Couple of thoughts on the Johan discussions:
- In my mind there are 2 untouchables: Joba and Cano.
- Hughes is borderline untouchable as well. People forget that he’s only 21 years old. In his 2nd major league start, he threw 7 innings of no-hit ball before hurting himself. In September, once his arm strength recovered, he pitched better than Santana did. Is he better than Santana right now? Certainly not. But we already know he can play in NY. His makeup is off the charts. And did I mention he’s only 21 years old? Look at what Santana did when he was 21.
- Santana is demanding a lot of money and wants to play for the Yankees. The media is spinning this as if it’s going to be a huge bidding war. But really, who is in it? The Mets don’t really have the major-league ready talent and could only make a deal by cleaning house. Boston won’t give up Ellsbury. The Angels and Dodgers could get involved, but seem more interested in Cabrera. Not to mention they are unlikely to want to give up the kind of cash Santana wants. Remember, Santana is in control here. He has a no-trade clause. The Yankees need to stick to their guns. Offer Kennedy and Melky and maybe toss in another piece or two. If the Twins don’t bite, then that’s too bad. Wait and see if the Angels or Dodgers can come up with a better package AND convince Santana to play for them.
- Not only is Santana a free-agent next season, where the Yankees can get him for money and a #1 pick, but C.C. Sabathia is as well. Ben Sheets will be a free agent and guys like Peavy and Lackey could become available, though maybe not for another season. The Yankees will have a ton of free money to pursue these players. There is no need to rush and give up their best cheap talent to sign Santana to a big money deal.
- Santana in NY is still an unknown quantity. I know he’s a great pitcher. But it seems like the Yankees always target one guy and then when he gets to NY, he is simply not the same player. Randy Johnson seemed like the answer. Too old you say? Javier Vazquez seemed like he was the real deal and he was 29. Jeff Weaver? Kevin Brown? Young or old, it doesn’t seem to matter: no one can live up to expectations in NY. Santana wasn’t that great down the stretch last year yet if he comes to NY, if he is anything less than the BEST pitcher in baseball, he will be a disappointment.