 million dollar contract? I would never trade Buchholtz, Lester, or Ellsbury this year. I think Ellsbury is going to probably get 180-200 hits and win ROY. This kid is going to make Ramirez, Ortiz, Lowell, and Drew lick their chops. With Ellsbury, the Red Sox once again lead the league in runs. Santana would cripple the Yankees for at least two years.

Let’shope that Theo is just driving up the price for the Yankees and is using Ellsbury as bait and not getting Santana just for the sake of keeping him away from the Yanks

Yup, let’s just hope its just a bait thing to drive up the price for the Yanks.

The trade would be fantastic for the Twins but a disaster for the Sox.

My message to Theo on giving away the farm is this:

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

NO Johan!!!!! Keep Ellsbury and Co. We’re stacked without going for broke on Santana. Period. Let the Yankees mortgage their future and let’s watch the current roster take us back to the WS next season intact! Giving up so much guaranteed young talent for Santana — or bluffing to keep the Yankees from getting him, is a HUGE mistake.

The signing of Mike Lowell was a NECESSITY. This trade is NOT.

You have got to be freakin kidding me!!!! This is a trade that will come back to bite us right in the as-s. What is Boston,feeling guilty because Minnesota released Papi a few years ago and we got him at a yard sale price? and feel they need to give back??? This is sheer stupidty. I came to terms with the Sox feeling that they could get rid of Jon Lester, but Wheels???? I think the champagne from the WS celebration is still lingering in the heads of the management team!
DO NOT GIVE ELLSBURY AWAY!!!!

NO THEO, NO! JOHN HENRY GO AWAY AND COUNT THE MONEY IN YOUR WALLET. EVERYONE ELSE TOO!

I JUST CAN’T REALLY EXPRESS THE DISGUST I AM FEELING RIGHT NOW IF THIS A FOR REAL OFFER…….. I’m so glad that they brought back Mikey, but did all of their common sense go out the window when that happened?? How much more would it drive up the price of this deal?? Is it worth ending up with shallower pockets AND EGG on FACE OF THE REDSOX????????

Okay, you guys will not EVEN believe this. My husband just came home and told me he had a present for me. I had just blurted out that the brain trust had just offered Ellsbury in the trade. I told him to keep the present for Xmas.. He said it couldn’t wait. It is an MLB registerd Boston RedSox HAMMER. I can either use it to beat the **** out of management about this trade or we can keep it until we take on the Wankee’s. OOPS, that’s a typo that I’d change but……

…and by the way, do we KNOW that the Yankees aren’t playing the same game we (meaning the management) are??

I just read my posts…. Gee, can you tell where I stand on this issue??? WOW, I can’t remember the last time I was this P**issed off.

ellen. i agree ells LOOKS like a potentially excellent player and dynamic LO guy. BUT look at what we’re talking about though. ells, lowrie, and a pitching prospect for, if he stays healthy, a first ballot HOF’er. whose only 29 and already has 2 CY’s. it would give boston easily the best staff in baseball an potentially one of the best of all time. i mean a staff where beckett is your number 2 guy is pretty dam impressive! plus you still have lester and buch. imagine in 2 yrs a staff of santana, beck, dice, buch, and lester. i’m starting to leans towards jeff’s opinion on this one. you can go out an get a rowand to play CF and upgrade over coco if you want.

I still like Ellsbury better than a first ballot HOF’er who hasn’t pitched well in Beantown. And besides, the Sox can hit Santana, just like they hit Sabathia. Sorry, but I keep thinking one word: Gagne. Jacoby has yet to really blossom, but the kid did an amazing job in a short period of time — for example, I never felt any anxiety when he strode to the plate, like I did with Hinske, even Kielty. And even when he swung at the first pitch (waaaay out of the zone), I still felt confident that he’d deliver. Sorry Gagne, but unless you re-sign, have an L.A.-type year, you’ll always be looked upon in Soxville as a disaster. And because of you, I can’t digest Santana. Whether or not they are in the same “league” talent-wise isn’t the point. It’s the FEEL I get for this trade. Ellsbury belongs in CF at Fenway.

Simple: if possible get Haren without dealing Ellsbury or Buchholz (Haren has 3 yrs. left on his deal), then next offseason sign Santana, the Twins want Kennedy, the Yankees won’t give him up
= Santana stays in Minnesota.

if we somehow get Santana without trading ellsbury or bucholtz we will be unbeatable, and better yet the yankees will sufer without him

I just heard that Ellsbury might be offered in the trade. THIS DOESN’T NEED TO HAPPEN!!!!! Santana’s not worth it. I fear that the Sox are turning into the Yankees. Don’t ship off the young CHEAP talent. The Sox already have a Cy Young caliber pitcher (possibly two if Dice-K can turn things around a la Josh Beckett). This trade could put the Sox in a hole. We’ve seen that Coco can’t get it done with the bat. You sacrifice nothing by trading him and keeping Jacoby. You actually gain by getting a better hitter and dumping Coco’s contract. ARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!! DON’T TRADE JACOBY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My lack of posts in the past month shows how strongly I feel on this issue. There is NO need to trade away Ells. Maybe, just maybe if we were in the Yankees position w/o a front line starter then Jacoby could be dealt. But Beckett is arguably the best in the game if you include postseason numbers so trading away our future CF for more of what is already a strength makes no sense. I am hoping this is a “fake” offer to just get a reaction from the Yankee Front Office. It has certainly gotten the attention of this Sox fan. We’ve had StartJacoby.com and keeplowell.com, what we need now is DontTradeElls.com

I sure hope this Ellsbury offering is a bluff to make the Yankees give away more of their farm — then again — this is the same management that gave away Cabrera (after he proved himself in the clutch) — looked how well we have faired since then — and for what??? someone on this blog enlightened me that we got Jacob Ellsbury with the the pick we received for Cabrera — so I finally let that one go — now here we go again — giving up a clear clutch player — to play keep away from the Yankees, you would think we would learn from Gagne — please let this be a bluff !!!!

Don’t do it Theo !!!

I severely doubt Ellsbury would be going. Everybody has seen how he did during parts of the regular season AND on the big stage. It has to be bluff. You’d have to be a COMPLETELY INEPT GM to not realize that Ellsbury’s time has come in the majors. Considering the fact that Theo’s been the general architect behind 2 WS champion teams in the past 4 years, I’d gather he’s not inept.

So it should be bluffing more than anything. If anybody has read this AP article, then I guess it was quite a bluff:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AvXY5QqrWOC6PEitvAPpMwoRvLYF?slug=ap-wintermeetings&prov=ap&type=lgns

Besides, Coco can’t hit too well; that goes with the Twins’ overall MO: great defense, par for the course on offense.

As for Buchholz, he’s more prized than Lester is, so I’d see Lester go in a trade far before Buchholz. Personally, like Ellen, the sentiment factor for Lester really pulls at me, but I’d rather he go than Buchholz only from a pure business standpoint.

We’ll find out more this week in what will happen. Let’s hope Red Sox management doesn’t bungle this up and trade Ellsbury and Buchholz.

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

See my question is: after Ellsbury, who do have as CF prospect?

Honestly, there’s no way you give up Ellsbury if there’s not much down at the farm. Coco’s not going to get it done in Boston anymore, IMHO.

We’ve got enough pitching as it is for now. I’d rather the team wait until Santana is a FA. Sure the Yankees could outbid us, would they want to is the question? Even for the Yankees, there is a price that is too high.

Time to move on Theo. As the cliche goes:

“Don’t mortgage the farm.”

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

Ellsbury? NO!!!if they want him we want santana,liriano,nathan,mauer and morneau,one with a ring against 5 with 0,thats fair!!!no no no but seriously ellsbury will be the purest first bat of the AL east next year and after that he just gonna grow they shouldnt trade him .

What are you CRAZY!!! Don’t get rid of Ellsbury. You are letting a future gold glove and all star away? He is one of a kind to give up. This is NUTS!!!!
-E

i understand the fondness for ells but i’ll say it again. you’re talking about trading 3 guys who have never come close to playing a full season for a 29 yr old HOF’er. it’s not mortgaging the farm IMO it’s securing your staff for another 5-7 yrs. according to jeff they have a couple of really good OF prospects lower in the system and there’s nothing to prevent them from going out and getting a rowand to replace coco in the interim. he might not have ells speed but he has more power than both and is a gold glove type defensive guy and also hits for decent avg.

ESPN just reported that Pettitte is returning to the Yanks in ’08. The Yanks potential rotation would be Santana, Wang, Pettitte, Chamberlain, Musina/Kennedy. The Yanks may not be too desperate to acquire Santana since Pettitte is back. What should Theo do?

I can’t believe the reaction of everyone on this blog. I must be the only one who’d be willing to give up Ellsbury for Santana (**** I’d give up Lester as well). We all know that pitching above hitting wins baseball games. I don’t know why everyone is so reluctant to get the best pitcher in baseball.

As for giving up Ellsbury, yes he performed admirably during his call up at the end of the season and into the playoffs, but what’s he had, something like 100 ab. That’s nowhere near enough to judge a player. He could very easily go the other way expectation wise to what everyone is currently thinking. I’d suggest everyone go and compare his minor league numbers to that of Crisps. Food for thought I’d say.

if the red sox trade ellsbury i dont know what ill do.. that would have to be the dumbest move ever.. i cant believe they areeven thinking about it.. our pitching is already one of the best and he is lethal on both offence and dfefence..and last ellsbury ill just throw it out there that ellsbury came in when we were down 3-1 and we didnt lose another game after that.. and he was a huge reason why we won the pennant.think about it….

007. i would think it would make them more eager to get johan or possibly haren because it gives them the one thing they lack, depth. if the sox can get johan for either of the proposals ( coco, lester, etc ) or ells, lowrie, and masterson/bowden you have to do it IMO. once santana is out of play the asking price for haren will go up as well. take the money issue out of the equation because it’s irrelevent to the sox and santana is alot closer to being worth what it will cost in prospects.

Smckinny there’s no reason to go out and get Rowand in place of Crisp. We seemed to do well enough last season with him in the line-up if I recall correctly. Not to mention this coming season we’d now have Santana in the line-up as well.

Oh and for everyone out there who thinks we can just go after Haren instead of Santana… and not give up Ells or Buch well as I’ve been saying all along, Billy Beane would never let us get away with that, and Jayson Stark has confirmed just as much over at ESPN.

simon. i agree with you on ells and what it will take to get haren as well. it they pass on santana i’d trade buch and a couple of prospects for haren. i disagree on coco. this team needs to get better offensively to stay on top. NY will have much better pitching with santana or haren ( plus pettite’s return ) and they figure to get one of them. their offense is already the best. the angels have great ptiching already and they figure to get cabrerra as well to go with hunter and vlad. that will make their offense pretty impressive. if boston were to stick with coco, assuming those scenario’s pan out, they’d be the east version of the angels of the past few years. coco’s great defensively but offensively he’s a bust. for what ever reason. if he could just put up his cleveland numbers it would be different. he hasn’t come close. this teams needs a LO guy to allow ped to hit second and youk to move to the lower part of the order and get some punch there. rowand is only 30 and IMO would be a great addition.

If I understand what Theo is supposedly doing, he is offering Ellsbury, but not Lester or Buchholz. If the Sox land Santana, what are they going to do rotation-wise, have an 8 man rotation? I don’t see pitching Wakefield out of the bullpen — how would you handle whoever is designated to catch for him, and what do you do after Wake leaves the game?

While I understand negotiating alternatives, it doesn’t make sense. What would make more sense is to request that the Twins up their offer: the Sox offer to include Ellsbury and Buchholz in the deal, but then insist that the Twins add their 24-year old catcher, Joe Maurer. Hey, Tek is getting older, and the Sox will need to begin thinking about transition at catcher which I believe is a much tougher spot to fill than CF. My apologies to Ellen who I know is dead bang certain that Ellsbury is a sure thing. The message to the Twins should be, you want to take several of our “can’t miss” prospects, then it will cost you.

Look at reality. Santana has just said, trade me before the season starts, or I won’t consent. That gives the Twins a limited opportunity to get any value for him at all. If he has another outstanding season, the Twins won’t be able to afford to keep him. If he has a not-so-good year, the Twins won’t be able to give him away.

The Twins can be hardball negotiators all they want, but ultimately, they will have to blink.

For all this talk about CoCo’s disappointing hitting, he hit .268 with 6 HR’s and 60 RBI’s. If he added 10 pts. 10 HR’s and 15 RBI’s, with his defense, he would be highly sought after if he were on the free agent market. And he’s only just turned 28. I know Mauer is younger, but he had the same number of RBI’s, 1 more homerun, and 25 more points on his batting average. So, they want someone other than CoCo (such as Ellsbury or Buchholz), I would be willing to agree, so long as Mauer got added to the deal. Why would the Twins do that, you ask — for several reasons 1. To get significant value for Santana, hopefully replacing him with a younger pitcher who will play well for them for several years to come, 2. To replace Torii Hunter with an exciting young ballplayer who might make their fan base forget Hunter 3. To inject excitement into next year’s team so that you don’t lose your base of fan support. Mauer is a great player, but I don’t think there’s any comparison — excitement-level-wise, between him and Ellsbury. A trade should benefit both teams. When the Sox got Beckett and Lowell from the Marlins, the Marlins got a premiere shortstop who was ROY, and has been an All-Star I believe, along with a pitcher who has aleady thrown a no-hitter (though I am not sure where Anibel Sanchez is at this point). I agree with the general sentiment of this blog that what the Twins are asking for outweighs what the Sox are anticipating receiving. The way to change that is either to have the Sox refuse to add the players the Twins are requesting, or to request additional consideration — Joe Mauer. Now that deal, I like — with my apologies to Ellen.

I also must say I am already beginning to tire of the Steinbrenner-light boys and their brinksmanship negotiating…if A-Rod plays out his option, we won’t talk to him…oh, I guess we will. If the Twins don’t agree to a deal by Monday…we’re pulling out of the sweepstakes. That sort of tactic only works if you stick to your guns.

All in all, it should be an interesting next couple of days.

I’m not as down on our offense as you are smckinny. Overall I think we’ll see a marked improvement from everyone this season (aside from maybe Pedroia and Lowell, who will probably stay the same). I really think though that we’ll see the best of JD this season, and I think normal service resumes with Big Papi and Manny as well. And you never know, maybe Lugo and Crisp improve as well.

dbenjamin. for the very reason you mentioned there is no way the twins would inc mauer. in theory what you say is correct if this were a normal negotiation. it’s not. the twins have what these guys want. they were the ones approached. they are dealing from the position of strength rigt now because of the commidity. oak will be the same way after johan gets dealt. when you have something the other guy desperately wants or needs you get to name your price esepecially when you have nothing to lose. worst case you have the best pitcher in the game for another year and you get a couple of draft picks when he’s gone. or maybe given time you reconsider and pay him. with what’s been offered tough i’ll be shocked if he’s not dealt. my guess would be they take the NY offer and boston goes after haren.

Haha, I stopped reading Benjamin when you suggested we could get Santana and Mauer for Ellsbury and Buchholz. Thanks for the laugh.

Ok Benjamin, I’ve tried to read it all and a few things:

• The Twins don’t have to take the Sox’ offer. They could easily just get Hughes and Melky from the Yankees. It’s not as if they have to take our offer or they’ll get nothing.

• As for not affording Santana next year if he has another good year, they can’t afford him now, so that makes no difference.

• I don’t understand what your saying here “if he has a not-so-good year, the Twins won’t be able to give him away”. Next year he is a free agent so they’re not giving him away to anyone. Also even with the slim chance he posts a 4ERA or above, he’ll still be fielding offers from other teams likely in the region of $100m

• Another thing I’d also like to point out. Why are you adding Buchholz to these deals? There’s been no talk of I am an idiot at all. It’s Ells and Lester that will get the deal done.

There is no need to trade Ellsbury, Lester, Buchholz, or any of the promising young prospects. Let the Yankees give up Hughes and see them squirm down the road while he thrives in Minny and
Santana proves he has too many innings and too many pitches under his belt. Let the Steinbrenners continue to throw prospects and good money to the wind. Do the intelligent thing Theo and keep the kids!

the mauer comment was pretty ridiculous.. butto me i wouldnt give up ellsbury for anything short of that i think he is a great 5 tool player and an explosive one at that. they dont come along to often. i think it will be a big mistake and why do it we already have probably the two best big game pitchers right now in beckett and schilling and our rotation did just win us a world series.. it just doesnt make sense to me. maybe im wrong…?

dbenjamin,

I agree with most of what you say, good stuff there.

Only thing I totally disagree with is asking for Mauer. Not going to happen, I think the Twins will be laughing on that one for a while. He is a native of the area and a guy you build your franchise with, locally the Twins would get killed if they dealt Mauer.

5 tool player?! He’s got no power!!

He isn’t Grady Sizemore, and it’s not even close.

For those against Santana – do you realize that over the six years, over the course of nearly 1,200 innings, his ERA is significantly better (about 30 points) than Beckett’s was this year in his career year and also far better than this year’s Cy Young winner? I think people forget what they might be getting.

The thing about Els — is the “it” factor — does he have it? or did he just have one great pre-rookie streak going? I think he has it — he has a no-fear, have fun look in his eyes. That is why you want to keep him. That kind of confidence can be as scarce as great arms like Santana’s — but we don’t really know yet.

To upset the apple cart — wish we could could throw in Wakefield and Mirabelli in the deal — a dome stadium would be perfect for Wakefield.

I’d trade, Wake, Mirabelli, Coca, Lester, Lugo (hmm guess I like to clean house and hope someone will buy my stuff at my garage sale) and a prospect (or two) for Santana — but I just couldn’t part with Ellsbury.

What a job Theo and team have — you never know. Big name pitchers have come to the Yanks and not produced (Santana will produce where-ever he goes, that is sort of obvious).

And it really is too early to tell what Ellsbury has — but I just have a strong sense that he is one of the rare players as well. If you give him up for Santana for 6-7 years, I sure hope you can figure out a way to get him back in 4 or 5.

To me Lowell and Ellsbury did the critical things offensively at the critical times (more than all others on the team) to help us win the series this year. We might not have pulled it off otherwise. Its not always the same every year, but both Lowell and Ells seem like clutch players

alright maybe i went a little overboard.. but hes showed that he can play well in any situaion they brought him up in the middle of a pennant race and down 3-1 in the alcs and he very well. i think that shows that hes worth keeping. i dont think we need santana.. dont get me wrong the guy is amazing but i likethe pitching we have now.. with that though it would **** for him to go to the yanks

santana is great no doubt about it…but to give up the future like ellsbury..he was a spark plug for the sox, everybody loves this kid and his defense is as good as his offense. Im not liking that part of it, but to get a great pitcher like santana would be good too. Weve had great players in the past and not won anything..rice, yaz, boggs..etc…seems like pitching is the way to go…im torn on this deal, anybody but ellsbury…lol.

It looks like the Yanks have given the Twins a deadline on their offer for Santana– it’s either today or never. It seems that they had similar words for Arod.I guess we know how far rhe Yanks can be trusted.
I suggest that we give the Twins the best offer that we can without depleting our team i.e., no Ellsbury, and let the chips fall. The one thing that can probably be guaranteed is that Theo will be criticized no matter what he does. I guess that’s why he gets big bucks.

If the Yanks drop out the Twins will lose all sorts of leverage and maybe we can take Ellsbury off the table.

All right, so you folks think I am over the topic in my comment about Mauer. My point is the Sox don’t need this deal as much as the Twins or the Yanks do. I decidedly disagree with smckinney — the Twins aren’t dealing from a position of strength, and that’s what I hope the Sox front office recognizes. This deal has to be good for both sides, as with the Marlins deal 2 years ago. The Sox received 2 proven performers (before anyone jumps me about Beckett — he had already won a WS MVP) for 2 prospects. I know someone will point out that Lowell was a salary dump, but that is basically the position the Twins find themselves in right now — they have to dump Santana for whatever they can get for him, both because he has indicated he won’t accept a mid-season trade, and because the Twins won’t afford his contract extension at the end of next year.

As far as keeping him around next year, what will that do for the Twins? They had him this year, and finished 17 games behind the division winnner (Cleveland) in a division in which most of the teams are making moves to strengthen themselves. By contrast, the Twins have lost Carlos Silva and have traded away Matt Garza. If they keep Santana, he’s going to have to win about 42 games for them to make the play-offs. Then what are they going to do, rain dances for 3 solid days after Santana pitches?

Now, if what they want to do is admit that they are building for the future and their new stadium, and raid the Sox of many of their promising new players, they should be expected to part with more than one player who they are about to lose anyway. And if they are not willing to give up significantly more than Santana to acquire all of the Sox talent they are demanding (such as a Joe Mauer), then maybe you are all correct — the deal is not good enough for the Sox to accept.

As I have said before, obtaining Santana is not all good news for the Sox…it will require the Sox to either redo Beckett’s contract, or deal with some player unhappiness.

If we can’t work a deal with the Twins (or even if we do) we should pursue trying to acquire Tejada. We can offer Coco,Lugo and Lopez or Tavares. I agree ith dgneubert- let’s clean house and get rid of some of the dead wood.

dbenjamin, while the whole Mauer idea is amusing yet quite awesome, I don’t see it happening. However, I completely understand and agree with the general point.

Even though Santana is clearly going to be a future HOFer and already has 2 Cy Youngs under him, the Twins are still not dealing from a position of strength.

I understand that in giving up Ellsbury, we still have OF prospects down in the farm system, but then in deciding to keep him or not goes back to the whole “now or the future” argument; which is the crux of this whole thing with Santana.

We know where the Twins stand, and they’re “robbing the rich” essentially. We know they’re building for the future and if they want that many prospects for a single player, no way you do the deal. Santana is a proven commodity, yes; however, there is too much upside with the young talent the Red Sox have and from a financial point of view, you’ll be paying them close to nothing for a long period of time. When the performance to price ratio is extremely good, it’s hard to really give up all that much. Just look at how Youkilis turned out. The team pays him little yet he’s a perfect Gold Glove 1st baseman and he’s got good pop in the bat.

Also not to forget, like dbenjamin said, there will no doubt be some player unhappiness in the realm of contracts. Whether it is made public or it is just some “internal bubbling” by the individual player, I can’t discount the idea.

A bit off-topic: comparing Sizemore and Ellsbury cannot be done just yet. If Ellsbury had the experience, perhaps you could.

More on Ellsbury, like rob8569 said, perhaps if the Yankees drop out, Ellsbury goes off the table.

Again, I’m still in the mindset that this is a calculated bluff. Remember this, what we hear in public about Theo’s dealings with other teams or contracts with players, a lot of the time is only a smokescreen.

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

brendan good point. i think people are REALLY missing the point here the only thing of real value the sox would be giving up is ellsbury. the offer is ells, lowery, and masterson or bowden. lowery has nowhere to go for 3 yrs. lugo’s pretty much untradeable unless you wanna eat half his deal. with lester and buch still there that gives you: beck, dice, lester, buch, and potentially santana all on your roster and under the age of 30. so where, unless somebody gets hurt, are you gonna put bowden or masterson anytime soon. even if they inc lester, as opposed to the other two, with ells you would still have 6 solid pitchers ( 2 possible HOF’ers ) under 30 in your control for the forseeable future. i love ells potential but it’s just a no brainer. even if you bring coco back. i would still prefer rowand over coco however.

You guys are hilarious.

We won the World Series this year and next year will have improved both on the mound and offensively, yet everybody wants to clean house and acquire players like Miguel Tejada.

Simon seems to be completely oblivious to what Ellsbury did both during his September call-up and the postseason. I know he didn’t put together a complete season but how about a little recognition? All signs point to Jacoby becoming a superstar.

as far as the contract situation beckett is a pro. he would never make waves. and the fact is at this point he doesn’t deserve “johan” money. baseball is a team game but you get paid on individual numbers. beckett’s are simply not in santana’s league. pick any ind stat and santana is clearly better. and he’s only a year older. IF beck puts up the type of no.’s he did this year for the next couple he will deserve it and boston will give it to him.

I don’t believe that Theo would trade away Ellsbury for anyone. If he does, half of the RSN will withdraw their membership or renounce their citizneship.
Santana tangibly is a great LHP. Having him abroad would intangibly upset the team chemistry. for one, Beckett won’t be happy.

We don’t know how Santana will fare in the playoffs. The Sox will most likely be in the postseason in ’08 as a division champ or as a wildcard. I would like to have Santana but not at the expense of Ellsbury and other talented pospects. The price is just too high.

We know how Santana can do in the playoffs; just look to 2004 and 2006. In 2 post-season starts in 2004, Santana had close to a 1.00 ERA (a little under actually). In 2006 in 1 post-season start, he had around a 2.25 ERA. Now granted his total playoff record is 1-1 with a ND, he’s kept his team in the game and then some. It is the Twins offense that stunk it up. So IMHO, there are no major questions as to how Santana will perform in the playoffs.

My question is this however; say if we let Ellsbury go, and we actually trade Coco away (Rangers would be a possibility), who would we be going after for a CF? Aaron Rowand like smckinny has mentioned? Not a bad idea, but that’s a lot of money in one off-season. Sure Theo & Co. has a lot of money to spend but why not keep the young talent and pass on the savings to the fans? Sure it’s a pipe dream, but as a relatively “poor” soon-to-be graduate school student, I’d love to be able to afford a ticket on a random day I have free (esp. if I’ll be in Boston for graduate school).

Regardless, it’s a question of who do you trust more in being able to get things going offensively? Ellsbury or Coco? Now it doesn’t seem like Coco was completely over his hand injury last season (so I’ve heard), and yes he is young, but Ellsbury has a higher upside. Clearly the Indians deciding not to keep Coco and turning to Sizemore has turned out to be one heck of a positive for them. IMHO, the Red Sox are in a similar situation, ironically enough, with the same player in Coco.

Anyway, it looks like Timlin is going to be back:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3139894

As long he can get the job done, he’s the veteran influence on a bullpen that I assume will be relatively young.

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

Raj if we trade Ellsbury away we will not be trading Coco as well. He will be our starting centre fielder next season.

Zach as for being oblivious to what Ellsbury did this September/October, not at all. I can admit he was excellent in parts. But I also recognize that he not likely to have the same numbers over the course of a season.

I would also like to counter that if I’m being oblivious to what Ellsbury has done, then the majority here are reacting the same way when it comes to Santana. His stats the last 4/5 years are incredible.

Some of you people are just adrenaline junkies. The Red Sox are champions with the same cast coming back. Think of it this way–in a five game series in the playoffs–any team would have to face Beckett twice. In a seven game series–he’d probably be in 3 games. That alone is reason not to make a deal giving up a Lester, Buchholtz, or Ellsbury. I think Lester can win 15 games this year in a full season. He is a lefty, and he battles. As far as the Yankees and Tigers go–they don’t have the pitching to challenge the Red Sox. Forget Santana, the Yankees are a year older with a manager, who I think will struggle in his first year. I would hate to see the Rockies get Santana–that’s a team that could give the Red Sox a fight if they were to get Santana.

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