A Way Johan Santana Could End-Up Remaining A Twin In 2008

Gordon Edes in Boston reports the Red Sox are unsure of the Twins intentions and privately questioning their own intentions to part with the package of players mentioned along with signing Johan Santana to the largest contract ever given a starting pitcher.  He also mentions that LHP Jon Lester has not been taken off the market contrary to what ESPN's Buster Olney reported earlier this week.

Ken Davidoff in New York writes the Yankees and Red Sox are all but out of the Santana derby and asks why the Mets should add a 5th player, OF Fernando Martinez, to a trade when the team would only be bidding against itself.  It is a great point and one that has the potential to sully any off-season assessment of the job Twins' GM Bill Smith has done.  If Smith accepts a lesser offer than the ones the Red Sox made available in late November/early December, how could one not judge his efforts negatively?

Related, Bill Madden and Anthony McCarron pick-up on a point I made yesterday.  Will the haul the Orioles ex-Peter Angelos agreed to accept for lefty Erik Bedard make things harder for the Mets?  According to Madden and McCarron's sources, the answer is "yes".

Several baseball officials said Monday they believed the Mets ultimately would get Santana, but they might have to "flood the deal" with players to satisfy the Twins in the wake of the likely Bedard trade.

This conflicts with Davidoff's position that the Mets are in the catbird seat without the Yankees or Red Sox to compete against.  I tend to agree with Mr. Davidoff.  However, I wonder how Twins' Gm Bill Smith would react if the Mets acted aggressively about their position of negotiating power.  Would the negotiations end acrimoniously with Smith taking Santana off the table to usher in the circus atmoshphere of Johan Santana being a Twin to begin the year?

Update [2008-1-29 12:2:4 by Eric Hz]: Buster Olney reports the Twins asked for best offers yesterday and could make a decision as soon as today.

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