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Where Do The Yankees Go Now? Johan Santana, Miguel Tejada and.... Livan Hernandez?

The GM meetings have ended, and the Yankees are no closer to resolving there 3B situation than they were when Alex Rodriguez opted-out of his contract during Game Four of the World Series.  The tires were kicked on Marlins' 3B Miguel Cabrera, but the Yankees' brass, mainly Brian Cashman and Hank Steinbrenner, put the early kibosh on that by averring the team will not deal any of their young rookie SPs - Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlian and even Ian Kennedy- for a postion player.  Now, The Daily News posits the Yanks may have to focus on Miguel Tejada because Miguel Cabrera's appearance on the trade market has attracted too many suitors.

But have no fear Yankees' fans, Tyler Kepner of the NY Times has moved the Hot Stove speculation to Twins pitcher Johan Santana.  He writes the Yanks may be marshalling their resources for the upcoming Johan Santana sweepstakes under the assumption that the Minnesota Twins will not be able to work out the $20+MM average annual salary that a contract extension would require.  He uses Phillies GM Pat Gillick's quote to USA Today where Gillick says, Johan Santana  "will be moved for sure."  Even Peter Gammons believes Santana will be dealt this winter as he told Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg on their ESPN Radio show this morning.

Given the Yankees currently have a starting rotation of Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina and the three rookies, adding a 200+ inning starting pitcher is an imperative.  I do not see any of the three being allowed to thrown much more than 180 innings or so, and, if I had to be more exact, I would total each pitchers' 2007 innings and add 30.  That would be the upper limit.  Arguably, spending prospect capital and USD on Johan Santana is as wise a decision as giving Alex Rodriguez the $350MM financial commitment he required to forgo testing the free agent market.

However, if the goal is to add an innings-eater, wouldn't signing Livan Hernandez accomplish that without the prospect and financial costs Johan Santana would entail?  Livan has thrown more inning than Johan over the past three seasons (717.1 vs. 693.1), and, but for falling one inning short in 1999, has thrown more than 200 every year since 1998.  While one worries about the mileage, one wouldn't worry about the financial big hook the team would be on in the event of Santana breaking down.

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