• League Execs Predict Hank To Go For Santana – Part 2

    Posted by on December 19th, 2007 · Comments (18)

    Jayson Stark says the following today:

    Elsewhere on the Santana front, a tug-of-war could be looming between Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Principal Son Hank Steinbrenner over Santana.

    It’s clear that since talks broke down, many of the Yankees’ baseball people have had second thoughts about including Phil Hughes in any package for Santana — which effectively would obliterate any chance of that deal happening.

    But according to one baseball man who has spoken to the Yankees’ brass, Steinbrenner is “moving towards it.” And if he moves any further toward doing that deal, he could find himself in a fascinating debate with Cashman and others over whether to pull this very large trigger. If that happens, why do we think it might not be the last debate Cashman has with Hank Steinbrenner?

    And as the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox jockey for prime Santana position, the rest of the sport watches from afar, trying to handicap where this will lead. One AL executive still thinks it will eventually lead Santana to the Bronx.

    “The Twins are doing the right thing, waiting for the right deal,” he said. “But the Red Sox don’t need to panic. They don’t need him. There’s no reason for them to get anxious. But the Yankees actually do need him. They’re just trying to convince themselves they don’t.”

    Falls in line with what Jon Heyman is reporting.

    Twenty-six months ago, it was reported that Cashman was “fed up” with the Yanks’ front-office setup that promoted infighting and limited his power as G.M.

    I wonder how he feels about the set-up now?

    Comments on League Execs Predict Hank To Go For Santana – Part 2

    1. baileywalk
      December 19th, 2007 | 4:47 pm

      It’s pretty obvious why Cash-money didn’t accept an extension. He wants to see how things play out. If Hank forces him to make another move he doesn’t want to make — and it seems Cash feels Hughes is a special player and that Hughes will in essence help his legacy — then Cash will probably quit.

      Apparently Cash didn’t like the dollar and year amounts to Mo and Posada (though the Posada deal had to be made). He also apparently didn’t want A-Rod back at all, which makes sense to me.

      He let Hank put Hughes in the Santana deal, but then got them to squash it (seemingly using Hank’s ego to get that done).

      The line in the sand might just be Hughes. If Hank insists on trading him, it might be the move that forced Cash to leave.

    2. MJ
      December 19th, 2007 | 5:02 pm

      And if Cash quits then we get to witness an interesting, but likely unpleasant, situation: FrankenStein will promote Damon Oppenheimer (whom he has praised) but will have effectively emasculated him before he even takes the job.

      These Steinbrenners are their own worst enemy. They have absolutely no clue what they’re doing. Why did George beat around the bush? Why is Hank beating around it? Just appoint yourself GM like Jerry Jones in Dallas and run the empire any which way you like. But at least have the balls to own up to the job and get all the glory or all the criticism.

      I truly detest the Steinbrenners. Hank’s going to be like Dolan on the Knicks – the idiot that derails the train.

    3. j
      December 19th, 2007 | 5:20 pm

      This is getting out of hand.

      Trading for Johan Santana with a package centered around Phil Hughes is not any sort of madness. Granted, it speaks to the relationship with Cashman and Steinbrenner, but there’s certainly a logical argument behind making the trade.

      There may certainly be a time when Hughes is better than Santana, and those number of years may outnumber the years Santana has with the Yankees. Or they may not. Or Hughes might get hurt and be done for his career in his 3rd start of 2008. Or Johan Santana as well.

      We either end up with a promising, top tier pitching prospect or the best pitcher in the game in his prime with a contract that probably takes him through a period of his career where he won’t be in his prime. I believe Hank has said something along the lines of “either way, we’re in a good spot.” Hank certainly has the right to at least weigh in on the direction the organization is going. If this was “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”, IPK and Hughes would be gone by now. So let’s get off this ‘Steinbrenner the Younger’ media fabriated bullshit.

    4. MJ
      December 19th, 2007 | 5:24 pm

      Total side note…Yankee 2008 schedule is out.

      I hate to bitch and moan but it looks pretty silly to me. The Yanks open at home on 3/31, get a day off on 4/1, then play 19 straight games before an off day. Aren’t there more off-days in April?

      Two other annoying features:

      -For the second straight year, the Yanks get only one home weekend series vs. Boston, whereas Boston gets three weekend series vs. the Yanks

      -The Red Sox don’t travel into the Pacific Time Zone in the months of August and September, the Yanks travel to the west coast in August (3 @ LAA) and then again in September (3 @ SEA, 3 @ LAA). The Yanks don’t play the Angels until July (in the Bronx). That means we play two consecutive series at Anaheim. How is that balanced?

      It infuriates me that Bud Selig doesn’t even have the courtesy to mask the bullshit that goes on in his office.

    5. MJ
      December 19th, 2007 | 5:35 pm

      So let’s get off this ‘Steinbrenner the Younger’ media fabri[c]ated bullshit.
      Actually, I’m stating my opinion and not letting the media dicate anything to me. Further, if you don’t live in New York (in which case you wouldn’t know this), the local media fully supports the move to acquire Santana.

      So I don’t think any of this is fair commentary on your part. You’re entitled to view the move as a good one. I’m entited to view it as a bad one. I’m also entitled to dislike the Steinbrenners. So, unless you’re related to them and don’t like my constant insulting of them, you’re S0L.

    6. j
      December 19th, 2007 | 6:06 pm

      >> I’m also entitled to dislike the Steinbrenners.

      I’m not saying you’r enot entitled to your opinion. I’m just stating mine with fervor.

      You compare Hank Steinbrenner to James Dolan. James Dolan is a man with a chimps brain who just happens to be the one writing the checks for the Knicks.

      There’s no evidence to suggest that Hank Steinbrenner is on any level similar to James Dolan. And, in fact, the only evidence you offer is that this trade proposal (Hughes, Marquez, Melky + 1 for Santana) is reason to make that comparison.

      If Hank wanted to trade Phil Hughes for Jason Marquis and then extend him 7 years, sure, let the insults fly. But Hughes+ for Santana, as a tried to point out, is not a slam dunk move of stupidity. There are merits for the argument for and against. In fact, Steve has made several posts wondering if the Yankees are putting too much stock in Phil Hughes, citing the fact that can’t-miss prospects miss all the time.

      Personally, I’d rather see them part with position players, even if it meant Tabata, Jackson, Horne and Melky, just because I think the position players are easier to come by, easier to predict and less expensive. But that’s me. But what I’m attacking (in an argument-related definition) is your comparison of Hank Steinbrenner to James Dolan because he wants to pull this trigger. That is bullshit, and in my opinion, is being fed by the media frenzy surrounding Hank. Perhaps you have the mental stature to withstand all media related influence, but unless you know Hank Steinbrenner personally, I don’t see what you could possibly be basing your opinions on other than what you read and what are his reported actions. He signed Po, Mo and ARod after a long saga. Many people think all 3 of those moves were right, while some think they were totally wrong, and even some think that they needed to happen despite the large price tags attached. Either way, all 3 positions are at least defensible. This isn’t Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps.

    7. baileywalk
      December 19th, 2007 | 6:13 pm

      This is getting out of hand.

      Trading for Johan Santana with a package centered around Phil Hughes is not any sort of madness.

    8. j
      December 19th, 2007 | 6:24 pm

      > then we have to believe Hank overruled Cashman.

      Yes, I’ll agree with that. But I don’t think that means a priori that Hank Steinbrenner is George Steinbrenner part 2. There’s a leap being made there that I think is not fair to make, at this point. The only evidence I have so far, admittedly, is the Posada, Rivera and Rodriguez contracts, which are very defensible, and to me, make sense.

      This argument, for me, didn’t spur from the article about Cashman being overruled by Hank. It was brought upon by MJ’s comparison of Hank to James Dolan, which I feel is a path the MSM is taking with every word that comes out of Hanks mouth.

      Look, he talks a lot. He’s always got a quote. He says things about players he wants more than any other owner in baseball. He’s related to and chronologically following the definitive overbearing sports owner in recent history. But I’ll judge the man by the reality and defensibility of the actions he’s taking, not on the philosophy of his internal business practices defined by his speculated interactions with the GM or his branding by the media as his father reincarnated.

    9. December 19th, 2007 | 7:09 pm

      you know, sometimes i detest the steinbrenners (like now) and sometimes i love them (when i hear about Pohlad, Loria, Dolan and co.).

      why does he think he’s a baseball expert? why even ‘waste’ expenses on a GM when he could save that money and be the gm himself?

    10. Rich
      December 19th, 2007 | 8:11 pm

      The Yankees don’t need Santana if the cost is Hughes.

    11. baileywalk
      December 19th, 2007 | 11:12 pm

      Perfect sign of the dearth of pitching: Carlos Silva just got 4 years/44 million. At least we’ll still get to see him and beat him around the yard.

    12. Nick from Washington Heights
      December 19th, 2007 | 11:25 pm

      “He also apparently didn’t want A-Rod back at all, which makes sense to me.”

      This actually surprises me a lot. I wonder what Cash’s alternative plan would have been. It seems that in Cashman’s ideal world, the Yanks would be going for a much more dramatic rebuilding plan. You get the sense he’s fine with punting the 2008 season.

    13. Rich
      December 19th, 2007 | 11:35 pm

      Or maybe Cash believes that if you make a public statement indicating that you won’t negotiate with A-Rod if he opts out because you would lose Texas’ subsidy, you have to stick to your word otherwise you risk not being taken seriously in every future negotiation with other players and other teams’ GMs.

    14. Nick from Washington Heights
      December 19th, 2007 | 11:42 pm

      That could be a possibility, but it’s an odd principled stand for a GM to make who is interested in putting the best team on the field.

    15. baileywalk
      December 20th, 2007 | 12:14 am

      A-Rod’s contract is exactly the type of contract Cashman seems to want no part of. A-Rod might have left Boras behind, but I think Hank left Cashman behind for that one. For one thing, A-Rod had to come back to THEM. They didn’t use this leverage AT ALL. They gave him more than they initially offered. They gave him a ton of money and a ton of years and it was like Hank was going to do everything he could short of giving A-Rod a backrub to make sure he knew he was wanted. I don’t believe that Cashman would have ever handled that the same way.

      I think Cashman believes he can compete with the team as it exists even if A-Rod is not there. I think he really believes in his young pitchers THAT much. Maybe he’s being daft, but in my opinion he didn’t think dumping A-Rod meant flushing the season.

    16. Nick from Washington Heights
      December 20th, 2007 | 12:29 am

      “They didn’t use this leverage AT ALL. They gave him more than they initially offered.”

      I guess I’m not ready to concede this point. Presumably their initial offer would not have been their final offer. I don’t know if the final offer they made was, in fact, what they had wanted to give A-Rod all along.

      Anyway, this piece of news intrigues me. I must admit that I am not very creative when it comes to roster construction and I would have very interested to see what Cashman planned to do in case of A-Rod’s departure given the options in the minors, on the market, etc.

    17. butchie22
      December 20th, 2007 | 8:55 am

      In terms of need,the Sox don’t need Santana because they have the horses AND they know his numbers at Fenway AND his considerable cost.The Yanks and the Mets(especially the Mets) are more in need of a 1a type of pitcher now!The cost of Hughes is one thing but going much beyond that is very stupid.If the Yanks get him,he’s going to get paid upwards of 25 million a year,how many chips can you give up when you are paying one player that much money?It makes no economic or player development sense either.If you wanted to give up chips for a young ,cheap AND controllable for years Haren,fine.Otherwise,the cost of Hughes,Melky,Kennedy and Co is sheer stupidity.Who is playing centerfield nest year:Damon?Rowand,who the Yankees were hot on,is with the Giants.Cameron is the only free agent left and his production isn’t that great BUT his defense is.So to get Santana,the Yanks have to give up Hughes ,Kennedy,Melky and Jackson for Santana,then pay him 25 million for Santana and what 8 million for Cameron?Talk about being pennywise and pound foolish!

    18. Rich
      December 20th, 2007 | 12:00 pm

      According to this report in Newsday, Hank says that he and Cash are on the same page:



      …but Steinbrenner did not dismiss the possibility. He did, however, dismiss the much-rumored notion that he is more gung-ho to make the trade and Cashman is more reluctant to give up top prospect Phil Hughes. If there were a difference of opinion, though, Steinbrenner made clear whose opinion would win out.

      “The decision is my decision,” Steinbrenner said. “It doesn’t matter one way or another what somebody … you have to take advice, but ultimately, the owner has to make a decision.”

      As yet, no decision has been made on whether to up the ante and pull the trigger to acquire Santana. Both of them are undecided.

      “He’ll tell me that one day he wakes up and wants to do one thing, and the next he wakes up and wants to do the other thing,” Steinbrenner said, “and I’m kind of the same way. I think that we’re not exactly panicking thinking that we have to have anything at this point, but it’s still a possibility. He’s a great pitcher, and it has to be seriously considered.”

      It’s not just the players the Yankees would have to give up to get Santana: likely Hughes, centerfielder Melky Cabrera and another highly thought of pitching prospect. It’s also the fact that Santana, who can become a free agent after the 2008 season, will command a long-term contract likely worth upward of $20 million per year.


      A seven- or eight-year contract has been floated, but Steinbrenner said that’s just speculation until and unless a trade agreement is reached with the Twins. Because Santana has a no-trade clause, the Twins would then be expected to grant a negotiating window for the acquiring team to talk with Santana and his agent, Peter Greenberg.

      In another personnel matter, Steinbrenner said he did not expect the Yankees to go after free-agent righthander Mark Prior. The 27-year-old was once one of the top up-and-comers in baseball but has been oft-injured. This season, he was 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA in nine starts for the Cubs before shoulder surgery.

      “We kind of looked into it, but at this point, no,” Steinbrenner said of the Yankees’ interest in Prior.

      Steinbrenner declined to comment on Roger Clemens’ Tuesday denial of having used steroids, saying: “I have no reaction to that. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know. Only he knows whether he did it or not.”

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