Man, how many times have I asked that question? Via Charley Walters -
The Twins, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees are not holding up the proposed trade of Twins pitcher Johan Santana. It’s Santana, who is seeking $150 million over six years.
Santana has the right, by way of a no-trade contract clause, to veto any deal with a team that won’t pay him what he wants.
A trade is expected to occur within 10 days, though.
The Mets, who dearly want Santana, have told at least one free-agent pitcher hoping to sign with them to wait until they find out whether they can acquire the two-time Cy Young Award winner. The Twins, as they should, continue to insist that slugging young outfielder Fernando Martinez, the Mets’ top minor league prospect, be included in any deal.
“Martinez will show how badly the Mets want Santana,” one insider said.
The Red Sox haven’t moved much from their initial offer for Santana. But one minor leaguer who some would consider a throw-in by Boston – left-handed hitting outfielder Ryan Kalish – could become an important part of a deal. Francisco Liriano, remember, was considered a throw-in when the San Francisco Giants included him in the Twins’ trade for Joe Nathan.
The Yankees continue to vacillate on whether to include pitcher Phil Hughes in a deal for Santana. One day he’s in, another day he’s out. The Twins do not consider the Yankees out of contention.
The Twins tried to get the Los Angeles Angels interested in Santana, but the Angels appear more interested in acquiring hitting than pitching.
I don’t get the love over Fernando Martinez. In a recent Baseball America report, this is what I read about him:
Martinez is heavy on tools and low on present skills, particularly for a Double-A player, though that’s typical for a teenager. His approach at the plate is raw, and some scouts disdain his load (too exaggerated) and spread-out stance (he’s not strong enough yet). Defensively, he played a below-average center field across the board in 2007. He needs improvement in running routes, picking up cutoff men and getting his body behind his throws. He profiles better in left field, as many scouts had predicted when he signed. Martinez’ baserunning skills are another area where his lack of experience holds him back. As the scout said, “He does a lot of things wrong out there.”
In any event, it’s interesting that the “Twins do not consider the Yankees out of contention.” The next ten days could be fun.